It was hot!! Really hot!!!!! I pulled up outside The Pen-y-Gwyrd Hotel and it was regeristring 28 Degrees on the car.. This was going to be hard!
I had just driven from Manchester following a buying meeting and was keen to get on the Glyders. I have a real affinity with North Wales, over ground and underground.
I was already packed so just had a few bits to sort and I was off. I chose this route as I feel the car is safer near the hotel and its pretty direct.
I noticed a group of youngsters heading for the style and straggling behind their instructor with one very exhausted looking teenager. I locked my car and crossed the style right behind them. The girl sat down and the desperate instructor was now 30 metres aheads trying to coax her along!! I stopped ad asked her name. It was Charlotte. She was hot and exhausted I asked her some questions about her day and how far she had walked. 8km.. She asked it it would be far till they reached their camp…I had no idea but encouragingly I told her not far! Despite me being desperate to get going I offered to walk with her. I put my hand out to her and she took gladly took it. I put my arm round her shoulder and walked with her. I told her where I was going and she was shocked!! Bless her… Fish out of water.. A short while passed and we reached her instuctor. It wasn’t far to the camp and after giving her a hug and some words of encouragement I set off, her instructor thanking me as I went on my way. I don’t think it hurts to be kind when you can. She was young and I can remember being her age and not ‘getting it’!!
I was soon at the next stile-sweating buckets and suffering in the heat. I had forgotten my sunblock and was burning…despite it being gone 6pm!
I saw 2 lads heading toward me donning very good beards! We got chatting-despite my desperation to get to the top of the miners track (not to be mixed up with the one on Snowdon folks!!!!!) for a welcome breeze and some water!
These two lovely guys were walking ‘John O Groats to Lands End’! Wow! We had a chat and gave them some beta on the local area for shops and camping and took their photo to post on their FB page.
Onward and upward. It was stuffy andf the air was thick. Flies buzzed around me annoyingly and I was really motoring to get to the col now. At last I could hear the running water of the beck and a welcome drink. I had banked on it flowing as I wanted to fill my bottles and drink my fill-through the Sawyer of course. I was soon on my way again and after a last steep pull I was looking at the rocky buttresses of the majestic Tryfan. It was pretty windy as the forecast had promised and I was relieved I wouldn’t be fighting the midges…far from it!!
I saw a lone walker heading up toward the summit and I was soon on his heals… We exchanged pleasantries and I carried on past. Soon I could see Castell Y Gwynt and was looking at The Cantilever 🙂
I had arrived! It was stunning – as always – and I was soon looking for a perch. I found one spot and started to unpack but decided that It may be too windy. I could also see the guy who I passed earler unpacking kit!!! Looks like I wasn’t going to be alone. Still, so long as he kept a respectable distance I knew it would be fine… Plenty of room for both of us!
I found another spot overlooking Cwm Bochlwyd. It was next to a little wall on a long flat rock and still had a view of the mighty Snowdon Horseshoe. Perfect. Dinnertime! As usual I was starving! Coffee and curry.. oh yeah!!!!
I could soon see my neighbour wandering around with his camera. We waved and he went about his business and me mine. I had pics to take and air to breath…oh, and Wolfblass to drink 🙂
I soon saw another guy approaching.. He was carrying a pack with camera kit in it and looked knackered. We got chatting and he had flogged up from the Ogwen. He explained he had run out of water.. My second good deed for ther day was to share my water. Half a litre is precious when its all you’ve got but I filled his bottle willingly. At that moment the other guy popped up and we all introduced ourselves. Justin was a professional photographer from Old Conwy and Zeb a motorcycle guide in eastern europe-despite being from the WirralI!!!!!
Tripods were being set up and we all set about taking my pics! I got some of the master at work and the view and Zeb went off for a wander. We chatted about sunsets and cameras and soon the sun was sinking over the Menai Straits. Stunning. Not as quiet as I’m used to but it wasn’t unpleasant having company. Soon Justin was off and after hand shakes and pleasantries we were waving goodbye to him. Zeb and I chatted for while longer before he retired to his perch.
It was my time again at last. I sucked the clean air deep into my lungs and laid back against the rocks watching the sky darken and the landscape turn black. The shadows merged into an equal darkness and the wind stole through the rocks making eerie noises. The stars came one by one as the wind picked up again. It was due to be gusting near to 50 mph by dawn.. I was happy.. calm.. the wine had coursed through my tired limbs and my pain killers had taken the edge of my back pain.. Now I was content. I looked down at my bed.. Oh yeah. A couple of bags and a mat on a slab of rock! I love bivvying. Its liberating. I feel closest to my Mum when I’m out like this. She was always my rock. She has been gone nearly 8 years and the mountains were as much her life as they are mine… A tear rolled down my cheek reminding me of a lot of pain but also a lot of love and joy.. it was time to get to sleep. I shivered and wiped my eyes…Soon I was snuggled up on the hard rocks, but as comfortable as if I were in my own bed… I heard my mum’s voice on the wind wishing me a peaceful sleep….
The next thing I knew it was dawn and I woke with puffy eyes… I snuggled back down and fell asleep with the wind on my face…I awoke again and it was coffee time. I leaned up on one arm blinking in the morning sun… It was a beautiful morning despite the strong gusts. I got the Jetboil fired up and soon I was eating porridge and drinking coffee taking in the stunning view.
I had decided I would drive straight home as I was keen to get on the road bike when I got home so after 2 more cups of coffee I reluctantly pulled myself out of the bag and sorted my kit. I didn’t see Zeb and didn’t disturb him in case he was enjoying a lie in. I was soon shouldering the Exos and making my way along the slabby rocks back to the top of the Miners Track. I saw nobody on my return and only stopped to drink from the waterfall at the start of the descent at the col.
It really is a beautiful place.. The rock scenery is hard to beat…as are the feelings this place evokes….