Saturday 6th August 2016, and I was up in Cumbria playing a wedding gig with rock band 'Amplitude'. This meant we wouldn't be doing our usual 5am start on Sunday 7th August 2016, but kicking off a little later around 7am. Everything was packed and ready though, and we were soon on the M56 and A55 to the OK Diner for an American style breakfast.
We drove to Conwy and then Tal-y-bont, cutting through the country lanes to the big car park at the end of the long cul-de-sac at SH731662. The walk commenced on good vehicle roads, which steadily became suitable only for the most robust ATVs as it began to climb around the first hill en route.
Jimmy, well-researched as ever, prompted me when we reached the point from where we were to cut left up a fainter path towards the ridge. We didn't actually reach the ridge though, for soon we were angling right across some damper softer ground to pick up the final approach to the summit.
It was quite a long walk and a bit of a slog at times, but the gradient was very gentle, so a relatively easy start to the week for the lungs and leg muscles. When we reached the summit, we found it to be bleak in a cold mist, but busy, with lots of other walkers.
Neither of us were particularly bothered to set up a "proper" station on the summit, and opted to just activate on 2m FM using our handheld tranceivers. This was not a problem in terms of securing the amateur radio contacts, and we even made summit-to-summit QSOs across to Northern Ireland.
After switching the radios off, we hung around taking a few more photographs, before setting off on our descent. It was getting chilly on the summit, so we decided to get down to a more sheltered spot before having our lunch.
Just as we were getting going, we were quizzed as to recommended descent routes by several people who seemed to have inadequate mapping, and no compass! We helped them as best we could before getting into our stride. Lunch was a shared 1 litre flask of Baxter's Royal Game soup - delicious.
Next we headed to Idwal Cottage YHA. We raced up to our dormitory, keen to try and secure bottom bunks - success! In the hostel reception, there was a nice surprise for Jimmy when he met Jonathan Williams, his old form tutor and GCSE English teacher from Knutsford High School. They always got on very well as pupil and teacher, and there was still an excellent rapport between them. Mr Williams had since got married and started a family since Jimmy last saw him, and was staying at the hostel with his wife and young family.
After a shower and change, we drove out to Cobdens Hotel for food and beer, and a bit of Rio Olympic action on the pub telly. We didn't stay out too late though as we were anticipating a big day on the Glyders, beginning the next morning on the fearsome Tryfan GW/NW-006.