Summertime, and the living is easy


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).


can you guess which one of us is NOT feeling enthusiastic?

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.


With old buddy Tryfan in the background, everyone still feeling like smiling for the camera

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.


facing the heavens


cokeThere 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.


the sun brings out the poser in all of us (you know who you are, Patrick)

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.


We’ve had a request to end our posts less abruptly, so please enjoy the serenity and peace that this lovely sunset over Criccieth castle evokes. Until next week…



17 thoughts on “Summertime, and the living is easy

  1. Pingback: Free Ice Cream Here | Gelli Power

    • Thanks – got to admit that they aren’t all (in fact most of them aren’t) ours from this week. Everyone seemed to have a camera so we made use of it. Russell concentrated on orienteering and I concentrated on…er…chatting away to anyone that would listen. It obviously works though!

    • Great to see you on the team photo Flo, on a computer screen, in a warm pub. Which is exactly where these things need to be viewed in my opinion. That was pretty immense what you guys did out there. I’m so glad I stayed at home. We are really enjoying your blog. We’d like to get so good at posting quickly that we give you a run for your money at that too!

  2. 17/32 of them pics were mine (plus I also took the one of you all drinking the diet coke, i was made to buy Russell, so technically 18/32 are mine!) Your welcome ‘Penners’ AKA Charlotte and ‘A well wisher’! How random is that comment? You going to respond to her request and write the back story for your next post? Wouldn’t be too bad i suppose. I prefer this method of writing the blog, no names at the start, just guess work. Nina first half and Russell second, am i right? Also you forgot to mention me blowing a blood vessel in that game of Mafia on the last night!

    • Yes Paul, many of those pictures were yours and Lena’s. I’m sure you’re right about all 18 of them. So thank you for your wonderful contribution all weekend, and of course that which is now permanently in the annals of time in this here blog. I know! that comment from Charlotte was awesome. It’s taken us a week of patting ourselves on the back and starting an About Us page to even reply to her (which is pretty rubbish really). Do you think it’s all going to our heads? (we thought it best not to/never to mention, or play Mafia again. Ok?) Nina xx

  3. Just seen the most recent blog post, its awesome – love standing in front of the heavens. Just wanted to reiterate what an amaising time I had with the gang up there in those hills. Thank you again for hosting us so impeccably. Looking forward to reuniting with our crew for another adventure soon. x P.s Last night I dreamt I was a falcon flying over the mountains of snowdonia! x

  4. I’m a new follower of your blog, having stumbled across it when googling for a mountain cottage in Snowdonia, and I’m loving it! I’ve never read blogs or blogged myself before, but yours is lovely. I grew up in North Wales and used to go on day trips to the west coast, just down from where you are (around Fairbourne and Barmouth) so I’m loving all the beautiful photos you’re posting. And we’ve just got back from a holiday in the Coed-Y-Brenin forest at the weekend (also in a lovely little remote stone cottage, but with running water etc.!) and know what you mean about how amazing the weather was. We did an 8 mile run out and back on Harlech beach with our border collie — it was magical. I love the beaches on the west Wales coast — especially in winter when you pretty much have the whole beach to yourself.

    One question — how did you manage to find the cottage you’re staying in? Also, I’d love to hear the background story of how / why you decided to leave the South East and spend 6 months in the hills. I’m living vicariously — I’d absolutely love to do the same! I run every day on the trails in the Surrey Hills with my dog, but it’s not the same as the mountains and beaches of Snowdonia. It’s such a special place.

    Keep having fun and here’s hoping that the warmer weather is set to stay!


    • Charlotte. We apologise for the delay in replying. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. We both felt really enthused by it. We too are new to blogs and posting. There is quite an incredible community out there.

      Totally know what you mean about the beaches in the winter. I’ve looked on google earth at Blackrock Sands and it seems to turn into a car park in summer. Although I guess that has its charm too. I’m longing for a dog out here myself.

      Well done with the weather. In Britain luck like that doesn’t come around often. I used to go on holiday to Barra with my family every year, and I remember only one time we had summer-like weather. And I don’t think I’ve ever been in paradise like it since.

      In response to your question about the cottage and why we left for the hills, we’ve started an About Us page which needs some updating already – so give it another look over next week too and we should have it better polished! But in short, we thought that if an opportunity like this comes along and hits us in the face, we can either grab it and run with it – or run away. Russell is not a run away kind of a guy! And I came up with the idea in the first place so there was no backing down the track. And we couldn’t do it without the amazing support from the owners of this cottage!

      Great to have you following us – and give us a shout if you’re heading back this way as maybe we could go for a run together. We’ve found some beautiful and exciting routes.

      All the Best,

  5. .Fearless family which is great. just hope you remember to respect those hills, they’re no playground.. Photo’s easily the best ever.

    • I know – with all the accidents at the moment, respect is certainly in the forefront of our minds. I’m reading ‘I Bought A Mountain’, which although written in 1930s – is an incredible description of farming life in the hills of Snowdonia. The author regularly reminds me of what you say. On a sunny, mild day, they don’t half feel like a playground eh? As Paul mentions later in the comments, more than half of the photos are his.

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