Saturday, February 10, 2007

Friday 12th May 1933

Up at 8a.m. Showery. Ran to the car, 1/4 mile away, and got our plates. Poor cooking place. We had bacon and eggs (fried in an inch of fat), sitting in the common room with a big window looking into the valley.

Off at 11. Very few jobs to do. Wandered by many narrow lanes to the main road. Saw clouds breaking on a hill top. Ruthia. Through the pretty Nant – Pass. Sterner country. Rugged hills. The Horseshoe Pass – dizzy drop on the left of the road. Llangollen. Betsys-y- Coed. Conwen. Majestic, mountainous country. Huge hills.

Lunch by Lake Ogwan, with mountains all around. After dinner I went up one, with my thumb stick and camera. Steep slopes; followed the bed of a dried stream. Wilf became smaller, in the distance. Across a belt of loose stones, which slid beneath my feet. Up a huge cleft (it seemed tiny from the road). Danger. Fear. My thumb stick slipped away, fell about 50 yards and vanished. Fear. Worked gingerly upwards. Out of the cleft. A footprint! Big rocks, reached the summit – and found another 100 feet higher. Reached it – saw yet another. Had to cross steep splits in the rock. Higher – up into the sky it seemed. Nor frightened of falling but of the solitude, height and immensity. The summit two seven foot square rocks like twin towers. Down then, by a different route. Travelled fast, jumping from crag to crag. Down, down, down, the rocks behind, down wet, unending, steep slopes.

The road; Wilf had gone but returned later. Idural Y.H. was close at hand. Like a private house. Three other men staying. My little hill was Tryvan – 3010 feet from the road! My first climb, it took about 3 hours.

A car ride in the evening. Out of the hills, in pretty country to Bangor. The Sraits. Over Menai Suspension Bridge. Isle of Anglesey! Filled our flasks with tea and drove on to a ferry by the Straits. Tea beside an old hulk, near a quay. In the dusk we returned to Idural Cottage. A cheery fire and professional talk of mountaineering. Bed. Five of us in one room. The man with the beard, the red-faced man and the rock climber.

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