About Me

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Hi. Thanks for stopping by. My names Ian. I was born and raised in Sheffield left and joined the RAF did 25 years and now working in the Rail industry.

You can't buy that.

Thanks for stopping by. This is mainly an account of walks done by myself, alone, with Family or Friends and acquaintances, with the odd rant and mishap thrown in. If it bores you I apologise, if it inspires you i'm honoured. I have done this so when i'm old and infirm I can look back at some nice times and think I had achieved something outside of helping to bring some wonderful people in to the world. Hi to Leigh, Sean, Zara and Rebecca. I hope they grow up to appreciate the beauty all around them as I do. Its also so they can see what their Dad was up to when they were a little bit too small or too far away to come with him.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Happy Birthday to me.

To celebrate my 47th, Debs booked us in to the Royal Oak at Betsw y coed and challenged herself to a walk? up snowdon. She said she was up for it so who am I to argue. Having thought long and hard about which way (the train wasn't an option in march)up and down to go, I plumped for, up the PYG and down the miners. I dint fancy all the ascent in one go and i knew the Pyg split the climb up in to do-able chunks.

So with the kids packed off to their big sisters (thanks Steph). Off we went on the friday, had a lovely meal in the hotel and an even better breakfast the next morning. By the time we had got our lunches it was gone 9am so set off to the pen y pass car park to find upon arrival it was full. I abandoned Deb with the kit and left the car opposite the pen y grwyd, the machines were bust so free parking!! Good start.

The weather was cold and a small easterly breeze kept the mist at bay for now but it was to be a day of not many views, although Crib Goch was in and out of sight as we took our place in the queue on the way up.

You meet allsorts on a weekend going up a mountain. We came across some lads from west brom who were still pissed up from the night before, some lads from kent who swore a lot, 2 groups of american/canadian high school adventurists and the usual crowd from mersyside in tracksuits and carrier bags. We even saw a group of students in pyjamas an red noses. Now i havent got a big problem with Charity work, but it was minus a few degrees on the summit, visibility was at best 50 yards and it could hardly be described a s spring like.

Anyway I digress from what was a wonderful day out. Some pics of the ascent.


Got to the summit in good time for lunch and found a spot out of the wind and had our lovely lunch. Deb had made it without complaining once and i was really chuffed for her as i know it was a big effort for her to do this. Well done baby.

With the mountain conquered and my grumps at the ill equipped and under prepared we set off back down, this time we headed for the miners track. unfortunately Deb twisted her leg on a rock and did some damage so the descent was a lot slower than we would have hoped. Despite that she kept a brave face right up until the end but I could tell she was in a lot of pain. once down I left her as before and fetched the motor. arrived back just in time for a leisurely bath and a few drinks and another cracking meal in the hotel grill bar this time. An almost perfect day bar the weather and Debs' injury.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Hellvellyn Gold

ouch a long way

detailed report and others views are here:,7982.0.html

An outrageous cheat - -how far can you walk in the snow.

Thanks Graham. saved me a right job.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Fairfield in the snow the wrong way round. 16/2/10

The third big meet up of the year and its only halfway through Feb. This was a joint effort by mick and I to get some ticks in advance of the summer where we intend to do the north Face of Tryfan, the Snowdon horseshoe and a 2 day, all the three thousand footers. That and fifty wainwrights, although that's my goal. Mick is happy to be there and I wouldnt class him as a "list whore"
Unashamedly I am, its all because of the RAF you know, there has to be mission and a final objective. I digress. The Fairfiled horseshoe starts in the honey pot of the lakes, Ambleside. This place has a special feel about it, its a "walkers" place, loads of places to eat, even more pubs and its right in the middle of some outstanding walking (where isnt in the lakes, except perhaps mungrisedale!)

It is a tuesday meet so we werent expecting a big turnout but some of the lads we met in january were making the trip up and some familiar faces in Mike and Mark and Paul (who'd conquered his fear of the early morning boogey man to be at the start for 0830.) Myself and Mark set of just after 5 met up with Mick and a new face, Paul from newark and Mick took us up in the Chelsea Tractor. Yet again the weather was all over the place and we arrived in ambleside with heavy snow falling. We were early and first there so Mark went to find caffeine and we drove about a bit and thought negative thoughts about not getting going. Half an hour later it stopped but a good inch had fell and everyone immediately lifted. We moved car parks to shorten the walk (not by much, more a case of being nearer the pub) and hung around as we had 2 no shows. Note to self, get numbers in advance so we can call up and noy keep people waiting.

