Ok – if there is an award for the longest and most overdue mountain report WE HAVE WON. It is now over a year since we completed mountain 9 and only now are we finally on here telling you all about it. HUGEST APOLOGIES!!
Tryfan in Snowdonia was number 9 and what a brilliant peak it was! Tryfan is a mountain in the Glyderau mountains of Snowdonia and tops out at 917 metres in height.
This time, we had managed to convince another wonderful group of friends from West Sussex to accompany us on our penultimate peak. The Cole Family and half of the Munns had bravely volunteered to join us. In addition we were thrilled to have Chloe and Clemmie, great great friends from Issie’s school, along for the trip as well.
The drive out of London to North Wales was as long as usual, fuelled by Easter traffic, but passed in a blur of music/selfies/videos/giggles and squeals from the back seat. With forecasts of an arctic blast the car was rammed to the rafters with extra jackets/thermal layers/walking poles and extra hats and gloves for our group. It was heaven to finally arrive in the mountains at our favourite Welsh Hotel, the Pen Y Grywd, in time for tea.
Over supper, there was much talk of kit and equipment and some nervous chat about what the next day might hold. But soon everyone was packed off to bed for some much needed sleep before the big day.
Our guide Rusty, who had so wonderfully guided us in Wales last year, was waiting for us early the next morning at breakfast. He briefed us on the latest mountain weather forecast which was for very cold weather, with the chance of snow or rain. The existing snow still lying on the ground had turned very icy and so we agreed a route via the South Ridge that would keep everyone safe and away from some very dangerous scrambles. After a quick 15 minute drive we made it to the starting point and as you can see below, spirits were high!
The teenagers set off at a breakneck speed as usual (literally running!) and left the older of us (including Rusty) puffing along at the back.
The route we were taking took us up from the start on the valley floor. The first hour was steep going, straight off the bat and tested everyone’s stamina right from the start.
As the sky looked increasingly threatening we marched on, following the giggles and songs from the younger members of the group up front. Soon, one of our guides had to shoot off to catch them all up and make sure they followed the right route, while we tried to catch up!
All too soon, the grass and moss started to disappear and we were following a path covered with snow and ice. A stop at a loch, about two hours along the route was a chance to refuel, take some photographs and to try and get a glimpse of the top.
Spirits were super high, as you can see!
Leaving the loch behind us, the next stage of the route followed a winding route up to a gate on the South Ridge.
The path took us up into the mist and cloud as we tried to glimpse a sighting of the top to no avail. Haribos and chocolate were consumed in haste as the cold really began to affect everyone and wet gloves started to take their toll. But there was still time for a quick stop to look at the beautiful icicles hanging off the rocks either side of our path.
The last hour saw everyone a little quieter as the terrain changed dramatically and we had to use arms and legs to clamber and scramble up the increasingly steep path. Luckily the mist had really closed in, so we couldn’t see the plunging drop either side of our route.
At last we could see the top! Huge hugs all round as the last person climbed and scrambled up to the summit. Hot ribena, chocolate and lots of laughter – we’d all done it, the top of number 9!
What a wonderful feeling and all the better for having such great school friends of Issie’s with us!
The walk down was much quicker and included dips in freezing lakes, snow angels and lots of singing!
At last we made it to the bottom and home and for a huge supper, hot baths and lots more laughter. What a wonderful, wonderful trip. Thank you to all the fab friends that made it so special. Just one more to go now…..