walkhighlands

This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Outlands 2016 (Day 1) - Snowdon Horseshoe (part thereof)

Outlands 2016 (Day 1) - Snowdon Horseshoe (part thereof)


Postby Graeme D » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:44 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Crib Goch, Crib y Ddysgl, Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa

Date walked: 02/07/2016

Time taken: 8.2

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1370m

4 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Once upon a time, on a cold dark January night in 2015, a fire burned bright in Brattleburn Bothy in Southern Scotland. Beer and whisky flowed freely and sporadic chants rang out - "One Alan Bellis, there's only one Alan Bellis!", to celebrate his receiving of a free bus pass.

Fast forward some 13 months and the same Mr Bellis was responsible for a post floating the idea of a summer camping meet in Snowdonia. I was on it in a flash, declaring I was in with a comment of "One Alan Bellis, there's only one Alan Bellis!"

I had missed the official WH Spring meet in Gairloch as I had been on a family holiday in Northumberland and I was going to miss the Summer meet at the end of July in Inchnadamph, again due to holiday commitments, this time in France. So Mr Bellis's meet at the Dolgam campsite in Capel Curig was just what the doc would have ordered!

Much had happened since that memorable Brattleburn night 18 months previously. Wales had discovered they actually had a football team and had qualified for their first major football Championships since........ well, for a very long time indeed. Indeed much had happened since last week - Wales had qualified for their very first major football Championships quarter-finals since......... well, ever! Stunning stuff indeed but these are indeed interesting times in which we live, even without the ups and downs of Euro 2016. The footy in France had been turned into something of a side show by the events of the EU referendum which had seen English and Welsh votes drag Scotland and Northern Ireland out of the EU. But football is nothing if not a parody of real life and in a cruel twist of fate, poor Northern Ireland were humped out of Europe against their will twice in the space of four days at the hands of the Welsh, while Roy Hodgson showed that at least one Englishman had a clear and effective strategy for promptly exiting Europe (credit to John Paul Bell for that particular gem!)

Scotland being a miserable excuse for a football team these days, there was little else for it but to throw my lot in with the Welsh (in a football sense at least, let's say no more about their political decision!). The timing was perfect - not only was there a quarter final against Belgium to look forward to that Friday evening, but it was also the start of the school summer holidays, term having finished at 12 o'clock that same day. Time to head for the Outlands of England and Wales!

With tedious predictability, I was later away from school than I had hoped. Whose idea was it to have a meeting on the last half day of the bloody year!!!!!?????? I had entertained the idea of stopping off in the Lake District on the way down the road for a quick smash and grab raid on a Wainwright or two, but the late departure from Perth and the fact that as I approached Penrith on the M6 a few hours later the windscreen wipers were struggling to cope with the deluge from the skies, I thought better of it and drove on towards the Belgium game.

Well, between the intermittent torrential downpours and the seemingly inexplicable traffic jams which reduced progress to walking pace, I was already in a foul mood by the time I hit the Welsh border. The M56/A494/A55 stretch around Chester was the final straw and I bailed out at St Asaph where I nipped down to Denbigh and then took the windy but rather scenic and considerably quieter A543 down to Pentrefoelas to pick up the A5 through Betws-y-Coed and into Capel Curig.

A welcoming committee of Alan Bellis and the Three Amigos from Geordieland (Mark, Michael and another Alan) awaited, others clearly still doing battle with the traffic on the long journey south. Slowly but surely others limped into camp and got set up before the main business of the evening - the long walk to the Bryn Tyrch Inn for the football and beers. Much grumbling was heard as we walked past two perfectly good looking boozers to reach our destination, where we watched Wales dismantle the Belgians to reach the semi-finals! Mr Bellis was remarkably restrained but inside I think he was in a sublime state of shock, which later manifested itself in a trance like state and repeated chanting of "We're in the semis! We're in the semis!" Despite the torrential rain and lack of appropriate waterproofs, the walk back along the road in the dark saw much less in the way of grumbling!

The general consensus was that most folks fancied doing the Snowdon Horseshoe route on the Saturday, although Eli, Carol, Janet and Sue opted for a low level walk near Beddgelert while Scoob, Fi, Al and Alison went for Tryfan and the Glyders. That left 10 of us heading for Pen-y-Pass in 2 cars - Welsh Alan, Geordie Alan, Michael, Mark, Keith, Bod, Val, Hugh, AJ and myself.

Despite our best efforts to make a quick start, the car park at Pen-y-Pass was rammed by the time we got there, so it was down to the roadside parking on the 4086 next to the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel, leaving us with the kilometre and a half walk back uphill to Pen-y-Pass.

Despite this, spirits were high as we set off, half of our number looking forward to their first encounter with the fabled Crib Goch arête. I had done the Horseshoe 10 years ago to the very month on my first and only visit to Snowdonia while on holiday with my wife in Criccieth and had very fond memories of the scrambling to be had. Funnily enough, Bod and Val had done Snowdon the very same month, although via a less precipitous route. I wonder if we were on the hill the same day? Val was certainly buzzing with the prospect, albeit tinged with a little trepidation.