All introductions done the 9 of us set off. The route was soon forgotten as we went by low sweden bridge, no matter, it brought us out to the same place. The weather was cold and misty now and the banter began very early with Max and Howie telling 2 very different versions of the same story. Just ask them about a camcorder.

Heres the scene leaving ambleside and low sweden bridge.

It was a popular opportunity so most of the gang took the cameras out. Some taking pictures of people taking pictures. Heres Max (respelndant with "wheres wally" hat) taking a snap of Howie and Mick lurks behind Max.

Shortly after the bridge, theres a right turn after nook end farm and up on to the slopes of the horseshoe heading for Low Pike. We would pass Rydal village on our right in the valley but it was too misty.
Heres the gang ascending the pike in true seven dwarves stylee.

Its easy navigation the eastern side of the shoe. Just keep the wall on your left or right and keep going.

We soon approached the first scramble of the day in "dead sheep gulley". Don't look on the map for it, Mike named it after the dead sheep that was in the gulley. Get up early to get one over on the resident pharmacist. The scramble is short but difficult in the fact that it was covered in ice and the usual legs akimbo technique didnt work as one foot just slipped off, it was a case of knee up and pray.

We all made it despite the snow mortars being fired from Paul and Mick. I would never throw snowballs, so immature. Especially not at Welshman who couldn't see who was throwing them. Heres one of said welsman Max, about to knee up the gulley.

Once everyone was over the step general snowballing was undertaken. This was to provide the theme for the rest of the day. A short time after we arrived at Low Pike 508M. 2 cameras were used for the self timing shots. This is the picture mine took. Howies went tumbling down the back of the rock so we haven't seen that effort. I wouldnt chuck my expensive SLR down the fell just to make sure I made the picture, how vain is that!! Luckily howie and his camera worked OK after both went for a dive!

Left to right: Mike, Paul (from newark), Derek (Robbo), Mark, Howie, Max, Mick Paul (Cogstar) and yours truly.

It started to get a bit tougher now. In summer its a bit boggy and wet. Today it was misty, Icy and there were deep drifts. There weren't any easy routes.

Onwards and upwards to Dove and Hart Crag and Fairfield. the mist gradually eased and gave us a better view.

I liked the wall covered in snow and frost.

It is a very hard slog up there at the best of times and with snow depths of between a couple of inches and six foot every step was a lottery. It was certainly very hard work on the legs. The mist came in and out and the temperature was all over the place. Dove crag was in mist and hart crag was in sunshine.

The ascent to Fairfiled is straightforward enough but in poor visibility a satmap or micro nav skills are needed to find the summit cairn and not fall off the NE ridge and end up either back in patterdale or in Grisedale tarn. Luckily we had a freshly cut path of footsteps to follow and there were a remarkable number of people up on the plateau. We waited for everyone and took a slow wander to the point where it was "mostly" downhill.
Again we were lucky, visibility wise to descend the west leg without falling off the Rydal head crags. On the way to Great Rigg the mist descended again and we were slowed by poor visibility and also legs began to ache following the remarkable efforts of the morning.
There was a plan to descend and reascend via Stone arthur but some were obvioulsy dreaming of the pub and werent having it. It was too cold to be waiting for those of us that were keen so I took one for the team and called it off. We carried on down, some quietly relieved that they wouldnt be doing an extra 600 foot or so. Rydal fell was soon reached and Erne crag, then the field began to spread out. I stayed at the back with Paul, who was doing very well considering his lack of hill time. The Goats and the Welsh crashed on ahead, some waited at vantage points and everyone closed up and almost became one again at Nab Scar which has a wonderful vista down Windermere and Rydal water and across to the Langdales.
The end was in sight and only the pathed and stepped descent down to Rydal Hall was left to get down to the road and the last mile back to Ambleside. We caught up with some of the group, Mick and Max decided to stop for tea and cake at rydal tea rooms? I thought about joining them for about a millisecond but the golden rule was calling. I also didnt want to stop as i wouldnt get started again. We all ended up in the pub and had a beer or two and we all agreed what a fantastic day it had been. There were some very tired bodies and i think everyone would have been happy to stay in the pub rather than travel home..........Brilliant day with a great bunch of lads.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

The NW fells. Clear skies in January.

