Following a 2 year break, 1st Crawley Scouts returned to Snowdonia during the Summer half-term for another exciting couple of days of water and mountain activities.
After a long drive to Yr Hen Felin bunkhouse, there was time to stretch our legs with a walk along the River Dee in order to build up an appetite for some tasty homemade pizzas.
Sunday dawned to some Welsh rain. But today that didn’t matter in the slightest, as we donned wet suits and dived into the chilly Afon Trystion for a morning of gorge scrambling. After lots of fun sliding down rocks, diving through submerged gaps and leaping into deep pools, everyone was definitely ready for some nice warming soup!
Monday dawned with an early start for the group. A hearty breakfast of porridge and toast and then into the minibus for the drive to Pen Y Pass for an 8 a.m. start.
A gentle start on the gravel of the Miners’ Track soon got serious as we veered off for the scramble up to the jagged boulder field peaks of Y Lliwedd on the southern edge of the Snowdon range horseshoe.
A few rain showers through but we were rewarded with some great views as that first peak was conquered and we headed down to Bwlch Ciliau for a well-earned rest and a quick bite to eat.
Then it was time to head up into the clouds for the relentless, thigh crippling climb up the Watkin Path to the summit of Yr Wyddfa.
After 4 ½ hours of climbing, we finally made it to the cold, wet and windy top of Snowdon. A few minutes of queuing and we got our obligatory summit photo – well done team!
While having a spot of lunch, there was a bit of a surprise in store for our Scouter-in-Charge, Andy Hibberd. Group Chairman, Peter Chapman, was proud to be able to present Andy with his 10 year Length of Service award. Andy has undeniably been the lynchpin of the successfully re-launched 1st Crawley group. I’m sure the whole group will join me to congratulate him on this award and thank him for his continuing hard work.
And so, it was time to head back down. Our route down the Pyg Track was markedly busier than the wild and quiet way up, with crowds both descending and still heading for the summit.
Finally, after 7 hours and 18 minutes, a stack of Mars bars and a gallon of flasked tea, we made it back to our minibus. Tired, aching, but exhilarated; a trip we will all remember for years to come.
Shaun Ball – 1st Crawley