Saturday, 19 April 2008

Snowdon – (Snowdonia) – Sep 06 – 3,560 ft – N/Trust w/hol

The Craflwyn working holiday party, had planned this the night before, and all seemed set for a good day. The mood slightly dropped in the morning however, when at the last minute ‘Vegetarian fascist working holiday leader’ (herein to be referred to as Vfwhl) decided he was coming along as well. Even more annoying, was the fact that despite being far older than our relatively youngish party (I was the one raising the mean age I am afraid), he was far fitter than any of us.

So starting at the car park at Pen-Y-Pass, on a beautiful September day, we made our way up via the Pyg Track. Our youngish nurse tried to persuade us to continue on via Crib Goch, however my instincts (despite knowing nothing about it) told me this wasn’t a good idea, so I managed to persuade everyone else (including her) to stick with The Pyg Track instead. Some time later on our young ex Navy chap, who was a sworn enemy of Vfwhl, was becoming slightly overcome by the weight of his own rucksack, which basically resembled both in size and colour, a small inflatable dinghy. He then had to suffer the humiliation of Vfwhl carrying it up the rest of the mountain for him. Having scaled yet another mini level, our ex-Navy chap decided here was a good moment for a photo opportunity, at which point Vfwhl (somewhat forgetting this was our day off) barked at him “Just as long as this isn’t another excuse for a (tea) break”.

By the time we joined the Llanberis path however, the cloud had completely dropped over the summit, and the temperature dropped with it by about 20 degrees. So much so in fact that even ‘hard as nails Yorkshire lass’ put a covering on over her T-shirt. The summit itself was a little bit of an anti-climax, as you can see from the photos, it was a complete zero visibility white out. The real highlight though, was at this point Vfwhl announced he was going down on a different route to the rest of us, which lifted everyones spirits there and then.

The descent was via the Miners Track, which seemed very steep and tricky underfoot initially, but then soon levelled and straightened out to an undemanding and almost level gradient. Also once out of the cloud, we were again back in the warmth, and after reaching Pen Y Pass, the afternoon was rounded off with a pint.

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