I’ve been involved with Oswestry School’s Adventure Education weekends for several years now. More recently, I’ve found myself working with paddling groups, so it was a pleasant change to be asked to run a mountain walking group.
Tryfan – Scrambling
We opted for an ascent of Tryfan, via the north ridge, on Saturday. It soon became clear that this was a popular choice as the mountain was pretty busy and, with some people afraid to find their own routes, a queue started to develop behind us.
Saturday also saw quite a cold start to the day, so most of the group were lulled into starting with too many layers on, meaning that we have frequent stops for a while as everyone adjusted to the heat they produce while mountain walking. Although we encouraged others to go past, they seemed more content to wait and follow us.
Tryfan’s north ridge provides a great scramble with plenty of options to make things more or less difficult and exposed. I was surprised by how well most of the group coped with the exposure, although there were one or two wide eyes at points!
After negotiating a couple of awkward steps, we found ourselves at the summit but had to share it with every man and his dog (literally) as it makes a wonderful place for lunch on such a clear (although chilly) day.
Mynydd Mawr – Mountain Walking
We were looking for a fairly short day on Sunday, to enable us to get back to school in reasonable time, so headed for Mynydd Mawr near Beddgelert. Although much more mountain walking than yesterday’s scramble, the group were able to take significantly more of a navigational lead in this terrain, and to look more at contour shapes and interpretation, walking speeds and measuring distances etc.
Once out of the forest low down, we had a steep ascent up to the eastern shoulder, followed by a gentle stroll round the top of the south facing crags to the summit, where lunch and selfies were the order of the day.
It’s been a brilliant weekend, made by a group that were up for the experience and eager to get stuck in. I’m looking forward the next mountain walking weekend already.