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Trojan Tree Care Mountain Adventure

30th April 2014

It has been such a busy winter for us, as indeed it has for other trades such as roofers and fencers for whom the storms we experienced generated enormous amounts of work. The last four months just seemed to go by in a bit of a blur, working six and at times seven day weeks just to try and service all the clients we have built up over the past 14 years.

October and November had been similarly busy so I made sure that at Christmas we all had a good break and since then, Easter has been our goal for the next proper break. I resisted the temptation to work through and earn some more money or ease the pressure on the diary as I think It’s so important to pause every once in a while to take stock, appreciate what you have achieved and ready yourself for the next effort otherwise you risk getting ground down and that’s no fun for anyone.

On the Thursday before Good Friday, I had arranged a staff day out and the guys decided on a trip to Snowdonia to walk up Mount Snowdon. Now there are a number of tracks up to the summit, any of which make for a nice walk, but the 10 hour round trip is a long way to go just for a nice walk. They wanted a bit of a challenge so we planned to climb up via an infamous knife edged ridge named Crib Goch.

After work on the Wednesday evening we made the drive up and booked into the Royal Victoria Hotel in Llanberris at the foot of Snowdon. A quick pint in the bar to shake off the drive, a good nights sleep and a cooked breakfast next morning had us all felling fresh and excited about the day to come. We set off up the PYG track at 9am from the Pen Y pas car park and after about a mile, took a right turn for Crib Goch where the fun would begin.

Here we had to make a final call as to whether to go up or not because the weather was not ideal with gusting winds and dense hill fog meaning potentially slippery rock. I had been along before and explained the dangers and that on average, a couple of people each year die falling from it, but the guys were resolute that they had not driven up here for a stroll, so up we went. Steadily we ascended almost 1000ft up the initial steep cliff. It was difficult to pick the best route with limited visibility and although it’s officially only classed as a scramble, once or twice we found ourselves on almost vertical pitches where I did wonder if we shouldn’t really have a rope!

Eventually we crested the summit and now had the main ridge in front of us. The initial section is the narrowest and a group of nervous looking men were there first but let us go through while they summoned up the courage. Oddly, with the poor visibility, it didn’t seem quite as daunting as when I first did it in clear weather, when the sheer exposure and scale of the 1000ft drops either side make you feel much more vulnerable. There are plenty of handholds along the ridge and so in good weather there really is no good reason to fall off but if you do, it will almost certainly be to your death.

We passed the most difficult part and soon started to relax and enjoy ourselves as we made our way along the ridge for approx. 1.5 miles, over another mountain summit before rejoining one of the easier paths up to the summit of Snowdon. It was cold, damp and windy up there (as usual!) so after a quick snap at the summit cairn we made our way back down the PYG track arriving back at the car 4 hours after leaving. We changed and stocked up on snacks in Betws Y Coed before hitting the road for a thankfully quicker journey back, not that Jay would have noticed as he slept for most of it!

A great day out and a good way to start an Easter bank Holiday weekend.

Jamie Saunders

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