I’ve been away hiking in Snowdonia, missed a working week’s worth. There is no point adding in a day by day account- even though there is plenty to relate. I don’t quite know where ot start really, but here goes a start:
One bloke and his dog:
I took just the one dog up the mountains- the other has less stamina and has limped a little recently.
Snowdon– Miner’s Track: Before getting to the place I was staying, I climbed Snowdon. 2½ hours later I got to the summit in the clouds. Clouds slowly cleared as I ate lunch and fed bits of Nutella bread to the dog. She’s normally quite a “hyper-active” dog, but in this situation- her behaviour was absolutely perfect (except when sheep were nearby).
Snowdon, Watkin’s track: Runs from the south, near Bedgelert and forms the greatest alitiute climb of the Snowdon official routes. This day the air was crystal clear and sunburn was a concern. This route is far quieter, the crowd preferring the Miner’s and Llanberis tracks. Voices could be heard across the valley in the still warm air. The only mistake of the day was to wear long trousers.
One bloke and his dog met quite a few folks- also with dogs who were happy to chat in an amiable way. Rosie was patient and sensible, I was uttering reasuring instructions to her, punctuated with “good girl” all the way up. Some must have overheard me because when we made the summit, someone called out-
“look- Rosie has made it!”.
We returned by the Yr Aran route- which runs along a ridge to the West.. Top of which are ice shattered rocks that look like broken bottles, they were sharp to the touch also. This ridge was narrower giving spectacular views over both sides. An excellent way to return- highly recommended. Well worth the seven hours spent up there.
She was such a good dog I bought a tin of her favourite dog-food on the way back.
Pat on the head.
Cader Idris: Milky skies, clearing and getting warmer. This is an easier climb from the Dolgellau route. the land is a different kind, rounded bolders mixed with peat. There were strange dark holes between some of the rocks, giving the impression that the whole mountain was a pile of bolders. Some moved and knocked as you step over them- at times quite disconcerting.
The descent was a different matter. After searching for the turning on the north face, I was looking for the “Fox track” eventually it was obvious because a young family had already started going down. That route wasn’t as clear since it weaved through a scree slope which turned out to be very treacherous by half-way. The bolders were loose, and often moved as you put weight on them. Many of them would fall , roll and bounce downhill on the 1:4+. I really took my time on this- even Rosie was wary, standing to look ahead for the path at times. We took nearly an hour to get down that slope. I was so relieved when we reached the grassy flatter land below. Paths are harder to find here, and my map wasn’t good enough- only 1:50,000 which doesn’t give enough detail. That meant taking a wrong route and finding a correction by following sheep trails in the grassy heather.
Finally, I got home on time for the dinner appointment, elated, refreshed and feeling generally clean inside. I still smile now ehen I remember details; on a good day, Wales is as awe-inspiring and sublime as the Mediteranian.