As I lay in bed this morning I had no intention of doing anything. Hot tub. Food. Pleasant field of sheep. That was my day planned.
But my luck with the weather continues. 26C today (84F for those older than me). And while I’d intended to defer Snowdon to July I decided that I wouldn’t get a better chance to avoid the mists.
My major personal objective for 2016 was to do Snowdon on foot. I’d struggled to the top of the Old Man of Coniston in the Lake District in 2015 and as the weight dropped off and my daily walks lengthened I was in decent shape. Cancer rather screwed my back though. So I didn’t get there last year and today’s attempt involved the train.
Midweek outside school holidays I wandered into the LLanberis ticket office shortly after 11am to be told the only space they had was on the 3.30pm train. I was somewhat taken aback, but handed over my £29 and killed four hours walking along the lake, seeking out sensibly priced food and buying fridge magnets for the kids. I might not be with them forever but whenever they grab a beer from the fridge they’ll remember how I blew their inheritance!
The views from the train are stunning. I suppose they would be. The 64 passengers in my carriage had an average age of 83 but all were intent on using their smartphones to grab a snapshot. An hour after departing we arrived at the summit. Or rather at the cafe. There’s a fair few steps to climb before the whole world opens out beneath you.
I struggled a little with this stretch. When I finally got to the peak I gawped. I’ve been higher, in the USA. I’ve had breakfast overlooking the Grand Canyon. I’ve had a snowball fight 10,000 feet up the Beartooth Pass. I’ve looked in awe over the Green River and Colorado River in Utah’s amazing Canyonlands.
This easily accessed British beauty is a match for those places. You are high up. There is nothing but sky above you and beauty beneath you. And lots of other people jostling for position. I spent two minutes enjoying it before rather clumsily descending and grabbing a cold cider in the cafe.
The train only gives you half an hour there. If you can walk it you get longer. But I don’t think they let you get the train back down.
I couldn’t be happier with this. I will do it again soon. It’s a special place. Even if the train is a little uncomfortable.