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Our August journey to Snowdon - the highest summit in Wales
The rain lashed down as we assembled in Treks Bunkhouse in the Vale of Ffestiniog for a weekend getaway, and Snowdon itself was our Saturday objective. Despite the lack of any views from the bunkhouse, we settled down to dinner with enough hot drinks and wine to keep us going through the evening.
I tried to describe what the view would look like, but luckily the next morning we were rewarded with a clear valley, the Moelwyn hills visible against the high clouds. At the end of the valley we could even see a calm sea in Tremadog Bay.
The forecast for the day was light rain in the morning, with the clouds slowly clearing in the afternoon. This was, in the end, exactly what happened, but it didn’t really help in our wet approach to the highest mountain in Wales. Our route was the Ranger’s Path, an excellent walking route for bad weather because of the lack of slippery sections.
In-between the showers of rain, we were treated to some views of the surrounding hills, which vanished mysteriously into the cloud. The upper path disappeared and reappeared and once we were higher, the cloud closed in for good and all we could see was each other and the lonely rocks of the high mountain.
Congratulating everyone on reaching the summit, we huddled into a shelter for lunch and watched the train arriving at the summit station, an appealing way down but which would sadly take us into the wrong valley!
Luckily, our perseverance paid off, and on the way back down it didn’t rain once, the wind dropped, and the mist lifted. The veil of cloud was swept away and revealed the Irish Sea in the sunshine, dozens of surrounding mountains, the Isle of Anglesey and the Llyn Peninsula. This Western side of Snowdon is excellent for these views, and by the time we reached the bottom we were in shirts and sunglasses.
It is these changes in the mountain weather that mean walking in the hills can be such a different experience every time you go. From dense fog to expansive views, and from rain to sun, we had it all. In a way, it was more of a story than if we’d just had blue sky all day!
That evening we sat out in the garden for drinks and snacks before dinner, and then later watched the Perseid meteor shower under a clear starlit sky. Champagne, Prosecco and Cava all came out to play, and we went to bed a happy bunch.
Sunday was sunny and clear, and we put on our usual leg-stretching walk, this time in the woodland at the end of the valley, stopping by lakes to watch damselflies in the bright sunshine and looking out over the estuary from rocky viewpoints. These relaxing few hours ended at the pub, and a final celebration of a weekend full of variety.
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