The 7-9th March marked Snowdonia take 2 – the second attempt at our annual Snowdonia trip. The first trip was cancelled because of the weather, but we braved the gale force winds this time and had a brilliant weekend as a result.
The Students’ Union did it again! They promised us a minibus and then announced they didn’t have enough buses. To compromise they loaned us two 9-seater MPVs, but we only had one driver. Seb (bravely) offered to drive, despite not having driven since he passed his test 3 years ago. It was an exhilarating ride for those involved – he drove on the hard shoulder, stalled on a sliproad (at 40mph) and nearly wiped out a randomer. Despite his best efforts, we made it to Snowdonia in one piece.
We sat in the hut that night and planned routes for the following day, accompanied by whisky and £3.99 wine. People dropped off to bed one-by-one until just five of us remained, absolutely smashed and unable to head to bed because we couldn’t stop laughing (I can’t even remember why). There was a game called ‘try and open the bedroom door without laughing’, which was impossible, and I think there was a suggestion of the game ‘try and open the bedroom door without getting an erection’. Don’t ask…
Eventually we made it to bed around 3.30ish. I was just drifting off when I heard a loud bang followed by, “Ouch, you c***!” as Will discovered the peril of the low ceilings.
We were woken in the night by something extraordinary. Liam Moran snoring! It’s animalistic.
The 7am alarm nearly killed me.
The next morning we split into five groups. One group did some of the climbs on the west face of Tryfan, another group did the Watkins path, one group did the east ridge of Y Garn, one group did (their own variation of) Atlantic Slab, and Steve went for a valley walk (I eventually forced him to do Y Garn with us). Various stories emerged from the day, such as Lois falling over hundreds of times, Kimberly getting blown away by the wind and Wildblood dropping his bag 300m down a scramble.
My group had a great day on Y Garn. The scrambling was fantastic and we managed to duck out the wind for most of the day. We had to skip the last section of scrambling because it was too exposed in the wind, but found some snow patches to practice ice axe self arrests instead. When we topped out it was almost impossible to walk in the wind and a few people had to remain roped up to stop Kimberly blowing away. My personal highlight of the day was the result of Steve going for a wee in the turbulent wind at the summit – more went on his coat than on the floor. Quote, “It’s so windy I had to shut my mouth”.
We returned to the hut alive and demolished the spag bol before breaking out the beers and playing some ridiculous games. Cleaning the hut the next morning was… interesting, and was hindered by Steve being, well, himself. We split into four groups the next day – some went and conquered the infamous mine expedition, one group did Tryfan north ridge, another group did Bristly Ridge and the last group did the Cneifion Expedition. The wind had dropped which made the day a lot more pleasant, although there was a bit of cloud on the summits.
The day for my group began with doing the 150m climb of Sub Cneifion Rib. It’s the first (and last) time I’ve done a slab climb in walking boots. Some brilliant climbing led us nearly to the base of the Cneifion Arete, which I had wanted to do for ages due to the intriguing description in the guidebook: “get as close to the edge as you dare”. We instantly regretted showing that to Wildblood, who took it literally and decided to do a headstand on the edge. It was a brilliant scramble with a good mix of large holds and fantastic exposure.
When we returned to the car park, one bus drove off instantly, therefore missing out on all the fun to follow. We decided the only way to end the trip was a swim in Llyn Ogwen, so stripped down to boxers, ran across the road and jumped in the lake. It turns out Chris Irwin is Bambi when he touches water, as he stacked it twice and impaled his foot all in the space of 30 seconds. As I climbed out I was made aware of my classic rookie error: white boxers + water = transparent.
We started heading back south and stopped at Burger King on the way home, where I made the biggest mistake of the trip. I followed Liam into the toilet, and worse still, it wouldn’t flush. A quote from Liam will stay with me for a while: “That touched the water before it left my ass”.
It was another great trip with a great bunch of people! I hope everybody enjoyed it as much as I did. Unfortunately, due to exams, that’s probably the last trip of the academic year. Don’t sweat though, I’ve got plenty of wild and ambitious plans in the pipework for next years’ trips, so keep your eyes and ears peeled. Until then, keep an eye out on the facebook page for day trips, socials, Steve bashing and Camilla jokes.
(Sorry the trip report took so long, I sort of forgot about it. And when I eventually came to write it I’d forgotten everything that had happened, so let me know what your group got up to and send some photos my way)