Alex and I were walking up a mountain. This was the only day of the trip to Wales I had asked Alex to plan. We greeted a group who were descending down the mountain, climbing gear draped over their shoulders, when I asked how to pronounce the name of the mountain. The mountain I had asked Alex to take us up was Glyder Fawr. I had no idea how to say the name! Yet the climbers replied with “Tryvan”. Alex and I stood motionless. The climber looked perplexed so elaborated “Its spelt Tryfan but you pronounce the f as a v.” Alex and I both nodded and said thank you and wished them well. I then said under my breath:
“Alex, we are on the wrong mountain.”
It was the hottest day of the year and we wanted to end our Welsh trip with a hike in the Snowdonia National Park. We drove through the countryside, parked up next to a loch and started on a path which then disappeared after 5 mins. You have to create your own path on this mountain. You see, we were next to the mountain we were supposed to be climbing. We had parked in the correct car park, but we just followed the wrong path. Yes we were those hikers who are a liability to park rangers as the stupid ones who go up mountains without maps or compasses. Anyway, we were really enjoying the hike because it did involve scrambling something I hadn’t really done before and I loved it. It’s basically between hiking and climbing. It was very hot (yes it does get warm and sunny in Wales) and I was pleased we were mostly in the shade during our ascent. When we met the climbers descending and asked about the condition of the trail they started talking in grades and said that the top of the mountain was a medium scrambling difficulty. This meant nothing to us and the rough research I had done for the Glyder Fawr summit didn’t mention anything about scramble grades. The climbers did appear to be carrying a lot of ropes and equipment with them… As it was a lovely day and the hike was fun we both kind of laughed it off that we were on the wrong mountain and before long we could actually see the right mountain we were meant to be on in the distance!
The scrambling continued. It is fun to make your own path up the rocks but it did get steeper and steeper until we were the only ones on the mountain without climbing gear… oh well. We just climbed up carefully (it was pretty vertical at times) and enjoyed the views. It is a great mountain to climb even if each mini-summit confuses you that you are at the top to only spy another summit in the distance. We found out later than this is actually Britain’s favourite mountain so Alex’s mistake was the best mistake he had ever made.
The views from the top were great. A bit tired, wishing we had a little more water we still felt exhilerated from our climb. On our way down (after hanging off several ledges and letting Alex catch me…) we stopped off at a loch. The water was freezing cold so we only dipped our feet in. Two Australian tourists both dived in head first. We were not that brave. After the loch the path was easier as it went over fields rather than rocks.
It was an epic hike and maybe we will return one day and do Glyder Fawr… or we might just tackle Tryfan again. Have you ever accidently taken the wrong path?