Snowdon….again

A muggy night gave way to a very hot, clear and sunny day. The forecast posted in the campsite offered advice regarding risk of dehydration and you could see why, it was scorching very early on. I caught up with social media to find out that the weather was a country-wide, meme-worthy source of contention.
With this in mind (the heat, not the memes), we packed extra fluids and made sure that we wore plenty of sun cream as we were planning on being out for a while. The route we’d chosen took us along the lakeside of Llyn Gwynant, along farm tracks to Nantgwynant and should have been fairly obvious, but we do like to make things difficult for ourselves and after a few cross words we eventually put ourselves right.  

 
 We picked up the Watkin Path, passing some very attractive pools, (making a note of them for the way back) and began a very hot and steady march to Gladstone Rock. 

http://www.llanberismountainrescue.co.uk/snowdon/watkin-path 

   
   
The real ascent began shortly after and it was sweltering, I made use of every stream to wet my buff but it dried so rapidly, it was small comfort. Eventually we were faced with the final section of the Watkin Path, think Fairfield but steeper.

  

After clambering over scree we reached Snowdon Summit(for the second time in 4 days)….and the cafe.

   
 
So strange to emerge onto the top of Wales’ highest peak (1085m) and being able to buy an ice lolly, still, I wasn’t complaining.
We were planning on retracing our steps the same way but after that annoying final section, we decided to do a loop instead. So we headed along Bwlch Main and Clogwyn Du, a western path, over Allt Maenderyn and down to a tarn. 

  
From here we began a steady descent down to meet up with our route up, near to the ford that we’d earmarked for a dip.

    
After the initial shock, it was amazing to feel the cool water washing away all the dust and grime and it made the final descent back down towards the farm tracks a lot more palatable. 

The hot weather had taken its toll and we took it steady, enough time to observe the wildlife, including a weasel and a frog that I picked up to show Ed (he wasn’t impressed).
It was a different take on Snowdon, when it’s the race, my head is down, I can’t take in the views or enjoy anything about it. So it was worth it to see the mountain from a different perspective and the weather meant that the vistas were truly stunning.
We got back to the campsite and enjoyed a well earned pizza from the onsite wood fired oven along with a lot of sangria. That night around midnight, the biggest thunder and lightening storm that I’ve ever experienced took hold for what felt like hours. It was like being in the hull of a ship or what I’ve imagined that to be like; reading accounts of Scott and Shackleton sailing to their start point, HMS Rainbow doesn’t really have the same ring as the Endurance or Terra Nova. Flashes of lightening illuminated the van, the liquorice allsort pattern on the curtains coming to life each time. I don’t really like liquorice allsorts, just the bobbly aniseed ones. I lay there, air balmy and close, the thunder echoing across the valley, legs aching from the days climb of 1124m and I felt so present, so alive.

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