Walking... Keeping it Safe, Fun, and Enjoyable.!


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A Fat Bloke Called Chris...

Well I'm err...a bit fat, and I love being in the mountains! I started walking a few summers ago, and the mountains really got hold of me. I love being up there, it really does let you clear your head and put the whole world into perspective. The views I have been privileged to witness are just breathtaking and I will never forget a single one of them.



Walking... Keeping it Safe, Fun, and Enjoyable.!

Walking is a really fun passtime, and I wholeheartedly recommend you try it! You'll see some truly breathtaking places, meet really friendly people and you'll get fitter too!

People of all levels of age / fitness can go walking it's simply a matter of starting with something not too strenuous and seeing how you get on.

However before you set of for a days walking there are some things that I would strongly advise...

Firstly, always,..ALWAYS...,did I mention ALWAYS?
Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. If possible leave a copy of the route you intend to take with someone and put rough timings on it too. That way if you were not to return in a timely manner someone is aware of it and has a rough idea of where people can start to look for you should you be in trouble.

Next get a pair of good walking boots..! Try them on! If possible (it may not be) wear them at every opportunity before actually heading into the hills. You'll want supple comfortable boots, blisters hurt! Waterproof boots will also be a huge bonus!

If you are heading into the countryside for the day, check the weather forecast, and dress accordingly. Layers are better than a thick jumper as you can regulate your temperature better by adding and removing a few. Waterproof outers are also a good investment... Something light that breathes but is waterproof will keep you warm when the wind picks up and its wet!

Have a map...have a compass... and most importantly learn how to use both. It's a lot simpler than most people realise but it is one of the best skills you can have if you lose your bearings. GPS units are handy too, but are prone to signal loss, and DEAD batteries can make them USELESS when you need them most!

Also get a whistle...get a REALLY loud whistle! In the countryside 6 blows on a whistle is the internationally recognised distress call, anyone who hears 6 blows on a whistle will come to help and summon any other aid you may need. So just blow 6 times, wait a couple of minutes, and repeat until aid comes. If anyone hearing you also has a whistle they may respond with 3 whistle blows.

Take food and most importantly WATER. I never go walking without at least 2L of water with me. Sip often and you'll really feel the benefits..and no you wont be running to the loo every 100yds dont worry. Your walking will have you losing water fast if you dont top up!

Take a mobile phone, just in case you need to contact anyone. (Though be aware that you may or may not have signal)

Finally it's not a race......
Take it in your own time...and stop often to really ENJOY the view!


THE SNOWDON HORSESHOE



It all started for me with the walk pictured at the top of the blog.....

I live in Anglesey, North Wales and every day I see the mountains of Snowdonia.  They never stop awing me.  I had wanted to tackle this walk for some time.  The views, the experience, and also the challenge.. (I was in a bad motorcycle accident some years ago and am full of metal work....knee's, ankles, etc....)  I guess you could say that on a personal level this mountain has been calling me for ages.  Also I have a few friends (coincidentally it turns out) with a condition called Lupus.  One of them was quite ill at the time, and I realised that I had five friends with a condition I knew NOTHING about, and had not even heard of.  For anyone interested to learn more about Lupus, please click here...LupusUK  So I decided I would do a sponsored walk, and I picked the Snowdon Horseshoe as my goal.

I mean "how hard can it be?"  I bought a pair of walking boots, and a rucksack etc, walking poles arrived for my birthday!  I read about the route and began to think...hmm just what have I let myself into here.  I arranged for a friend (and an experienced walker) called Karen to join me so I wouldn't do anything silly like fall off.

Finally the day came....

We set off from Pen Y Pass car park at 07:30hrs and began the walk along the path towards the Pyg track.  The weather wasn't great, but it was at least dry.

The start of Crib Goch just touching the clouds....

The path rises fairly steadily and you warm up quickly.  As you reach the style, you have two choices.  You can carry on along the path (the Pyg Track) or you can leave the path and head "up" towards the ridge of Crib Goch.  This is the point at which you must decide...

  • Is the weather ok?  
  • Do I have the right equipment?  
  • Am I feeling fit enough?  
  • Am I stupid?    

All ticked yes and we decided we'd be ok to go up to Crib Goch.  There isn't really much of a path this way, but as a general rule..... "up" is good..!

Turn off here...

and head up here...

It gets a bit steep and eventually becomes a Grade 1 scramble.  At the top you can have a well earned drink and take a look back at what is for me one of those "remember forever" views...

Karen ahead of me going "up"..


Looking back to where we came from...just spectacular!


Then you look ahead...

...and believe me it feels NARROW.  The wind dropped and the cloud sat on the ridge for a bit, but this was perhaps the highlight of the day for me.  I felt on top of the world here, just looking down from either foot was incredible.

Dont look down.....

The cloud came down...
 It gets narrow...


At the far end of Crib Goch is the Pinnacles...  These appear like towers and they look unpassable.  Just be careful and you can go straight over them, this is most often advised as the best way forward.  Please be very careful if you think of going around them to the left as the scree is very loose.  Forget any idea of going around to the right.

The Pinnacles....We should have cought the train!


Once you pass the pinnacles, you have an easy time of it untill the next ridge looms ahead.  Crib y Ddysgl, again a spectacular section of ridgeline to cross.  You'll be rewarded handsomely with this view at the other end...






Now you will join the last section of the Llanberis path to the summit of Y Wyddfa (Mt Snowdon).

One very proud fat bloke at the top!!!!!

After a short rest and water / sandwich break.  It's time to move on.  Head away from the way you came up towards the Watkin path and when you see an enormous standing stone (we missed it as the visibility was zero, and ended up losing 40 mins by the time we saw entirely the wrong valley to our left when the cloud lifted!!!) take a left following the path over the edge down into the scree.  This is the last section of the Watkin path...

Then follow the well defined path towards Y Llywedd.  The ridge line allows you to look back at the route you came up...

Looking back at the scree from the summit...


Taking a rest, with our ascent in the distance.  Crib Goch and Crib y Ddysgl...

Not a bad view with a flask of tea eh?


Just one more mountain (with 2 peaks) left now...Y Llywedd


Y Llywedd doesn't really have any paths.  It's all just scrambling and it's great fun and really puts your energy levels back.  To use Karen's words.."It's real hands on rock stuff" and she loves that.  Karen has a real passion for the mountains and it's infectious!

When you reach the top, you can look across to the other summit...


...and then look at the way down....


The route down is obvious if a little steep but it eventually leads your way back onto the miners track and back to Pen Y Pass car park


A brilliant day out, tired feet, a HUGE thanks to Karen, and the mountains had me hooked!