Monday, October 3, 2011

Wales September 2011

I spent two weeks working in Snowdonia this autumn. The first week I helped out on a Duke of Edinburgh week for several Kent schools who based themselves, when they weren't on expedition, at the Kent Mountain Centre.

I had a memorable time waiting at Bwlch y Rhediad for a D of E practice group to come through. There is a fair amount of waiting around when remotely supervising D of E groups but on a day like this I wasn't complaining. I had the view across the Gwynant valley towards Snowdon all to myself with just a buzzard in the far distance for company. The sunlight was breaking through the clouds and acting like a giant spotlight. As it swept over the ground the muted colours were suddenly vividly bright - the green of the fields and the silver of the river and the landscape alive.

 Llyn Gwynant With Snowdon in the Distance.
Another memorable moment this first week was when the qaulifying group came into the dining hall after finishing late on their last day and the rest of the groups already there giving them a huge round of applause.  

My second week was spent in a small cottage on a working hill farm just inside the Snowdonia National Park. With the help of another member of staff I looked after a group of 10 14 year olds from a school in Canterbury, Kent - everyone having to adapt to there being no running water nor electricity. Despite less than perfect weather during the week, we managed to complete some fieldwork and have 3 good mountain days. The most enjoyable for me was a very windy ascent of Y Garn via the Devil's Kitchen in winds that were gusting to over 50 mph and strong enough to blow some of the group over. One boy had his glasses blown off his head (close to the spot in the picture below) and down a steep drop. They could not be recovered but he went on to get to the summit of Tryfan the next day! 

The Descent From Y Garn.
View of Llyn Idwal From The Devil's KItchen.

Thank you for (your help) .... organising the Snowdonia week – my son had a fantastic time despite the Friday rain and from his photos (and he has loads of these) you can see the boys were always smiling along with Alex.

Thanks again.


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