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Sunday, 18 June 2017

Snowdon in aid of the Ticker Club 17-June-2017

Today was about raising a bit of money and awareness for the TICKER CLUB WYENSHAWE HOSPITAL as my mate Chris, had a double heart bypass a couple of years back. As he has now thankfully fully recovered, he has decided to try and raise some money to express his gratitude to all the staff involved in his and others operations and aftercare. Being a keen walker himself, and walking round the Lake District and Snowdonia before his operations, one of the ways of helping to raise some money was for a sponsored walk up to the summit of Snowdon with the help of his family. Although Chris and his wife Michelle have both been up Snowdon before, this was new territory for his two daughters and their friends, so was indeed a bit of a challenge. I said I'd come along to offer my support and help out in any way. The date was set for June 17th 2017 and being the UK we had no idea what the weather would be like until the day of the walk. Luckily for us all, it was forecast to be a good dry day with clear spells and quite warm. In reallity it was quite hot with wall to wall sunshine from the off. A bit of a breeze that was a welcome relief and a few clouds covering some tops but thankfully for us, a clear summit with some great views. A few clouds rolled in across from the coast making it quite atmospheric in parts and the summit breeze helped keep the baking sun at bay while everyone soaked up the relaxed atmosphere of a busy summit. Snowdon summit on a hot sunny day in Summer is one of those places where you either love it or hate it. Plenty of Mountain walkers hate it as the sheer number of people jostle for a place to stand on the summit trig or find a place to sit for lunch. The train loads of people who perhaps can't walk up and down for whatever reason, the hordes of charity events, like us :-), and people who may think that its nothing more than a stroll in the park and come unprepared for a 3000 foot mountain. They all seem to make there way up here and today was no exception although we did seem to pass more people on our descent and looking back at the summit was looking at a trail of ants on the march it was that busy. I always take the view of it's great to see so many people out enjoying themselves and if just a few of the novices take up walking in the mountains on a more regular basis then that's just great. As long as everyone gets up and down with out any serious mishaps then that's anther positive bonus :-)
We met up at one of the main car parks in Llanberis around 9am and were booted up and ready to go for about 9.30am in good clear conditions. Although I have been up snowdon quite a few times this was to be my first time going up the Llanberis path, so new territory for me today and the first part up the hill was a killer and a good way of letting folk know what they are letting themselves in for!!
Suited booted and ready to go
Steep lane at the start
Steep lane at the start
The first of quite a few breaks came as we got to the top of the lane and the start of the Llanberis Path as we looked across to the cloudy tops of the Moel Ellio range as one of the summit trains chugged up the line for it's 45 minute journey to the summit while we had a more leisurely 3 hour walk up
A cloud topped Moel Cynghorion
First breather of the day
The Llanberis Path is the busiest of all the paths up to the top of Snowdon as it's possibly the easiest to negotiate, especially in good clear weather like today, but it can be hazardous when the cloud and rain come down and in winter it's as dangerous as any mountain path and extra care and attention needs to be applied. Today though, was just one of those days where we could take our time and enjoy the views and hopefully the experience of the day. Before we knew it it was rest time again at the halfway house where we all grouped together for another peptalk and liquid intake :-)
On the approach to the halfway house
Choo Choo

Halfway rest stop and the boys are doing fine while the girls do what girls do, natter and check bags for anything they might of forgot. Too late now :-)
Onwards and upwards with the views getting more and more open and interesting the higher we got. A lot of mountain features coming into view and also more of the high mountains of the Carneddau and Glyderau areas that dominate the Ogwen Valley part of Snowdonia. A great walking and scrambling area that I'm sure would of been busy this weekend with folk enjoying a more strenuous day out. A fantastic mountain playground. It was also looking like there was a fair bit of cloud blowing over Glyder Fach, that houses the famous Cantilever Stone and at one time it looked like it was going to engulf the whole of the Glyerau and come our way. Thankfully it seemed to disperse as quick as it came but there was pockets of low cloud blowing around that area for some time.
Looking back down the Llanberis Path
Onwards & Upwards
Llyn Du'r Arddu under the cliffs of Clogwyn Du'r Arddu
Llanberis Path & the Train track over Clogwyn Goch
Looking back to Llanberis with the slate quarry under Elidir Fawr & Elidir Fach
People to the left & trains to the right
Admiring the views
Cloud rolling in over Glyder Fach
As we strated to get higher over Clogwyn Goch, we started to get more views south and the views of our target, the summit of Snowdon. We also got an idea of how busy it was going to get as the paths from the Pyg/Miners track, Rangers Path and those who have tackled the knife edge ridge of Crib Goch and Garnedd Ugain all meet for the last few hundred metres to the summit. Great views all round and some quite atmospheric scenes as the clouds rolled in and out mainly on the South side, making it an ideal place to set up camp for our pic-nic. there was also a lot of seagulls flying about, no doubt after some rich pickings and at one point they seemed to resemble Vultures hovering over a dead carcass there was that many. Anyway, we unraveled a banner had a few summit photo's and settled down to lunch with a view, perfect :-)
Joining the crowds for the last leg to the summit
Looking down on Glaslyn and the zig-zags of the Pyg Track
Crib Goch with the Pyg & Miners path below
Vultures over Snowdon
Summit views down the South Ridge
Made it :-)
What the day was all about:-)

Seagull & clouds
Seagull after the ants :-)
Lunch with a view
Crowds below the cafe
Y Lliwedd with a tuft of hair
Summit Cafe
After bout an hour we made our way off the same way with me Chris and Sam taking a detour to visit the summit of Garnedd Ugain just for the hell of it as it's only a 10 minutes from the path junction and as it's the second highest summit being only 20 metres lower than Snowdon its a worthwile visit, especially on days like today. We met up with the girls at Clogwyn Station where they were taking it easy again :-)
Garnedd Ugain Summit with Crib Goch
Looking across to Snowdon
Chris & Sam @ Garnedd Ugain
Pen y Pass far below
The girls taking it easy
Says it all really :-)
Although we were going back down the same way, it somehow seemed longer and it was also getting warmer as we approached the valley and out of the cooling breeze that had made life a lot more bearable on the ascent. We also passed a lot more people and were glad we weren't going up now, as I guess the summit would of been just a bit over busy with folk. All in all though this was another great day in the mountains but more importantly for the day, a fantastic achievement for all of us and hopefully it will go a long way in to raising some money for a great cause.
With a great big thanks to Michelle, Vicky, Sarah, Jo, Lizzie Sam and by no means least, Chris for organizing the day,and the weather, and here's hoping that the day goes some way to repaying the support you had over these last couple of years.
All the very best mate and see you soon :-)
Cheers Mate :-)
 A short video of Snowdon Summit

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