Once again, TWMC were eager for a weekend at Tyn Lon – the available places were booked up fast, but we managed to fit in all those who fancied a wintry Welsh weekend, made bearable by the excellent Ceunant MC hut. Sadly Ian Hicks had to pull out, due to work commitments and poor health.

Sue Paddon and I arrived on Wednesday evening, staying initially at Helyg, the characterful CC hut in Ogwen valley. On the drive up I noticed that the Welsh hills were plastered with snow, but this melted in the rain. Thursday was very windy, not too cold, and it only rained a bit……. We went to Little Tryfan, where Sue did some trad leading for the first time. We retired to the hut and lit the fire. Overnight, the wind outside was terrific, and power was lost – supply poles blown down. Needing hot tea, we decamped to Tyn Lon early, had breakfast, then drove back to Ogwen to Milestone Buttress – Rowan Route, a pleasant Diff which enabled us to share the 4 pitch leads. I made a complete mess of finding our way off the crag; we saw the descent gully but it was steep and slimy – to avoid this horror we spent ages finding an easier way down to the east. Never mind, Sue was pleased with her first multi-pitch lead. We retired to the hut and lit the fire, being joined by Brian and Jeremy, Mark Holden (who had been mountain biking at Marin), and new member Mick Canning, who had already been up for 2 days near Beddgelert, hill walking. The beer at the Vaynol Arms is fine, but the bar meals still average. Mandy joined us there, from her new Uni at Aberystwyth.

All the others arrived during the evening and plans for Saturday were made. A large group was bound for Idwal Slabs and Cneifion Arête. I’m not sure who went there, but think it was Rob M, Paul, Sue T, Mandy, Mick, Mark, Liam and Dan – they said it was a great route, and I was pleased that no one got blown off. Justin and Brian went to Tremadog (Xmas Curry & Creag Dhu wall), two classic Severe routes, while Rob N, Jeremy, Sue P and I walked up Snowdon to see the new summit station. As we all stepped outside the hut to set off, rain fell in sheets, but fortunately that was generally all we got that day! We retired to the hut and lit the fire…….

We were lucky that SuperChef Naylor was in charge of catering for the communal meal – this is always a favourite at a winter hut meet, and we were not disappointed. Helped by minions who peeled, chopped and scraped, a feast was provided! Starters was sliced salami and chorizo with various tasty salads and French bread. The main course was sausages (from Paul’s own porkers) with mashed spud, roast parsnips, carrots and onion gravy. Needless to say we did not go thirsty… (I know! I cleared the empties to the bottle bank.) After the meal, there was some live music with guitar playing from Paul, Rob N and Rob M, and general drunken singing until fairly late.

On Sunday the weather had calmed down a bit. I’m told that Mark and Justin did Crackstone Rib, in the Pass, a Severe which sounded a bit tasty (wet/no gear), I went to Tremadog with Mandy to do Christmas Curry (also quite tricky as the rock was wet, but gear ok). Several sloped of early for the long drive home, and the rest – well, I don’t know. I was staying at Tyn Lon a third night, being due at the BMC Manchester office on Monday, so…..

I retired to the hut and lit the fire…….!

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