The Wrong Trousers

Trip Start Oct 10, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Mynadd Mountaineer's Hut

Flag of United Kingdom  , Wales,
Saturday, December 12, 2009

Did I mention that I packed in a rush? Something was bound to have been forgotten. Usually it is something small, like the sugar or the phone charger. This time, however, I managed to forget all of Saskia's trousers. The only thing she had to cover her bottom half was her school dress or a pair of pyjamas. A spectacular omission, if I say so myself.

We took a shopping trip out to the gear shop at Betws-y-coed stopping only to take some pictures of the stunning Crafnant Lake. There were some superb, padded, ski-grade trousers in the sale at half price so we put them on. I bought a pair of spare laces and re-threaded the boot that had the lace in imminent danger of snapping.

We set off for the hills in high spirits, with Saskia already snug in her new grey salopettes. The alarm went off as we left the shop. We went back in and Saskia sat on the counter to have the ink tag removed.

We set off for the hills again.

Moel Siabod towers above Capel Currig, bare, rugged and rocky. We parked down by the river, where the Afon Liugwy flows down a series of short waterfalls. The path heads straight up, through the wood and out into sheep land. We passed a farm, then a disused mill. Saskia took her first break after about ten minutes. I persuaded her to make it a little further by bribing her with toffees.

It takes less than an hour to wander up to the feet of the hill proper. The ridge rises up like the backbone of a dragon, spiky and hard. It becomes more of a scramble than a walk at this point. We climbed higher, using hands and feet to navigate the jutting rocks.

Behind us, the view grew ever greater. Looking towards Betws-y-coed, we could see for miles and miles and miles. To the north, the hills looked like waves, flowing across the landscape.

The higher we climbed, the colder the wind became. It was close to freezing and the wind-chill was making us shiver if we stopped moving. We made it as far as the false summit before stopping for lunch. We were probably at around 840m. The true summit is 876m.

Exposed slopes in December are not ideal for picnics. There was a biting easterly wind and Saskia was starting to get miserable, so we called it a day and headed back down. Back at the car, 600m lower, the temperature read 5C and there was still an hour before dark.

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