I have been lucky this month. Feel good too, been to the Gym, no aches and pains and fit as a (knackered old splintered and worn out)fiddle. Pete had set a meet up and if history was anything to go by, a great day and a cracking route, starting at Little Town, we'd do the second half of the Newlands round, (in reverse) taking in Hindscarth and Dale Head. Then about turn, head for Robinson down across High Snockrigg (buttermere moss)and down then up to Knott Rigg and Ard crags.
Big big ask in Jnauary but the snow had almost gone so it would be OK.
The group included four people I'd never met in person; Mark who lives a couple of miles away and we have never managed a day out together yet. Tony, a long time lurker on the forum, Dibble and her collie dog Lexie, a newcomer to the forum who was very apprehensive about everything and Dave from Leeds who was also a new member of the forum but had Lakes experience.
The other members were my mate Mick from Hilton (clay head) and Pete from Manchester, the trip "leader" and all round good egg! (even though he's a Citeh fan)
I drove and Mark, Micky and oneself left Selston at 5:15 to pick Dave up from Boroughbridge. The trip went smoothly and we arrived at Little Town spot on time. We were last to arrive (Well we did come the furthest.) In to the boot, first out was Dave's expedition rucksack and then squashed in the corner was everyone elses kit.

Everyones Kit apart from Marks boots.

Now Mark is a lovely lad, he's just over the road from me and there is history of him forgetting some boots and having to buy some more on one occasion. People say you learn from your mistakes! A message that is lost on Mark as his his footwear was missing. Luckily he was wearing some passable outdoor footwear and he said he'd be OK. We geared up and off we went toward Hindscarth. The weather was glorious, almost cloud free, cold but still on the valley floor. This would be a profilgate day for pictures (I took 71 works out at about ten an hour!so go get a beer or a coffee and settle down!)

The view toward our first destination Hindcsarth. The route was straight up the spine of the hill:

As we climbed/walked/scrambled up the hill the views opened up over to Skiddaw.

The way ahead was on the top of the ridge and the steep ascent to Hindscarth on the right and across to Dale Head in front.

The walking stopped, truncated by several areas of easy scrambling.
Heres Micky offering Pete some advice. Along the lines of "You can climb that you **** stop crying you **** *****"

By the time Pete had his mojo back we could see Blencathra as well.
The two big boys north of Keswick. Thats Skiddaw and Blencathra not Pete and Mick.

Turning round we could see the top of Hindscarth (right of centre) and Dale Head (left) above the snowline. It looked "interesting" up there and there was a bit of cloud about. I sped along as there was a view across to Great Gable and Scafell Pike. I hadn't seen the top of England for 6 months and that was 5 and a half too long.

Above the heather the path became icy and High Stile or High Crag across the Buttermere valley showed its face in the Col:

We hit the snow line and Tony and I had a quick break and some food. Micky caught up soon after and posed above the snowline with the "Great to be here" Lake District grin.

Time to concentrate a bit now, We should have had crampons on in places going up but it wasn't that bad if could avoid the nasty verglas. Not me! I took a crack on my knee that smarted a bit!
We got to the top and the view was there! Breathtaking.

Fleetwith Pike, Honister, The Gables and the Scafells, all in one!

If that wasn't enough, a jaw dropping vista of Catstye Cam, Hellvelyn, Nethermost and Dollywagon Pikes and St Sunday Crag across to the east over the Watlendath fells.

It was definitely Alpine weather and the light was amazing on the top of Hindscarth.

Looking beyond the shoulder of Robinson to the afternoon traverse of Knott Rigg and the bleak looking Crag Hill and Wandope with Grassmoor and Eel Crag behind.

Moving across Hindscarth edge looking to the Newlands valley with Maiden Moor and High Crag and Cat Bells on the right. I love this picture. The big two at the back.

We'd left a couple of the party to climb up Hindscarth at a leiurely pace as some of the "summitt baggers" were after Dale Head. Not me of course, definitely not doing the 214 Wainwrights again, what would be the point? Apart from the fact that i'd done them lightning quick with no reposte, pause for breath or gazing all lovingly at them and it turned in to a bit of an unfinished chore. Especially the odds and sods north of Keswick not the honey pot hills.
So off to Dale Head then. We started off as a group of 5 but when the point and shoots come out the group spreads. Some people try and get out of the way even though you want them in the shot for perspective Mark!

