Report by Jo Bradwell:
The 18th June was the Saturday nearest mid-summer’s day – the traditional day for the Summer Walk. Since there was a general lack of interest in anything spectacular such as a trip to Scotland or the Bob Graham Round, the Welsh 3000’s became the target. 15 peaks are now included with an extra one, Carnedd Gwenllian, between Foel Grach and Foel-fras, albeit just a bump on the ridge. Spellings have also changed or the mountains; Crib y-Ddysgl is now only a ridge on the mountain Garnedd Ugain.
Planned some months ahead but with few takers from the Ecuador members we opted for the Bryn Tyrch Inn in Capel Curig that we had used last year. Traditional hotels that we have used in the past such as Cobden’s and the Pen-y-Gwryd have become rather dilapidated and it seems the Bryn Tyrch has taken over the upper end of the market. Turnout was modest and mostly the stalwarts of the BMRES including Jo Bradwell (and Barbara), John Delamere, John Milles, Alex Wright, Tim Harvey, Maggie Beasley, Chris Imray, Edward Bradwell, Annie Bradwell and fiancé, Jonathon Hunter. The medical students that turned up were Ben Talks, Henry Crosland, Catherine Campbell and Rebecca Bestwick all of whom camped a few miles down the road.
The oldies were not up for the 3000’s apart from Chris but the students and Ed were keen so with a 5.25am start on top of Crib-goch they clambered past numerous people on the busiest day of the year to Snowdon then down from Clogwyn station to Nant Peris. Chris had bivouacked by his car after coming up from a meeting in London so made a great effort but had little sleep. They all slithered down on the slippery slopes with Chris twisting his knee badly under a stile and retiring later on Y Garn but then fell and grazed his arm badly on the way back to his car. The remaining five finished off the Glydders and Tryfan including the intimidating jump from Adam to Eve (Ed pictured). Pumped by the adrenalin surge, it was a Fell run down to Llyn Ogwen and the life-saving café. But time was against them; instead of the planned 1.00pm it was by then 4.30pm. And, it was the big race day for the 3000’s and the Three Peaks (Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis), so there were hundreds of people with multitudinous little red flags to follow making route finding easy. However, it is a long route so the pace slowed and by 6.30pm they were only on the 9th summit – Pen yr Ole Wen. After a desperate phone call, I agreed to leave Ed’s car beyond Drum on the north end of the walk so he could drive back, since clearly they would miss the hotel dinner at 8.30pm.
The rest of us, after a leisurely breakfast, climbed past the MAM hut to the top of Pen yr Ole Wen then Carnedd Dafydd and Carnedd Llewelyn. We were largely in the mist on the summits but it was warm and partially sunny out of the clouds. John Milles did well with his new hip, John Del was ok limping on his twisted ankle while the oldest member Alex at 79 was out in front. I was rather slow but the first big walk for over a year. Annie, Barb and John Hunter coped easily enough. We lunched on the top of Carnedd Llewelyn, huddling from the wind and mist in a ring of stones then walked easily down to the reservoir track and back to the car parked below Tryfan in brightening weather. We were very lucky to remain dry since it had rained most of the week.
The 3000’ers were slow and after depositing Ed’s BMW at the car park, Barb and I only just got back in time for dinner but not a sign of them Eventually, after some worries and talk of mountain rescue, most went to bed but they finally arrived in the hotel at 11.45pm having competed all 15 peaks in 15 hours 59 and 46 seconds (running the last few hundred yards in the setting sun) with a further two hour walk-off from Foel-fras to the car. Pitch black and they were knackered. It was much more than any of them had imagined. 76,400 paces. We fed them sandwiches and beers and finally got to bed at 00.45am. They had done really well.
Tim and Maggie, rather than walk, undertook their first rock climb in 14 years – Craig-yr-Ysfa – in fine style and were back for 7.00m after a 10-hour day.
All were happy having had a great day out.
Next day was a slow start and a gentle drive home in the rain that had come to haunt us again.
Photos mostly by Henry Crosland: