For the past 8 years or so I’ve always organised an Easter hiking weekend. This year was no exception as 17 of us made the journey to Beddgelert in Snowdonia, leaving London on the Thursday. I’d booked a National Trust property, Craflwyn bunkhouses for most of the group but the motorhome was also put to use, being pitched at Forest Holidays campsite, also in Beddgelert. Con and Carolyn decided to join the trip at the last minute and based themselves at a B&B for most of the weekend.
On Good Friday there was a choice of two walks. The majority opted for a low level walk of 9 miles which offered a great varierty in scenery. My smaller group decided to tackle Moel Hebog. As expected there was still a great deal of snow at the top, some of it quite deep. We also had to walk through a short spell of rain and hail which meant by the end I was in urgent need of a drying room. The weather is also the reason I have no photographs of that day, the camera was left behind when I saw the weather forecast. In the evening some decided to eat at a pub in Beddgelert and the rest of us self catered at the bunkhouse.
The weather forecast for Saturday was for even more rain. With clothes still drying most decided to join a tourist option which saw them visit the the coast and Criccieth castle whilst enjoying great fish and chips. Fortunately the forecast was wrong and we enjoyed stunning weather as our smaller group hiked to the summit of Cnicht, which had much less snow on it.
I’d been meaning to do Cnicht for a number of years so it was great to be able to finally do it. Once back at the car park in Croesor we noticed the cafe was open so enjoyed some refreshments. We also finally discovered the reason why all the houses seemed to use the same turquoise colour paint, something that had been troubling us all day. It seems the colour was copyrighted by Clough Williams-Ellis of Portmeirion fame who owned much of the estate here.
On Sunday the group awoke to find the Easter Bunny (Jen) had been, leaving them creme eggs and mini chocolate eggs, perfect hill food! For many in the group this was their first trip to Snowdonia and naturally many were keen to hike up Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales at 1085 metres. I must have been up Snowdon something like 30 times but today’s hike from the bunkhouse door was the first time I would use the Watkin Path. Fifteen of us set out on what was another glorious day. Fiona and Jen both had been up Snowdon before so decided to do the Cnicht walk some of us had done the day before. The snow on the Watkin Path was deep in places, so much so you could not actually see the path. Progress was slow on steep sections as you had to kick into the snow to get a good footing. Con, Carolyn and Tom made it to the top first and decided to return the same route. It seemed the Watkin Path and Llanberis Path were the only safe routes to descend as without crampons the other routes were too slippery. Finally the whole group had made it to the summit where most ate their Easter eggs as a little reward for making it. After a few photo opportunities near the summit we agreed that the Llanberis Path was the best route down, many deciding to slide down part of it on their backsides!
Once we arrived in Llanberis we had to think how we would get back to Beddgelert. As luck would have it Jen contacted us and came to meet us in the MPV. As time was pressing on we decided to eat in Llanberis and after our meal Tom kindly agreed to drive to collect those that could not fit in the MPV. The evening ended us playing Pictionary until past midnight.
Monday we awoke to rain and so we decided we would just head straight back to London. It had been a great weekend and we are even talking about meeting up as a group again later this month at a roller disco!