Here’s part 2 of our A-Z of hill walking, with a distinctly Snowdonian feel.
G is for Gaiters. For many years only available in Red, now seen in a multitude of hues. However, the red versions have been scientifically proven to be indestructible, with probably 70 out of every 93 produced in the 70s still in use every weekend across bogs in the Berwyn, Dark Peak, Monadhliath and any other wet area you care to mention. It is generally agreed that the mid-late 20th century decline of the gaiter closely follows the fall in power of the trade union. Strange, but true, and yet another unexpected consequence of rampant capitalism.
H is for Half Man – Half Biscuit – The only band to have sung about sleeping out between Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr, as well as a few other obscure references to Snowdonia, hills in general and simply for naming an album CSI Amblside.
I – is for Inversion. The holy grail of hill walking views when the peaks stand above the clouds. Unless you’re very lucky, something you’ll experience only rarely unless you’re willing to keep an eye out on the forecasts and escape to the hills as soon as it’s looking likely.
J has to be for Jelly Baby. The ultimate energy gel, able to miraculously raise energy levels as well as spirits. If they were good enough for the Fourth Doctor, then they’re good enough for us.
K is for Kit – Loads and loads of shiny shiny stuff. Part of you anticipates the use of some new shiny shiny with more excitement than actually getting out on the hill. You’ll try the gear out in your garden if you have to. Boiling endless billies of water and timing it (with and without windshield). Pitching the tarp in many configurations, using the clothes line as the main anchor point. Lying down next to the nasturtiums in a bivvy bag and Pied d’Elephant sleeping bag just to see if it’s warm enough. If you’ve got ANYTHING titanium, then this one’s for you.
L is for Lightweight – A magical tag that’s put in front of all and any item of outdoor equipment, regardless of actual weight. Usually a bargain tent by the liked of Gelert, with a £3 price tag and weighing in at well over 3kgs.