Monday, 28 April 2008

kilimanjaro Training Weekend

Everyone arrived in Snowdonia Friday night and Saturday morning and meeting each other for the first time, all having the same mission to climb Kilimanjaro in September.
We based ourselves in Plas Curig which is at the foot of Moel Siabod.

Our first days walk was up Moel Siabod which starts off with a beautiful walk along the Afon Llugwy before a steady climb to the south side of Moel Siabod up past the old Slate Mine to Llyn y Foel then nice steady scramble up the ridge to the summit and into the cloud.
The Scramble up the ridge was a great little warm up in preparation for the Barranco Wall.
Once on the Summit we all headed back down the Northern side of the mountain and finally out of the cloud where we all enjoyed the stunning views back down the valley.
The evening was then followed up by a few beers and lots of talk about Kilimanjaro.
Sunday morning was just a nice little stretch out for a few hours with a bit of hands on scramble before heading to the pub for Sunday lunch and planning the next training weekend.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Welsh Winter wounderland

Finally some decent snow in Snowdonia.

It was play time while most people were at work in the every day grind.
We out headed for the the Carneddau some of the most bleak mountains in Snowdonia.
With ice axes in hand our plan of attack was the Llafar Ridge a great ridge Scramble in the summer so in winter conditions we were in for a ball.
The weather was pretty good to start off good vis for about 100mts at times, but as you would expect the weather closed in and the wind got up.

The hail was like being sand blasted in face while looking down into an abyss below which just disappeared into the mist.

This was a good welsh winter in April !
Half way up the ridge we had a change of plan and decided to head up a gully which was hilarious as we were then nearly waist deep in snow
(I was anyway).
Finally we reached the summit of Carnedd Dafydd in a white out, you couldn't see your hand in front of your face, with a bit of navigation and we were back in the land of living at home with the kettle on.

God I Love Wales

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Peru Lares

Having done the Inca Trail 7 times the Lares Trail had a lot to live up to........

So we set off from heathrow. Well we tried! Our flight was cancelled thanks to terminal 5. So everyone went for a beer and a few hours later finally, we were on our way - via the whole of the America's .........

After what felt like a life time sitting in airports we were finally on foot and hoof, with our trusty horse's as support, and heading for Machu Picchu.

Right from the start the the trail was just breath taking...........
Starting off at 3700mts in the sacred valley climbing to 4200mts passing through a narrow gorge with Pre Inca mummies and finishing off in a hot springs at 3200mts was not a bad start to the trail.
Up at 4.45am and then a steady climb from camp up through an amazing glacial valley going through some very welcoming Andean villages and up to our 2nd pass of 4200mts and that was before lunch. We camped that night at 3750mts where half the group decided to play football and woop the locals 5-4!
Up bright and early 4.45am and off again after another huge breakfast.
Today our climb was up to 4500mts and fingers crossed views of the Urabamba mountain range then decending down to 3800mts into camp where the group nearly drank the village out of beer and sang badly!
For me one of the many highlights of the Lares Trail is passing through the villages. It was great to have such an insight into life in the Andes.
Not forgetting the grand finale Machu Picchu which always leaves me speachless and a little breathless.

It was a great trip with a great bunch of people.