When Patience Pays Off

Hiking Experiences

During the summer months, I was eager to get out in the mountains between lockdown restrictions and poor weather. After reading between the lines with the mountain weather forecast, it looked like there would be a small window of opportunity in the early hours of this particular morning which offered clear skies.

Starting out at Beddgelert and ascending the Watkin path, my destination was the amazing viewpoint between Snowdon and Y Lliwedd, which offers perhaps the best view in Wales, which looks out across the beautiful Llyn Llydaw. During the ascent I was greeted by numerous shooting stars that ripped through the dark skies of Snowdonia putting on such a spectacular show in the clear skies that were indeed forecast.

Halfway up the Watkin path and the intended ridge I was aiming for in sight, I caught a glimpse of 4 headtorches making their way across the ridge towards Snowdon summit. Despite being in the middle of nowhere and halfway up a mountain, I found it highly amusing that all I could hear was “watermelon sugar” being played loudly from a portable stereo. As I made my final push for the ridgeline, I was swamped by a bank of low cloud and the landscape quickly disappeared before me.

Watkin Path Route
Sun rising above Llyn Llydaw

After reaching my destination I sat for nearly an hour in low cloud with no view and contemplating calling it a day. There were signs the cloud was trying to break, teasing as I got glimpses of what I had come to see. I had been in this situation many times before and still never got the view, but for some reason on this morning I was convinced I would. At this point sunrise had passed and still nothing.

Just as I was starting to get my stuff together and packing my bag, the ground right before me lit up in a soft golden glow. As I stood there, the clouds began to part and I was eventually greeted with the view that can be seen in the image. When you have made the midnight drive and the climb by headtorch, it really is worth sticking it out because you just never know what might happen. One thing was for certain, nothing was wiping the smile off my face on the drive back home.

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