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This site is protected by my "Tanwen", pronounced "TAHN-wen". From Welsh tan "fire" + gwen "shining, holy".

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 started.

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 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 extremely wet.

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.