A Snowdon jaunt

I headed over to Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon on Saturday with some Marsden mates and my son (also a mate). I knew them all but (stick with me) they didn’t all know each other before the walk. I forget how a big a village / small town Marsden is.

Five of the guys hadn’t walked up Snowdon before so there was a nice sense of excitement. I’ve been on a few ‘Snowdon in the Snow’ trips over the last 4 years, always sociable fun and a good day’s walk. But being in January or early Feb, they had all been susceptible to poor weather. In fact, last year saw four of us battle a blizzard and turn back (sensibly) just before the Clogwyn Coch area.

So this year’s trip, falling as it did in the third week of March, could have brought clear skies and amazing vistas.‘Could have’. We actually had low cloud and gale force winds the whole time. But the weather wasn’t so appalling that it deterred us from getting to the summit. We had all the right kit to keep warm. And three of us had ice axes as well as spikes as the Llanberis mountain rescue website had suggested. They weren’t needed but you don’t know that until you get high up, so ‘better safe..’  etc. I was (as always ) amazed to see folk in trainers and jeans heading up. And one guy in a sweatshirt with a transparent poncho (free from a theme park I guess). Hopefully they weren’t all intent on getting to the top (which was freezing in the strong wind and saturated cloud).

Here are some photos (all from the phone and some through the weather proof case I have, so a bit grainy).

Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Llanberis Path Hike March2015
Heading up the Llanberis path. Mac our leader and teller of tall tales. I hope I’m as fit and happy when I’m 69 and three quarters.
Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Llanberis Path Hike March2015
Son Joe, modelling an alpaca/ merino wool hat his mum had made. Good work.
Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Llanberis Path Hike March2015
Heading up the Llanberis path into the cloud of Snowdon
Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Llanberis Path Hike March2015
Spirits were high and jelly babies were flowing as we got to Clogwyn Station bridge. Taru and Jenny being giddy. Both have done lots of hikes and Jenny has trekked in Peru (amongst other places) but the first summiting of Snowdon was still exciting.
Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Llanberis Path Hike March2015
Walking parallel to Clogwyn Coch (but on the correct path NOT the railway line)
Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Llanberis Path Hike March2015
The cloud was dense for most of the time.. no sign of it being scrubbed off the summit, despite the high winds.
Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Llanberis Path Hike March2015
Joe by the standing stone that marks the junction of the Miner’s , Pyg and LLanberis paths
Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Llanberis Path Hike March2015
Tony and Mac on a very windy summit.. crawling up there.. as standing was pretty difficult

After some food we made a hasty exit off of a very cold summit. I’d grabbed a photo for Tony of his first trek up Snowdon – I couldn’t actually stand up to take it, the wind was being pretty pugnacious at that point.

Speaking of pugnacious: as we got back down to the Halfway House cafe I took a couple more photos of some of the guys enjoying a mission accomplished. Photos instigated by me it has to be said. And I wanted one with my son Joe, as it was his birthday at the end of that weekend. I was interrupted / berated by one of the group for keeping them from a coffee at Stefan’s cafe (the Pen-y-Ceunant Tea Rooms) which was down the hill from us. The question barked at me was: didn’t I have enough photos of clouds already? Putting aside these were friends not clouds, we didn’t actually have any plans for the rest of the afternoon and evening (beyond food and beers and hostel).

I’m not getting into what ever issues were behind the cantankerous question – we all have off days, to be fair. But it made me think about this thing of constantly recording all of our experiences. I’m probably worse than most. I know there is a school of thought that says looking at views through a lens (or holding up a phone) somehow negates the ‘natural’, ‘now’ experience. ‘Life streaming’ conflicts with in-the-moment raw (mindful?) connection that we can have with the world around us. I get that, to an extent. But it can also be the opposite for me – I look harder at things in the process of anticipating or composing a shot. And I really value looking back at photos from trips and seeing friends having a great time. Anyway, food for thought but I’m glad I did take the photos albeit the moment with my son was marred by the interruption. Ironically, I was the first through the door at Stefan’s cafe. More ironically, my photos were liked by the curmudgeon on Facebook. Go figure.

Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Llanberis Path Hike March2015
Tony looking pleased with his first trip up Snowdon
Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Llanberis path
Me and my son – mountain man Joe
Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Llanberis path
Teresa and daughter Ellie near the Halfway House, both great company.
Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Llanberis path
Tau, Joe and Jenny near the bottom of the Llanberis path. Some of the lower cloud having cleared away.

We ate that night in The Vaynol Arms in Nant Peris (great pub and excellent food). And then commandeered a side room at the (refurbed) Pen Y Pass hostel for a night of beer and a bit of a music session (friends Mac, Tony and Jeff all being musicians).

Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Llanberis Path Hike March2015 Live music fiddle and uke
Tony (Uke) and Mac (Fiddle)

Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Pen Y Pas Hostel March2015 Live music fiddle and uke

Snowdon Yr Wyddfa Pen Y Pas Hostel
Jenny reading some poetry .. a 13th century poem about 6th century Welsh poet, Taliesin.

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