On Friday 15th we were privileged enough to be able to celebrate Russell’s cousin Sean’s birthday. He also confided to us that he had never climbed a mountain, so we resolved to remedy that statistic with not 1, but 4 peaks. After a late night reunion and not much sleep, we took our party up the Carneddau range and the most impressive vistas in Snowdonia. Some were less enthusiastic about this than others (you know who you are, Emma).
The scramble up the first mountain meant that everybody had to pass an agility and courage test which was rewarded with Haribo all round (mountain superfood). The persistent veil of cloud was preventing the appearance of the incredible dramatic landscape which, never-the-less, broke occasionally to reveal washed out glimpses of hair-raising slopes and distant sea.
Peaks 1 and 2 conquered, we stomped off for the 3rd. After a period of chatting, snowball fights and laughter, tired legs and the relentless rise to reach Carnedd LLewelyn (the 3rd highest peak in England and Wales) left us at the top sitting in a group silence. We think perhaps having mistaken the top an hour prematurely might have had something to do with that…
The 4th peak looks much harder than it is, and the way up is an exciting, distracting scramble that leaves you feeling pretty good upon reaching the pinnacle. There was an early celebration when Nina announced that it was an easy 20mins stroll back to the car. An hour and a half later, she wasn’t anyone’s favourite person. But we all certainly deserved a big pub dinner.
There was a doubter amongst us (you know who you are, Paul), who bet Russell a drink that he wouldn’t get all of us round 4 mountains in one piece. Having contemplated ordering a pint of Courvoisier, Russell went easy on him, requesting a pint of diet coke and 9 straws, from which we all drank simultaneously as Paul took the photo.
We can’t put this any other way. The weather is amazing now. Is it February or July? We’re not even sure anymore. Visitors to us take total pot luck on the weather. And this lot were rewarded beyond our wildest dreams. On Sunday we stripped down to our t-shirts (yes you read that right) and took our high achievers on a beach stroll to get ice-cream.
Nina promised absolutely no hills after the strenuous efforts the day before, however the tide insisted otherwise, and we were soon scrambling around headland and up things which felt suspiciously like hills. It was a glorious day for a 4 hour walk, skimming pebbles on the water, and an impromptu shotput competition. Sometimes Wales has it all. We got a glimpse of what summer could be like out here… and we liked it.
Thanks to everyone for an epic weekend, and for not clubbing Russell to death when daring to take you on a 4 mountain, 7 and a half hour, 13 mile odyssey. You all handled it, and us, brilliantly.