Snowdon failed attempt and Bothy sleep over
Readers may know that I’ve been participating in the year of microadventure challenge. We started in January and somehow, despite very busy lives, I along with my brother (Lee) have managed to complete 1 microadventure per month. As December would mark the successful completion of the challenge we wanted to mark the occasion. We chose to visit Snowdon in Wales and to try out a bothy for the 1st time! For the uninitiated read what a bothy is here.
As we were going to drive 2 and a half hours plus we chose to start the day early and make an attempt at the highest peak in Wales, Snowdon via the intimidating ridge of Crib Goch, not for the faint hearted.
Arriving at the car park it was looking likely that we would have to re-think our route. The wind was getting very strong and it was not safe to try and cross the ridge, as a fall would be a very bad scenario. We took the pig track under Crib Goch and we managed to get 2 miles along the route before the weather started to deteriorate. Very quickly winds whipped up to 80mph. We connected ourselves together with a rope for safety and at the time I thought Lee was getting a bit overzealous, I was wrong. A gust of wind hit our group and I saw Lee get blown off the path, I braced to catch him on the rope but before I knew what was happening I was following him down the bank of rocks! For a moment I thought we might be in some real trouble, but landing ontop of my brother I came to a stop. We gave a thumbs up to let a very nervous Joe, who was holding onto one end of the rope and still on the path, know we were both ok. After we stopped laughing like idiots we climbed back up to the path. This, you might think, was the point we turned back, it was not. We continued onwards like fools until the weather became much worse (rain was added to the mix) and looking at the path ahead, the risk was not worth taking.
After the hike, we headed to a bothy about 30miles south located in a forest. We parked the truck on a nearby access “road” (read track) put on our sodden packs and headed into the pitch black forest, aided by head torches of which mine was next to useless, to find a place to sleep for the night. Finding the place didn’t take too long, we first spotted the roof of the building and as we came into the clearing we noticed a very disconcerting sight. Parked in front of the bothy was a 4x4, no keys but both doors wide open on one side. Normally nothing too usual but when you come across this site in the middle of a dark, quiet forest you start to think about every horror movie you’ve seen and the phrase “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”. We circled around to the front, Joe sheepishly opened the front doors and asked into the dark building “hello, is this the bothy?” A welsh voice replied “yes, you're in the right place.” We entered the front room to be greeted by a group of 2 tucking into some chilli and bread. They had brought a load of fire wood and had the wood burner on the go. The place was warm, dry and lit by the glow of the fire and candle lights that had been placed strategically around the room. At this point I knew I was going to like this bothying thing.
We tucked into some beef stew provided by Lee, while chatting to our new friends. Then we took a room upstairs, laid out our sleeping mats and bags, hung out our wet gear to dry and spent the rest of the night drinking whisky and laughing about our close call on that mountain. I will never take the piss out of my brother again, thank god for that rope, safety 1st people.
Ok that’s the back story now on with the photo’s enjoy…
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