We’d slept in the Pen-y-Gwrd, the hostelrie with the greatest mountain atmosphere in north wales and so we were in a great position to get to the Pen-y-pass car park before it became full. We winced at the car park charges, paid up, and set off on undoubtedly one of the best walks in Britain, the Snowdon horseshoe.
We walked passed the notice warning us that the route we had chosen was extremely dangerous and scrambled up the rocky east ridge of Crib Goch. We knew the route needed care and we gave it the respect and concentration it undoubtedly deserves. Soon we were scrambling across the famous knife-edge arete heading for the rock pinnacles. I’d done our route several times and always in the cloud that Crib Goch builds. Today, the weather was perfect and for the first time I actually saw the huge exposure from the arete , looking over the precipitous north face of this splendid hill. Great care indeed , needed, and was taken. We continued the scramble, pleased to be on the ridge instead of on the Pyg-Track-motorway below with the crowds. We crossed Crib Ddysgl and were soon on the summit of Snowdon. The cafe on the top and railway from Llanberis , cannot reduce the magnificence of the mountain …a hill with huge mountain architecture, and today in the sunshine and blue skies we were seeing all its fine ridges, cliffs and lakes.
Jack, full of energy, raced off to complete the horseshoe by traversing the fine peaks of Lliwedd. He kept to the cliff edge to savour the marvellous view. I decided I was only up to two thirds of a horseshoe and headed down the Y Gribin ridge, which would eventually lead me via the Miner’s track to our car at the Pen-y-Pass. The ridge I had chosen was new to me and proved a rapid and enjoyable descent. It is most definitely not a walk, but a long rock scramble, with splendid views, which needs to be taken seriously. Soon I was walking across the causeway on Llyn Llydaw, where I was rejoined by Jack who was full of the joys of his traverse of Llewidd. We both agreed we’d had an almost uniquely good day…a cloudless, hot day in april and hence we’d been treated to views of needle sharp clarity with no haze at all.
After our brief chat, we slogged back towards the car park, which was about a mile away. Jack was soon over the horizon. I took a more sensible pace, the only one available to me these days.