Image
Setting off from the cars at the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel for the walk up to Pen-y-Pass

When we hit Pen-y-Pass, the scale and nature of the throng became apparent and for the first few hundred metres or so, a bit of jostling for position was required. It was a riot of pastel coloured waterproofs, walking poles and miscellaneous headgear. Fortunately most of the crowd would be taking the Pyg Track the whole way and we would leave them at the foot of the Crib Goch ridge.

Image
Just another quiet Saturday on the Pyg Track to Snowdon

Image
Pass of Llanberis

Image
Back down the track to Pen-y-Pass and Moel Berfedd

Image
Keith and Val (with Bod caught in full flow in the background!)

Image
Approaching the Crib Goch junction

Right enough, the sea of people mostly carried on over the bealach to drop down towards Llyn Llydaw on the Pyg Track while the 10 of us steeled ourselves for Crib Goch. The route ahead looked clear with no sign of people that we could see. As we passed the Crib Goch sign, I had a wee moment of sadness as I recalled a 2 year old LucyDog romping her way over Crib Goch that July day in 2006. Now pushing 13, she is an old arthritic lady who finds it a struggle to manage the few hundred metres down the street and back up the lane to the house. :(

Image
Hugh, Alan, AJ and Alan about to get stuck into Crib Goch

Image
Crib Goch this way!

Image
Far from the Madd(en)ing Crowd

We were soon into the guts of Crib Goch, a festival of chimneys, downclimbs, handholds and generally making it up as you go along. A few smaller groups appeared behind us but ahead it looked like we had the place to ourselves.

Image
Hugh paying careful attention to the footwork

Image
Keith and Val doing some early scrambling with Llyn Llydaw and Y Lliwedd in the background

Image
Alan and Bod

Image
Into the serious stuff!

Image
Mr Bellis leads the way

Image
Getting strung out on the scramble

Image
Mr Bellis and one of the local burds

Image
Getting into bum clenching mode

On the arête itself, a variety of techniques were displayed, some more graceful than others, but fortunately the only thing to take the plunge into the rocky abyss was Bod's Lucozade bottle. He managed to climb down and recover it, its battered state testifying to what happens to anything or anyone that takes that plunge.

Image
Hugh sitting down on the job

Image
Bod taking the more casual approach

Image
A Welshman and a couple of Geordies

Image
Michael busting some dance moves on the arete

Image
On either side the abyss

Image
Mark bringing up the rear

Image
Mark, you're being followed!

Image
Wave to the camera!

Image
Approaching the pinnacles towards the end of the Crib Goch arete

Image
Llyn Llydaw and Y Lliwedd

Image
On the Pinnacles

Image
Hold onto your hat Valerie!

Once over the broken pinnacles, the going became a little easier and less exposed for the climb up to Crib y Ddysgl, the second summit of the day. You really get the feeling that this is a neglected summit, an afterthought on the route wedged between the drama of Crib Goch and the madness of Yr Wyddfa (or Snowdon if you prefer that kind of thing).

Image
Looking back to the Crib Goch arete

Image
Crib Goch with Moel Siabod behind

Image
Keith and Alan discuss Brexit before another spot of scrambling

Image
Back to Crib Goch

Image
Mark and that hat

Image
Bod pops up the chimney

Image
Crib Goch

Image
Crib Goch and Moel Siabod

Image
Bod sticking with the tried and tested hands in pockets approach

Image
Scrambling onto Crib y Ddysgl

Image
Scrambling and deliberations

Image
Approaching the trig point of Crib y Ddysgl

Image
Y Lliwedd shrouded in cloud

Image
Snowdon from the trig point of Crib y Ddysgl

Image
Llyn Llydaw and Y Lliwedd from Crib y Ddysgl

Image
Y Lliwedd and Yr Wyddfa

Image
Back to Crib Goch

From here we dropped down to the junction of the Pyg Track and the Llanberis and Snowdon Ranger Paths, the first two of these being like a sea of displaced humanity on the move from a war zone!

Image
Dropping down towards the top of the Pyg Track

Image
North west along the Cwm Brwynog

Image
WTF are all these people doing up here????!!!!!

Image
Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa

Image
Down the Pyg Track to Glaslyn

Image
The next train approaching platform 2 is the 3.27 from ............

Image
Llyn Cwellyn and Moel Cynghorion

Image
Where are the British Transport Police when you need them????!!!!

All vestiges of mountain serenity were blown away at the summit as the steam train pulled in and hundreds of people with selfie sticks queued to climb the summit cairn. There was no way I was joining any such queue and the Geordie lads clearly felt the same way as they simply walked around to the other side of the cairn and climbed up from there, bypassing the queue.

Image
There are no words!

