It is winter and a cold one in Wales with more snow that usual. Even this morning, 4 days after my sleepover on Cadair Idris I am in Caernarfon and it snowed here on the coast this morning. Cadair on the other hand is known for wild and wicked weather. Mountain Rescue spends a good amount of time pulling people off this deceptively dangerous mountain. It's height of just under 3,000 ft. and it's danger factor are not equal comparisons.
I ascended with waterproof pants, Gortex hat (which got lost on the ascent), Gortex coat, heavy gloves, boots designed for subzero temperatures, under layers for warmth, and a subzero sleeping bag in my backpack.
Now, on the other hand it had turned out to be a decent day. Ascending was not going to be the problem on that afternoon. I still had to sleep over in a stone hut. Hidden from the elements - except the dangerously low cold temps.
Sleeping bag did the job. Although I was terribly uncomfortable, I was generally toasty through the night.
So, I arose just before dawn to these sights: A rising sun, lights of the villages below snaking thruogh the valleys, and clouds to the south beneath the mountain top.
Once i had packed my bags it was time to descend the mountain. The sights on the way down were as breathtaking as those ascending the previous day. My hip had not recovered fully from the pinched nerve feeling, and although going downhill was easier it was still a struggle to keep moving. Stopping to take some of these photos helped. There were alien snowscapes, beautiful views, and stream to drink from (hopefully not too much sheep poo in the stream, but then these are the waters at the famous Ty Nant.
Once I arrived at the car park I found my beloved Gortex hat by the car. It had been returned there for me by descending hikers the previous day. This is one of many reasons everyone should come to Wales - it is a friendly, helpful place in my experiences. There were other people preparing to ascend as I returned. Two guys from England, and two Welsh ladies. One lady asked if I had already gone up and back down that day. I replied that I only had come down, because I slept on the mountain.
She replied, "Are you pulling my leg?"
"No, I slept on the mountain last night."
"Are you pulling my leg?" she replied again.
"No, I slept on the top of the mountain last night."
The guys responded at this point, "Well, you have our respect."
I am hoping to get a little decent poetic prowess over this - that's all. Or maybe, having a good story to tell my future grandkids, or spin in a pub someday will be good enough.
for information on climbing Cadair Idris, and it's various routes see my initial post on the mountain.