5-6 th June
22 miles 10,500 feet
Due to a lack of support for Wills planned Friday 18:00 hrs start he decided to team up with another contender, Carwyn Philips. It was a good plan as it meant if the stuck together they would have enough pooled support. The only down side was that Will had to change to a Saturday start.
Carwyn started his round at Bwlcgwernog so as to get the road section done first, Will decided to wait at Aberglaslyn car park and join Carwyn from here and do, as is tradition, the road section last. I waved Will off on his attempt knowing that his foot had been bothering him lately, but also knowing that unless it got really painful he would finish it in good style.
After some food at the Royal Goat hotel in Beddgelert, we waited at the next road crossing at Pont Caer gors. We spotted them on the Nantle ridge as the completed the last hills of the first leg. I prepared myself for the impending arrival. 45 minutes later they were in and the midges swarmed over the food and the sweaty bodies. Christ was I glad to finally get underway with Carwyn, Will, smudge the dog (who was also unwittingly attempting the round) Bill, Ian and I set off for the first hill of this section, Craig wen.
We soon topped out on Craig Wen and on the way to Yr Aran we had probably the most spectacular view of the ridge ahead. I would go as far as to say it was the most beautiful mountain scene I had laid eyes on. The clouds were draped over the ridge and banked in the valleys with Yr Aran and Snowdon popping out of the clouds ahead, behind was a perfect cloud inversion, only the tops of the highest peaks poking through the clouds, and in the fading light it was spectacular. Good decision not to bring the camera. Ouch. We continued into the night and onto Snowdon a surprisingly busy place at midnight, a troup of walkers were descending and 2 tents were pitched on the summit. Will was a bit slower than Carwyn but held a respectable gap, Bill with Carwyn and Ian and I with Will.
We remained in these groups until the final 2 hills Foel Gron and Moel Ellio, were we joined forces again ready for the long drop into Llanberis. A quick food stop and Bill and I decided to move slowly on up Ellider Fach, so as to make it a touch easier with our newly laden packs. We were soon caught by a Carwyn and Will and a large support group. The peaks came and went. Bill also went as he was struggling a bit so he gave over his liquid and cut the route short via the devils kitchen.
The rest of the leg went well, the first rays of light cheering everyone up. Soon enough we had topped out on Tryfan and were heading down to Llyn Ogwen. We were guided by Carwyns support on a rather convoluted longer route than I had ever done. It was probably a bit slower too. But no matter we were soon down. I was pretty jaded and must have looked it as everyone seamed to be asking if I was alright. I waved Will and Carwyn off whished the luck and proceeded to have a stand up bath in an icy stream.
They both stayed together over the remaining 2 legs and only parted on the final decent of Cnicht. Carwyn raced ahead and Telitha and I spotted them first on the final steep part. This worried Telitha as there was no sign of Will. But soon enough we spotted another group. It was Will and his support group. I knew he would do it. He walked the final 1.2 miles of road as his foot was bothering him. But he had plenty of time, and finished in 23 hours 12 minutes, Carwyn finished in 22:48, and unfortunately Smudge had to retire at Llyn Ogwen tired, and with sore feet. Will has joined myself as one of the few (less than 40 I think) big 3 completers. Nice one Will.