Paul’s Blog – Posted 20/04/15

Great weekend here in North Wales with the weather playing it’s part too.

Friday night saw the spectacular sight of Tryfan’s famous outline being lit up in profile by over 100 headtorches & lights in celebration of Ogwen Mountain Rescue Organisation’s 50th Anniversary. Under Jim langley’s organisation members of OVMRO, RAF Valley & Team 333 did a magnificent job as the cloud cleared just in time for a stunning sunset before the light display began. Dorina, Titi, Fraser & I had planned to get it’s reflection in the waters of Llyn Caseg-fraith but our long walk in was to no avail due to a stiff cold breeze creating too many ripples so plan B was a quick descent down Braich y Ddeugwm ridge to the North East got us a great view, sadly planning was less than perfect as my camera went flat but still great to be there.

Saturday saw the biggest turnout for a Welsh Fell Race in decades for Ras y Moelwyn, a counter in the British Championships. A very strong field of 388 runners from all parts of the U.K. were blessed with wall to wall blue skies with a pleasantly cool stiff breeze to temper the worst of the suns rays. The new start in Blaeneau’s centre was a success, same again next year?? even though like to like times had to be a bit of a guess.

Local man Matthew Roberts was leading at about the halfway point but Scottish legend Finlay Wild then left everyone in his wake storming to victory in a stunning 1:13:09, just mind-boggling. Rob Hope, Matt & Morgan Donnelly appeared to have had a ding-dong battle to make up the next 3 places with just 3 seconds separating the tussling trio. Jasmin Paris was first female in 1:26:54 but a special mention to Eryri member & friend Steve PJ who was first Male 60 in a tremendous 1:32:15 almost 5 minutes clear of his closest rival.

As for me, quite pleased to come home in 1:52:29 a pb by over a minute despite that changed start & early log jam at the bridge, if only I could descend like some of those who flew past me but at least these days when I finish I can talk & not just collapse in a heap on the grass gasping mad, never again, water…..!

Special mention to Brian Robbins whom I’d given a lift to, he accompanied Ellie Salisbury (not aloud to run with her dog) for the whole race.

Back at the Cafe, where was Fraser?? As afternoon moved into evening we began to wonder had he tackled the Siabod Challenge or not. With 6 summits, 22 miles & 9,000′ of ascent & of course descent it is not for the feint hearted particularly when less than 12 hours earlier you’ve been out watching Tryfan’s light display but as dusk came there he was ambling back over the bridge to be greeted by a beer. He had taken 14 hours & even had the cheek of one-up-manship by taking in a 7th peak (Garnedd Ugain) on his way round, well done Fraser.

Sunday saw a day off pots which felt harder than the race the day before but eventually the cafe as well as the high cloud cleared & I got out for my favourite 7K circuit of Capel at 5:50pm. Glorious isolation in the cool sun, legs felt good, sub 40 minutes, a great way to end a truly memorable weekend here in Snowdonia.

What next, preparation for Fraser’s, Kean’s & my presentation on 2nd May at the Cafe. Titled ‘A Journey into Alpinism’ we hope to convey our experiences & emotions with a visual illustration of our trips to the Alps in 2013 & 14. Covering our Alpine style ascents of the Gran Paradiso, Mont Blanc & Monte Rosa massifs we hope it might inspire any would be Alpinists to say if they can do it so too can I. Of course there is another weekend between then & now un-fortunately with Ady on holiday back in Romania it looks like Pots for me but what’s your excuse… we’ve even given the front of the Cafe a facelift to welcome you to your own Snowdonia goals.

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