Speaking of Mark, I have to thank him for the next couple of shots. Some people see a good image, it has to smack me in the Gob. What happened was, Mark took a picture of some indistinct looking rocks (see the pic on Marks FB page, its the dogs)near the summit. I looked at them puzzled for a second then burst out laughing. I GOT IT. This clump of Lakeland rock wouldnt have been out of place ten thousand feet higher in another country. I despatched Mick to pose and said trust me. This is the result. Nice one Mark, in 46 years that has been my most (and only) creative moment, not particularly brilliant but OMG i laughed till it hurt. Mick got it too once he'd framed up!

Here are the pics. Micky.

Yours truly: Not quite how I imagined them but we have point and shoot and we are not pro photogs!

The wind was whipping up a treat and we were treated to some serious spindrift from all directions. If you don't climb high up then take it from me it hurts your face and your eyes.

The summit of Dale Head. very windy and a bit of a drop off to the left. Nice cairn! Not quite Thornthwaite crag (coming soon!) But a smaller cousin, it wasn't falling over, i was hanging on.

We didn't hang about as the other three had been and gone and were some distance in front. Looking westwards the weather was closing in, surely it wasnt going to clag us in this afternoon? looking southward Bowfell was in amongst the langdales and a whole host of others.

The view west with some nasty clouds coming in off the IOM. We were heading straight in to all that lot

We sped back along to the rendezvous and two became seven plus Lexie once again. Lunchtime. Again it was a hurried affair as the sun had gone and the wind had picked up. The climb to reagain the height of Robinson is one of those rubbish bits that you dont really want to do. Theres no scrambling and its a trudge, much like the wythburn ascent of hellvelyn. The rewards are there for those who get up there but its goddam awful in places. It reminds me of chunks of the tourist track up the Ben too. Its that horrible angle. Then it started to snow......and snow and snow.

Heres Pete and Dave:

And Mark. They breed em tough in Mansfield he's looking in to the whiteout:

(dont think he is really but its a good thought!)

Big decision time. We were tired by now, some more than others. Should we quit and run or wait it out and see.

We begrudgingly quit, but it didn't last long. We turned round and went back to carry on. Brilliant move as after 10 minutes the storm had gone as quickly as it came. We were well equipped for the conditions though.

Me wrapped up toasty on the summit

I like Robinson, its name has character, like Hellvellyn, Blencathra, Scafell, Raise, Loughrigg and many others. In fact they all have great names, some greater than they are. Mungrisedale Common pictures images of dramatic mist covered pine forest amongst swathes of open land, unlike the reality.

I digress.

We'd set off home but turned back and that woke everyone up. there are times when you put your head down and knock a mile or two off a walk. This was one of them, you couldn't see much and all you had to do was keep more south than west and not fall off the edge of the fell. As soon as we started to descend we lost the path (very easy to do) and luckily the sun came out as we were a bit close to aforementioned edge. respected courses were altered and we stumbled and fell down the slopes toward High Snockrigg or Buttermere moss (whichever map you read). I decided on a bit of sledging then quickly changed my minds as a couple of the lads thought it was a bit steep from where they were. They were right!!
here is a view looking back of the way off Robinson

Walking over the moss was a relief after all the ups and downs. I hung back a bit and had some "me" time as we approached the descent to Newlands Hause and Moss Force waterfall. We were hungry again and a rest stop was agreed on, just a case of finding somewhere out of the wind. We started on the steep descent and the wind wasn't in our ears now so we rested with a great view of the last couple of miles of the walk. The fitter of the group were going down and straight back up across the road to Knott Rigg and Ard Crags, the others were calling it a day and going back along the tarmac. They would get some great views along the valley floor.

Robinson from our rest stop - thats why you keep more south than west off the top! Dibs and Dave trying to get out of the shot but failing, ha ha.

Kescadale. Its as if a massive football has rolled down the valley, beautiful in its winter folly.

After some scoff it was now time to part company and sad farewells were said and see you back at the car! I was now in serious mode, i needed to test my stamina and went for a no stop ascent, much like Mark had done on Hindscarth earlier. It was a tough climb but I made it and felt good for the exertion. I felt like i had earned my pint at the end of the day.

