Letter from Shawforth: Snowdon the return match.

Posted: July 26, 2011 in Day Out, Life's Experiences, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Up to Crib GochOn May 21, 2011, John and I attempted to reach the summit of Mount Snowdon: the highest mountain in Wales and the second highest in the United Kingdom.

The weather was atrocious from the start, with gusts of wind between 50 – 60 mph and torrential rain. In retrospect we were being adventurous to even start; though we had planned our routes and prepared our kit well. We set off from Pen-y-Pass, on the Llanberis Road (A4086), and followed the miners track up to Llyn Llydaw, then on to Glaslyn. On this occasion however we didn’t make it much beyond Glaslyn before the weather got the better of us and we decided to play safe and call it a day.

The return match took place on July 24, 2011. With a new route planned for this visit; a route that for the challenge it offered would deliver greater rewards.

The weather on this occasion could not have been any better, with little wind, temperatures around the 28 degree centigrade mark and not a drop of rain in the offering.

With the starting point the same, Pen-y-Pass, we made our way up to “Crib Goch”. We immediately noticed a difference in that there were fewer walkers along this route, an initial sign of things to come. A rather imposing sign “Caution Crib Goch” attached to a style, pointed to the ascent, directing only the brave or the foolish toward their adventure.

The ascent, depending on one’s experience and fitness, was not too bad. He said! The coarseness of the rocks, like rough sandpaper on the hands; with knife like edges that dug into the palms soon had you realising that this was not a stroll in the park.

Greeting us at the top of the initial ascent were such awe-inspiring views, and such serenity. I could have just sat there and soaked it all in like a giant sponge. The greens, greys, purples, blues, browns; all colours and all shades working in harmony with mother nature to create the combination of rough and smooth textures seen on the mountains.  Spread out in front of us was the route we were to take; “Crib Goch” a knife-edge arête. Being mindful to the fact that straying too far left or right was not in our best interest we set off. I for one appreciated the fact that there was nothing but a zephyr that day, anything stronger and I would have wanted something stronger than gaiters around my ankles. When taking the picture (up and left) we did take the opportunity to check the temperature; this was a staggering 29.5 degrees centigrade which accounted for the beads of perspiration.

Reaching the trig point on “Crib Goch” (923 metres) brought about an air of self-satisfaction for John and my-self. In fact later on when we arrived at the Snowdon trig point, we agreed that “Crib Goch” was the high light of the trip. One could go on and on about the panorama, enhanced by the glorious weather. But unless you can perch yourself up there on the rocks and look out you won’t appreciate it.

 Slowly picking our way through the mass of tourists, delivered to the summit by a single carriage train, we reached the summit of Snowdon (1085 metres). After posing for the obligatory pictures at the trig point we found a seat and enjoyed our lunch. It is wonderful that by opening the summit to the general public there are those less able, whether through age or disability, experiencing the exhilaration of being there. But there is nothing like working up a sweat in the process.

Our descent took us towards the village of Beddgelert, down “Watkin Path”.

On looking back toward the summit one could see the cafe looking like some Bond villains lair in the distance.

Our next challenge will be the Snowdon “Horse Shoe”, but I will have to get a little fitter I feel.

This really is a walk and a half; not for the faint hearted though and not in bad weather unless extremely experienced.

I hope you have enjoyed this recollection of a wonderful day?

  1. Fiona says:

    Great Rich, thanks for sharing this!

  2. Great article and a very adventurous walk, far more so than my endeavours in Snowdon! Amazing photos too! Thanks for posting. David.

    • rickjo1 says:

      David, thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.

      • Writing’s fine Rich. Pics excellent. But you need to breathe life into the piece with some description using all of your senses. eg the sting of a cold wind against your cheeks , the singing of the wind as it whips over the rocks. Also you need to actually describe the scenery – very difficult to do without ending up with cliches. You say the view could only be described as breathtaking. OK so describe that view and why it was so breathtaking. If you ever wanted to get this sort of feature published you should also bring in some dialogue to give the piece more drama and help to break up the narrative.
        Hope this is of some help.

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