Thursday, 2 February 2012

My Return To Wales: Part 2, Snow! Real Proper Snow!

So having had a wander round Ogmore Castle it was time to head north up to Snowdon. Having never been to that part of Wales I had to fully rely on Kate to get us to our destination...

Not a bad view
Kate gave us a drive time of about 6hrs so to make the most of the journey and see as much as we could we asked her to pick a route that didn’t use any major roads, the result some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen.

Our route took us through the middle of the Brecon Beacons, the ground was covered in a good layer of snow which just looked epic.

The most random moment was when we can across a burger van in the middle of a National Park, it just seemed so out of place! But, as there wasn’t much that resembled civilisation anywhere near it seemed as good a place as any to have a late lunch.

Should have worn a bigger coat...
The whole drive up to Snowdon was a really nice experience, even the moments when Kate got confused and sent me the wrong way (or it could have been I was too busy looking at scenery to be really paying attention to her, but shhhh don’t tell her that). Sometimes it doesn’t matter where you’re going it’s just nice to enjoy the journey...

Our accommodation for the night was the Snowdonia Mountain Lodge which was a really nice place to stay. We’d arrived in the dark so we had a shock in the morning when we looked out the window as saw mountains, proper actual mountains.

Having had a good breakfast and put on many, many layers it was time to complete today’s task: Climb Snowdon!

Having never climbed a mountain before I wasn’t sure what to expect or how tough it would be, I also had that nagging doubt in the back of my mind saying “Am I going to be able to wander around SFX tomorrow without being in pain?”

Matt of the Antarctic...
Once we got to the correct trail (Kate was in one of her moods again...) we set off up ‘the hill’. Leanne did grumble a little bit stating that she wasn’t built for this sort of thing, but once we got to the mountain proper the path became less steep and the grumbling stopped.

Our original plan was to make the summit, however due to it being -7 degrees he path was rather icey and there was a fair bit of snow, as a result we went as far as was safe (about two thirds of the way, 1700ft), going any further would have required crampons and an ice axe.

Once we’d made our way back down it was time to stop for a bit of afternoon tea once again (I’ve said before I’m a bit English!).

As we’d spent less time than planned on Snowdon it did also mean there was enough of the day left to do another castle (yay!). This time we headed further north to Beaumaris, a proper example of how a castle should be built! Unfortunately the castle itself was never finished due to the Scottish getting over excitable and threatening to invade...

Once the castle had been explored it was time to go in search of food before making sure we were all packed ready to head to Prestatyn in the morning for the SFX Weekender...

Beaumaris Castle