Image
Llyn Llydaw, Moel Siabod and Y Lliwedd

Image
Alien spaceship lands on top of busy Welsh mountain

Image
Seagull soars over Crib Goch

The café was no less like a scene from Dante's Inferno, as people jostled for position and nerves frayed. After a quick look inside, I settled for standing outside and eavesdropping on conversations. I heard it all: domestic disputes, parents losing their rag with children, complaints about the price of the coffee, and most worrying but perhaps least surprising of all - "Where are we and how do we get down from here"? The sense of panic only increased when a woman came out of the café and put a sign up saying that all single journey tickets for descent on the train were now sold out for the rest of the day. "Oh s**t! What the f**k do we do now"? I heard one lady say! Time to get outta Dodge - we gathered up the troops and left, but not before misplacing Mark and Michael who we had to wait for at the top of the Pyg Track.

Image
Descending the Pyg Track to Glaslyn

Image
Pyg Track running below the flanks of Crib Goch, Miners Track dropping to Glaslyn

We left the Pyg Track at the Miners Track junction and followed the latter down to Glaslyn and then along the shores of Llyn Llydaw, passing the crumbling remains of old mine workings on the way, before returning to a slightly quieter Pen-y-Pass from where we opted for the road descent rather than more stone staircase through the fields.

Image
Glaslyn with Y Lliwedd in the background

Image
Bod and Hugh lead the way on the Miners Track

Image
Snowdon looms over four Geordies and a Welshman

Image
Bod and Val passing the old mine workings


our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

User avatar
Graeme D
 
Posts: 3601
Munros:225   Corbetts:107
Grahams:65   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:56   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: Outlands 2016 (Day 1) - Snowdon Horseshoe (part thereof)

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:10 pm

A great TR - Very much enjoyed the action shots of the scrambling!

And also the Roy Hodgson joke...
User avatar
HalfManHalfTitanium
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1330
Munros:95   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Hewitts:148
Wainwrights:103   
Joined: Mar 11, 2015

Re: Outlands 2016 (Day 1) - Snowdon Horseshoe (part thereof)

Postby Borderhugh » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:11 pm

Excellent stuff Graeme! Well captured!

Wont forget Alan's face in a hurry when Wales went in front, Grib Goch was special, the morons and their comments on the summit. :clap:
User avatar
Borderhugh
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 329
Munros:282   Corbetts:103
Grahams:47   Donalds:70
Sub 2000:14   Hewitts:105
Wainwrights:100   Islands:9
Joined: Feb 4, 2012
Location: Stirling :)

Re: Outlands 2016 (Day 1) - Snowdon Horseshoe (part thereof)

Postby Bod » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:00 pm

Excellent report Graeme, caught the day and the occasion perfectly :D :D :D
User avatar
Bod
Walker
 
Posts: 1527
Munros:282   Corbetts:51
Grahams:30   Donalds:20
Sub 2000:41   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:7   Islands:24
Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Location: Cowdenbeath

Re: Outlands 2016 (Day 1) - Snowdon Horseshoe (part thereof)

Postby mountainstar » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:11 pm

Superb report Graeme. :clap:
Full of wit and wisdom...except ""Where are we and how do we get down from here"?" and "Oh s**t! What the f**k do we do now"? I hope that wasn't you earwigging me? lol :shock: :lol: :wink:
And to share what was our proud nation's finest hour in football with a pile of Scott's and English was rather special, although not everyone shared my joy...Geordie Mark :roll:
I enjoyed the weekend so much I suspect we will have to do it again soon...you know what we say...We'll keep a welcome in the hillside.... :D
User avatar
mountainstar
Walker
 
Posts: 2475
Munros:282   Corbetts:221
Grahams:24   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:20   Hewitts:218
Wainwrights:214   Islands:24
Joined: Dec 7, 2009
Location: Wrexham

Re: Outlands 2016 (Day 1) - Snowdon Horseshoe (part thereof)

Postby AJNicholls » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:23 pm

Cracking report of an excellent day. Thanks for the memories, Graeme et al. Cheers.
User avatar
AJNicholls
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 507
Munros:168   Corbetts:9
Donalds:1
Hewitts:190
Wainwrights:214   Islands:3
Joined: Jul 16, 2011
Location: Bristol

Re: Outlands 2016 (Day 1) - Snowdon Horseshoe (part thereof)

Postby Bmg99 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:27 pm

Enjoyed your report. Looks like the weather was a little kinder to you than when I did the same route last week.
User avatar
Bmg99
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 66
Munros:59   Corbetts:3
Sub 2000:4   Hewitts:3
Joined: May 31, 2016

Re: Outlands 2016 (Day 1) - Snowdon Horseshoe (part thereof)

Postby ChrisW » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:58 pm

Great entertaining read Graeme and some beautiful shots along the way. That melee on the summit is something to forget in a hurry :crazy: I love the listening in excerpts from the cafe too :lol: :lol:

Great entertaining read as always :clap: :clap:
User avatar
ChrisW
Rambler
 
Posts: 4940
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: Outlands 2016 (Day 1) - Snowdon Horseshoe (part thereof)

Postby Gordie12 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:23 pm

I'm as confused as you Graeme.

Why are all those people walking up Snowdon when there's a perfectly good train service to take you close to the top without any effort. Thank God I had the good sense to get the train a few years ago, that looks too much like hard work to me :lol: :lol: :lol:
User avatar
Gordie12
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1877
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:18   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

4 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests