Monday, 27 September 2010

Snowdon in a day

Last week I said we had a trip in mind, that trip was Snowdon. We've both done it before, Sue several times, but we wanted to do it again, and we were joined by Sue's son, John. All we needed was a clear day, and it looked like we might get it, so we got up at five, and left at six. For those of you that wonder what it looks like at that time,
THIS is what we were treated to;
As we passed though Buxton, the mist hanging in the hollows just amazed us. It's REALLY lovely to see, and we promised ourselves to have a few more early mornings to see more of this. This sort of morning usually heralds a good, clear day, so we got even more excited.
We drove the miles to Capel Curig and made our way to Pen-y-Pass car park. This was the only fly in the ointment, and the robbing *&%*$*s charge TEN POUNDS to park. There is a five pound option......IF you think you can do Snowdon in less than four hours! How irresponsible is THAT? I'm surprised they got away with it, as it would encourage people to try and rush the trip to save five pounds!
Anyway, we certainly won't be parking there again,
but as we were there, I bit the bullet and paid up.
We'd enjoyed a nice, clear drive down, but to our disappointment, as we reached the mountains we could see the cloud was down to below 1.000 feet. All we could do was hope it would clear later. We left the car at 10:00AM. This is Sue & John as we set off up the Pyg track. I had intended to go over Crib Goch (I had been up it last time) but, as you can see, it was VERY cloudy on the tops. It was also quite windy, so we decided to go up by the pyg track, and down by the miners track.
The view down the Llanberis pass was quite good, not crystal clear, but made us all smile.
Hmm, somewhere up there is where we're headed.
Not looking too good, is it?
A glance over my shoulder saw the YHA at Pen-y-Pass.
At this point, we could see the sun trying to break through the clouds, but it wasn't succeeding.
To look at this, you'd think the picture was faulty.
That's how defined the cloud was - a sharp line above Llyn Lydaw.
This was where I would have turned right for Crib Goch.
Looking over Glaslyn, you can SEE the sun is trying hard to break through.
Were we downhearted? Nah!
Mum & son pause for pictures.
Then a passer-by offered to take one of us all.
I'm SURE it's clearing a bit (he says - optimistically)

Here she is, my little mountain goat, always happy when climbing.
Lliwydd, slowly clearing. I walked back down over this last time I came up Snowdon.
A standing stone marks the point where Crib Goch meets the pyg track.
Here, you turn left for the summit, also you get your first view of the train line.
My God, it looks a lot worse than it was here.
OK, OK - it WAS still a bit misty, but we went into the new cafe for a coffee,
and everything started to clear! At first, we just got those lovely 'curtains
opening' type of views, then it got better and better.
Inside the new cafe, a really smart place, and very popular too.
By now, Lliwydd had come into view more.
Looking back at the new cafe building.
....and the next train was finding it a LOT clearer.
People on the top were seeing it clear a lot now.
And the view down to Glaslyn was much better.
You can see the snaking Miners track we'd be taking back down.
Better and better - looking down the train line.
Why, it was even clear enough now for the helicopter to come out and play!

Steady lad - not TOO close, if you don't mind!
So, after quite a while on the top, enjoying the clearing weather and views,
we sadly set off back down.
Crib Goch is now clear on the left of this shot.
THESE were the sort of views we wanted,
and were grateful to be getting at last.
We passed this old crushing mill, where the miners extracted the lead ore from the rock.
And evidence of miners cottages now, sadly, VERY derelict.
They would make a great set of 'get away from it all' holiday cottages.

We soon arrived back at the car, weary but happy.
Not a perfect day by far, photograph-wise, but plenty good enough for us.
I said; "same time next week - Ben Nevis?",
I won't tell you what Johns reply was ;-)

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