So, as usual I went hiking on Sunday. Also as usual, the day began pretty early compared to my normal student life where sleep patterns are pretty much non-existent. Fortunately, I had gone to bed early enough the pervious evening and was read to go.

Because I was so awake, I didn’t sleep for most the coach journey there and really appreciated the landscape on our way there. What had never really registered in my brain before is that we actually go past the ocean. For me, seaside and mountains have always been very separate and holidays would always be to either or destination. The combinations still feels exotic and exciting.

We got there and set off in mostly the usual combination with the odd person missing from our normal ensemble! They should regret not being there! The beginning of the  path (Miner’s track) was mostly flat(ish) and easy on a broad path. We kept to the front of the group with little effort. That was definitely a good feeling. The path was interrupted by the odd ascent but nothing worth writing home about!

Stopping for lunch by a partially frozen lake, we saw some seagulls standing on the thin ice! Sea gulls will feature again later. Lunch felt pretty early – normally we have lunch at the summit – but it was a good break before getting to the proper ascent.

 101_2085

During the ascent we started to cross snowy patches more and more. At one point we tried to avoid a snowy patch (though Lord knows why! We just followed our amazing leader (-: ) and were climbing up the grassy slope next to it, when the earth beneath me gave way. Should’ve known that wet earth isn’t really very stable! No harm done, I continued along the snowy path unharmed.

Eventually we met another group that had taken a different path up to there and overtook them. From then on, we seemed to have a race with them (once again, reasons unknown) and we definitely won!

image

From here on two, the serious snow started. With Snowdon looming over us and a (steep!) slope going down on our other side, we trudged on. I’d never done any hiking under anything resembling winter conditions before and was surprised at how difficult snow can make it. Using muscles I’d not realised where usable and with the constant fear of falling to the bottom, we had the bad luck of this being the moment the weather chose to go mean and cloudy. I did not appreciate not seeing more than snow before me and the drop downwards on my side! Luckily it cleared up by the time we reached the top.

There we only had to follow the ridge to the actual summit. We passed a few groups of people preparing to abseil down the side of the mountain. The top was cold and the actual steps of to the summit were icy and quite scary! Again, sea gulls had made their way here despite the icy conditions!

101_2091

After a stop we all got cold – this was the first time I put a jacket on for the whole day! – and we moved on down, using the Llanberis path.

image

The decent was snowy in places and while the mantra “JUST GLIDE” is definitely fun, it did nothing to stop me falling over so often I lost count. It’s kind of embarrassing when your body occasionally just decides to sit down and everyone asks you if you’re alright – Yes, just taking a break, thanks!

All in all, the decent was easy but long and by the end we were all tired. Nevertheless, the scenery was beautiful and the sunshine lasted. In Llanberis, we had a very nice hot chocolate in a café. Unfortunately, the hike hadn’t tired me out quite enough to stop me from being very awake and slightly hyperactive during the coach ride home but at least I had a very nice Sub to look forward to. Yum.

 

A short note before the end: This time I managed to track the path we took using my gps but I’m still using pretty googlemap images edited in paint because I still can’t get free mps into mapsource. 😦

Also, if you spot any inaccuracies etc just send me an email/etc and I’ll correct it!

And finally a few more pics taken during the day:

101_2074The beginning of the day.

 

101_2076

Snowdon, seen from where we had lunch.

 

101_2098 View during the decent.

Advertisements