“Cherry Cokes under this moonlit summer sky”

Well That Escalated Quickly

Written by Haydn Williams

Note: I’m a bit short of photos at the moment I’m afraid, because my allegedly-tough Olympus camera is away for repair. Again.

Regular readers will know that I love the Welsh 1000m race short course (Ogwen > Glyder Fawr > Pen y Pass > Pyg Track > Carnedd Ugain > Snowdon). It’s fast and furious, an engaging route, and just about at the limit of how far I can push really hard for without blowing up.I carried loads of gear because the plan was to take it easy on my poorly foot, but enthusiasm got the better of me and I jostled hard for places on the ascent of Y Gribin. I held my ground over Glyder Fawr, and lost it as usual through my mediocre line down to Pen-y-Pass. I pushed really hard on the Pyg Track, nearly killing myself to catch a chap painfully slowly, before overhauling him at the top of the zig-zags and staying ahead to the finish. 6th out of 31 starters, which wasn’t bad, but it turned out the chap I’d just passed was on a different course anyway, so I could have saved myself the effort!

This year was a sociable affair, with several people doing the long course (well done everyone!) and some others opting for ‘plan C’ of avoiding the race altogether¬†ūüė†. A motley crew of eight therefore arrived for a Pizza and a Pint that evening, where conversation turned to the possibility of a very early start up Tryfan the following morning. Times such as 04:30 were bandied around, to which I glibly responded that we may as well just sleep on the hill. I realise now the full extent of such foolishness, but at the time I didn’t anticipate the look of glee which would spread over the faces of those members of the group whom are less constrained by societal norms that the rest.

Settling down for a comfortable night. © Haydn Williams 2018
Settling down for a comfortable night. Y Garn behind and Anglesey in the distance.
© Haydn Williams 2018
Sunrise over the Carneddau. © Haydn Williams 2018
Sunrise over the Carneddau.
© Haydn Williams 2018

As you can tell from the photo above, we eventually ended up on the hill in the dark, having left the pub and gone straight to Spar for supplies and then up Bochlwyd stream (again!) to the lake. I travelled light for a couple of reasons – firstly, I only had my running vest, which is capacious but certainly wasn’t designed for overnight trips. Secondly, I hadn’t brought any camping gear for the weekend, so was running refreshingly light because my kit list was as follows:

  • Sleeping bag
Adam and Eve. © Haydn Williams 2018
Adam and Eve.
© Haydn Williams 2018

I’m usually a bit averse to just bivvying out, because of memories from my youth of waking up with a dew-saturated sleeping bag. However, conditions were perfect as we walked in and established base camp (this took all of ten seconds, since it just involved¬†laying my sleeping bag down on the floor). Without wanting to sound too much like an Ataris song, we sat and drank cherry coke (or prosecco in some cases) and chatted until about 1am, watching the stars and the cloud and the mist until sleep got the better of us. I woke everyone up at the agreed time of 04:00 for an ascent of Tryfan for sunrise. It took a little while for enthusiasm to infuse the rest of the group, but 75% of us made it to the summit and a very nice view. With a mountain climbed before breakfast, we returned to the tents for smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels before heading off our separate ways. An unusual and unexpected turn of events, but a thoroughly enjoyable weekend!

Tori admiring the view. © Haydn Williams 2018
Tori admiring the view.
© Haydn Williams 2018

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