Travel

Jess and her dog Toby hike Moel Famau in Flintshire

For their second outing to raise awareness for the prevention of suicide among young people, Jess Martin and her Border terrier Toby brave the weather in Wales

When I made a list of the 10 mountains we would climb in 10 months, I ordered them by height, so we’re building up slowly to Mount Snowdon as our grand finale in October. Moel Famau in Flintshire was the last of the “mini mountains” in our challenge.

Toby was basically born ready

Our route

Moel Famau is a 562m elevation and the route we walked was around 4.5 miles. The original plan had been to follow a route from Loggerheads Country Park in Mold to Moel Famau, which is approximately seven miles, however, I’d been keeping a close eye on the weather as it was forecast to be particularly ropey over the weekend. When the three of us – my friend Sophie is always part of the gang –  arrived in Mold it was very icy, so we decided it would be safer to stick to the route that was more direct up Moel Famau.

The path up to the Jubilee tower is a fairly easy one to follow: it’s a wide track with finger posts most of the way up. For the majority of the route, you can also see the Jubilee tower ahead of you, which is very helpful when navigating. There are a few different paths that take you up to the top, so it’s definitely worth exploring more if you are in the area. Toby and I are looking forward to going back for more adventures when the weather is better.

The views and scenery are really beautiful and from the top of the Jubilee tower in clear weather, the view is just gorgeous. For our walk, we had some beautiful scenery for the majority of the time, but as soon as we got near to the top we were walking (or ice-skating) in mist. That didn’t stop us from posing for pictures at the top. We didn’t risk trying to get a picture of Toby with our poster for our campaign though since we almost lost our hats at this point. The poster wouldn’t have stood a chance! My favourite picture from the whole day is what can only be described as a ‘blooper’ that further illustrates how windy it was.

Strange that not more people were out hiking that day

Our cause

We, unfortunately, didn’t come across many people on this walk (no doubt because they were sensible and stayed indoors), so we didn’t get to chat to anyone about what we were doing and why. As I explained in my first post, my brother took his own life, and Sophie also lost a close friend this way. We want to encourage people to talk about it and are supporting charities PAPYRUS (Prevention of Young Suicide) and CALM (Campaign against living miserably). Hopefully, part three will bring much better weather and with it more people to chat to about the very worthy causes we are raising awareness for.

I would highly recommend a walk up Moel Famau, because it is a manageable walk. There are some steep sections but the path is well trodden and easy to follow. It is suitable for all ages, although it is not pushchair friendly. There are two different car parks: I usually use the one directly at the bottom, but there is another car park slightly further back, which gives you access to some different paths to try.

Got there in the end

Dog scout

The walk is manageable for most dogs, there are steep and rocky sections but nothing that is too difficult to negotiate. This is a walk where dogs ideally need to be kept on lead however, since there are sheep dotted about the hills. Since my last visit, signs have been put up around the path with statistics of dog attacks on sheep in the area. Part of walking in the countryside means we need to respect all other creatures that are enjoying the area.

Toby and I also got to make use of his new gear from Kurgo, which we were very excited about. We have tried the car zip line that allows Toby to wander around the back seats while being completely safe, and it even has the handy feature of a lead already attached. We also tried the Gourd bottle and bowl, which again was just so handy, as I always have water for myself, so this bottle means I always have a bowl handy for Toby too.

Follow Jess and Toby’s adventures on Instagram @jessyyandtoby

To donate to the charities Jess, Sophie and Toby are supporting, please go to papyrus-uk.org and thecalmzone.net 

 

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