This post feels like a step back in time – way back to the spring in fact. As usual life is getting in the way of keeping my blog up to date.
My Grumpy Chums from Crisis headed off up to the Peak District in early April where nature was coming alive all around us.
We spent most of our time around the Hope and Edale valleys – These valleys do offer some fantastic photo opportunities such as these early morning shots.
Most of our time was spent on the hills and for the first time I noticed these little bronze castings set into the paved area around the summit of Mam Tor. Depictions of everything found around the summit of Mam Tor.
Everyone who was on the hills that weekend seemed to be enjoying themselves, be that mucking about with daft photos, floating amongst the clouds or just generally chilling out and taking in the scenery.
Take the rough Cavedale track above Peveril Castle in Castleton and you come to a spot made famous by William Turner. I spotted the painting below of the castle when I viisted it and tried to find the spot William Turner stood to paint it – just about got it I think.
The Grumpy Chums – a fine body of men who in spite of high levels of grumpiness (and camera shyness) get on in fine fashion and like nothing better than getting away from the south of England as much as possible 🙂
This trip was the first time I ventured down into the Blue John Cavern. There was not a great deal of the stone to see on the trip (it is still a working mine I am told) but seeing all the old equipment and the caverns really caught my interest. I particularly found the ferns growing in the caves by the lights intruiging – they only exist because the lights are on continually.
Near the end of the trip we were joined by Alison, Catherine and Finlay and spent the day visiting Stannage Edge. Did not have any climbing equipment with us so had to settle for enjoying the views.
‘We need a new challenge’ – from a conversation one night in the pub with the rest of the Grumpy Chums.
The guys were looking for something a bit more challenging this time and I remembered seeing a picture on Facebook by my friend Shelly Bristow of her completing the Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge – Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen y Fan – so I put this to the guys and we were soon on our way.
Unlike Shelly though we opted for the more sedate challenge of one mountain a day and to make a long weekend of the trip. We headed (last September) for North Wales to tackle Snowdon first. As the weather was expected to be very bad with high winds and driving rain I opted to keep the group to the main tracks. We started from Pen y Pass car park, followed the Pyg track to the summit and descended on the Miners track.
Starting off we were in the shelter of Llanberis Pass however as soon as we crossed over the pass below Crib Goch the wind really picked up. There was no rain but we could see the heavily water laden clouds above us – we made best of the views of Llyn Llydaw and cracked on up.
We soon entered the clouds and the rain soon got into every nook and cranny. On the way up I chanced upon two friends Jacques and Deano coming down from the summit (Deano had been getting his nav tested by Jacques in readiness for his Mountain Leaders assessment).
I spotted quite a few people ascending Snowdon in trainers, jeans and cotton jackets – it makes me wonder sometimes what people think mountains are all about!!!!
Topping out on Snowdon was great as the wind and rain really tested everyones spirits. We did not hang around long but did chat for a while with a radio ham who had hauled all his kit to the top of the mountain.
On the way down I bumped into a young couple (a young lady and man) struggling to ascend in the wind and rain and after having a chat with them they decided best to try the mountain again the next day. The young man eventually agreed with me that a waterproof would be a better option the next day rather than the trendy leather jacket he was wearing – his young lady friend backed me up all the way 🙂
We all came off the mountain soaking wet but in good spirits. I put together a short video of what was a very drafty and damp day on Snowdon.
Parts 2 & 3 will cover our days in the Cadair Idris range and around Pen y Fan.