Last weekend ShUOC went to Wales. We kicked things off on Friday after noon driving over from Sheffield being treated to Dom’s banging playlist along the way. Before we’d even got to Manchester I’d come up with a devious fell running alternative for Saturday eliciting much psyche from Dom and Oscar. We arrived at Betws-y-Coed meeting the rest of ShUOC for some night orienteering in the woods. Meanwhile I went to the pub- this is the start of a theme. We then drove the last leg to the climbing hut we were staying, where we played some games, including some shocking attempts at uno before heading to bed.
Saturday heralded wet cold weather, perfect for a good day out! Me, Tom, Oscar and Louis were dropped off at Pen-y-Pass by our lovely orienteering officer El on her way to Lluandudno with the rest of the club for some orienteering! We got out to the van to some as expected gross conditions, with waterproofs being donned in the car park. We started jogging up the Pyg track with the idea of Crib Coch quickly being dispensed with. We saw all sorts of very interesting attire in display, a lot of kit more suited to the high street than the high fells. Snowdon is such a weird mountain for that. It was around this time tom started talking about keeping it honest as he ran ahead up hill. I just tried my best to keep up!
After a snowy icey trog up the higher point of the Pyg track we hit the summit ridge, quickly going through the formality of touching Snodwon summit before fleeing down the railway, until we eyed Nant Neris and slithered, ran and slid our way down into the valley. Here I ate a pack of Jaffa Cakes in a minute and felt quite ill before making our way up to Elidr Fawr. Here once again, Tom was waxing lyrical about honesty whilst I tried to retain my stomach contents. We reached the summit in good time before slithering off the rocks and down out the cloud before an encounter with some slippy moss led to cracked knee and revaluation of the plan. Forgoeing the Glyders for safety, we snuck north down to Idwal Cottage, having some good fun on the slopes before waiting in the café for Ben and Harry to carry us back to the hut.
Showers had, and warm clothing donned we sat down to lovely food courtesy of Harry and Ben, before drinks were flowing and some more dubious uno. We then set about the cardboard box game with some fairly impressive displays of flexibility and double jointedness on display.
Sunday arrived with cold dry but beautiful clear weather. The plan was for all of us to go on runs of differing length to suit ability. Myself, Dom, Tom, Oscar and Louis set off towards Tryfan with the aim of doing the Glyders up to Y Garn. We plodded up enjoying the beautiful views before putting hand to rock. There our problems began with the rock in the shade being coverd in a millimetre of ice not much but enough to make progress quite stressful and somewhat fraught with danger. We turned our backs on Tryfan soon after, it being too beautiful a day to have an epic.
We headed up to Glyder Fach, myself and Tom chatting away about how turning around and cutting a route short is a success in its own right. We reached the top to more glorious views before having an absolute mare crossing the summit rocks, clocking a 28 minute kilometre!
We plodded on, my hangover coming into full force, summiting Glyder Fawr, with Tom, Dom, Louis and Oscar leaving to do the rest of the round while I contemplated my life decisions and wandered to the top of Y Garn for a lie down. I jogged down to Idwal Cottage before plodding up Ogwen Valley to reunite with El and Ben to hear tales of a luxury bunker. We waited for the other group, slightly concered by the coastguard helicopter doing sorties over the Glyders which we sadly learned later was in response to a climber who passed while climbing Y Gribyn.
The other groups rejoined over the next hour to regale tales of a slightly epic day out on Tryfan’s north face before we got in the van for a long drive back, and yet more of Dom’s fantastic music. A stop in McDonalds on the way back gave some insight into Tom’s honesty rhetoric, turns out it’s a mindset. Whatever it is it must work as he's a quick lad.
That was ShUOC Wales 2023, a fantastic weekend in the hills with friends, with lots of lovely memories from both on and off the hill.
Andy- Social Sec
Go out, run