Ah, Fridays. Always ready to throw something silly at you. This one was an unexpected trip to the vet, but fortunately it didn’t stop me getting through to Capel Curig for this year’s big MPS club meet-up at the ULGMC hut. With no major travel issues everyone was there in good time, and frivolities continued until the early hours (although I made a strategic exit to guarantee I had a decent amount of sleep before the physical exertion started!).
Most of Saturday’s plans revolved around the Carneddau in some shape or form, and in the case of Ben, John and me it was an anti-clockwise loop also taking in the Glyders. The start up the reservoir road was as exciting as ever, but we did get to see some Coastguard winch practice as we approached Bwlch Eryl Farchog.
The snow had started lower down, and as we climbed up towards Carnedd Llewellyn it became clear that we’d have a cloud-free summit too (in-between wind-blown blasts of graupel to the face).
From there it was a lovely run down and across to Ysgolion Duon in dry sugary snow, then onwards to Pen yr Ole Wen. We chose the knee-jarring direct descent to Ogwen and got there with half the day left to kill. Senior’s Ridge is reasonably interesting and, like almost anything around here, even more so in the snow, so it seemed like the logical option to get up on the Glyders. I got so worked up trying to describe just how much I detest Zane Lowe that it was a bit of a shock when we suddenly popped out on the summit plateau in gorgeous winter afternoon sun.
After Glyder Fach we dropped down the Miner’s Track back to the hut, and settled down for loads of food, crosswords and fictional mass-murder.
Sunday’s forecast was awful, but fortunately forecasts are often wrong. With the sun shining and much less wind than anticipated, I dragged John and Dakotah up Moel Siabod. Long-time readers will be sick of my descriptions of this hill, so I’ll restrict myself to saying that it’s still in my top three hills of all time.
From the summit John returned to his car, and Dakotah and I continued on the lovely full-speed descent to Pen y Gwryd. The slog up the Miner’s Track went on for just as long as it always does (i.e. forever), but we were rewarded with stunning sunny views and more hard work up to Y Foel Goch (no pain no gain, as was observed at the time with burning legs and heaving lungs).
All that remained from there was another fun-filled descent to Capel along the ridge line. There really isn’t any better feeling than running downhill in the snow, particularly the bits where you’re sliding as much as striding.
So the first snow of the year experienced in good company, with hopefully a lot more to come.