Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A 2013 Summary

The major achievement of the year was the completion of 4 hill lists.  This sounds more impressive than it actually is because 3 of them started and finished on the same summits.

Those lists were :

  • The Wainwrights
214 summits listed in Wainwright’s 7 Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells

  • The Fellrangers
227 summits listed in Mark Richards’ 8 Fellranger guidebooks

  • The FRCC244
244 summits listed in “The Lakeland Fells” published by the Fell & Rock Climbing Club

  • The Outlying Fells
116 summits featured (but not all named) in Wainwright’s guide to the Outlying Fells of Lakeland

Overall I :
            went on             18                                walks
            walked              111.9                            miles
            ascended          36,050                          feet
            walked for         76 hrs 46 mins              (including rest stops !)
            reached            45                                 individual summits that I hadn’t been to before
            reached            12                                 individual summits that I had been to before
            drove                2479                             miles on trips to and from walks

I don’t think that I did a lot in 2013 but the completion of the Wainwrights after 30 years makes up for a relatively quiet year.

Happy New Year and be safe on the hills in 2014!

Monday, 30 December 2013

A New Start

Because of my recent Lakeland-centric wanderings to complete the Wainwrights and Outlying Fells, it had been quite a few years since I had stayed at my climbing club’s hut in Llanberis.  The Christmas meet provided an ideal opportunity to bag a couple of Nuttalls – the list that I’ll be mostly concentrating on.

I have always been keen to walk up Mynydd Mawr, having been captivated by this picture by Ginger Cain.  A fellow Scouser, Ginger has produced some magnificent mountain art, and his Llanberis gallery of the same name is well worth a visit.

Six of us set off for Nant-y-Betws near Betws Garmon and a short road walk led to a bridge over Afon Gwyrfai to woodland where the climb started.  We emerged below Cwm Du and followed the path westwards to the base of the north-west ridge.  The path upwards was soon found and we followed it steadily to the mist-covered summit.  The lack of a view, combined with a breeze and rain made this a place not to linger so we headed down, along the top of the Craig y Bera cliffs.  One of our senior members entertained us with past stories of loose rock on the well-known Sentries Ridge as we gazed through the mist down the gullies to the narrow arĂȘtes.

The steep descent led to some shelter at the top of the forest where we stopped for lunch before finding the vegetated path at the bottom of the forest.  A quick road walk past the Snowdon Ranger led back to the cars and a quick refreshment visit to the Cwellyn Arms before driving back to the hut for an epic Christmas Dinner.

Following the previous night’s festivities, no firm plans were being made and nobody expressed any interest in joining me on a foray on to the most northern tops of the Carneddau.  Starting from the parking area below Bwlch y Ddeufaen, a path ran alongside the wall to the west ridge of Foel Lwyd and then followed the north side of the wall, slightly avoiding the true summit of this WASHIS classified hill.  By now the wind had gained quite some speed, making the climbing of the wall a little awkward.  The summit cairn was found easily as well as the alternative summit mound.  Once I’d found the throughstones in the wall, regaining the path was easier than leaving it.

I dropped down to the col and was quickly at the rebuilt trig pillar of the Nuttall summit of Tal y Fan.  The breeze helped with the decision to leave quickly and regaining the col led to the good path down to the road.

Now in my post-Wainwright existence, a couple of simple Nuttalls eased me into a new era.  I’m looking forward to some new mountainous areas to explore.