Welcome to The Wicca Box Adventures
In this section, you'll find descriptions of the
latest exploits of your daring Webmaster!
To begin the ball rolling, we'll start with a trek up Snowdon.
Snowdon (or Yr Wyddfa in welsh) is the highest mountain in England and
Wales at 3,560ft (1,085m). It is located in North Wales, and is one of
the most climbed mountains in the UK, with several tracks leading to its
summit, along with a mountain railway.
It's hard to believe, but the rocks that make up Snowdon were once at
the bottom of a vast marine basin, however around 400 million years ago,
the land masses that were to create the UK came together creating the
mountain ranges of Scotland and North Wales (In much the same way that
the Himalayas were created when India crashed into Asia 50 or so million
years ago). This is why you can find volcanic rocks and marine rocks such
as limestone when you ascend Snowdon. The higher you go, the further back
in time you go. In some places you can see evidence of it's marine past
in fossilised sea shells.
The valleys and many lakes (such as the Llanberis pass and Llyn Llydaw)
were carved out during the last ice age.
The track we picked is known as the Pyg track (named after the hotel (Pen
y Gwryd) at the bottom of the pass much used by the earlier mountain walkers)
and starts at Pen y Pass.
To view the map, click on the image above. The numbers on the map show
where each of the photographs and the video were taken.
Well we started off from my house about 9.30 on Saturday and finally got
to Pen y Pass around 11.30, but the car park was full, so we had to drive
on into Nant Peris, park up and get the bus back.
At Nant Peris
So we finally started our assent at 12.40. Ok the weather - Two words
- Bloody awful. It was overcast and drizzle, but little wind where we
View 1 - Pyg Track
An hour into our walk, and I had to stop, feeling very dizzy, shaky, and
generally unwell. It did cross my mind not to go any further. But a mars
bar, a drink and 20 minutes later, and some persuasion from me mates,
I decided to continue, and after a few mins I was fine again, so I'm glad
I did....at least at this point.
The weather started to deteriorate when we came into view of the miners
track and the causeway. The wind started to increase and so did the rain,
visibility dropped as well, to a point we could hardly see the track.
It did clear a bit but not much.
View 2 - Causeway on the Miners Track
By the time we reached the junction of the pyg track and the miners track,
I was starting to get nervous. Dizziness and so on returned, and I had
to rest. The rain was relentless now, and we were all soaked, even through
our waterproofs, and I could tell even my hardened hill walking friends
were starting to question the wisdom of where we were.
I didn't realise the worst part of our climb was to come, and going over
each ridge I expected to see the final part of the walk to the summit....each
time to be disappointed. Finally after part of the walk which moved us
parallel to a wall, we reached a point, which was a narrow ledge which
ended a steep climb. I just looked at it and froze. For a few seconds,
panic set in, a combination of low energy, exhaustion and the weather
just drained everything. Then I think I was just grabbed with a will to
finish this climb, I couldn't give in now, after all, where could I go
On the Zig-Zags (Video 1) - 1.68MB, 16s avi
This picture (taken on a good day) is why I struggled on the last part
of the climb! Though I didn't know it, I was climbing that zig-zag path
Then came the shock. Lee went on ahead on the last part of the climb,
with John behind me for moral support, then we heard "Bloody hell !" from
Lee. As we got to the final exposed ridge at the junction with the Llanberis
track, we were hit by a freezing gale (later found out it was a constant
25mph, with 40mph gusts). I had to just grab the nearest rock to prevent
being blown over.
Summit Ridge (Video 2) - 712k, 10s avi
Ok, at this point, a sheep turned up, over the ridge and just stood looking
at us. Well we just stared at each other and said "Now c'mon, that's just
not on". The sheep just looked at us, as if to say "Yeh And...?" :-)
A quick rest and we battled the last few hundred yards which took an age
against this wind. Then, there it was, the summit. I couldn't get to that
stone quick enough. The final photos look as bad as it was. I really had
to hold that stone hard, and yes the rain was horizontal as shown in the
picture, and the visibility was that bad. Oh by the way the that plinth
is on an outcrop of rock 30ft above the path, Just about big enough for
6 people, with mist covered drops all round !
Views 3 & 4 at the Summit
By now it was 3.30, and the weather had got so bad, that they closed the
café and railway for safety reasons (we were all fed up by now, and just
wanted to get down, so we were really looking forward to a ride down!).
So we watched the last packed train disappear into the mist.
We managed to find some shelter, and have something to eat, before deciding
our best bet for getting down, was via the Llanberis track. The miners
track had been closed, and none of us fancied descending the Pyg track,
even though it did protect us from the weather.
Have to add, that ice was forming on our gloves and hats, the wind was
that cold, and being so wet too, wasn't helping.
So off we set at 4pm. The wind made walking tricky, but the rain had let
off slightly, but visibility was next to nothing. However a few hundred
metres below the summit, the weather started to calm down, and by the
time the path ducked under the railway, it was relatively pleasant ! Though
it was at this point I had my accident. Had to happen to one of us, but
I slipped on a rock and fell heavily on my thigh. I was already feeling
pain from behind my right knee, so I was in superb shape by now ! But
in good spirits, we could all see the funny side by now "What the hell
are we doing here?" followed by a fit of the giggles :-)
Anyway we descended below the clouds, and it was actually starting to
get quite warm. We finally arrived in Llanberis at 6.30, sore, tired and
Now the car was in Nant Peris....2 miles away, so we plodded into the
village to see if we could get a taxi. Could we ? No, of course not. So
(hee hee) off we plodded for 2 miles back to the car.
We finally set off from Nant Peris at 7.30, getting back to Warrington
at 9.30pm. Erm you can imagine that, as I was driving, I staggered out
of the car at this point, yet I still had to get over to Liverpool. (I
was staying the night at my mates house you see).
So the day finally ended for me, at 10.30, involving sausage and chips
from the local chippy, lots of drink and a guiness.
For me, personally, considering I don't have the best head for heights,
beating Snowdon counts as a huge achievement, and one I'm so proud to
have done, especially climbing the route we did. And funnily enough I'm
glad we didn't get the train either, means we got up and down by ourselves.
I suppose the only thing is, were we right to do it in such awful conditions,
and lets be honest, dangerous conditions ? Hmm, perhaps not.