Saturday, February 10, 2007

Saturday 13th May 1933


A sunny day, bought our breakfast. Everything very efficient here. Off by 9.30 a.m. Round the hills to Pen-y-Pass. Here we parked the car and began the ascent of Snowdon. All I took to eat was: a banana, an orange, an egg and two oat cakes.

Followed a climbing, winding track into the hills, peaks all around. Wilf dropped out tired; I went on, the path winding high above a lake. Very few people about, met an elderly couple, who told me which of the great mountains was Snowdon. Riverlets and tiny waterfalls. Good water; I drank a good deal.

Bored with the trudge up the zig zag path, I turned off left, in my reckless folly thinking it would be easier to climb up the scarp. I was soon in difficulty, indeed danger. High above the lake. Treacherous surface, crumbling stones. Nervy. Up another narrow cleft. Frightened. Way back blocked by sheer cliffs. I must return down the cleft! Ate the orange to calm and cool myself. Down, very carefully, hands shaking with fear. A slip meant a long fall. I did it! Then worked along the face, searching for a way. Failures. At last I struck the path and reached the summit. 3560 feet. Took about 5 hours. Dull weather.

Saw the Snowdon cog and ratchet train arrive. Sat on the cairn at the highest point. Thirst. Raining. The elderly couple had arrived long before me. A real mountaineer who was there said to me “were you the fellow who was in trouble on the scarp?” I said proudly that I was but he was not impressed. He said “Ignorant people like you, cause a lot of trouble and danger to people like me. Don’t ever try that again”.

Followed the Pir Track down. Rough, broken, dropping ground which jolted me. Quenched my thirst at a stream and ate the oat cakes. Reached Pent-y-Pass in less than 2 hours.

(2004. The second lake or tarn described above was slim Llyn Glaslyn. I would guess that when I got stuck I was at least 500 feet above the rocks at the verge of Glaslyn. I never tried that way again nor as far as I know did anyone else.)

Wilf was waiting. Off to Bala via Betsy-y-Coed. Rainig hard. Bala. The huge lake. Found our way by devious roads to the Hostel.

(2004. It was near Lake pry Henney – at least that’s how Wilf pronounced it!)

Massive Manor House, with a gateway, huge oak door etc. The warden (an aristocratic old lady who would have turned us away at sight of the car, but my tact saved the situation. Ben, the servant, and his advice. A huge common room (and we the only guests!) with a cheery fire. Dinner (and hot tea!) served at once. Spaghetti, curry or something Superb. A queer old house, wall 6 feet thick, hundreds of years old – our best hostel. Mattresses in the bunks. Early to bed – tired. A fine nights sleep. Ten hours sound.

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