Friday, 20 July 2012

My Mountain Adventure

About a year ago, a good friend and I went up Glyder Fach; a mountain in Snowdonia.  It was a moderately entertaining story and I’d like to share it all with you.  I don’t like to use people’s real names, so, for the sake of argument, my friend’s name is Tiberius.  As far as you know, Tiberius is his actual name.  It should be anyway.

Tiberius and I were planning to drive to Snowdonia to film stuff on the top of the mountain at sunrise.  Because the sun rises at about 4am in June, we had to get up there pretty early.  His ambitious plan was for us to leave the South-East at 7pm on Friday, arrive at the foot of the mountain at about 1am on Saturday, and climb straight up.  We had these handy lights that we could strap round our heads so we felt okay about it being pitch black;  As well as being useful, they also made us look really cool:

Tiberius and I were actually very sensible about this mountain climbing- we packed our heavy-duty walking boots, waterproof climbing trousers, base layers, fleeces and scarves, and we had plenty of snacks for when we were climbing.  I’d spent all day Friday making sandwiches and cookies and we felt absolutely ready to face this beast of a climb:

After a 7 hour drive we arrived at the foot of Glyder Fach, a little later than we’d hoped, at 2am.  Feeling pumped, I proceeded to give Tiberius a list of things that I would need out of the back of the car: “I’ll need my walking boots, my trousers, my gloves, my hat…”

“Yes.” Tiberius said fearfully, looking in the back seat.  “That’ll be in the suitcase which we forgot to bring.”

I thought he was joking for a moment, but I quickly realised that he wasn’t.  After a minute of finding it all quite funny, we were faced with the grim reality of the situation; there was no way we could go all the way back home, and the shops wouldn’t be open for another 8 hours, not that there were any shops around there anyway.  We had no choice but to climb in what we had.

Luckily, I was already wearing my base layer on top, but we must have looked quite a sight:

We began our ascent in quite high spirits; imagining that this would be a good story to tell everyone when we got back.  I even took a picture of a slug for some reason:

After a while, however, I begun to doubt that we would ever get back.  Because we were in the dark and neither of us could read maps, we ended up at a dead end.  Now I would rather fall to my death than backtrack and find another route (another of my bizarre phobias), so we ended up doing a lot of stuff that really should not be done in ballet pumps and flip flops:

Eventually, however, we reached the top, and it was FREEZING, despite being summer.  The views were great:

We wouldn’t have got these shots if we had gone at a more sensible time of day when there were lots of people around.  I don't know if those are rocks or sheep in the last one.  As we began to descend, we met a couple of guys coming up.  We were, at that moment, attempting to slide on our bums down a scree path, and they looked at us like we were insane.  I couldn’t really blame them.  Possibly the funniest part of going down the mountain was when we were walking across a flat area with lots of sheep, and suddenly, Tiberius disappeared beside me.  I looked around in alarm to see that he’d stepped into a bog! The expression of shock on his face was absolutely priceless:

Tiberius actually got a bit cross with me after this because I wouldn’t stop laughing for about 20 minutes. 

As we got closer to the bottom there were more and more people coming up, and, thus, more embarrassment.  At this moment in time, I was caked in mud all the way up to my knees; my shoes? Ruined.  In fact, because I’m too cheap to buy new shoes, I still wear them quite a lot, even to fancy places.  Nobody would guess that they’d been up and down a mountain.

Tiberius and I arrived back at the car at 10am; eight hours after setting off.  With a brief pause to wash our feet in a nearby lake, we drove straight home.  While the views were lovely, I don’t think I’ll be climbing up any other mountains for a very long time.  


  1. Aww! Mountains are great! Just remember the variables in making the Go/No Go decision such as: do I have appropriate climbing gear? Will I be able to get down safely if the weather turns nasty? etc. ;-) Loved the slug picture! The black ones can be really pretty.

    But please, don't go up a mountain in a fleece and ballet flats again!

  2. Say, what does it look like Tiberius is dissolving in acid when he falls into the bog? It might be the way it turns red, as though his skin is dissolving off. But then again, it might just be my cruel and twisted imagination.