Despite it being a little over 8 months since CUHWC's last voyage to the Aran Mountains, the first weekend trip of Lent Term returned there to permit further discovery of these steep-sided, flat-topped wonders. Bryn Golau – the ‘Light on the Hill’ – was the selected residence, lying halfway up one of these sheer slopes, which, when combined with a munificent helping of winter precipitation [translation from Andrewese - lots of snow] and a night-time influx of Cambridge hillwalkers laden with all manner of hillwalking gear, made access rather difficult. In short: the field to the bunkhouse was damned muddy! Precious few survived the adventure unscathed (which is to say remained in possession of mud-free clothing).
Despite Friday evening’s slips and slides, Saturday dawned bright (for once!) and early, and it didn’t take us long to realise that the day’s weather was set to be nothing short of spectacular: clear skies, superb visibility and a generous dusting of snow above 600m. As often happens during trips to this area, most participants climbed Cadair Idris on Saturday; though one group (of mainly baggers) did make a thorough exploration of the Arans on an ambitious linear walk. The ‘Light on the Hill’ was sadly extinguished on Saturday evening, as a remarkable lack of the wind needed to power the bunkhouse's lighting system meant that we were reduced to cooking, eating and singing by the light of headtorches and the flickering fire.
The forecast for Sunday was less optimistic, but we awoke to cloud-free summits and a notable lack of any of the forecasted rain or snow – which was saved for later in the day. Two groups walked the western Arans from Foel Benddin to Glasgwm, one headed to the higher reaches of Aran Fawddwy, and a fourth chose a valley walk.
Matthew Graham, Andrew Williamson, Helen Phillips, Jo Smith, Tom Ashton, Becky Howard, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Denise Laroze, Mark Jackson, Peter Kirkwood, Dave Mackenzie, Vicky Ward, James Ritchie, Lucy Stone, Andrés Villar, Carme Culduch, Katherine Grattage, Pablo Hernandez, David Pettit & Ruth Pettit.
Again, a notable lack of walk reports for this trip. To be rectified on a trip soon hopefully!
- Andrew: Nice to meet you Pablo – looks like I'll be sleeping with you ... Vicky: Oh no, you were supposed to be sleeping with me!
- David P: I was going at a sensible pace – as fast as I could!
- Peter (on the Old Duffers): They've finished all their bagging, so they actually talk to each other
- David Pettit
- Ruth Pettit
- Andrew Williamson
- Jo Smith
- Peter Kirkwood
- Kerrie Taylor-Jones
- James Ritchie
- Andrés Villar
- Helen Phillips