The Welsh 50 Peak Challenge travel blog


Well, after the last two days (that's today and tomorrow to you), I've realised that most of the first 11 days of my challenge were simply a walk in the park. I'm just soooo grateful that Vanessa gently persuaded me that I needed the boots specific for tough rugged stuff when we both bought a pair in the Lakes, and despite them feeling a bit hard and not comfortable. I wouldn't have survived without them. I'm also so relieved that I bought an expensive (£28 ish) pair of waterproof gloves (which incidentally didn't remain waterproof after an hour or two but..) which at least gave me grip and security. Despite being only 9 days old, after the action they've seen in the last 48 hours, are already wearing away. As for the holes in my waterproofs (which weren't designed for protecting my bum, just keeping it dry...)

As I knew today would be excessively long (longer even than Sunday), I broke all the holiday rules, put on an alarm clock and left by 7.30 (it takes a long while to eat the huge breakfast I have to get inside me, which only lasts, energy wise, for a couple of hours). Started walking at 8.00, in the rain of course, I was up the first of my eight peaks of the day after a couple of hours. I'd taken an advised, off route route, which of course left me wading through mud and bog and taking longer, oh well.

The warden at last night's hostel had been very interested and we'd ooommed and ahhhed over my peak repertoire trying to put it in the prefered order, to fit in with bus times to get me back to my car. Needless to say, I missed them all.... He was very helpful though!

I was soon lost in the mist adding some back-tracking climbing time and also an additional peak (up my sleeve, no. 4) Carnedd y Filiast, to the tick list. So Elidir Fawr, Mynydd Perfeddi and Fowel Goch were ticked and when I headed down off of Y'Garn, I even got a faint glimpse of a view, seeing Llyn Cwn (small lake) which I needed to head for to get up into the Glyders. Then it was Glyder Fawr, Glyder Fach, Glyder this and Glyder that. A lot of people had mentioned Glyders to me. Now I know what they are. I'll see if I can attach a photo, really rather mystical, especially when again, the mist cleared a little.

If you've never experienced being in the clouds and then them suddenly clearing to leave a view, I can closestly describe it as having Lasek eye surgery (like I did) and after the first day, the haze clearing and suddenly being able to see everything clearly. But as all of my friends that copied me with the eye surgery had lasik, even they won't be able to see-what-I-mean. Oh well, I'm trying. Anyway, it's very nice!

So I'd blown two of the possible bus timetables (already) but Tryfan was in my sight. The sensible warden had said that was the 'pig' of my itinerary, so much down to get back up, then down and back up again, tired legs, etc etc. Of course I wasen't having any of that defeatedness enter my head and off I headed, not down the scree slope (coz it looked too scary), but the long way. What I couldn't see from the Glyders, was the wind. Dear me dear me. After battling it down, then up, very gradually up and spending more time holding onto anything I could and waiting for the gusts to pass, I realised (as I'd just put on my sensible hat for the first (and only) time this trip, that it really was not going to be possible to reach the top of Tryfan. A 915m mountain, I was within inches (well actually about 70m) but I decided that my day pack cover simply wasn't big enough to act as a parachute (though it tried to several times) and as I really DID want to finish my 50 (having 4 up my sleeve already - cunning plan) that I'd have to give up from making the summit. Something to return for. ...and I'd missed that bus from Capel Curig, grrrrrr.

Therefore off to Y Foel Goch and a made dash down the Miner's Track (once I could find it to try to at least catch the bus from Pen y pass back to the car). My legs really weren't happening by this stage, (7.10) and it was tough when a couple of cyclists sailed by (uphill) leaving me crawling. I did manage a few weak jogs and reached the bus stop at 7.25, expecting the 7.30 to be in sight, to find out it had left at 6.10! So much for planning.

Never mind, I got a lift, I have my means and ways.

I'VE NEVER FELT SO EXHAUSTED AS AT THE END OF THIS DAY, NOT EVEN THE MOUNT TOUBKAL DAY.

Peaks 8 (plus one)

Cum. peaks 45

Vertical climb 1,758m (no wonder I was shattered, it's that failed Tryfan that did it)

Cum. vertical climb 13,217m (that's a long way up)

Distance walked 16 miles



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