Friday, April 03, 2009

Fun in the sun!

Tuesday night saw James Linford and I speeding North West towards the A5 and two days of intensive and stressful (for some) activities in the hills of the Snowdonia National Park.


James, the chap who first introduced me to climbing in my teens, was to retake the nav part of his Mountain Instructor Award, after a shortfall on his previous five day assessment earlier last year. Wednesday dawned very fine and we rolled out of Pen Y Pass at 8am and over to the back of the Miners' Track and the start of our hunt for obscure contours and minuscule rock outcrops.


This was a new experience for me as 'nav' to me normally means 'routes'. ok, ' ' overload. Basically, I learnt to really put things into perspective regarding whats on the map and whats on the hill and in a few hours I had really tuned into it Basically we spent time picking a random point and going to it, using a mixture of pacing and time calculations against map/real features to locate ourselves. One would choose a point and nav to it and the other would try to put the finished position on the map. Very good.

We were buzzed all of our time on the hills by Police and RAF helicopters, who were apparently looking for a Canadian chap who had gone missing on Sunday. I hope he does turn up ok. After a few hours of this practice in the Llanberis Pass, we headed over to Moel Siabod and carried on, enjoying the fine weather.


Tired, we returned to the YHA and had a huge dinner, read magazines and James prepared for his PYB assessment in the morning.

Having dropped James of at PYB, I headed off to Llyn Idwal and sped up Devil's Kitchen after a detour scramble up the very wet and slippery waterfall gully next door. Excellent! Ten headed up to Y Garn and ran down it, much to the bemusement of other walkers who saw a red faced and sweating man with boots and a rucksack, pretending to be a fell runner! Why walk when you can run?!



I should point out that the weather was exceptional and the views from the top, simply amazing.


After driving over to pick James up, he was in great spirits after having passed the assessment by a thin margin and being made to sweat before being given the ok! This put us both in a great mood and we headed off to Milestone buttress on Tryfan for a relaxing and fun climb up Rowan route, an easy and thoroughly grin-on-face inducing two hours!


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