Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Thursday, 30 July 2020

4 February 1996 - A Birthday Walk, and an Anniversary

I was reminded today (I would have spotted it in the diary later) that Sue and I first met (encountered?) at a luggage carousel exactly 25 years ago today.
Our respective luggages had not reached our flight to Toulouse, so whilst Dave, Martin W and I went off for a pizza, Sue and Caroline festered, penniless, somewhere near the airport.
Once our luggage had arrived, we tried but failed to fit into their Peugeot 106, so off we went by train to Pau, with the girls going to Luchon.
Several months later, on the day of a slideshow I was presenting of our Pyrenees trip, I bumped into Sue in the street. It turned out we lived close to each other. We were also on the same page of the vast South Manchester phone directory!
She came to the slideshow, and a few weeks later joined Laurie, Dave and I on our Xmas planning amble in Silverdale. The first proper walk she joined us on was my birthday walk in 1996. It was a perfect day, and I must have taken far more photos than the seven found in an album today. The others must be around somewhere, but the following diary entry and those seven pictures give a fair impression of the day.

4 February 1996 - Martin's Birthday Walk to the Glyders 

An 8am start from Laurie's house, via Ellesmere Road (to pick up Sue), with Martin W already on board from the previous night - the second Saturday running for the Tandoori Kitchen (last week with Pete Hill) which was very full due to recent press on Rusholme. Dave and Laurie both keep us waiting.

Peering into Laurie's living room confirmed to Sue that the information 'she has been fed' did not contain the alleged 'lies and distortions'. Laurie's abode is full of debris, newspapers and pianos as always. Off to Chester to pick up Sue's friend Neil, a rugged manager at a bubble bath factory, and load Laurie in his 'free passage' compartment in the boot.

Breakfast at Ruthin in leisurely style, then on to Llyn Ogwen for a 10:45 start. The weather has gradually improved from good to excellent, the clouds having cleared from the west (they remained intermittent all day).

A light covering of snow from last weekend has partly evaporated, but the remnants remain solidly frozen, and the ascent of Y Garn soon became slippery enough for me to don crampons on this northern slope. Lots of people on the summit.
Brilliant views towards Tryfan, and over to Anglesey.
Calm but cold, not bitter. We continued down the south slope to the Devil's Kitchen bealach. I was reprimanded for making excruciating crampon rock bashing noises - my feet must have shrunk since I adjusted the crampons.

Sue put on some sparkling new flashy crampons and proceeded up a frozen river, followed by Laurie in his rather more worn and flimsy ironmongery. Lots of photos in this scenic spot.

Glyder Fawr, 3279', was eventually reached, where Dave and Neil had been in residence for some time, the rest of us having very much idled up.

Lunch noshed, we continued east, no crampons needed now, with excellent views of Snowdon and down to Porthmadog.
Castle of the Winds
Reach an icy Glyder Fawr, 3262' - there is no trig point bolt in sight for Laurie to 'bag' today - by a direct route over icy boulders. We then all dashed off to the cantilever rock except Sue, who despite being probably the only climber amongst us, got a bit stuck. She blamed a broken finger from a 'trip' on Blencathra two weeks earlier.
It was too slippery for self timed photos on the cantilever, but quite a few poses were taken by Sue, who didn't venture onto the rock.
We are almost last on the mountain, there's only one other group in sight, and we now amble down to the Miners Track junction, where Sue and Neil decide to yomp it to the café in Capel Curig, whereas the rest of us head to the Bristly Ridge bealach and down slippery slopes to Ogwen.

I nearly have a mishap crossing a steep frozen stream, and spend five minutes on a sharp pointed rock trying to fit crampons on to enable further movement, which is further inhibited by a bout of cramp. (Hence 'cramp-on'?)

The exercise proved useful for the lower slopes, which were very slippery due to frozen streams. Beautiful late afternoon colours.
Llyn Bochlwyd, west of Tryfan, with sunset over Y Garn
Reach the car by 5:15 - nearly dusk - the rest arrive (cramponless so slower) ten minutes later, and we re-join the dishy pharmacist and Neil in the café.
Coastal route for an uneventful return via Neil's house for tea, etc, then a dash to Piccadilly Station where Martin W reportedly catches an unadvertised bus to Sheffield.
(This was Neil's only trip with us. He emigrated to Toronto in May 1996.)
Here's a more recent report on the same walk, from which the following route map is taken - about 13 km and 1000 metres ascent.
Happy Anniversary, Sue!


bowlandclimber said...

Happy Anniversary.
I'm enjoying these nostalgic journeys.
We have all been there back in the day.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Bowland, dragging these old pictures and diary entries is certainly entertaining a few of my (fairly sparse) readership! And it's keeping me busy - there's lots to go at.

Louise said...

Lovely 🙂

Unknown said...

Loved reading this one!!!! 😊🥰

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Louise, and Laura (aka 'Unknown')