SNOWDON – 12th April 2013


Watch out, the snows starting to come over my boots now!!

It’s taken 2 monnths to write this one up but it’s finally on here.

Participants were Marv & Michelle, Pete & Elaine, Guy & Ginette, Chris & Emma.

Before we’d left Nottinghamshire for Snowdonia we had it in our minds that reaching the summit  was unlikely as we didn’t have the equipment for the accent considering the recent snow fall. However we were incorrect on this assumption and we did manage to reach a very snowy, cold, windy, damp summit.

We drove up to the Snowdon Café  at the foot of the Llanberis Path and had a quick word with Stephan the owner, I think he’s getting use to us now, and once we all arrived (which considering we all left Pete’s Eat together you’d think was easy, but somehow one car from the 3 managed to get lost! ) we kitted up and started the walk, it was considerably busier than I’d have expected but the weather was fairly good. Most of us had prepared ourselves and bought ice grips for the soles of our boots, and I think these were a definite investment, crampons were a bit excessive but these grips proved useful further up the path. The first half of the path was relatively clear of snow, although there was plenty at the sides, and Marv and myself did manage to walk up a snow covered flank to slide down it, at one point Marv did go waist deep in the snow though, which he later tried to throw me in after I slid down.

Carrying on up the path was relatively easy, until about ½ mile after the half way café, this part of the path take a sudden change in character, lose, rocky and considerably steeper as it leads up to Clogwyn Station, it then gets even steeper and for a longer distance. Just after Clogwyn Station the diggers were on the track (although not in action or attended), they’d been clearing the snow off the track so the train could climb the mountain. The Snow here was in excess of 10ft still and the wall the diggers had got up to looked quite impressive. A few photos taken, we climbed up the snow wall and out of the snow gulley, although walking on the deep but fairly firm snow was a bit weird in sensation. Back on the path we carried on, and as the path began to levels out we were glad others had walked before us defining the path, as we suffered White out and it was difficult to distinguish the whiteness of the Snow to that of the Sky, a very weird sensation! We sort of spread out a bit here but never left any stragglers of the group some had never ascended before so had to watch out for them. Finally we all reached the summit albeit some about 30 minutes later, but we didn’t stay for long  once we were all grouped together again as the conditions had worsened the higher we got. Heading back down the group broke up a bit, as some wanted to get down quicker than the others, I made sure I was last so nobody got left behind. As we walked down the section that leads from Clogwyn Station there was a guy struggling to walk up, ad considering his clothing (open fronted trainers, jeans and just a fashion jacket) I advised he turn around as he was ill prepared for the snow ahead of him, he was already struggling and was a prime candidate for getting hypothermia, he shouted up to his mates that he was turning around and we had a bit of a chat with him until we got to the half way café where he entered for some warmth …. Apparently him and his mates had gone out for a drive from the Leicester area and ended up at Llanberis, then decided to climb to the summit of Snowdon. Anyway we carried on and finally reached the Snowdon Café, where tea/coffee/hot chocolate was consumed, along with Welsh cake.  After a short while Laddo from earlier turned up again, absolutely freezing so we made space for him to warm up around the fire. He couldn’t let his mates know where he was so we gave him a lift to the car and left a note on saying where he was waiting, but on the way back to take him to the café we passed theanother one of his mates who must have also decided to turn around so we dropped him off there.

We drove back to the campsite,  and things were not looking well, my tent had been flattened by the wind and the securing point for the poles had ripped, no problem I though, I’d bought a spare tent anyway, but when I pulled the tent upright everything inside (bedding, spare clothes etc.) was wet so it was a case of ‘we’ve done what we came to do, so I’ll just leave a day early). Unfortunately I wasn’t the only one who had suffered wind problems!!!  Pete’s brand new never used before pop up shelter had totally blown away, and he’d gone in search for it as it was nowhere in sight; he eventually found it about ½ mile away in a river complete with rips to the fabric; hats off to Decathlon for agreeing to swap it still and provide some heavy duty pegs to stop it blowing away again.

Everyone else decided that as Emma and Myself were leaving early they would also leave as well, but not before eating at the Tyn Y Coed pub in Capel Curig.

All in all, and despite the mishaps with the tents we still had yet another brilliant time at Snowdon.