Sunday, 29 April 2012

Triffic Trail Training

Country lanes disinterest me. Pavements bore me. Treadmills have been known to send me into a permanent vegetative state. But I simply love running on Trails, and even off trails, which I guess is fell running. So addictive.
In prep for the Trail Marathon Wales we've (JAsper and I) been hitting the trails every saturday morning, both locally and further afield (The Beacons). As difficult as it sometimes is to drag yer arse outta bed at 6:30 on a saturday, by the time we've run a mile and started to warm up, I'm thinking there's not many places I'd rather be.
The last three saturdays have seen us tackle the Cwmcarn Scenic Drive from Henllys, Mynydd Machen from Alt-yr-yn and a 16 mile loop from Talybont. Running through the old disused Hendre Quarry in swirling mist is an experience everyone should try, providing you like running, and quarries....and mist.

For Luca

Some of you may have heard about a 3 year old lad from Newport called Luca who was struck down with Meningoccocal Septicaemia in January 2012. Luca survived against all the odds but he lost both legs and has major tissue, muscle and skin loss. Luca's parents are raising funds so that he may have access to the best prosthetic legs and equipment he will need to allow him to excel in life.

You can read about Luca on Facebook and Twitter and his awareness campaign has reached far and wide and many celebrities have kindly got involved. People are asked to write 'For Luca' on their palms and take a photo to raise awareness.!/ForLuca1

My little contribution is to attempt the Trailmarathon Wales for Luca in June. 26.2 miles around the Coed Y Brenin Country Park in Snowdonia. A friend, Jason White, and I are collecting sponsorship on this just giving link. Any donations are very gratefully received.



A Twunt, if you didn't know, is apparently a small bird that only inhabits parts of Snowdonia...Iolo told us on the telly. And with this word in mind, myself and 8 fellow 'Twunt Spotters' set off for a couple of days clambering over the rocky crags of the Glyders and Moel Siabod in late March.

I booked wall to wall sunshine for the weekend (only £9..99 at and it made for great walking weather. We arrived at the Ogwen Valley around 10am on Sat March 24th. Tryfan was our first stop and it was inevitably busy. See if you can spot all 87 people on this photo at the base of the north ridge.

But, I've no problem with crowds, and to be honest, the North Ridge of Tryfan is pretty vast and until you reach the narrower section higher up, you can lose most of the crowds. Some of the lads struggled a bit, even though the pace was slow. But they were there having a go and didn't give up.

It probably took two hours to reach the summit after many breaks. The Summit WAS busy. But Adam and 'Steve', the two famous boulders at the very highest point, were not attracting many 'jumpers'. So, Ian, myself and Beggy all took the plunge and did the jump between the two for the freedom of Tryfan. This now means we can go to Tryfan and climb it anytime we want. Of course, so can anybody else.
Without wanting to name any of the others who bottl..., I mean, didnt fancy doing the jump, I'll just say that it was Chopper, Nicholls, Gapper, Klampitt and Manley. Cowardly Twunts.

Down into the bwlch and then to Bristly Ridge, a first time scramble for all of us. Sinister Gully looked awesome from the bottom! After 10 metres or so Klampitt decided it wasn't for him and he was going to turn back and amble down past Llyn Bochlwyd. Gapper decided to join him, so the rest of us pushed on.
I have to say that Bristly Ridge is a fantastic scramble. Slightly more technical than Tryfan's North Ridge, but still within many people's capabilities. the gully is the hardest bit, get through that and it's easier towards the top.

We stopped at the top of Glyder Fach and did the touristy photos on the cantilever and we also did our first 'For Luca' shot near the summit. More on this later if you are confused.

A quick descent of Y Gribin (without spotting a single Twunt) and we were back at the car and ready to head into Betws-Y-Coed for grub and beer. We stayed at the Vagabond Bunkhouse which is reasonably priced, clean, and recommended. As is the wonderful Bochlwyd Horseshoe.

Day two to follow.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

A lot of catching up to do.

Two months since a blog entry. A combination of being busy, and being lazy. I hope to catch up with what I've been up to over the next few days, but don't quote me on that!

Firstly, without any link to the outdoors, here's a finished piece of artwork I've been working on since last August. 8 months of gruelling concentration, but a pleasing result. It's imaginatively entitled, 'An Interesting Face'.