loading map - please wait...

| km | +m | download GPX file download GPX file
Ogwen to TYB TREK: 53.054422, -4.010010

Ogwen to Tan-y-Bwlch – TREK

Ogwen Cottage –T2-3

When it finally arrives, Ogwen Transition is at the same time welcoming and a deep disappointment. The marshals are encouraging and chatty but there’s no hot water for a brew or to make hot food. I’m angry and dig out the JetBoil determined to keep my promise to myself at least that hot tea is what I’ll have.

The bikes packed away, we’re getting a little better at this transition, and this is the easier direction I think, bike to foot. Packing the bikes is now second nature but a little more involved than it should be, wheels and pedals need removing and stashed away in the boxes neatly. Juggling everything together to ensure nothing is left behind and everything fits neatly.

Ogwen to Tan-y-Bwlch – TREK

This is the first big trekking stage and following the long course even partially, to summit Snowdon is pretty much ruled out by the team. The weather is atrocious, the wind especially and the effort we’ve put in so far has been well over expectations. We plan the direct short course route to the next Transition at Tan-y-Bwlch, and by now we realise the short course isn’t by any means the easy option.

Night Trekking
Night Trekking
Snowdonia Weather
Snowdonia Weather

We’re on more familiar ground here in the North Wales Mountains, at least most of have been here before, but in daylight. The route passes under Tryfan and the navigation is difficult, the terrain more so. We plan to trek through the night as we need to get to Transition [T3-4] early to make sure we get on the water with enough time to have any chance to complete what we still believe is the massive paddle to Barmouth.

The going was tough and the weather atrocious, we learned later that many other experienced teams took the short course route too, [Rosemary / Team Tentel]. The Trek through the mountains is long and my own expectation was that would be the end, but no there’s much more to do and the navigation extremely tricky in the dark. I’m somewhat detached from the nav, (Jill is doing most of it on the trek) and this is now having an effect on me, my mental expectations completely miss matched from reality, I’m always underestimating the distances and its not helping my confidence. By the time we finally get to T3 at about 9am we’re not only much later than we planned but we’re all pretty tired, I’m at a very low ebb indeed.

I’m not ashamed to say, I didn’t have enough strength to cry, for that’s what I felt like doing. My head was a mess, having planned and trained much of the year for this event, I’d set myself up to succeed or fail/die trying and at that moment it seemed like the latter. By now the blister had formed on the ball of my left foot and was beginning to be excruciating, I was shattered, we’d had no sleep to speak of since the start on Monday morning. [As I write this I’m not sure but I think that’s NO sleep for well over 24 hours] My thoughts were a mixture of failure and letting people down, of looking like an old man and a distinct lack of self-belief. I put this to the team, Heather especially as team captain.

Jill’s making up some of the Extreme Food and everyone is trying to make encouraging noises. In the end it was a combination of things but it boiled down to self-belief and not wanting to let myself down, we go on.