Survivor Paddy 6

Snowdonia, Wales

Text : Colm // Video : Derek & Trevor // Photography : Des

On Thursday May 28th 2015, 8 brave and hardy souls left the port of Dublin to take on the wilds of Snowdonia. Arriving into Holyhead Port at 12am on the Friday morning, we wasted no time in hanging around and hit the road to a small village called Tanygrisiau about an hour and a half north of Holyhead.

We had done our research and knew where we were parking but typically ‘ the luck of the Irish’ fell upon us and as soon as we landed so did the rain!  After a short walk we entered Cwmorthin Quarry, it’s disused nowadays but evidence of what this slate quarry was like some years back was clear to see even at 2am in the black of night! Because of the heavy rains that night we took refuge in an old miners cottage with a leaky roof and the odd floor board missing or broken. We were dry therefore happy!

The following morning we awoke to a heavy mist, packed our rucksacks and hit the trail following a old miners road into the wilds. A route of 13-15km was planned for the day. As soon as we had left all evidence of civilisation the reality of this wild and desolate place set in. Our fist climb of the day was Moel Druman and down into Ysgafell Wen valley. As we were following no trail the various terrains made for difficult walking at times, it reminded me a lot of Connemara with rock, bog, river crossings and the odd lake to circumference. At 6pm we finally had our camp in sight a beautiful lake called Llnau Diwaunydd with a large woods surrounding half of the lake, unfortunately for us there were other walkers with the same idea and they had taken the small sandy beach as their humble abode for the night, not deterred we set about looking for our own spot for the night and found a lovely ledge on the lake shore with plenty of shelter and wood for the fire. Tired and weary we got camp set up, dinner cooked, socks dried and the first of many hot whiskies into us.