O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all
October by Robert Frost 1913
Tomorrow we start the Small Countries, Big Ideas project in Bangor with delegates from three continents and a real buzz about changing things. I'll post more on that as we go through the week. When we organised this a plan emerged to organise a walk in Snowdonia for those interested on the Sunday whichI readily agreed to. Always good to show off the mountains of your youth especially when fitness means you have rediscovered them late in life. However I was regretting it somewhat when I rose at 0500 having arrived home twelves hours earlier from Brazil. But I was committed to meeting the others at Ogwen Cottage at 1030. I'd determined to try and break the jinx on the walk from there over the Glyders and back via Llyn Bochlwyd. October would be a good month to do this and my minds eye had images conjured by Robert Frost's wonderful poem.
It was not to be. It all started off well with the walk up to Llyn Idwal although it was obvious that not all the party were familiar enough with the hills to maintain a pace across rough ground. The ascent up to the Devil's Kitchen and the crossing of the stream (see picture for my crossing) further indicated that progress would not be fast enough to execute before dark fall and I didn't want to make that error for the third time. So we revised to plan to ascend Y Garn and complete a partial circuit of Cwn Idwal, By this time the weather was becoming more extreme. The wind was whipping up the surface of the lake and as we reached the top light rain became driving hail.
Now there is a wall at the top of the path and some of sheltered there and had lunch while waiting for the rest of the party to catch up. Conditions (both weather and of the said party) meant a further revision was necessary and the larger group descended directly to Nant Peris as the safest option. Chris and I completed the planned route around Y Garn.
Released of responsibility it was possible to revel in the weather. Towards the top it was necessary to plant one foot firmly and two trekking poles before moving the next. We made the sort of understated comments about the fine views that are a characteristic of British humour – there were no views just mist, clouds, hail and an acute sense of danger. But that is after all the pleasure of the hills. The wind abated as we dropped of the summit and into shelter but returned in spades when we reached Llyn Idwal again. We were nearly driven off our feet by one gust and striding out with confidence down the engineered path was not possible!
I love the mountains in this weather. No water got to me or the camera (modern equipment is so wonderful) and the whole walk was exhilarating. We drove round to Nant Peris to find the rest of party occupying the open fire drying out boots, consoled by alcohol. In the latter act we joined them; perfect end to a perfect day.