South Snowdonia. April 4-6 2014

Present: Barry, Pokey, David Parry-Jones, Claire, Alan, Maggie and Dan Seymour.

Location: Corris-Crib Gough Bunkhouse

Report: Barry

Heading up to Snowdonia for my first planned trip naturally left me with a feeling excitement tainted with a little apprehension, crossing fingers time, wanting things to go to plan.

Our weekend got off to a great start with a stress free journey on the Friday, settling into the bunkhouse with a couple of beverages and some laughs with all the group. The bunkhouse was well situated, easy to find and even better to find out that we were the only ones in the bunkhouse.

Although I had a few ideas of routes it was Claire who came to the rescue with her trusted guidebook of Snowdonia. Several routes were decided upon, weather dependent of course.

We awoke Saturday morning to the realization that today was going to be a very wet one. Already the heavens had opened up and we were in for a rough ride, no matter what route we decided upon.

The route was about 10 miles in length with around 2000 metres of accent for the day so quite challenging but with a diverse array of terrain. The start was in a village called Abergynolwyn, conveniently situated across the road from the local pub.

Starting off with a steep accent we gradually got into the walk by entering onto a highway in walking terms, on a track up to the mid-part of the first mountain peak of the day. It was quite interesting looking at the forest that had been all but cut down and parts looked as if a giant had just walked through the forest with no real reason but to just jump in and have fun.

As we got to the highest part of the day, 666 meters, we started to feel the wind and the rain in all its might and with heavy fog in front of us it was just heads down until we reached the trig point before heading down for some shelter in the forest for lunch.

As we set off after lunch the rain miraculously stopped for a brief period. We then headed back up to approach our second summit, and briefly glimpsed through the clouds with our best view of the day. Ten minutes later the view disappeared and we were back up the mountain with our heads down but it was worth the wait.

The descent was a pleasant one back down the highway, despite the consistent rain. It was a very enjoyable walk washed down with a pint in the local pub.

My interpretation of a spag bol for dinner went down very well along with Pokey’s custard and crumble, both very yummy I have to say. The evening was spent playing the game Red Handed and playing pool, which if you don’t know is a very simple game unless you team up with me, always stating the first thing that comes to mind which can be disastrous if you have the wrong partner. As well as the Bottlenose otter joke that has followed me from December trips to the Lakes, I now have a new story to tell but you will have to ask Alan about that one.

On Sunday we awoke to even more rain but this was not going to deter us from having a good day. The group spilt in two with myself, Dan and David deciding to tackle Cadair Idris (the second most popular peak in Wales, according the TRAIL magazine 2011) and the other half venturing more to a low level walk at sea level, literally.

We embarked up Cadair, which happened to be a day when it was not so popular. Heading up, the only two people we passed warned us that it was windy up top. It wasn’t until we got there that we understood what he meant, with us all being pushed around by the wind. We finally reached the top with the huge shelter to await us and I was personally glad that we could have some rest spite. It was well worth the endeavor, driving home with a feeling of achievement.

Alan, Claire, Maggie Pokey and Keyna chose a beach walk in Barmouth, from the pictures it looked just as much fun, with Alan seemingly looking out for those Bottlenose otters. I keep telling them they don’t actually exist….

Thanks everybody for supporting my first trip. Here’s to the next one!

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