I love mountains; I like tall, high places in general, but mountains I love. Being at the peak overlooking the land below, the journey on the way up seeing the views and scenery, catching the odd whiff of the flora and fauna as I pass by the heathers and ferns. This all adds to the anticipation of the stunning view about to behold.
Now, I say love them; I love them when they’re accessible by car, and I’m driving….
When I’m driving I look around, there’s no pressure, I just trundle along taking it all in. It’s easy and relaxed.
I have found however, that the walking, trekking, hiking, whatever you want to call it is really hard work !!
I don’t love it!
This week is a case in point, I’m in Snowdonia for a few days, I’d selected a camp site Llyn Gwynant that’s not too far from Snowdon, possibly the most popular mountain peak in the UK, it’s popularity assisted by a railway that takes you within a few yards of the top.
How I wish that I’d made use of the Railway as hundreds of thousand of tourists had done so before me!
The campsite is around 2 miles from Pen-y-pass, the starting point for the closest tracks that take you to Snowdon, I figured that 2 miles isn’t too far, it should take maybe an hour to walk dependent upon the incline to get up there, simple.
After a gruelling 2hrs(!) during a mile of which I had to wade through thigh aching mud that covered the top of my boots, watery marshland halfway up my shins and then the expected final mile of incline, by the time I reached the start of the tracks to Snowdon I was already weary, had gone up 1000ft in altitude and was not in good shape!
After a short rest and fired up with stubbornness (stupidity?), I headed off to Snowdon.
There are two tracks to take, Pyg Track, or, Miners Track. Pyg Track is more direct to the summit however is reportedly difficult all of the way. Miners track is more sedate for most of the way but there’s a steep scree climb at the end.
I chose Miners track, for two reasons 1, there are a couple of lakes along the way that I figured looked like nice stop off points to rest, and 2, as it’s more sedate, at least my legs wouldn’t be as overloaded as they had been for the past 2 hours….
Sedate is a relative term I guess, over the next two an a half hours, I’d (barely) managed to cover about 3 miles and again raise 1000ft. This is not the sedate I had in mind.
It had been a nice walk past the lakes but a lot harder going than I expected, I’d now gotten to the steep scree climb that was the way up to the top.
It was only a few hundred feet up, but knowing it was probably another 1000ft incline up to the summit I wasn’t going to make it!
I’d now been walking for about four and and a half hours, I’d covered only 5 miles. And I was knackered!
I turned around and started walking all the way back. This time, once I got back to the start of Miners track, I walked to the campsite via nice flat road.
After 7 and a half hours and almost 12 miles. I got back to the Landy realising just how unhealthy and overweight I am!