Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wam Bam Thank You Snowdonia

My tour of Wales completed in 30 hours. I set out from home at eleven am for the Cwmdu Fell Race and just got back at five pm today. A bit of a whirl wind and I do officially declare my legs broken - not actually broken but I think they might require some sort of resuscitation.

It was bloody marvellous up in Snowdonia. I arrived by about 8pm to the most fantastic evening sunshine and this morning was even better. As I drew back the curtains - yes, the van has curtains - there was not a cloud in the sky (except that fluffy white stuff hanging over Llywedd). Snowdon - once she came into view - was probably the most spectacular I've ever seen her.

Anyway, I set off just before eight and jogged along the road and up to Pen-y-Pass. To say the mountain was busy was an understatement. Even at such a relatively early hour there were hundreds of people out there for me to hunt down and pass. I didn't actually go over Snowdon today, climbing the Pyg Track to the top but turning right to Ugain rather than left to Snowdon. The most surprising thing was that I reached there just after nine and as I was on the last stages of the Pyg track walkers were already on their way down! What time did they get up!

So I headed over Ugain - and what a leg wobbler that was. I wasn't expecting there to be so much possibility of instant death from one slip of the foot. I really don't like heights and there were one or two points when I was hugging the rock face. After pooing my pants once or twice it was time to go up Crib Goch. Cue more pooing of pants. I didn't go over the ridge you only need to get to the summit and then back-track to the col before dropping down to Lyn Glas. I think I had an okay line down and making a mental snapshot of what I saw I think I will follow the same route in the race.

By the time I eventually got down from CG my legs were fair trashed. Having already ascended 3,000 feet up I have pretty much the same straight down and my legs were paying for yesterdays race. The jog down the road and then up to Glyder Fawr was enough. That climb was pretty close to 3,000 feet without respite. From the road to GF is pretty much just goes up and then up some more.

I decided to miss Tryfan. As I got to Glyder Fach, in the heat of the day gnawing at my reserves, I called it a day and dropped down to the Miners Track as directly as I could and then followed that down - and that wasn't easy. It was a rough old track, all several thousand feet of descent. It's surprising how hard going down hill can be sometimes.

All in all been a good couple of days. A 10 mile race and 3,000 feet of ascent and then 15 miles today with 6,000 feet of ascent. That's close to the highest ratio of distance to ascent I think I've ever done - bearing in mind that the last three miles were all down hill so the ascent was racked up in just 12 miles. I think I might sleep well tonight.....

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