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Easter Snowdonia Trip, 21-26 March 2014

Trip Summary

On Friday 21st March, many set off from all over the country (not only Cambridge but also York, London, Bristol and Guildford) for one of the most-eagerly awaited trips of the year - the Cwm Dyli Vacation Trip.

Many spent Saturday on the fells surrounding Croesor, near Beddgelert, including Cnicht (the 'Welsh Matterhorn') and Moelwyn Mawr. For most, driving out to Croesor, this was a relatively easy hike offering good views out to the Snowdon range and to the coast at Porthmadog (at last when the cloud and hail cleared), although the rugged industrialized landscape of the slate mines at Blaenau Ffestiniog was also apparent. Phil W and Joe H ambitiously managed to get to the peaks on a lengthy 30km trek from the bunkhouse, adding in a significant amount of boggy moorland to the route of the main party.

Returning to the bunkhouse, members enjoyed a round of Club songs, including the Cow Song lead by the new President (when he hadn't fallen asleep on the sofa) and some lovely cooking by Vicky, Constanze and others. The next day, several made ambitious attempts: a small party attempted the Snowdon Horseshoe, only to be stopped by lack of time and snow conditions, while Tom L and David H attempted a 30km epic of the Carneddau and Glyders, only to be stopped by sheet ice and whiteout just off the summit of Carnedd Llewelyn. Instead, they enjoyed a high-level circuit surrounding Llyn Cowlyd, and were reassured by the generous human spirit with the ease of hitching to and from Capel. An ambitious route completed both the Nantlle Ridge and Moel Hebog group in a single walk. Another evening went by the the sounds of the Club song book, buoyed by the surprising success of 'pasta slop' for dinner.

Those who stayed for the remainder of the trip were granted with some exceptional weather: views from the Nantlle Ridge were unrivalled, stretching out across North Wales into Anglesey, or across the snow-covered slopes of the Snowdon Range from Crib Goch, even if the ridge again posed too much of a challenge due to the winds. Some even braved a quick paddle in Llyn Dinas, or enjoyed (or avoided) the active discussions of the Cambridge University Hillwalking Club 'railway enthusiasts' on the Monday night. Especially notable was the impressive number of undergraduates - on the last Tuesday, seven out of the nine participants were undergraduates, including seven freshers of which four were engineers, perhaps a new record.

Ultimately, an outstanding trip to Snowdonia, setting a high benchmark for next year's visit.

Trip Participants

Tom L, Anthony C, Michael F, Philip W, Constanze H, Andrew W, Antonia C, Toby L, Joe H, David H, Marcus T, Charlotte Z, Paul C, Alex K, Vicky, Matt H, Jamie C, Paul F, Johannes R, Jade C and Josh A.


Tom Leach