Mark Pete Mick and Tony at the summit of Knott Rigg, happy and tired. Sail, Crag Hill and a bit of Wandhope in the background.

Told you i'd got all serious.

Sail and Crag Hill. Spectacular.

A look back to Robinson and the Buttermere fells.

Knott Rigg to Ard Crags is a great ridge, wide enough to be able to not worry about falling off and good job because the parallel traverse across from Causey Pike to Whiteless Pike draws the eye constantly with the mighty Grassmoor lurking behind. Its not a well known fell but its a beast! Here is the summit of Ard Crag looking back in that direction

The last summit of the day and it was literally all downhill from here. Unfortunately I relaxed a bit early and took a bit of a fall. I say fall, it was a fall followed by a bounce down the hill and a painful crack on the back. OUCH. Only Mick saw it and came rushing to my aid once he'd stopped pissing himself laughing. Cheers mate. Safely down there were a few fields to cross and we found the road and back to the cars. We'd lost Dibs and Dave who waited for us up the road a bit, but Pete being the ultimate gentlemen (and the leader!) went looking for them in the car with no indicators (BMW drivers have no need for indicators, you should YIELD in the presence of Romani.......errm German engineering. Eventually everyone was re-united and off we went insearch of refreshment.

I'd been looking forward to this all day. My favourite pub in the whole of the world was down the road. The Farmers Arms in Portinscale. Its that good I even have their own T shirt. The food is excellent and the Beer (Jennings) is better. I'd insisted we went there and thankfully nobody objected too much. Imagine my horror when we arrived and it was closed. We'd suffered this problem in december with The White Horse in Scales and it was here again. You try and help out the local businesses and they dont want your money! Im seriously considering ringing ahead next time to see if they'll open an hour early, however I guess its not the season so we quickly decided to try the Pheasant which would save us the trip in to Keswick and a potential parking problem. That was also closed so it was the bright lights of Keswick. Luckily the gear shops were all closed but the Queens Head wasn't. A pint of thirsty winter from the Keswick brewery went down an absolute treat and those not driving took full adavantage. Another great day in the lakes. Next up in Feb is the Fairfield Horseshoe and a pint in Ambleside. Bring it on.


Mick - Mr Giggle (never stopped laughing, especially when i hurt myself)
Mark - Mr Forgetful (how can you forget your boots TWICE!)
Pete - Mr Cool (nothing fazes this feller)
Tony - Mr Strong (never out of breath or if he was he hid it well)
Dave- Mr Organised (He'd packed for a full blown assault on the south cwm)
Dibs - The Queen of the fells
Lexie - Little Miss Perfect.
Ian - Mr Bump (falls over a lot)

Thursday, 21 January 2010


Snowdonia? There is a big mountain with a cafe on it and thats about all Wales has to offer. Or so I thought. I joined a Walking forum a few months ago and started to look at the Wales section. Its got a few hills thats for certain, I'd heard of a few. Tryfan, Snowdon, Moel Famau Cadair Idris. I'd seen a few impressive hills when I used to go to Barmouth a long time ago. So the opportunity came to climb some strange named hills ( Ifound out that Carnedd y filiast means peak of the greyhound bitch or something like that thanks Glyn, every day is a schoolday in the hills).
I was free on the 20th and a meet up was planned at the western end of the group of hills called the Glyders (I'd heard of those).

Welsh lesson number one: Glyders is pronounced Glidders.

So 5 peaks were to be attempted. Carnedd y filiast - west and north top. Myndd perfedd Foel Goch, Elidir Fawr and Elidir fach. Try saying all those when you have had a few. Largest hill was over 3000' Elidir Fawr and would be the penultimate summit of the day so I guessed it was mostly uphill. I wasnt wrong.

As this was a new area I was bound to meet new people. Exciting and worrying at the same time as you put yourself at the mercy of the elements and a complete stranger saying "its this way boyo".. Thats alright when on a pub crawl but two thousand feet up when you cant see very far is a bit different. I'd just finished a block of 4 shifts so tired was the emotion as I got up at 4:30AM. Granty arrived at a quarter past 5, we picked Mick up and sped off to Stoke to meet our tour guide and driver Geoff who knows the area well (Snowdonia that is). The short story was its a bloody long way to what i would describe as nearly anglesey. The A5 was shut and we had (what felt like) a 40 mile diversion and we went through at least 5 seasons worth of weather. I made the mistake of relaxing when we stopped off for a comfort break at Betws y coed.
Lesson number two: Its bets eee coh ead. (silent double u).

