Snowdonia, 19th and 20th May 2001

Unfortunately, me being an unfit coward who suffers from vertigo, I took the easy option and went walking with Outdoor Soc instead of walking along stupidly narrow ridges and climbing sheer rock faces with the rest of Ben Lairig, and no-one else has bothered to write a report, so there’s going to be no pages of elegant, flowing prose, just a few random photos that people took and anything I can think of to say about them. If you want to know who went so you chase them and get them to write something interesting, the foolhardy lot were Arran, Ben G, Ben H, Dan, Kat, Lee, Oliver, Roger, Russell, Stephen and Tessa (and Tigger!), and then Robin, Erin and Mary from Outdoor Soc (who were marginally less foolhardy than our lot, but only marginally!)

On Saturday, we climbed Snowdon. It sounds so easy, when you say it like that. It ignores the fact that this involved an ascent of some 2,500 feet and the most treacherous looking “path” I’ve ever seen.

The main climb started from the Pen-y-Pass hotel, and went up the Crib Goch, this innocuous sounding name hiding the terror felt when you find that the path runs along the top of a ridge with an almost sheer drop of several hundred feet … on both sides. So steep that the map doesn’t show white with contour lines, but a block of solid orange with the occasional bit of white peeping through …

Although the photos don’t show it, I understand that there was quite a lot of crawling on hands an knees along this bit of the walk … obviously vertigo doesn’t kick in without those extra few feet!

A slightly slower climb than anticipated, combined with waiting 35 minutes for a bus that was supposed to run every 20 minutes, meant that the Outdoor group had got bored of waiting at the summit having gone up the Watkin Path (a much easier route!) and started down the other side by the time the main party arrived at the summit, but with little cloud around the views all around were well worth the effort of getting to them.

As time was now short, it wasn’t going to be possible for everyone to get round the Snowdon Horseshoe, as had been the plan, so the foolhardiest lot of all – that’s Ben H, Lee, Oliver, Roger and Russell, if I’m not mistaken – ran the rest of the horseshoe (that’s the path down by Y Lliwedd, if you’re following it on the map) while the other half of the group made a more sedate descent down the Pyg Track, arriving back at Pen-y-Pass at about the same time.

That was that for Saturday, a long evening in the pub followed, and then bed.

Sunday again heralded a fine day – this must be a first, a weekend in Wales and it didn’t rain on me! The day’s plans were to climb the north face of Tryfan, an ascent of a measly 2,000 feet this time, for a more relaxing walk! As you can see, there isn’t much of a path up this mountain either, and the word “flat” is not the first to spring to mind!

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