The Carneddau Range with SMC

Yesterday was my first day out with Shrewsbury Mountaineering Club, and it started pretty damn early!  6am on a Sunday is not a time I’ve seen much but I was keen to get out with the club and see what it was all about.

By 7.45am I was parked up outside a supermarket in Shrewsbury waiting for a strange group of men to turn up!  It’s a good thing it was so early and there weren’t many people around, it could have looked pretty dodgy!

Anyways, Larry (the organiser of the trip) arrived promptly, I chucked my kit in his car and we set off in convoy to Capel Curig to meet up with the rest of the group.  I was initially pretty nervous about going out for the day; firstly, because I was worried about meeting up with a group of people I didn’t know and secondly, because I’m not the fastest and I was concerned about being able to keep up with the group on the hike. 

Well, my first fear was put to bed within about 3 minutes of getting into Larry’s car.  There were two other chaps with us and all three chatted away to me so by the time we got to Capel Curig, I was feeling very comfortable with them. 

Once we’d met up with the rest of the group at the meeting point in Snowdonia, and had a cup of tea (and visited the most high tech public loo I’ve ever seen) we headed off to an area I recognised well; the base of Tryfan.  If you don’t know Tryfan, it’s very easily recognisable and O and I spent some time in the summer scrambling and climbing there. 

Pointy Tryfan, in and out of cloud

This time though, we headed to the Carneddau range opposite Tryfan.  Weirdly enough, although I have hiked this range before I didn’t have a clue what it was like!  It was during the Gore-Tex Experience Tour last March than I hiked them, and the weather couldn’t have been more different!  Yesterday was beautiful, sunshine, blue skies and very mild.  This time last year however, we were more than knee deep in snow and in conditions and  I didn’t see anything but the person’s feet in front of me all day.  I was looking forward to seeing the range in all its glory!

Sunshine on the lower hills in the distance
It didn’t disappoint.  We started the clinb up Pen yr Ole Wen, turning frequently to see the summit of Tryfan disappearing and reappearing out of the clouds.  The weather really was amazing; there were frequent stops on the ascent as we all took it in turns shedding layers of clothing.  The sun was out, it was a seriously stunning day.  After a long slog with a couple of fun scrambly sections, we reached the summit where we could see the ridge stretching out ahead of us towards Carnedd Llewelyn. 

Adding to the fabulous conditions and stunning scenery was the fun in getting to know the group I was walking with.  They were a mixed bunch, but all very friendly.  To be honest, I’m normally a bit of a wussy at meeting new people.  I’m rubbish at small talk and struggle to think of things to say.  However, I found it a lot easier than I thought on the walk, partly because everyone was so welcoming and friendly, but partly also because even before getting to know people, you have things in common to talk about!  It does help when you’re as awkward as I am!

Pony!

We headed across the ridge, slogging through a couple of snow fields where I was mightily impressed with the SealSkinz socks I recently received.  Toasty warm bone dry feet, though because I forgot my gaiters I had soggy legs from the calves up!   More to come on the Sealskinz in another post. 

We carried on at a good pace, bagging the summits of Carnedd Dayfdd and Yr Elen, then enjoying a lovely scramble up to the summit of Carnedd Llewelyn where we could follow the ridge all the way down into the valley.

To be honest, the descent was the most painful part of the day.  I forgot to trim my toenails and they were bloody killing me! I’ve already got one black toenail from running, and another one fell off last week so my feet were not in the best shape to begin with!  I really need a pedicure.

Heading back towards Tryfan at the end of a long but amazing day

We got back to the cars at about 5.30pm after a good seven hours walk, and headed off to the local pub for a well deserved pint.  Actually, we weren’t that cool.  Only a couple of people had a beer.  The rest of us enjoyed a cup of tea!

I also enjoyed a McDonalds on my way home.  I figured I’d burned off enough calories that it wouldn’t hurt… much. 

The obligatory bloggers selfie!

All in all, a fabulous day out in the hills with a lovely bunch of people.  I’m really looking forward to spending more time with Shrewsbury Mountaineering Club.  Thanks again all for a great day out!

One thought on “The Carneddau Range with SMC

  1. Pingback: One Busy November! | Laraine's World

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