Paddy Buckley Carneddau Recce

13 March
15.5 miles 5,500 feet

This run could be summed up as Will Ian and I enjoying a nice flattish trail run from Capel Curig to Pont Pen-y-benglog via Llyn Ogwen then a high level run over Pen yr ole wen and the Carnedds on snow covered ground in a freezing windy white out that was horribly cold, followed by a slight thawing over Pen yr Helgi Ddu and Pen llithrig y Wrach, then a major warming up off Pen llithrig y Wrach and back to Capel Curig followed by a feed at the Pinacle Café.

At times the wind chill on the Carnedds must have been about -15 c. We all felt very cold my hands were so numb I could barely get the map out to look at the bearings. We only made 1 mistake and that was going down the wrong ridge off Pen yr Heli Du, still as Will rightly said this was another 20 minutes of training, a grear positive atitude, no wonder he is good at these long challenges.

I have got into a minimalist mind set when going into the hills at the moment, and most of the times that I do, I end up promising myself that next time I wont be so minimalist with the kit. Instead of a Bum Bag I will take a rucksack with a good winter jacket in it. I type this so I am more likely to remember the lesson. It hit home when I was seriously cold whilst ascending a gradual slope up to Carnedd Dafydd., Will and Ian said “we are putting more gear on”. I thought to myself I am freezing and I have no (or next to no) more gear to put on. So I was reduced to running up and down the hill to keep warm, and that didn’t even work. Still once we got on to the descent and out of the wind I gradually warmed up. Note that I did'nt take any photos from the top of Pen yr ole wen all the way to just before Pen yr Helgi Ddu. It was a kick up the arse and a reminder that winter isn’t over in the high hills yet. It’s amazing how debilitating and how rough having numb hands makes you feel. I along with Will had thoughts of going down at this point, but we unbeknown to each other, toughed it out. Ian was as hardy as ever and had no complaints.

It was still fun though. Although I don’t think Ian and Will learned much in those white out conditions, for their impending joint Paddy Buckley attempts. Still it’s a good excuse to go back down ASAP.

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