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Welsh 3000s – 5 July 2003

Sue and I were the only takers for this year's attempt and after stoking up with pasta after work we drove down to Cae Du campsite at Beddgelert by 10pm. The toilet block was being rebuilt so a tap and 3 portaloos were the only facilities on offer. We were asleep and away from the midges by 11pm but woken by revelers back from the pub soon afterwards.

Our progress on the walk, which I am told is 33½ miles in length and involves about 11,800 feet of ascent and a bit more than that of descent, is tabulated below:

Location Time Comment
Cae Du campsite at Beddgelert SH598486 Friday night - 2200 Nant Peris campsite would have been a better choice
Ditto 0330 Saturday Alarm – get up!
Pen-y-Pass SH647557 0400 to 0410 Start up Pyg Track. Cool and cloudy. Back light for watch needed, but no torch - a perfect time to start
1. Crib Goch SH624552 0515 to 0520 First summit, in the vicinity of 3 other groups, including a trio of Oxford medics, after a lovely red sunrise
Early morning on the path up Crib Goch
Sue strolls up to the start of the scramble over Crib Goch
2. Crib y Ddysgl (Garnedd Ugain) SH611552 0610 The cloud came down here, and we were alone on the hill after a slight diversion as a result of not sticking to the ridge
3. Snowdon SH609543 0625 to 0630 Several groups seen here, including a lone lady who we tracked all the way to Foel Fras

Nant Peris Car Park SH606584

Support point for bacon butties and tea, ably provided by Alan Roberts

After being rudely awoken by our wake up call, Alan was ready with an excellent bacon buttie

0755 to 0810
(0345 to 0400 from start)
The following descent route proved efficient and allowed us to catch up other groups:
Descend to Clogwyn Station, then along left side of track for ½ mile. Then on grass to right of line towards a rounded green prominence. Over a very small stile, then down a steep grass ridge to the right towards the valley, tending left on steep grass towards the bottom. After a high stile in deep bracken at foot of slope go diagonally left and cross the footbridge to Nant Peris
4. Elidir Fawr SH612613 0940 to 0945 After a slightly boggy ascent (wet feet) the top was in mist, but conditions were excellent - cool and calm. Other groups were in the distance ahead and behind
5. Y Garn SH631595 1040 to 1045  
The view from Y Garn towards Llyn Idwal and Llyn Ogwen, with Tryfan
View from Y Garn
Llyn y Cwn SH638585 1100 to 1110 The path from Devil’s Kitchen joins here, enabling drop outs to descend or supporters to join up for the walk over the Glyders. Alan provided excellent support from his huge sack - a choice of hot chocolate, coffee, tea or barley water, and also butties
6. Glyder Fawr SH642579 1140 Suitably refreshed, we sped up to here, followed by Alan
7. Glyder Fach SH656583 1210 to 1215 Intermittent cloud cleared to reveal the Cantilever Rock. Lots of people out for the day
Bwlch Tryfan SH662589 1245 Alan caught up here, after the steep scree descent, and provided further support before heading back down to replenish his supplies
8. Tryfan SH664594 1320 to 1325 Sue repairs her feet at the summit of Tryfan  Sue by Adam and Eve
Idwal Cottage SH649604 Support point at the Car Park by the kiosk and toilets

1425 to 1440
(1015 to 1030 from start)

We descended south in lovely clear conditions towards Bwlch Tryfan, cutting across to the descent path by an obvious line. We had wet feet as a result of using Salomon shoes (recommended) and a change of socks was most welcome - Sue had already changed hers on Y Garn
9. Pen yr Ole Wen SH655619 1600 to 1610 Phew! Time for some photos.....
After the last big climb, Martin is happy to be on the summit of Pen yr Ole Wen, with Tryfan behind
Martin on Pen yr Ole Wen with Tryfan

Llyn Idwal and Glyder Fawr, with Snowdon
10. Carnedd Dafydd SH663630 1635 By now we had caught up the 3 medics first encountered at the start of the day. They proved good company over the Carneddau
11. Yr Elen SH674651 1735 to 1745 We reached here very efficiently by contouring to the south west of Carnedd Llewelyn. Sue was fading on this section and needed sugary sustenance on the pleasant summit, with good all round views. Cameras were exchanged with the medics
Sue and Martin on Yr Elen with the Welsh coast behind
Sue and Martin at Yr Elen
12. Carnedd Llewelyn SH683643 1810 to 1815 The mist suddenly came down as we reached the rocky summit, so a bearing was taken for the first time
13. Foel Grach SH688658 1840 It was near here that one of the medics tried to sell us a book written by his elder brother! 'Mountains of the Mind' - Robert MacFarlane (review to follow)
14. Garnedd Uchaf SH686669 1855 Not always regarded as a separate summit, but en route. Our support team - Alan and his huge rucksack - were on hand to greet us
15. Foel Fras SH696681
With Alan, our trusty support vehicle, on Foel Fras

1920 to 1935

That’s all the summits in 14 hours. Precisely the timetabled result!
Here we celebrated with the lone woman, the medics, and a group of old runners who had started on Snowdon at 0715. One of them was 68 years old - he whinged at the lack of champagne and ran off

Road head up Afon Anafon (the end of the road out of Abergwyngregyn) SH676716

Final collection point

(1645 from the start - a long day out)
We turned north west at the col before Drum (SH706690) and descended to join the track at Llyn Anafon, whilst the medics headed on over Drum. By 2200 we had picked up fish and chips in Llanberis and were eating them at Idwal Cottage as the light dimmed over Pen yr Ole Wen. Alan was reunited with his own car at Pen-y-Pass and returned home, whilst Sue and I headed back to the midgy Cae Du camp site to brave the company of a new set of drunken revelers and another disturbed night's sleep

Thanks go to Alan for providing magnificent support, and commiserations to Tony who missed a good day out due to illness.

We had suggested keeping in touch with our support team using mobile phones. They worked coming off Snowdon, but there was no reception on Y Garn and we didn't use them after that as we kept very accurately to a timetable that I had guesstimated prior to the walk.

We have always used Cae Du camp site. This year that was a mistake. The medics we met were camping at Nant Peris, so could pick up gear from their tents when passing after 4 hours. That was sensible and I plan to use the Nant Peris camp site next time round.

This was a most satisfying and successful day, especially for Sue whose ambition was to get as far as Idwal Cottage.

Should those crocks and wimps who couldn't make it this year wish to have a go next year, please let me know and a trip will be planned.

Martin Banfield
July 2003

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