I had never been that excited by going on a walking trip, but a friend’s birthday plans were to cram five guys in one small car and head to Snowdonia on a friday after work. It didn’t seem like too much of an ordeal. Apparently there is a cafe at the top?!
We fuelled ourselves on a hearty breakfast before setting off in the morning, calculating that we should reach the summit around lunchtime to enjoy a chai latte and toasted panini at the cafe. The wind was still bitterly cold and we could see the white caps of the summits we were about to scale. Not being seasoned walkers our gear was possibly not the most practical- ranging from running shoes, cycle gear and a general attitude that probably screamed “Hey! Look! We’re from London!”
My spirits soared as we got higher and higher, the terrain got steeper and more hostile and we were forced to really scramble and climb our way up. This actually felt like scaling a mountain, not the saturday stroll I had envisaged. We took the Crib Goch route, a sharp ascent followed by a long narrow ridge with long sheer drops either side. Once at this height the snow was settling and building up. The wind was forming it into dramatic ice crystals on the rocks. We had conquered the most challenging and beautiful section of the walk and reached the plateau to walk to the summit and the fabled cafe.
Much to our dismay, not only was the summit full of people who had caught a train up the other side of the mountain, the cafe was closed and all we had between us was a snickers and two tins of sardines that were brought along as a joke. “These are in case it turns into a survival situation, boys”. The joke was on us as we shared the sardines around.
We were determined to complete the horseshoe route around the lake and set off on the 4-5hr route back to base. Blistered and hungry as hell, we got back, ate heartily and I fell asleep on the sofa in the pub.