Looks like a good trip, Graham. And quite surprising how reasonable the cost of getting there was.
The fact of it being so empty would certainly be appealing, and there's something about those wide-open views and big skies, but I suppose in reality I'm always likely to pick somewhere a bit more mountainous for my nordic ski touring. This year I went back to the Jotunheimen in Norway... I must say you've shamed me - I should try to get round to pulling together a few pics and a write-up.
I'm not sure about Gwern Gof Uchaf, but Gwern Gof Isaf a mile further east certainly offers day parking. Some time this year the price doubled from £1 to £2 (but still very reasonable), and you just pay by knocking on the back door at the farmhouse.
Only to a point.... if you load them up with heavy, bulky stuff, then yes, absolutely. But as a convenient place for something low bulk and weight - maybe a compass, or a map printout folded into an A6 Aloksak, or even a mobile phone with gps/mapping - then a thigh pocket works just fine, even on close-fitting, stretchy trousers, and personally I find one pretty useful.
Perhaps it's just terminology - the article says thigh pocket and you've translated that to cargo pocket. I'd say the former isn't necessarily the latter.
It's not really a shame - it's a brilliant place to go in the winter. But I did really enjoy my one summer( -ish, it was -3c and snowed the first couple of nights!!) backpacking trip (to Trollheimen) and would like to do more. The only thing preventing it has been insufficient holiday time and competition from other great places. With Norway getting an almost-annual winter trip, areas like the Pyrenees, Corsica, Picos, Dolomites, Scotland, cycle touring, etc. have tended to eat up the summer time... so far.
on my laptop. I have some genuine Garmin mapping for the gps for Jotunheimen/Skarvheimen, plus some opensource road and contour mapping (Frikart iirc) to cover the rest of the country.
And on last week's trip I was pointed to a couple of handy android apps for the phone. One is the app version of ut.no. The other, which sounds very useful, is called Norgeskart, and includes mapping from the official survey that seems to be as detailed as the Garmin version. Apparently it's free to download any sections of detailed map so it's available for offline use, but the map expires after two weeks. You can delete it and re-download it or download fresh areas, so it's potentially very useful for an extended trip as long as you can access wifi occasionally to keep it up-to-date and activated.