We got to Deiniolen (no idea how thats pronounced) which looked atypical of how I expected the area to be....a little hostile. I'm sure the people are lovely they just look like they want to kick your head in because they don't recognise you (or because your English).

We parked up at 09:35 ish and said hello to a whole car full of new people. GULP. Max, Arenig, and Glyn. I'd met mountain goat Mike on 2 previous meets so his was a familiar face.
We got ready quickly and the banter was flying about the road even before we set off. This was going to be a good day. Oh the weather? It was Welsh weather according to Geoff. It was pissing it down and freezing according to me!

Off we went up the hill on the road. The mountains were ahead but we were already at 900 feet according to pro trek.

Conditions were a little icy underfoot. I was a bit worried this was going to catch us out as me and Geoff had left the axes and crampons in the car. Others didn't have the gear though so its only fair to leave it behind. It looked a bit dodgy from what we could see higher up.
The first summit of the day. Carnedd y Filiast (west peak)

We hung around and Max pointed some stuff out. Anglesey, Puffin Island and some mountains which we could only just see. Yr Elen (Your Helen) was one I think.
We were off up to Carnedd y Filiast which was directly behind me in the last pic. It looked straightforward enough........till we got to here.

Some scrambling on icy rock and if you missed the rock, you ran the gauntlet of how deep is the snow between. It was great fun with a bit of pain thrown in. A bit like a trip to a massage parlour.

We got on to the ridge. Another of those "thats why we do this" moments. Here is the mountain goat.

And heres me and Granty on the ridge.

Another summit Pic. Carnedd y Filiast

I don't really remember the next bit of the walk so i can only presume it was straightforward but heres a pic of the way off the ridge, except it was too dodgy today so we about turned and went back a bit and down. We bore left and went over a ladder stile further down (or up).The next summit was Mynydd Perfedd and it was definitely getting colder and windier.

There was some good stuff to see, classic sea floor lapping on the mountain which was interesting as we were at least 1500 feet up in the air! I never took a picture either such was the level of gobsmackedness. There was information flying at me from Max and Arenig but I cannot for the life of me remember it all. Very impressive it was at the time though. I must write notes and not leave this three weeks or so as i forget all the interesting (and funny) stuff. What I remember is the classic jokes that always come out when you put a group of lads in front of a self timing camera. I bet you are all smiling and nodding now aren't you.

From here it was across and up to Foel Goch. This bit was Skiddaw little man to Skiddaw in a mirror, i.e. the fence was on the left not the right, it was heathery grassy type ground and boggy in places. Right up until the final ascent. Shit it was steep. It was also like glass. Damn those crampons sat in the car. Still good mountain skills would get us up. Kick steps then.
Wheres Mike, oh he's gone up and off already. Steps were kicked but he's got little feet. He's also got a different psyche going up. If i'm kicking its straight up for me. The goat does zig zags, but he's incredibly hard and has titanium legs.
I set up the slope bashing holes in the compacted stuff. Its called Neve or something. Note to Berghaus - please put a rand on the Explorer Trek MKII. They would be perfect then. Its incredibly hard work, not falling over and slipping to potential death beneath. I'm a tad scared of heights but I was loving this. Someone behind me wasn't though.

It was about this point i hoped there was another way off. Much like Skiddaw last month it was a bit tricky going up and very dangerous to come down. I was paying attention to the quality of step I was kicking, hoping they weren't needed on the way back.

Soon we were at the top. Phew.

We didnt come back down that way. No brainer.

We could hear the MRT RAF helicopter flying around the area, hopefully training. We all hoped it wasn't going to be needed. Max, Glyn and Arenig discussed what to do. The rest of us tried not to be scared.
The plan was made and it was a trot off down the gentle incline in the general direction of Y Garn, then fall off, errrm turn right down the hill and pick up the path on the 600M contour (they didn't say that bit, they said lower down. I just checked the map as it sounds good)

I relaxed, this was very easy compared to the last hour or so. It didnt last long. the path was OK, wide enough to look up from your feet and admire the grey all around. Then we hit the neve again, it was about ten metres wide and an almost perfect band running vertically. More steps needed but straight across. With hindsight technically we did this wrong but got away with it. We went straight, whereas a diagonal going up slightly would have been better. Theres the path without the neve nasty icy bits.

