Here is another selection of old pictures, illustrating some of the places that we have been paddling over the years. It feels like it is time to pay a visit to some of these places again, its been nearly 40 years since I paddled some of these trips.
Sadly though I didn’t get to use the new crampons.
Last week we managed to spend a few days wandering around the mountains of Snowdonia, making a really pleasant change from being out on the sea, off Jersey. I lived in North Wales for a few years towards the end of the 1970’s, working in a number of outdoor centres and spending every available day meandering around the hills, from Cader Idris in the south to the Carneddau in the north.
We passed a relaxing day heading up Cnicht from the Gwynant Valley, with views stretching from the coast off Porthmadog to the crags on the south side of the Glyders.
Our second day involved a rising traverse from Cwm Idwal to the summit of Foel Goch, a mountain I have largely ignored in the past, followed by a reasonably steep climb to the snowy summit of Y Garn. In retrospect snowy is too generous a term, it was more like closely compacted ice pellets. Lunch sheltering in the lee of the summit cairn was as cold a meal break I can remember for years. It wasn’t a place to sit and savour the gastronomic delights purchased in Capel Curig. As we headed down via the Devil’s Kitchen I couldn’t help but remember a bitterly cold January day in 1979 when all of the streams were frozen and we had a really memorable day ice climbing.
For the final day, there was only one real option, Tryfan by Heather Terrace. I have lost count the number of times I have reached the summit of Tryfan, it must be in excess of 50 times, but each time it just re-inforces my belief that Tryfan is the finest mountain to be found almost anywhere.
Reading the walking magazines one gains an impression that British mountains are so crowded that it is almost impossible to find space for your feet. In these 3 days we saw 4 people and only one was close enough to speak to. So the moral of the story is if you want the hills to yourself then midweek in December is a good starting point.