“As you pull your duvet tight, I climb upwards in to the WyLD place.. above a blanket of clouds.. and beneath a sky rich with colour and peace..
Moel-Ddu, Snowdonia, Sep’21
I have always been captivated by sunsets and sunrises, their playful dance of stillness, with fleeting colour. High in the mountains their audience is small, and every witness experiences their own unique blend of solitude, and deep connection to nature in those passing minutes before dusk or dawn is beckoned. I find Hygge not only in this connection and fleeting beauty, but also in the mindful effort taken to trek to these lofty viewing platforms.
Sunrises in the mountains are the most special to me.. from those post 3000m wakeups on summit days, watching the sun rise through a carpet of cloud below your feet, to solo wild camps in the Lakes and Snowdonia.. knowing the world below you is still tucked up asleep while you greet the day. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I remember every Sunrise on every mountain in exacting detail. Only truly hyggelig moments touch so deeply.
“Sunrises bring energy, plus an irrevocable sense of opportunity and possibility. While sunsets bring us peace and perspective.
N 52°97.6436’ W -4°116920’. Alt 550m
Earlier this week, after checking the forecast on my watch barometer, and at least 3 weather apps, I sprung to action packing my old polish army backpack with my wild camp essentials.. 'Lavvu Tipi .. check! Sleeping Mat and Sleeping Bag .. check! Wood Stove and Coffee Brew Kit .. check! Map, Compass and Torch! Check, Check & Check!'
It was 5.30pm on what was looking to be a beautifully clear night, and I knew I only had 2 hours to navigate the impenetrable bracken, tick infested marshlands, head high ferns and final scramble that stood between me and the summit of Moel-Ddu.
At 7.30pm Bella (my husky) and I made it on to the summit, both hot and panting as loudly as each other. The sun had just dipped below Moel Hebog, to our North-West, and I quickly threw up the tipi in time to sit and take in the array of colours that painted the sky around us... the summit of Snowdon just peaking out of the evening mist on the horizon as the last rays dimmed.
At 6am, after a warm and peaceful night, I peered through the buttoned door of the tipi (Lavvu Tipis are constructed from two Polish Army Ponchos, which button together, and stand with a single central pole).. the sky was an ombré of pink and orange light, with inversion creating a snake of cloud that wound through the valleys below.. Snowdon looking as majestic as ever!
After sliding on my boots, I braved the cool air and fired up my Robens Wood Stove with a little maya dust. First port of call - the morning brew.. a nice warming cup of Hygge&Wyld Coffee. Next, I fetched out the Wood Sorrel and Blackberries I picked on my traverse up the day before (the only positive to the skin tearing brambles I’d fought through on my trek). Popping both in to a pot, with a large spoon’s worth of sugar, I whipped up a sweet and delicious compote to spread over some GF bread (Wood Sorrel, looks a little like Clover and can be found growing around mossy trees. It has a sweet apple‘esque taste and is packed full of Vitamin C. It should only be consumed in very small quantities. When mixed with blackberries in a compote or jam it replaces tartness with smooth sweetness).
Fed and caffeinated Bella and I sat and took in the sunrise together, soaking up the possibilities of the coming day.
Another of my favourite Sunrise locations in Wales is Pen-Y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons.
Read more about living a HyGge&WyLD lifestyle in my new book ~ coming soon