Betws-y-coed 01/04/2010


Wore suit to work for first time in a long time, left at midday. And met Steve at the flat, Juzar was a bit late but we set off by 1.30 PM and where in the bar of the vagabond lodge by just before 8 PM. Was quite slow up to Birmingham, but faster after that. We just had one stop for petrol so my bum was pretty sore, by the time we arrived. Popped in to town then with roger and Juzar, and after ordering food at the stables, I ran to the chip shop got some chips for Steve ran them back to the hostel, then back to the stables, after food, we moved onto the hotel that had pool and darts and played both, I was on form at killer, but too nice, to Darren, Juzar and roger who ganged up on me. Back then to the hostel to catch up with folks as they arrived, Geoff won with an 8 hour journey time.
High ropes in the morning this was just a miles walk from the lodge across a wobbly bridge. I got to be super keen and go first on the assault course so nobody held me up, it was quite fun maybe a trifle easy and very safe as we were on a continuous clipped in device and full body harness. There was a little zipwire but a 30 ft drop on a powerfan at the end. I got to go first and was clipped to the front as I had to release myself. I took some videos of the others everyone made it, though beans had a bit of a shock when she jumped while still attached to the instructor. A few folks did the 100 ft plummet, but the warm café and coffee cake seemed more appealing by then. Afterwards we walked back to town getting very wet in the process, we had a pint and some nibbles and Tim tried to persuade me to go and look at some rock, but I went with sandy, Darren, nick and Adam to the plas y brenin centre and used their wall apart from sandy who had his foot in a boot due to a fracture. There was an overhanging arch and it was lovely and dry and I tried a features only route on top rope, afterwards when we had the place to ourselves we tried forward roll races. Back then to the centre and a nice warm multisex shower. We hung on till 8 PM when we served a huge portion of chicken tikka and Nan bread, by beans, Jacqui and David who were acting as group mothers. Afterwards we went into town but only to the first bar where I tried the risky local beers that were past there sell by dates. Finished up watching a bit of crocodile Dundee with tom before heading home. To the lodge, managed to sleep quite well despite sharing with Juzar.
Up fairly early and got a lift with Darren, tom, Juzar to Snowdon, after we got parked and walked back up to the café we set off with snow on the ground, but it was relatively warm. We regrouped at grib goch and made the decision not to do it as it is a grade II mountaineering route with snow. This proved to be wise as we saw a helicopter rescuing people later. We pushed on and it got colder and the snow got deeper, the final tough bit we had to kick hand and foot holds in the show to get up, we made it however, and pushed onto the summit which was shrouded in mist and it promptly started to snow quite hard, it was now very difficult to see. We attempted to retrace our steps but the tricky bit proved perilous to descend, so much so that Vanessa slipped and nearly went over the edge, David very gallantly through himself down the mountain to rescue her. We retrieved her ok and made a decision to go down the railway track apart from nick Tim and Dave who headed down, we ploughed on down and it soon got warmer and our spirits returned there were snowball fights and some folks took the arse express down the slope, there was a little café as well that provided a much needed toilet break and a hot cross bun, then we kept going down and found nick waiting in his car, me and Juzar proceeded to the station were we got a bottle of SA gold while we waited for the Darren taxi to arrive, in the evening ma, sandy and Adam tried to get into the Chinese but it was booked and so where the other places so I opted for fish and chips while other folks went to the grill bar. I waited for folks in the stables and we managed to get quite a big table in the end. We then headed back to the hotel bar and stayed in there for a while and some folks bought takeaways and we had them back at the hostel.
A couple of slices of toast then off to pick up my bike from the hire shop. I joined up then with tom, roger nick Adam, David and Steve to do the marin trail. We were lucky with the weather it wasn't raining, and we took a more gentle climb up to join the trail. There was still a lot of climbing to be done nearly 900 metres of ascent according to Nicks cycle computer. I was going quite strongly as regards cycling but I got a bit cold when we stopped for Rogers puncture, which was fairly dramatic blow-out and occurred at the bottom of one of the longest climbs. The off road sections became a bit punishing then for me especially as I didn't have a lot of travel on my suspension. Survived it though and everyone looked pretty knackered, went straight to the stables and had a beer and some wedges. Back then to the centre and we showered and met up with Tim who drove me, Nick, Adam and Johan to the great Orme which had some lovely sport routes. I did a bit of belaying Tim up the first easy route, then had a go at leading a 6b which had a bit of distance on it before the protection. Still managed that ok but judged the route badly and ended up in a cul de sac. Tim then went up and successfully led it, I then top roped it quite easily. By this time though we were all freezing so we headed back to the centre there was a bit of delay till dinner but the portions were copious. We popped into the stables in the hope of karaoke but there was none so we moved by to the hotel bar and then back to the hostel where Juzar got spotify on the jukebox and we sang along to it till the early hours, I eventually went to bed about 2.30 am.
Up about 8.30 PM and actually had breakfast after a bit of a faff and some packing I drove, Juzar and Steve to rafting. This was in the place we had done it last year. So I wasn't too disappointed not to be doing it again, folks got suitably drenched while we watched from the comfort of the café.. Afterwards a long but steady drive back to London, tool the M1 all the way in but it proved very slow, did allow me to drop Juzar and Steve off though, watched the new Dr who while having some Chinese.



8th Day UK