It was time for some food. We hadn't done the 3000 footer yet............. We passed a lone walker who was going from whence we came. Hope he made it OK. Lunch was a quick affair at the bottom of the Elidir Fawr ridge. We followed the path round and some of the lads went for the high ground.

As they climbed I faffed about with the camera. The way cleared and I saw the path come up and meet the ridge further along. ha ha I thought and strode off. Glyn saw the same and came back down followed by everyone else.

The ridge got narrower and the slope became pronounced. More care needed again. Granty who's scared of heights was traversing at 6'2" not his full height of 6'7"

We were above 3000 feet now and it was gloomy.

Every now and again we'd get a glimpse of the reservior below:

Then finally it all cleared or blew away and there we were on the summit of Glyder Fawr. Max and Mike then started rooting through the stones near the summit shelter. They were indulging in a bit of geocaching, which basically is looking for a tupperware box with useless bits of stuff in it. They were obviously enjoying it so I left them too it and chatted to Granty who looked a bit peeky. To say he's shit scared of heights would probably be about right and he'd conquered a few demons today. well done mate if you ever read this.

Heres Team Red on the summit, notable that everyone was drinking eating and looking rather pleased with themselves. It was "hard" in every sense today.
The physical side of the day didnt bother me, my brain however was tired and i knew i'd been on a good one.

Everyone was in great spirits now and there was incessant chatter and laughter as we could all walk and see each other coming down off the mountain.
Glyn pointed out some stuff we could see and Geoff and Max joined in. Their passion for the area was infectious. I was wanting to come back and do the route again in better weather and we hadn't finished the day. We'd come off the ridge and were heading down to pick up the fence to take us to Glyder Fach where we came across an area of compacted snow perfect for sledging.
The biggest cheer of the day went up as Mike went arse over tit, I have never heard so much (good natured)abuse levelled at an individual ever. Mike was laughing the most. We all joined in the general larking about that grown up lads who do and should know better, but are back to being 8 year olds. Theres few better feelings in life though.
Max went swallow diving down the hill,there were a few snowballs flying around and some attempts at human ten pin bowling as we descended the rather steep slope down. My sides were aching from laughing as it was almost impossible to stay upright on the ice and snow. My sides were also aching from falling over. Me and Micky taking it in turns ripping the piss out of each other for the campness of fall. The slope must have been bad...the Goat got to the fence and handrailed all the way down. He's human after all!

Here we are all watching Granty (and Degsy)hoping they fell over (sorry lads). They didnt.

That was about it. Over to the summit of Glyder Fawr and a discussion about classification of mountains as it didnt look like 50 feet of relief. Without theodolytes and other surveying equipment (its in my other bag)we bowed to the OS people.

From here we walked off down to the road to pick up the cars. These crags caught my eye on the way down.

From there it was back to Bethedsa for a pint in the Y llangolen to met a legend who goes by the name of Squirrel. He wasnt there so he will have to wait. Geoff took us to a place called Ogwen Cottage, not sure why its called that but it was LSD for the eyes as we could see sonme outstanding peaks and ridges in Pen Yr ole Wen and the very very impressive ridge of Tryfan. We completely forgot the cold, the tiredness and the 4-5 hour journey back as we squealed and pointed out potential routes to climb. It was over too soon as it was now dark so we got back in the car and headed for home. An accident on the A55 near Wrecsam (whe heeey) saw us sat for about an hour and we got back to stoke at about 9PM. I fell through the front door of mine at just gone 10PM, an 18 hour day to walk seven miles and see almost bugger all. Bloody brilliant!


Micky - Sparring Partner, loves his walking as much as I do.
Granty - Scared of heights he might be but had the heart of a lion today
Arenig - or Derek i think is his "real" name. Very funny man indeed, razor sharp.
Max- sounds a bit girly but a genuine lovely feller
Geoff - same again, lovely feller and knows Snowdonia without a doubt
Glyn- Another funny chap, knew the hills like the back of his hand.
Mike- Mr Mountain goat. Great guy and what he doesnt know about mountains aint worth knowing.
Me- Grade 1 pillock and amateur mountaineer.