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Thursday 26th October 2023
The Welsh Wonderland

The Devil’s kitchen.

Starting the trip at the closest town, Llanberis, a solid beginning in a local pub – after a quick pint and I mean the one! We explored what Llanberis had to offer, a very colourful town, with a few hiking shops, pubs and takeaways – the local fish and chip shop sure did tempt me! 

We then headed to Y-Garn, the peak of choice – we followed the A5 and soon began to realise the true beauty of Snowdonia, it really is worth the visit. We spent a little time sussing out the parking and packing our bags – before we set off on our trip to the top, not knowing if we would end up with a parking ticket or not! We decided to ‘take a short cut across’ and yes that always ends the same way! We soon realised that we had to jump over a little bit of flowing water, a few soggy boots later we joined the path that follows from Ogwen Snack bar (the proper start).

The path led us to a little lake, on the right hand side of it was a ‘beach’ if you can call it that anyway! After passing it everything started to set in, Y-Garn is near 1000 metres of elevation, we were carrying our 85L packs, potentially 20/25kg on our backs. Following the long and windy track up, slate step after slate step, it started to get steeper and steeper. A good few stops later it turned into a scramble, and what seemed like the top was in sight. We were deep in The Devil’s Kitchen, a very rocky, rough, harsh terrain. At the ‘top’, well what we considered the top before we soon realise it was only a flat plain with 2 peaks either side…

However, we own cracked on with the last 200 metres, unsure which peak was Y-Garn, we sheepishly headed on to the final ascent. We made the decision to head up the left-hand peak (Glyder Fawr), with the sun setting in the distance and the loose rock slowing us down – it soon became a little sketchy. With none of us knowing the ‘route’ it was looking bleak, as we neared the top of the peak the sun was going down rapidly and a few of us decided to head back to the flat plain to set up our tents. Dark was fully set in, and we were still yet to reach the camp spot…

We pitched up near a lovely lake, between the two peaks, secluded from any potential winds – the temperatures dropped to around 1 degree or so, we hastily set up, cooked and headed to bed. Although I did have a visitor in the night, a ravenous sheep decided to attack the rubbish bag attached to my tent outer – typical really, after a short while he let me have some rest (thankfully). The morning was cold and damp, waking up in a cloud was honestly beyond words, but it soon dawned on me, we were planning to hike up Y-Garn before heading back to the car early afternoon. And well we got to the top of Y-Garn and honestly when I say you couldn’t see anything, genuinely we missed out on one of the nicest views in Snowdonia because of the heavy fog – without a doubt I’ll be back for that view. Saying I was gutted would have been an understatement!

The way down was truly breathtaking, a long hike down with view overlooking Llyn Idwal I honestly could not complain, well until my legs were burning that was! We got back to the car and a sense of relief set in. We soon realised someone was missing, Lucas had marched ahead of the group so we assumed he would have beat us back… with around 30 minutes passing, we waited in the hope he would pop up in the distance. Although with him being ahead of the group it seemed unlikely, a few of us split off while some waited at the car park, we all had no signal. With us all back to the car park things were feeling a little worrying, another 30 minutes passed, and well thankfully, Lucas appeared walking down the A5 like nothing had happened – funnily enough he spent the hour waiting for us at the beach… a wild swim was originally the plan. And well I still can’t explain what happened, but we had some sort of mix up. After finally getting back in the cars, we finished our trip at the local zip world, trying out the Forest Coaster, which yes were sketchy, but great fun!

It soon became time to head back home, a long 3-hour drive… but to this day the top of Y-Garn still sits as the best place I’ve managed to camp, the true off grid experience with good company.

Author: Callum Morley & Will Hayes
Hardware: Sony A7R III & Sony A7 III
Lenses: Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 & ?????
Location: Snowdonia, Wales
Date: 26.08.23 – 28.08.23

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