8th July 2016
Attendees: Nick (organiser), Dan S. Andy D, Sarah
The ambition for a back packing trip to Snowdonia was to do the classic Cnicht horseshoe and to camp near one of the abandoned quarries en-route. The group turned up Friday and managed to drink the weekend’s supply of red wine in the first evening, with all of us crammed into a small two person sleeping area as our social space. The following morning, after seeing off slightly sore heads and a decent breakfast in Betws, we headed out into the hills with our fully laden packs. To say the weather was bad was an understatement. By far and away the wettest day I have ever had in Wales. One of the highlights of the day was getting near to the top of Cnicht, to be confronted by a sheer cliff blocking the way to the summit, with gale force winds whipping in. The look on the face of the group was classic. Thankfully there was an easy scramble around the side and we soon reached the summit.
We completed the circuit and got to our intended campsite, fully saturated, and with no end in sight of the rain, we made the bold decision to bolt from the hills and head to the comforts of a bunkhouse. Getting off the hill proved challenging, with water levels on a river crossing having increased over 1ft since the start of the day. Having successfully got off the hill, there was no accommodation to be found anywhere! A long drive home to Newbury and a rather shorter weekend than planned.
Considering the original intention was to go wherever in the country had the best weather for the weekend, we failed miserably. But regardless, it was a quality mountain day and without the decent kit we all had, I suspect we might have had hypothermia issues. Thanks Gore-tex for helping us survive the day.