January 2023 – Burns Meet, Chester MC Hut, Llanberis

Our first trip of the year is always a popular one where we celebrate Robbie Burns birthday. With snow on our December Xmas weekend we were hopeful, until the warm spell arrived mid-week before our departure. Three set off on Thursday to spend Friday in the mountains. Alan W arriving first put the heating on and got the fire going ready for Andy and Dan’s arrival.

Friday 27th January

Andy, Dan and Alan W all headed off from the hut to do the Moel Eilio Horseshoe. Arriving at a bridge across a small river they waited for a herd of cows to cross. Nearing the summit of Moel Eilio the mist turned to frozen mist and the ground was frozen. A good sign for Saturday? They carried on and had lunch on Moel Cynghorion looking north out to Anglesey. The team decided to retrace their steps to Telegraph Gap and return to the hut down the new path.

David and Matthew were the first to arrive on Friday evening, in time for the communal meal (Thanks Dan). Everyone arrived over the evening with Shane and Lexie being the last to arrive. However, proving that you can drive from Bedford to Snowdonia in a fully electric car.

Saturday 28th January

As normal we split into smaller groups and headed off for our day’s adventures. However, this was going to be a day of meet ups as three groups met up at two different locations!

Peter and Kathy headed off to summit Snowdon via Moel Eilio, the following the ridge around to Moel Cynghorion before heading off cross county to join the Ranger path to Snowdon and returning via the Llanberis path.

Dan, Andy and David went off to Cefn-Du before Bwlch then down to Llyn Pardon before returning to the hut via Llanberis.

Shane, Lexie, Bob and Sohpie all joined together for a leisurely run up Snowdon then down via the Miners path. Still feeling full of energy they all turned around and headed up the East Ridge to Grib Goch. As they were approaching the summit they spotted five mountaineers coming up the North Ridge. Stopping for a brief chat before all nine of us started the traverse of the ridge together. It wasn’t too long before the trail runners started to pull away. A quick descent of the Llanberis path to the hut; then down to Llanberis for some shopping.

Adam, Alan W, Stacey, Stuart and Michelle all headed off up the Llanberis path before venturing off contouring around to Cwm Glas where the North Ridge of Grib Goch starts. Nearing the summit, they heard calling from familiar voices ascending the East Ridge! It wasn’t long on the ridge before the trail runners started to move away. It was an excellent day’s scrambling along the ridge. On meeting the Llanberis path Alan W, Stacey and Stuart decided to descend while Adam and Michelle went to join the crowds at the summit. Stacey was annoyed seeing a plastic bottle so he picked it up. As they descended more and more plastic bottles and other rubbish was collected and added to the growing stash in rucksack pockets, a stuff sack and one of their own plastic bags. They felt so righteous emptying out all the rubbish they had collected.

Gill, Laurence and Nigel headed of to Maesgwyn before joining up with the Snowdon Ranger path and heading up to join the crowds at Snowdon’s summit. In that crowd were Adam and Michelle! A quick two party summit photograph later they all headed down the Llanberis path to the hut.

Back at the hut Kathy, David, Andy and Dan had made a great start peeling the spuds, carrots, swede and leaks before chopping them all up ready for the chefs. Chester has an excellently kitchen and is a good size to cook a Burns supper for 18. Plenty of room for Peter to make the Cranachan while Alan W concentrated on the soup and David made an excellent job of the neeps ‘n’ tatties.

Prior to dinner Alan W read the poem The Mountaineer in memory of Alan M who sadly died last year. It was Alan M and his wife Kathy who started our Burns Supper tradition many a year ago. Naturally, the Haggis was piped in and then Alan W read ‘The Address to the Haggis’. The Haggis didn’t want to roll over easily and Alan W’s first cut bounced off; the Haggis was fighting back! We then finished off another excellent Burns Supper – we’re getting rather good at this. There was a great sharing and sampling of all the different whiskies brought along. Next year, a communal Mazzle of a Scottish mountain area?

Sunday 29th January

Peter and Kathy headed off to Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach starting from the Pen-y-Gyrd hotel.

Gill, Laurence, David and Matthew did the first half of the Moel Eilio horseshoe – Moel Eilio, Foel Gron, Foel Goch descending from Telegraph Gap.

Alan and Nigel went for a walk around Llyn Padryn and found themselves in the middle of an orienteering race before stopping for coffee and cake in Llanberis.

All our runners headed off to and. Shane and Lexie walked up Elidir Fawr before running onto Y Garn. However, Bob and Sophie ran the whole way from the hut.

With so many teams returning to the hut the final clean and tidy up was the last thing we did together before our journeys home. There was a notable first on this trip – the first Club hut allowing electric car charging. That’ll make Shane’s life easier and maybe encourage more to follow his eLead!

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