Archive for February, 2011

Welsh Weather Shocker

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

T-shirt-wearing sunshine and spectacular cloud inversions followed by clear but cold winds should have been the forecast for this weekend in Snowdonia.

10 of us eventually arrived at the Shrewsbury MC hut above Deiniolen (turn left at the church) and commented, despite the roaring fire (once coal was purchased – cheap down the bottom of hill), how bloody cold the hut felt. With plenty of bunks (lower ones for submariners/cavers only) in three rooms and a lot of space downstairs the hut would be comfy if it could be warmed up – and the showers fathomed out.

Peri and I headed for Tremadog, a group of 4 blagged a lift to PYG hotel to walk the back across the Gylderau (Glyders to you and me), Donal and Pete pushed their bikes out of the bike store (corridor!), Steve V headed into the hills behind the hut alone to do some Nav practice and test his knee, and Simon to hobble about not doing anything at all – oh no – not with a freshly-operated-on knee, walking 10 miles would be daft wouldn't it!

Pete's Eats is actually not named after our very own Evans The Pie, but this didn't stop Pete and Donal incorporating two visits, one to calm the nerves from the big drops whilst freewheeling down through the slate quarries and the other to refeul after a brief trip around the far side of Snowdon and before the homeward hills.

The gang of 4 had enjoyed some spectacular conditions, great views and sketchy gymnastics mounting the cantilever. They were treated to inversions and views into the cwms where some poor souls mistook the conditions in the gullies for being in. Arriving back at the hut at dusk they had made the most of the day. Our second Welsh trip in a row with outstanding walking conditions.

Meanwhile back in the sunshine down near the coast Peri and I had a great day doing a two pitch VS – Scratch – which is excellent, and finishing on the romp that is Poor Man's Peuterey. Arriving at the base of the crag with about 40 mins till dark it was all going swimmingly until the ab rope got stuck in the tree. Much faffiness, culminating in me aiding my way up in the dark with Peri's headtorch (mine died) and stumbling down the scree slope, saw us back at the hut about 7.

Now this turned out to be a cunning plan, as though I was notionally responsible for the evening meal, Debra had purchased the haggis et al for the main course and in my absence had made the leek and spud soup – result! Not such a result, was being greeted with the news that Steve was still on the hill (a five hour stroll turning into a 10 hour day!) but as the rest of us burnt our way through our coal mountain and got cleaned up (in spite of the shower's interesting features) Steve found his way back via a few phone calls.

After consuming enough haggis (2 large is considerably more than enough for 12 people – and we only had 9!) to ensure a warm night sleep even in the rich soundscape that accompanied the frosty night, we supped a few drams and crashed out.

Sunday was forecast better weather but the sun never managed to break though. Steve headed home a mere 12 hours late, Donal and Pete headed over to Ogwen to meet John Evans and mate John for a Grade 2 scramble on Y Garn, which comes highly recommended if a bit short. Simon and Debra got their weekly climbing wall fix and Simon, Carmen and Simeon bimbled through the slate mines for the morning.

Peri and I left the car at Nant Peris church and hitched up to the Pss (with a bus fill of Brazilian Beauties – result!) to follow some of the footsteps of the gang of 4 doing some Nav work on the way. A really good short day dropping off the back of the Devils Kitchen to the car. Just enough time for Peri to empty her wallet in V12 before we drove back.

Another excellent Wales meet in a large well-appointed but cold hut, maybe a good place for a warmer trip ?