Thursday, February 18, 2010
Accomplished #1: Climbing Cadair Idris
The Pony Path is one of the easy routes up the mountain, but being out of shape and carrying a large pack with my sub-zero sleeping bag and other overnight needs I was definitely stretched even in some of the early parts of the walk. Somewhere along the second half of the climb I was having some significant pain in my hip, which felt like a pinching nerve. This caused me to have to stop every couple hundred yards as I neared the top, and slowed my progress sufficiently enough to wonder if I would be okay with this crazy plan to sleep on the mountain in the winter.
To make matters worse I had dropped my beloved black gortex hat somewhere along the path while rearranging my gear, and it was too late to go back for it by the time I realized what happened. There were other hikers going up and down the mountain, and I asked them to leave it at the car if they found it on the way down, but I gave up seeing my old hat ever again.
I reached the summit as the last people descending were leaving. Between stopping for the many photos I took and to sit down and rest my hip it was a long slow climb. It was clear for most of the climb. This is somewhat rare for Cadair Idris I am told, but as I reached Pen-y-Cadair (the summit) a bank of gray clouds rushed in from the west like a fast moving train, and enveloped me, and the top of Cadair.
Just below the peak was a stone hut, which is used by campers to spend the night. Needless to say I was the only one there on this winter night. So, I hunkered down in the hut, and set up my sleeping spot on a wooden bench which was frozen with an thin ice sheet across it's top.
This darn mountain had better make poets out of madmen, because I was sleeping on an ice sheet like a madman and the legend that sleeping on the mountain will make you mad or a poet was going to be at least half true by the time the night was over.
Below are some of my many photos of the climb:
my post here
The next post will cover waking and descending Cadair Idris. The verdict is still out on my insanity or my poetic prowess.
part two of the photos and story