You will probably note from the title that my attempt on the Welsh 3000s on this occasion was unsuccessful, the reasons for which I shall analyse in more detail later on.
I sneaked off early from work on the friday afternoon, picking up Nigel and Mike before driving up to North Wales. Myself, Mike Smith, Mike Nicholls, Andy Brown, Guy and Chris were to attempt the 3000s with the support of Nigel, Nev, Andy Snape and Jan Cox. We met up with Andy Brown and Guy at a pub on the A5 on route to North Wales, but the delay caused by the traffic would delay our start somewhat. After eating at the pub we drove to the club hut, and prepared for the hike up Snowdon’s South Ridge.
Leaving the club hut at about 22:40 we arrived at the cafe on Snowdon at 01:20 where we bivvied. Snapey forgot to bring his bivvy bag, so I was out in the open, but on a night like that it was far too hot anyway.
We awoke in the morning to a perfect sunrise, quickly prepared for the exertions of the day ahead, and Nigel and Nev carted our excess gear back to the hut. We raced over Crib y Ddysgl and Crib Goch, but it was 07:40 by the time we arrived in Nant Peris, so we were already running 40 minutes late at this point.
I felt absolutely fine on Elidir Fawr, and talked a dehydrated Chris into rehydrating and continuing. Everything changed so rapidly, I still felt ok on Y Garn, but had only 1 litre of water remaining to Ogwen, and rationed accordingly. The headache was begining to set in, and by the time I was on the summit of Glyder Fach I knew that I was in trouble. I enjoyed the bimble over Glyder Fach, but struggled to attain the summit of Tryfan. I was of the opinion that stopping to drink in Ogwen would sort me out, and that basically the day was in the bag.
Things didn’t get better after Ogwen, Andy Brown dropped out there, and I continued with the others up Glan Dena. Quite quickly the nausea and dizzyness set in once more, and I knew at that point that I had to turn. I struggled on in phases for perhaps 100m more, but ultimately decided that I could not risk getting the top and not being able to continue or go down.
Ultimately I turned around, beaten only by the heat, and returned to Ogwen. The guys had already left, and I walked mistakenly West in to the valley rather than East to Capel Curig. Fortunately I was spotted by the guys in the car who had picked a couple of others up at Devils Kitchen. Having a full car, they continued the drop at the hut and returned to pick me up.
I would like to express my congratulations to the completers – Mike Smith, Mike Nicholls, Guy, and Chris. I’m paticularly pleased that Smithy completed, which is why I would not allow him to return from Pen yr Ole Wen with me. If the details above are vague or sweeping, then it is mainly because I am upset with myself for failing, for commiting such a fundamental error. It is the first time that I have not completed a route sinceCarnedd y Filiast in January, and I feel as bad about this as I did that, even though I’m on a different level now in terms of fitness than I was back then. One positive point to note is that Trydfan was Marilyn number 50!
I have to say in all honesty that in every other way I felt fine going up Pen yr Ole Wen, I wish that it was the case that I failed because of fitness or lack of training regime. However, this is not so. I failed because I was dehydrated and starting to show signs of heat stroke. The research that I have conducted since the weekend has illustrated what the deficiencies were, and I have a fairly good idea of how I will be preventing a recurrence. I am fairly confident that my current level of fitness would allow a 12 hour completion trig to trig, and I will be aiming for that next time.
My message to the 3000s is quite simple – I’m coming to get you, and it may be sooner than you think. Game on.
Weather:Clear, Sun, Hot
Estimated ‘Dead’ Time:2hr
1065m Crib y Ddysgl
0999m Glyder Fawr
0994m Glyder Fach
0947m Y Garn
0923m Elidir Fawr
0923m Crib Goch