Snowdonia & Wainwright.

Went out walking again on Sunday. A last minute idea on Saturday evening. I was run off my feet with things to do at home, but I can always make time to get outside (and I’m, not talking about standing in the garden).

We normally stay close to home, but decided to head out to the Snowdonia national park. After parking the car we followed a path and then a mountain bike track up the hill.

After this, we found ourselves at the foot of a very steep hill. First problem, there wasn’t actually a path, and it was dense heathland. Brian reckons we just march across, so off we go.

It was completely exhausting, but I realised I found the perfect way to get fit !

As we reach the top of the hill, there’s a road. I look back down the hill and take a picture.

With the wind howling, we follow the road, and then head across the tops. Taking a circular rout back down, it becomes very boggy, and my feet are quickly soaking.

Shattered and exhausted, I’m reminded of the Woodsmoke Abo course (here and here) where the joy of something comes after the event, and the actual activity itself is largely insufferable :).

Off the hill, we return to the village of Penmachno and have a drink in the Eagle pub.

A lovely little pub, it is soured by the staggering £3.30 per pint. No matter, the company of walking friends and warmth of the fire make up for it (and a big pile of trail magazine’s to read).

The mantle piece has an interesting statement carved into it: “Fear knocked on the door. Faith answered. There was no-one there.”

Above the mantle, were the original crampons worn in Touching the void by Joe Simpson.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I’m planning 2 trips to the lakes this year. 1 a sort of holiday, and the other an alpine style trek across the Cumbria way. The inspiration for these trips came from watching a documentary about Wainwright and watching the BBC Tv series, The Wainwrights, where Julia Bradbury does selected excursions from the 7 Wainwright volumes (which took him 13 years of his life to complete).

I’m trying to recruit for the Cumbria way, but I think I’ll probably end up doing it on my own, as a sort of pilgrimage (thanks to Brian and Sue the other evening for their suggestions on accommodation for the trip).

Thinking about solitary adventures, made me think of Wainwrights thoughts. In his 7th volume, he said when he died, he would like his ashes scattered over Inominate Tarn.

In Memoirs of a Fellwalker in 1990 he wrote “All I ask for, at the end is a last long resting place by the side of Inominate Tarn, on Haystacks, where the water gently laps the gravelly shore and the heather blooms and Pillar and Gable keep unfailing watch.

A quiet place, a lonely place. I shall go to it, for the last time, and be carried. Someone who knew me in life will take me and empty me out of a little box and leave me there alone.

And if you, dear reader, should get a bit of grit on your boot as you are crossing Haystacks in the years to come, please treat it with respect. It might be me.

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