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 RANGER



This has to be one of my favourite ways up Y Wyddfa (Mt Snowdon).  It really is as easy as the Llanberis path, but it is SO much more enjoyable!

The first time I did this walk I was accompanied by my Wife Liana (A VERY RARE THING INDEED!!!), my good friend Tom, my son George, and my little sister Ash.  So it's definitely suitable as a "family" walk up.


It is perhaps one of the quietest ways up, but arguably (with the Watkin trail) one of the most picturesque.  On a clear day you will see 5 or 6 lakes and your gaze can follow the peaks down the Llyn too.


I'm going to walk this path again soon so that I can take better images, and I'm really looking forward to it.


Starting from the Snowdon Ranger Hostel, the path begins parallel to the railway before crossing behind a farm and immediately "Zig Zags" it's way up a steepish section.  It's not all that bad but it does get the legs pumping and will warm you up.  After 6 or so "Zig Zags" the path levels out and stays fairly flat for a good long stretch now.  As you shoulder over onto the flat section, Snowdon summit looms into view and you can see your goal for most of this walk now.  The views of the summit are just wonderful in good visibility even from this level.


If you stop often and look around you will see lakes begin to appear in the valleys around you and for the adventurous there are some "off the beaten track" alternative ascents which I hope to do and will blog when I have.

Tom smiling for the camera as clouds descend behind....


Eventually you begin to rise slowly and circle the lowest of a cluster of lakes from the glacial bowl.  Now another set of "Zig Zags" helps you elevate again more rapidly, then it settles into a "steady" rising path before settling once more into a flatter section.  This can be quite exposed from the wind and when we went this was no exception....and cloud came in too!  
 
Visibility can be poor here and the hard ground makes the path indistinct in places.  Please keep well away from the left hand edge as it's very steep, very high, and has some of the toughest graded rock climbs in the area so walking off would not be advised...!

Liana's looking cold.....but Tom cheers her right up!!!  Probably plotting what to do to me later!!!

A standing stone marks the point at which you cross the railway and follow the Llanberis path to the summit.  

We MUST be at the top by now!!!!...Nope!


But now we are!!!!!

Again if you want to come down this way just turn left at the stone and you'll find yourself back on the path.  This is an especially pretty way down too!