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Welsh 3000s – 5 July 2003
Sue and I were the only takers for this year's attempt and after stoking up with pasta after work we drove down to Cae Du campsite at Beddgelert by 10pm. The toilet block was being rebuilt so a tap and 3 portaloos were the only facilities on offer. We were asleep and away from the midges by 11pm but woken by revelers back from the pub soon afterwards.
Our progress on the walk, which I am told is 33½ miles in length and involves about 11,800 feet of ascent and a bit more than that of descent, is tabulated below:
|Cae Du campsite at Beddgelert SH598486||Friday night - 2200||Nant Peris campsite would have been a better choice|
|Ditto||0330 Saturday||Alarm – get up!|
|Pen-y-Pass SH647557||0400 to 0410||Start up Pyg Track. Cool and cloudy. Back light for watch needed, but no torch - a perfect time to start|
|1. Crib Goch SH624552||0515 to 0520||First summit, in the vicinity of 3 other groups, including a trio of Oxford medics, after a lovely red sunrise|
Early morning on the path up Crib Goch
|2. Crib y Ddysgl (Garnedd Ugain) SH611552||0610||The cloud came down here, and we were alone on the hill after a slight diversion as a result of not sticking to the ridge|
|3. Snowdon SH609543||0625 to 0630||Several groups seen here, including a lone lady who we tracked all the way to Foel Fras|
Nant Peris Car Park SH606584
point for bacon butties and tea, ably provided by Alan
|0755 to 0810
(0345 to 0400 from start)
|The following descent route
proved efficient and allowed us to catch up other groups:
Descend to Clogwyn Station, then along left side of track for ½ mile. Then on grass to right of line towards a rounded green prominence. Over a very small stile, then down a steep grass ridge to the right towards the valley, tending left on steep grass towards the bottom. After a high stile in deep bracken at foot of slope go diagonally left and cross the footbridge to Nant Peris
|4. Elidir Fawr SH612613||0940 to 0945||After a slightly boggy ascent (wet feet) the top was in mist, but conditions were excellent - cool and calm. Other groups were in the distance ahead and behind|
|5. Y Garn SH631595||1040 to 1045|
View from Y Garn
|Llyn y Cwn SH638585||1100 to 1110||The path from Devil’s Kitchen joins here, enabling drop outs to descend or supporters to join up for the walk over the Glyders. Alan provided excellent support from his huge sack - a choice of hot chocolate, coffee, tea or barley water, and also butties|
|6. Glyder Fawr SH642579||1140||Suitably refreshed, we sped up to here, followed by Alan|
|7. Glyder Fach SH656583||1210 to 1215||Intermittent cloud cleared to reveal the Cantilever Rock. Lots of people out for the day|
|Bwlch Tryfan SH662589||1245||Alan caught up here, after the steep scree descent, and provided further support before heading back down to replenish his supplies|
|8. Tryfan SH664594||1320 to 1325||Sue by Adam and Eve|
|Idwal Cottage SH649604 Support point at the Car Park by the kiosk and toilets||
1425 to 1440
|We descended south in lovely clear conditions towards Bwlch Tryfan, cutting across to the descent path by an obvious line. We had wet feet as a result of using Salomon shoes (recommended) and a change of socks was most welcome - Sue had already changed hers on Y Garn|
|9. Pen yr Ole Wen SH655619||1600 to 1610||Phew! Time for some photos.....|
Martin on Pen yr Ole Wen with Tryfan
Llyn Idwal and Glyder Fawr, with Snowdon
|10. Carnedd Dafydd SH663630||1635||By now we had caught up the 3 medics first encountered at the start of the day. They proved good company over the Carneddau|
|11. Yr Elen SH674651||1735 to 1745||We reached here very efficiently by contouring to the south west of Carnedd Llewelyn. Sue was fading on this section and needed sugary sustenance on the pleasant summit, with good all round views. Cameras were exchanged with the medics|
Sue and Martin at Yr Elen
|12. Carnedd Llewelyn SH683643||1810 to 1815||The mist suddenly came down as we reached the rocky summit, so a bearing was taken for the first time|
|13. Foel Grach SH688658||1840||It was near here that one of the medics tried to sell us a book written by his elder brother! 'Mountains of the Mind' - Robert MacFarlane (review to follow)|
|14. Garnedd Uchaf SH686669||1855||Not always regarded as a separate summit, but en route. Our support team - Alan and his huge rucksack - were on hand to greet us|
|15. Foel Fras SH696681
1920 to 1935
|That’s all the summits
in 14 hours. Precisely the timetabled result!
Here we celebrated with the lone woman, the medics, and a group of old runners who had started on Snowdon at 0715. One of them was 68 years old - he whinged at the lack of champagne and ran off
Road head up Afon Anafon (the end of the road out of Abergwyngregyn) SH676716
Final collection point
(1645 from the start - a long day out)
|We turned north west at the col before Drum (SH706690) and descended to join the track at Llyn Anafon, whilst the medics headed on over Drum. By 2200 we had picked up fish and chips in Llanberis and were eating them at Idwal Cottage as the light dimmed over Pen yr Ole Wen. Alan was reunited with his own car at Pen-y-Pass and returned home, whilst Sue and I headed back to the midgy Cae Du camp site to brave the company of a new set of drunken revelers and another disturbed night's sleep|
Thanks go to Alan for providing magnificent support, and commiserations to Tony who missed a good day out due to illness.
We had suggested keeping in touch with our support team using mobile phones. They worked coming off Snowdon, but there was no reception on Y Garn and we didn't use them after that as we kept very accurately to a timetable that I had guesstimated prior to the walk.
We have always used Cae Du camp site. This year that was a mistake. The medics we met were camping at Nant Peris, so could pick up gear from their tents when passing after 4 hours. That was sensible and I plan to use the Nant Peris camp site next time round.
This was a most satisfying and successful day, especially for Sue whose ambition was to get as far as Idwal Cottage.
Should those crocks and wimps who couldn't make it this year wish to have a go next year, please let me know and a trip will be planned.
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