Snowdon

16/09/2017

Zipworld

We made it, eventually!

The plan was to climb Snowdon on Friday, the day after Zipworld as we were leaving the area on Sat morning. We woke up a 5am as we'd been told by numerous people that the car park on the Miners Trail was quite small and filled up quickly. However as soon as we were awake we hit a slight problem. It was raining really hard, to the point it would have made the walk no fun at all.

We waited around for maybe an hour to see if the rain was going to stop and checked the forecast a bunch of times and it was clear that it was going to be raining really heavy all morning. Unfortunately we decided to cancel the climb as we both didn't fancy doing it in rainy / windy conditions. As we'd been told by the landlady "don't be silly, the mountain will still be here next time you come back"

We spent the day walking around the village and checking out the vast array of outdoors shops it had. Must be at least 6/7 really well equipped shops. We visited Swallow Falls - a nice waterfall that was pretty spectacular due to all the rain that had been falling over the last few days. Also we had a walk to Fairy Glen Gorge which was right next door to the place we were staying. 50p well spent, very impressed.

By lunchtime the weather had brightened up and the forecast for the next few days was much nicer. Not really any rain and even sunny by Sunday, by which point we'd be at home.

We spent the afternoon in the pub a bit disappointed the weather had beaten us until Jo came up with the idea of getting up early on the next day before we were supposed to be leaving and climb Snowdon before driving back. That was settled then. All our best plans come after a couple of drinks and a hasty decision.

So that evening we made a few sandwiches for the trip and packed everything up. Next day we were up at 5, left the accommodation by 5.45 and in the carpark by about 6.15. Already the carpark was 90% full. We ate our breakfast in the car while waiting for it to get light. As soon as it did and a few other people had set off we left to climb the mountain.

It was fairly chilly and we set off well wrapped up with hats, gloves, scarfs, multiple layers of clothes and waterproofs on.

The route started pretty easily and gently climbed up the side of the mountain. We'd overestimated how cold it was likely to be and from then onwards we ended up stopping every 10 mins or so for one of use to take off a layer of clothing to the point we were both walking in a t-shirt about and hour after we'd started.

We walked past the first lake and was a nice flat gravel path and I was thinking to myself I don't know what all the fuss is about, this is like a leisurely Sunday stroll. After crossing over the lake the route started to get a bit steeper and the ground a bit more rocky and a bit more work for the legs. This went on for quite a while and by the time we'd got up to the top of that section and around another lake or 2 we felt we were on a real climb.

At this point we made a bit of a mistake and the trail we were following just disappeared. We met another couple of climbers at the same spot who were all equally as lost as we were. We spotted what looked like a path going up at a really steep angle so we thought that that must be it and off we went following the other climbers. We had indeed lost the trail, albeit by only about 20 meters and the real trail was shielded from view by a bunch of rocks. What followed for about the next 30 mins we us going off piste and climbing the side of the mountain. Jo was less than happy and wanted to turn back. We both know we had ballsed up and it was getting pretty sketchy and slippery. The thought did cross my mind it was a bit dangerous, especially for Jo who was not as confident with the climbing as I was.

Just when I thought this would never end we spotted where the trail we were supposed to be on joins another and saw more people which gave us the push to make it up back onto the path.

After some more food and chocolate we pushed on. There was a bit of complaining coming from Jo but I didn’t blame her, the root we took was hairy!

From then on the path just seems to get steeper and more rocky but by now it was about 8am and we saw a lot more people. The top still looked quite far off but we kept our heads down and ploughed on. Jo was motivated as there was a cafe at the top selling hot chocolate and I was just being stubborn and wanted to get to the summit. We turned a corner and saw the railway line. Not much further to go.

It was misty and started to rain a bit as we were then up in the clouds. We quickly put our waterproofs back on. A few mins later we were making the final little push up to the top. We made it!

We took some pictures and I added to the video and then it was time to go get a warm drink. Only issue was we were a bit early and the cafe didn't open until the first train 45mins later. We both really needed the toilet and as Snowdon is surprising void of any real trees or bushes we had to wait.

Once the cafe had opened we enjoyed a hot chocolate and felt a sense of achievement watching all the lazy bastards who had gotten the train up.

There was a guy taking pictures of a girl in a white jacket, looked like they were doing some sort of photoshoot. They hadn't obviously walked up or they'd have looked all red faced and soggy like both of us were.

After 30mins in the cafe we set off back down. Going down was much quicker. As it was Saturday we saw quite a lot of people coming up as we made it down, some of them were definitely not going to make it to the top judging by what they were wearing and the complaining they were doing halfway up.

We managed to follow the correct trail on the way down which made it much easier going. 2 hours later we were back at the bottom and in the car. Just a quick 2.5 hour trip to my brother Nick's house for a bit of food and to see the family.

All in all a great adventure weekend.

Not sure what is next on the bucket list. I'm writing this a couple of months after the trip and I've been busy every weekend since building a new garage and refitting our kitchen so I've not had time to plan anything. Maybe an easy food related item off the list will be next and then get planning all the bucket list items we'll be ticking off on our trip to Bali next year.

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