Tag Archives: 3 peaks challenge

3 Peaks, part 3

Mmm, the Welsh hotel. Walking into reception proved to be a horrible disappointment, but I guess after Hermons Hill, most places would. Still, despite a 3 mile walk to our room in a seperate annexe, it actually turned out to be ok.

Llanberis seemed quiet really, proving to be much the same all the time we were there, but it’s an ok place. Eating in the Indian restaurant turned out to be fine (lucky really – we were back on Monday night to a cheery “hello again” welcome from the waiter), the walk up the mountain something of an oddity.

Reading through the notes, it looked run-able. Having been frustrated on the previous two mountains on the way down, I was seriously considering a jog challenge. The legs were fine, if needing a stretch, and it later transpired Danny (the American on the event) was also considering the option, but both of us decided to ascend with our ladies and enjoy the stroll. Which was the right thing to do all ways around, despite the mountain really being akin to a theme park, our route following the railway, not really getting beyond a steepish slope, finishing with a set of properly constructed steps at the top, accompanied by the sounds of construction and builders right at the summit. The wind and cloud from just over half way up were a bit special (Cathy got blown over at one point), the temperature at the top prohibited a long stay (just long enough for a photo), but the trip back down was the best of the lot. Being easier than the others, luck brought a nice slot in the weather and Cathy got some fantastic photos (with a bit of help on the ones involving standing near the edge of the steeper bits!) and the trip back belied the 9 miles the route turned out to be.

Oh, and the sheep aren’t as pretty as those on Scafell, are definitely more camera shy but also certinly more vocal.

A proper enjoyable mountain to finish? Yep, it seems odd that someone died off a steep bit on the other path on the same day we were there – how? springs to mind, but apparently the other side is a bit wilder, so maybe that’s the route for next time. Ah, no – next time i’ll be running it.

And to finish the weekend, a round off meal in the local cafe seemed perfect. Congratulations and thanks to Pete and Alan for their organisational idea and effort were warmly given by all, the photos on Facebook say the rest, really. Bits of it seemed frustrating at the time – like all good holidays, with hindsight it was ace. Smart, even.

Still, while we were away, August ended. With no significant rain over the last weekend, rainfall for the month ended at 69mm (but with rain on 14 days, it’s no surprise it felt rubbish) – compare 56mm last year and 101mm in 2006 (over 21 days…who can remember it being that wet, everyone just talks about the record breaking heat that year!). And the cars keep coming down – just 138 left. Still to decide what to do at the end.

Who knows, if my foot repairs (pass as to what went wrong on Friday, hopefully it’ll heal by tomorrow) I may be able to blog a run before too long (with the Ashford 10k in less than 5 weeks, I need to if i’m to get under 45 minutes…).

3 peaks, part 1

Man, it seems an epic task to document even a tiny portion of the weekend’s mysteries, but i’ll try. Who knows how many parts it will take, but here goes. Oh, and hopefully i’ll gloss over the bits Cathy picks up on in her far more amusing, witty, entertaining┬ástyle. She was the idea behind the trip, the reason for it and, it should be said, a massive part of the fun. So thanks to her for…well, everything, really!

So, Friday morning and with a car full of walking bits, far too much dodgy food for mountain energy and driving cravings, off we set for Fort William. Every mapping site in the world reckoned on 9.5 hours for the journey, so setting off at 8.45 seemed reasonable, hoping for a reasonably clear run and a bit of luck. Well, Cathy thought her luck had run out when, nearing Birmingham, a bit of avoidance was needed to dodge the two inner lanes of stationary traffic. It’s odd, but on my only other Scotland trip for a wedding (my brother…Gretna Green) a similar manoeuvre was required, outside lane to inside, on the M25, caused by excessive glove box fiddling when the traffic had stopped. Must be something in the route…or my devil may care driving style.

Anyhow, we missed everyone, cleared Manchester, stopped for a sandwich, got lost (ish) around Glasgow, had a nice run up the A82 and arrived, 9.75 hours later, finding our hotel right at the entrance to the town. By pure fluke, all our hotels were so handy it seemed unreal. It wasn’t bad. Certainly nothing special, but hey.

So at 8pm, we were in the allotted bar to meet the fellow trippers only to be alone until the phone went, telling us the meeting place had changed, we were late and were about to be struck by lightning or similar. So we found the others, settled for a briefing of the coming days, went to bed and slept. Until all of ooh, 5.30ish.

Nasty. So, we got to the mountain for 7 only for one of the guides to be late, which set the tone for a fun walk, really. Not taking it too seriously, we set off, stopped and atarted as the groups found their own pace, realised that mountains are in fact quite rocky (to be expected, odd how some thought they’d be quite friendly places!), sweated to death, cooled down, got annoyed at the wind, wondered how much further it would be, marvelled at the runner who looked so fresh considering he’d just run it, got embedded in cloud, took some photos at the top, annoyed people around me by telling fellow walkers still on the way up how crap it was at the top, got pissed off how long it was taking to come down, realised I may not really be patient enough for this walking malarky, threatened to go home since it was crap and I wasn’t up for two more days of this, got to the bottom, got fuel, bought a paper, found a restaurant, ate, drove, drove some more, didn’t get lost and arrived in Gosforth about 8.30pm.

Ben Nevis is, it must be said, quite pretty. I did enjoy it, the day was long, Scotland isn’t my favourite country (it’s too far away) even though I really liked Fort William but all in, I was ready for Scafell.