Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Englishman who went up a mountain and came down, um, a mountain

This being the mountain in question-

-which the cognoscenti will have no difficulty recognising as Snowdon. This photo is taken across the valley from a lookout point on the road to Beddgelert, where we stayed in the highly recommended Plas Gwyn b&b. We went up the Pyg track from Pen-y-Pass, and as we could see the lookout point from the track, it follows you can see the track somewhere on this picture. But you may have to look closely.

I'm still not entirely sure how this weeked came about, and neither is Bonusbarn, who suggested it. Whatever, the result was my father + him + me slogging it up from Pen-y-Pass (alt. 360 metres, leaving us a mere 725 metres to climb), in miraculously good weather. It was tipping with rain as we left the b&b, it was still tipping as we got out of the car, and by the time we had set foot on mountainside proper it had stopped. It even showed signs of clearing up nicely as we gazed down the Llamberis pass.

Sadly that playful bit of sunlight never quite reached us, but you can't have everything. And yes, we made it to the top-

-which was shrouded in mist and about 100 other walkers but who cares.

Meanwhile Bonusbarn's and my respective mothers swanned about in the warm and dry, exploring castles and museums and drinking cups of tea and walking on flat bits of Wales while waiting for the time they were due to come and collect us.

Drenched in sweat, every muscle aching, so tired I couldn't speak above a faint murmur, and loving it - I have a strange masochistic streak in me. Oh, and I hadn't slept since waking up at 3a.m. that morning in the b&b's titchy double bed (hint: if you stay there in company, try and get a twin room). So I'd had about as much sleep as I had last year when I went up the Sugar Loaf. Is sleeplessness to be my default for walking up mountains? I rather hope not; but then, I've no real plans to walk up any more mountains anyway.

But perhaps the strangest sight of the weekend was-

-Bonusbarn being helpful. Always nice to see, even if I do listen a bit more carefully to his suggestions from now on.

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