Origins Part 1. Aka, The Blue school Parka and the squaddies

It’s far too easy these days, walking the hills that I know just too well. It’s still fun, but nowhere near as character building as those occasions that can only be described as total mess ups.

My first few forays into the hills of Snowdonia were as a fiercely independent thirteen year old. No clubs or following in the footsteps of others for me. So with a well thumbed Ordnance Survey map, I set off from Nant Peris on Saturday the 14th May, 2008. Yes, my walking log does record everything from that date onwards, and. No, I did not have to check that date. It’s etched in my psyche. It was also which probably explains my recall, my Grandmother s birthday. While it would have made am interesting odd couple story, pork pies and Twenty Bensons, she didn’t accompany me.

Setting off up the lush gorge of Afon Dudodun, afon being Welsh for river, the slopes up Elidir Fawr are notorious round these parts. Just shy of 900m of ascent in around as much distance, it’s the epitome of slog. This had been the ruin of many a poor boy and girl attempting the Welsh 15 peaks.

Of course, that would have been far too easy. Following a route known only to the Dave of May ’88, I found myself scaling a sheer scree slope. More mysterious is how any scree can remain on a slope that on facing it the grass tickles your nose.

Eventually, I did make it to the summit. Polishing off a tin of rice pudding, carb loading before I knew what it meant. There was, no doubt a couple of sunblest bread sandwiches with a concoction known as meat paste in between. This would melt in the heat, producing something else entirely. Though without doubt still wolfed down with relish.
On descent, I followed what are known in the UK as a Right of Way. This is an imaginary line that denotes a legal right of passage, but this isn’t always apparent on the ground. Some pass through lakes, others cross cliffs, presumably in an ancient push to kill off unsuspecting hill walkers. This one was one of the many that follow gullies, which while not quite being impassable, can certainly add a certain frisson to the descent.

I did make it down, though the more astute among you probably worked that out already. From this point on, I knew I had room for improvement! Would my next trip be more successful? You’ll have to wait for part two to find out..

In response to the WordPress Discovery Challenge – Origin Story.


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