Summer was certainly here!
This weekend saw hordes taking to the hills, and we were, if not among them (if we could help it) certainly out there making the most of what was probably the summer of ’11.
A straightforward trip saw us having to start from Llanberis for logistical reasons, and meant that the motorway had to be taken up (nearly 20 years since i did this!). No big deal, as the aim was to get onto the slopes of Glyder Fawr before the sun set, and we had six hours in order to get there. The usual eclectic rabble were to be found on the path up, from the tourists with their water bottles and handbags (that’s just the guys) to your competetive husband “of course i’m slower darling, i’m carrying the rucsack of pies” all the way through to your I’ve-got-a-bum-bag-so-I’m-a-fell-runner type. Yes, all human life (and a few steps below) is here, including the person who seems harmless enough, but insists on cheering those on who are just about on the last leg of the walk and can see the summit less than ten steps in front of them – “not far now!”.
The cafe was closed, as expected, but the view was cracking.
We couldn’t hang about, so we descended, with 2 of the party returning to Llanberis and the hardcore campers descending the PYG in order to get onto Glyder Fawr in the next few hours. It took us about 2 hours, camping off the path that leads from Pen y Pass to Glyder Fawr. [more]
I’d decided to dust off the meths stove firstly as it was meant to be a really fine weekend, and secondly as you can’t buy a gas cannister in Caernarfon (except for one place that used to charge £5 for a cannister that cost £3 down the road in Gelert). While i’ve used it many times before, it was always with limited success but a rolling boil always. This time, it would barely boil on a full dose of meths. Not only that, but the fine weather than meant cooking with meths was a viable option also meant that the grass was tinder dry. I just about managed to make cowboy coffee (and it tasted if not wonderful, incomparably better than those all in one coffee sticks), and thought it was too dangerous to use the stove further as i had no water left to dampen the surroundings. It was a reasonalby safe spot between rocks, but there was still some grass about, and the safest spot i could find. I also find the meths is used up rather quickly. I’m sure each dose is about 50ml, and that should boil up the 850ml kettle, but it doesn’t fell as economical as gas and you can’t light it in the tent. That said, the only advantage of the stove this weekend was that it got me out of my tent at dawn and made the whole breaking camp a lot quicker.
The location for the wild camp, while not as high as intended, was spectacular. I’ll let the images below do the talking.
It was then over Glyder Fawr and Fach, and down to Pen y Gwryd for a beer or two – they’ve got bitters on hand pulls only – Miws Piws at the moment – and none of that keg rubbish. It was the kind of weekend that you wished you’d planed an extra day, over to Llyn Edno perhaps, then to Beddgelert on Sunday…
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siDave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.