It’s been a bit mental this last few weeks, I’ve been away in Snowdonia for the last six weekends and away working in London during the week. Not having a wee wifey who’s chained to the proverbial sink to take care of me, I’ve been lucky if I’ve had ten minutes to myself during the week – the washing, cleaning and cooking doesn’t sort itself and the house looks like a car boot set of pasteboards. Indi, the daughter, was collected from Uni in Liverpool yesterday and just added to the carnage called my life. This weekend has seen training for the Ultra go out of the window, replaced by pillows and sleep. After twenty five hours of kip in six days and nights, the body needed to heal and my alarm didn’t wake me this morning at 5am despite being set. Enough was enough I guess. Tiredness won.
I managed to finally nail down the Welsh 300os a couple of weeks ago with George, who’s since headed off to attempt a summit of Denali. Being the only person who’s pushed me on the hills this last four weeks, I’d say he’s fit and ready for what should be a fantastic trip. He’s been seen lately in Greenwich, dragging a tyre behind him as he walks his local park. I have to admire focus like that.
We decided to go from North to South for the W3s, rain was forecast till 9am and cloud all day and night, and we didn’t fancy starting on a wet Crib Goch. It would be easy to say now that it was an uneventful and successful trip but at the time, it was draining mentally. We had no views all day, we got lost once or twice, we added a fair bit of mileage out of choice and we also decided to do a greasy and damp Bristly Ridge. Crib Goch when dark, in cloud and using no headtorch as it was reflecting so badly, was certainly interesting but as soon as the trig point on Crib Y Ddysgl was located, we knew we were home and dry. With the walk in and out, it was 17 summits in total and over 21 hours – perfect training for the Ultra, as it’s time on feet that’s going to matter the most. Cheers George.
The weekend after, conditions couldn’t have been any different. Sunshine and high winds for Davy, Del and Phil’s attempt. A couple of hours sleep for all and it was time for the off but there was to be no joy in a full finish this time. Del called it quits at the Devil’s Kitchen, Davy was persuaded to finish after Tryfan and Phil had to be told I wasn’t taking him any further than there, as he was wobbling all over the place and safety would have been an issue later that evening. Dehydration played a big part and perhaps an underestimation of just how great a challenge the Welsh 3000s can be. I was happy however, the legs felt strong and I’d have felt fine running huge chunks of what we did. The pub was calling by now and re-hydration was garnered from lager, followed by champagne. Sweet! Plans were made for a Sunday climb of Main Wall on Cyrn Las in the Pass.
So the story of this year’s Welsh 3000s ends and in truth… I’m happy to see the back of it. Snow, hail, sunshine, winds – I’ve had it all. It’s been extreme in more senses than one. If anything has stood out to me, it’s been the way that the hills and the weather care not a whit if we are there or not. I like that, it’s rather humbling.