It was only when I started looking at Google maps that I realised just how much of Snowdonia I have tramped across. The Glydyrs, the Carnedds, Tryfan and of course Snowdon. I remeber vividly one January, the gale-force blizzard we survived during my mountain-leadership course!
So fifty or so years on and with my poor eyesight I thought I’d better get there whilst I can still see. So the task was to get there, to see what I could climb and then to get back again.
My route was by train via, I think, John o’groats and all points west to Bettws-y-Coed and then by Sherpa bus to Pen-y-Gwryd. I stayed at the same hotel as Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensng used when preparing for their successful ascent of Everest. Indeed my route would take me directly above the cliffs that they practised on.
I was fully prepared and equipped for the worst weather and of course it was beautiful – I bought a hat!
Of the four paths from the car park at Pen-y-Pass, I selected the most southerly route as it was the most exciting and most beautiful and indeed the least used.
It was all just as I remebered it. Breath-taking, in more ways than one, Hard work and womderful mountains,
You climb up over and dowmn the Clwyds, at about 2700 ft, and then climb up again to Snowdon.
Starting from the Miners’ Track, I branched off and followed the southerly track. Iwalked up and climbed up over the Clwyds and along the knife edge ridge that I remeber so well. It was just as if I’d been there just last week.
In the event during the descent my thighs couldn’t cope with the jarring from several hundred missed foot steps and I limped down my escape path. I spent the next day hobbling and limping between the the bar, the garden and the restaurant on a abeautiful sunny day overlooking these gorgeous mountains. I marked out a flat route, a lap of about a thousand yards which I walked probably eight or ten times and gradually my legs recovered.
I duly returned home (not quite as tame as it sounds.)
An exciting trip to do on your own, maybe a daunting trip if your eyes are out of focus and you’ve lost your central vision. As Gavin a friend of mine says ‘Well. I took some photos and I can now see where I went’.
I have a wonderful shot of the knife-edge that I wanted to see again and of the raw beauty of these wonderful craggy mountains.
ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS and even better for having done it all independently.
10th July 2013
Six months later I can now see that this expereience has worked wonders for my self-confidence, proving my self-reliance and restoring my self-esteem.
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