Bangor to Llanberis to Caernarfon. From Tryfan to Snowdon. A long weekend in Wales was both relaxing and straining. I am so much more excited and driven to travel alone, although slightly terrified, but I can and will do it! Funding backpacking around the world isn’t easy. I’m finding saving a little bit of a struggle, against rent, bills and trying to see my friends. But a weekend away with my dad was exactly what the doctor ordered! Since the update of my website and its relaunch, everything has changed, it’s incredible and I couldn’t be more grateful with the feedback and types of enquiries I’ve been receiving. Loads of plans have been put in the pipeline, and I’m not solely referring to my photography. Having received a job in Japan and a lot of prospects along the way, I’m confident that I can achieve everything I hoped! I’ve been going in and out of training having walked a maximum of 100 miles in a period of 10 days. It was not an easy feat amidst freelancing photography and design. So, feeling confident, I wanted to put my new found fitness to the test…
Staying in Bangor, we arrived at our hotel on the Friday about 7pm after having the traffic against us the whole way. Wistful and moody, Wales was in full force as we pulled over to walk down the pier, but there was an air of calm being alone on the walkway. The evening was cut short in hopes of getting an early night in time for an early rise the following morning. Much to my disappointment, there was a track behind the hotel on which a train would loudly pass every half hour or so… Never mind!
The weather forecast was to be clearer and sunnier Sunday, and overcast and grey on the Saturday. So with this in mind we thought we would save Snowdon for a day where the summit would be clear and explore surrounding areas first. Having heard about the Canon rock, I had to go and see it for myself and get that sought after snap! I can understand why Tryfan is an exciting challenge. This amazing fin-ridged mountain of rock and slate is not to be scoffed at… However, that is what we did. Driving down the beautiful A5 along the windy roads, I spotted the Canon rock jutting out from the side of the mountain just below the cloud level. I have since learnt that the Canon sits just below the halfway point of the mountain, finding out the hard way. Pulling over into one of the lay-bys at the foot of the mountain, my dad and I set to start at the beginning of the steps – or so we thought.
Learning the hard way again, we discovered that there is no path once you are on the actual ridge, and that you are really fending for yourself scrambling up the sharp edges. Thank goodness for our physical abilities! Some of the footholds and climbs we took were testing in both height and skill and there were definitely some gullies that called for some tricky ascents. Due to the nature of the mountain, you find yourself climbing over one little peak to unveil another only a few hundred metres higher each time.
The low-lying clouds did not reveal how far remained or indeed how much had been completed, so looking back, I felt like we were climbing blindly. The challenge wasn’t over when we finally reached the summit because we had to prepare ourselves for the same descent back down! Thankfully, there were two gentlemen perching on a rock next to us who were descending on an alternative route. Having spoken to and bumped into them on the way up, it seemed only fair that I cheekily ask them to help us back down! After the summit there was a slightly easier descent via the southern face of Tryfan and through beautiful Llyn Bochlwyd, back to the Ogwen Valley.