Took the opportunity for a quick hill walking visit to Snowdonia at the weekend primarily planning to do the Snowdon Horseshoe time permitting on the Saturday and Tryfan on the Sunday. A little bit wary of the challenge having had a hamstring strain for about two months which has seriously curtailed training and racing. Also conscious of the fact that the weather forecast indicated very hot and sunny conditions. Not ideal for hill walking and scrambling. Started off on the Snowdon Ranger path which was a bit of a boring slog but certainly a good hill ascent training workout. Path very busy and the summit itself felt more like Piccadilly Circus on a Saturday afternoon with all ages shapes sizes and languages. Bit of a shock as my only previous visit to the summit in the past had been at around 5 am in the morning when it was beautifully quiet. On that occasion had gone up via the Crib Goch arete and then ran down from the summit via the PYG track.The “walk” along Crib Goch was as I remembered – exposed(particularly along the “Knife Edge” section) and requiring a lot of two hands on Grade 1 scrambling. Decided to turn back to the summit at the end of the arete so an interesting experience in there and back route finding. Given the heat and the time factor decided to leave the second part of the Horseshoe for another day. Decision also influenced by the fact that having negotiated all the major rocks of Crib Goch twice I somehow managed to trip over a small rock on the flat saddle section leading from the end of the arete back to Snowdon summit. Slightly bruised and cut hand,leg and bottom – but seriously injured ego! Woke up the the following morning with a stiff/sore hipbone and not sure whther I would be able to manage Tryfan which I had never done before but which I knew involved a lot of heavy duty rock scrambling in the summit approach. As it turned out despite it being an even hotter day managed the summit (marked by the famous twin slab rocks known as “Adam and Eve”) via the South Ridge Route. Busy but nowhere near the scale of footfall(and trainfall) compared with Snowdon.
What a tremendous weekend training work out for quads,calf and hamstrings with all that stretching and pushing on the rocks (appears touch wood to have had a positive effect on hamstring strain).
Having done a lot of reading on Fell Running in recent months I came away with a renewed respect for the Fell Running community who apart from the lung busting ascents have to negotiate a lot of potentially ankle breaking ridges and rocks in running as opposed to walking mode in pursuit of their hobby.
Caution not for the faint hearted or those wary of heights !