The St Valentines weekend saw the club head to Snowdonia for a hopefully fun filled weekend. The mid-February trip can often be unpredictable for weather, and the same was true again this time! With the snow line at around 800m, many hoped to gain some time on the white stuff.
We were staying at a new venue, “Ben’s Bunkhouse”, and overall, it was a good location. Situated at the south end of the Llyn Peris, and just a couple of hundred metres north of the village of Nant Peris, we were ideally placed for experiencing the breathtaking beauty of the Snowdonia National Park. The bunkhouse sleeps 18 comfortably in 3 rooms of 6. A well equipped kitchen and hot showers made the stay comfortable. All we needed was a break in the cloud! Which we didn’t get on Saturday.
Undeterred by the clag, 3 groups set off to do different things on the Saturday morning. Mike, Simon, Dave, Alex and Andrew headed off to the Nanttle Ridge. This spectacular walk and scramble on the west edge of the Snowdonia area is well worth the trip and as seen, has a good mix of walking and scrambling.
Sarah, Helen, Phil, Sam, Roz and Neil decided to try a route up Snowdon, starting off on the Watkin Path, then keeping west, and ascending the peak via the South Ridge, joining the Rhyd Ddu path just before the summit. This ridge soon turned wintery, with snow and ice layering the route, and buffeting winds coming in from the east. Due to a lack of visibility, it was decided to descend via the Pyg track, rather than via Y Lliwedd as previously hoped. The views from there into the Snowdon horseshoe are worth the effort, but only if the cloud level is high enough!
A final group decided that some full on scrambling was in order, and so headed to the Clogwyn arête area. Dave, Nick, Bernard, Julia, Danny and Carole did the scramble up Lechog then traversed to do Eastern Terrace on Cloggy. Faced with saturated moss and streaming rocks they decided a walk to Snowdon summit was a better option, especially as 2 members of the party were keen to try out their crampons. The top was in cloud as usual, but they descended into a beautiful sunset and had a good 9 1/2 hours on the hills.
It was just a shame we didn’t get clear skies until the end of the day. However Sunday started clear!
Dave, Bernard, Neil, Danny and Carole climbed the north ridge of Tryfan and descended to the Ogwen Cottage for ice creams before heading home.
The remainder did a long loop around the peak of Moel Elio, right on the north edge of the Snowdonia National Park, just south west of Llanberis. For anyone who hasn’t been there, I would thoroughly recommend it. The views all around were spectacular: from the Snowdon massif to the south round to the Menai straights and Anglesey to the north.
Overall a successful trip and enjoyable trip was had by all. It was fantastic to see so many new members there, with around a third of attendees on their first club trip. I can only hope that the catering on Saturday night for the communal meal put nobody off.