I wasn’t expecting to have a good day today, all of these summits being somewhat smaller than what I had become accustomed to climbing. So with some surprise I can say that this was an excellent walk – so go do it. However, Steve, its not Buachaille Etive Mor!
We didn’t spend much time in the clouds today, which was a blessing as Snowdon spent the day in a big dirty one. We left Plas Gwynant at about 0930 heading down to Beddgelert in the cars. After what seemed like an eternity waiting for everybody to get ready we probably left Beddgelert at about 1000, setting off through the village towards the track up Moel Hebog.
We sped off up the track through a farmyard, through a gate, and out in to the open countryside, and on to the side of Moel Hebog. I found it quite difficult to start with, as I always seem to, but more so than normal today. I soon found my rhythm though. Ultimately the group was too big to stay together, and it split in to two. I chose to stay with the slower of the two groups primarily because I knew more people in it, and I hadn’t been feeling great.
We continued slowly, regrouping at regular intervals. Before long we came to the outcrops just below the summit. Somehow we ended up on a ledge with an active scree slope above it. Ollie stood on it, and as I was holding on to the rock in the faintest of holds I wasn’t best pleased when he told me the scree were moving.
I managed to slowly move far enough to his left to allow him to get off the scree he was standing on, and it all flew right past my shoulder. Unfortunately the largest rock of the lot hit Sara on the leg, and gave her a bruise a bit like mine from Glencoe. At this point I was still holding on to the same holds, and couldn’t seem to find a big enough hold to maneuver down! I somehow moved further to the left and found a hold to pulled myself up on to the ledge above, and descended from there.
We found a better path to the left of where we had been climbing and followed that more purposefully until it brought us out on to the summit plateau of Moel Hebog, which we walked up to the trig point at 782m. We caught up with the faster group at this point, who were set around in a poncho. They left just after we arrived, and we sat in the shelter of the farmer’s wall and had our lunch, while being pestered somewhat by a rather evil looking sheep.
We descended steeply to the bealach between Moel Hebog and Moel yr Ogof, and feeling much better now I sped down with John, arriving at the bottom a full 10 minutes or so before our colleagues. We ascended through a gap between two large rock walls, descending again to a rather large looking pool. Deceptively at first there appeared to be no obvious route through it, but this was solved by climbing a large boulder to the one side of it.
We stopped only briefly at the summit of Moel yr Ogof at 655m to take a few photographs. The descent to the bealach between her and Moel Lefn was somewhat less steep, and there was little reascent thereafter. Sara found a large ledge on the North side of the summit rocks that had no wind and pure sunshine. We probably sat here for about half an hour, having a bite to eat, and a rest. Again as we arrived here we could see our other party about 100 metres in front of us. I felt so much better that I actually ran up the last of the ascent to the summit at 638m.
We slowly worked our way down, and found the path that was to take us through Beddgelert Forest and back to Beddgelert. This path was quite boggy but I managed to avoid soaking my boots through for once. It was more important than usual for me, as I was toying with the idea of pushing for a very early summit of Snowdon the next day. Eventually we came out of the forest, and followed a long track that met up with the ascent track we had utilised earlier in the day. We passed once more through the farm, and on to the hotel in Beddgelert for a well earned pint of Guiness.