Friday, 5 August 2011

Welsh 3 Peaks

Had a great time doing the 3 Welsh Peaks on the 3rd July. The weather Gods were very kind and gave us wall to wall sunshine for the whole day. Some might say it was too warm for trudging up mountains, but it doesn't bother me usually. The hardest part of the challenge was staying awake between Cadair Idris and Pen y Fan to help our minibus driver (and walk leader) stay awake. Anyway, this is how it went....

We stayed at Pete's Eats Bunkhouse - very reasonable rates, very clean and tidy and ideally situated for dining at Pete's Eats! Despite the fact that we planned a 3am start, most of us were still in the Prince of Wales (what a strange public house!) in Llanberis art 10:30 playing killer on the pool table and being entertained by Tei's card tricks! I jumped into bed at around 11 and dozed off after watching the Haye-Klitschko fight on 'live text' on the Iphone :s. No sooner had I done so, Beggy was turning the light on at 2am and urging us all to get up in his least polite Southern Oirish style.

Up we got and we (all 15 of us) managed to get up to Pen Y Pass by 3am and started walking at 3:10. I was surprised by how many groups there were, mostly coming down the Pyg Track by torchlight, as we went up. Most seemed to be British 3 peakers on the final stretch, but I think there were some Welsh 3000ers.
It was a great experience walking with the headtorches...

It wasn't totally dark and not long after setting out the light increased enough to turn the torches off and walk in a lovely dawn-like light. By 4am it was practically light! We couldn't see the sunrise fully because the bulk of Crib Goch was between us and it! There were still a few good photo opportunities though.

By 5am(ish) we got to the top of Snowdon. It was great to see it practically empty! Just a few tents pitched behind the cafe and a couple sat east of the trig point were the only signs of life. Time for the first summit group the clown with the upside down flag. I'm sending it back to Ebay to get one the right way up.

The views were grand.

Back down via the miners track. One or two of the more inexperienced members of the group struggled a bit on the steep descent, so we made slow but steady progress. It got much easier as the path flattened out near Glaslyn.

This is Dave, as you can see by his expression, he's a Kiwi.

The impressive industrial ruins along the miner track.

We got back to the transport at around 7:50 and after quickly using the facilities (good job I carry my own bog roll, eh Gareth? :) we set off for Dolgellau. A few circuits of Dolgellau's charming town centre ensued until Brian's memory kicked in and we found the road to the pony path start. The 2nd leg commenced at around 9:50, again, after using the carpark facilities!! (Thanks for the immodium Gareth - Toilet Roll debt repaid in full!).

The sun was now blazing and going was slow.

The pony path was a route I hadn't done on Cadair before and there were great views of the coast out towards Barmouth.

Liquid replenishment was becoming scarce and supplies were rationed out between walkers....

The rest of leg 2 and leg 3 to be continued in the next post. Thanks for looking!

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