Monday 21 June 2010

Yr Wyddfa

I posted this photograph yesterday and said that there was a story behind it...

The view is taken looking back down Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) towards the two lakes (Llyn Llydaw) near the bottom of the Miner's Path.

Two summers ago, Ben went on a camp in Criccieth and Mark and I took our tent to a beautiful site at Betws Garmon, between Caernarvon and Beddgelert. We planned to stay a week, doing a variety of activities, including climbing two mountains; Snowdon and Tryfan.

For the first few days, it rained. We visited Criccieth castle in the rain! We visited Sygun Copper mines in the rain! And we travelled on the Ffestinniog Railway in the rain! Then, one morning, we woke up and it wasn't raining.

Into the car went the rucksacks, food, waterproofs, boots, emergency stuff etc and off we set. We parked at Pen y Pass, booted up and started to climb. It was certainly harder work than I had remembered it being the last time I climbed the mountain; Mark was definitely tempering his pace to suit mine! Mind you, around twenty-two years had elapsed, so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised. Still, the scenery was beautiful, the air was fresh and I was having a great time. Most important of all, it wasn't raining...

That is, it wasn't raining yet! About nine tenths of the way up, I felt a spot, then a spatter and then it was a scramble to don full waterproofs before the heavens opened! Undaunted, we slogged on to the top. No cafe open, it was closed for refurbishment that summer (Mark has been up twice since and tells me it's very smart now!). I think we stayed on the top for about 30 seconds max! The camera didn't even come out of the rucksack. No point; unless to capture the three metre visibility of grey!

And so we began the descent. I can't remember how long it took us to climb back down, but I know that it continued to rain steadily all of the way. Good waterproofs notwithstanding, by the time we regained the car, we both looked as though we had taken a fully clothed bath!

Unfortunately, life in a tent doesn't present many opportunities for drying wet stuff unless the weather is obliging; and it wasn't. Mark's boots sat on the dashboard of the car for three days before they were properly dry again. As a result, the only other fine day of the whole week was spent on the beach, and Tryfan never was climbed. Mark will put that right before long, I'm sure!

Please don't let me leave you with the impression that I was miserable. I wouldn't take back that day for anything. It was great!

And, just in case you think I'm exaggerating about the rain, this is the camp site picnic area on the day we left to come home...


  1. Guess a boat would have been of more use than a tent. Great pictures though

  2. What a beautiful photo!
    This post made me smile at the thought of wet camping trips - we had a memorable one in the Rockies one year and I can still get a shiver thinking about it!

  3. That's a breath-taking view! At least the rain didn't put you off from finishing. I quite like to climb a mountain like that one day :)