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Monday 29th July 1968 - Llyn Ogwen to Llanberis road

List of members: (from the separate ‘name book')


FR Mason  Paul Andrew  Nigel Dawson  Julian McIntosh (MH)
Ian Howie  David Stafford  Phil McFall  Dilys Roberts 
David Weedall   Ben Wayling   Steven Pickerstone Eric O'Neil
Miss T Fenton   Phil Towell   Phil Stafford   Mike Warburton
  Brenda Sutcliffe   Helen Jones   Phil Woodhouse  
Andrew Howie  Andrew Hill   Barbie Cable (MH)  Paul Mallett
Wolfgang Litz   Bev Stubbs  Keith Mullen   Neil Crawford
Chris Gorman   Steve Shaw   Martin Kittlety   Pam Wilson (MH)
Hilary Andrew  Mike Hartley   John Woodward   
Dan McGookin  Noel Flunder   Ian Exley  
Dave Taylor   Jane Hart   Olly Mills   
Graham Davenport Julie Flunder   Gillian Wright (MH)  
Alan Burrell   Mary Boothroyd   Kevin Jones   
 Tony Leach   Lesley Thompson  Nicky Jones

One always builds up great expectations for the summer term, but generally these are disappointing in respect of school rambles. Usually there are so many other activities, fates, etc, that only one or two school expeditions occur between Whit' and summer holidays.

This year was typical with only the Buxton-Whaley Bridge walk, described, but, with the Headmaster's blessing, we were able to undertake a geological trip to Wales to climb from Llyn Ogwen over Tryfan, Bristly Ridge, the Glyders, Llyn Cwn, and down Afon Las to the Llanberis road. This attendance list has been mislaid and will later be added at the end of this record.

We left Marple (school gates) at about 0730 hrs and debussed at Llyn Ogwen at about 11.00 hrs. We were a large party - 47 all told, including three leaders (FRM, David Weedall and Ian Howie) and Miss Fenton. Before climbing we split into three roughly equal groups, and soon the 1st group set off under Ian Howie, followed in a few minutes by David Weedall's party, with FRM's group bringing up the rear. This record must, by the nature of things, describe mainly the experiences and adventures of the last group.

WW1962-024 an image from 1962
WW1962-024 an image from 1962

Tryfon is no doubt one of the finest mountains for our type of rambling. The weather was excellent, with scarcely a cloud in the sky, and good progress was made up the exciting north face of Tryfon.

Referring to Group 3, we moved rather more to the left than was at first intended and missed some exciting little climbs, but this was finally compensated by being faced by exciting slabs a few hundred feet below the summit.

As sometimes happens, we were troubled by a few members (Chris Gorman among them) who persist in going ahead of the Leader without authority - these members seem too stupid to understand reason. So far none of these ‘clever ones' have come unstuck, but we know it can happen. It is difficult with a constantly changing membership - as one bunch are cured of this bad habit, so others begin to feel their manliness and physical superiority.

On this climb the group kept together well until the foot of the slabs was reached and, at this stage, several climbed without permission, while an easier way was being found for those who did not wish to climb direct - Miss Fenton lead this group to the summit. One contributory factor was waiting for the slower members to catch up.

The situation was not as bad as it seems in this account, but full point has been given to the difficulty of maintaining full control, with discipline undermined as it is by the cloudy-minded intellectuals and idealists who have so much power today.

WW1962-025 an image from 1962
WW1962-025 an image from 1962

All the party reached the summit (3,010 ft) safe and happy, with no untoward incidents. After a short rest we pressed on over the summit of Tryfon and descended to the saddle for the attack on Bristly Ridge.

At this stage control was easier as regards the speed merchants - they were getting a little weary, so of course were the tail-enders, and these had to be encouraged. The long steep haul up the scree slope to the foot of the gully had its effect on those who had squandered their energy too recklessly in the earlier stages.

While waiting for the tail end to arrive we watched cloud envelope the top of Tryfan and, as the base lowered, we soon found ourselves in thick cloud. The other two groups were ahead of us; we wondered how they were faring.

When we were all gathered and rested, an attack was made on the gully. This was good fun; exciting but without great difficulty, although we learned later that Ian Howie had been reprimanded by the local mountain rescue team for taking his group up without rope ! A few members had complained now and then that the route was too strenuous - it had been described as strenuous at the start.

At the top of the gully we scrambled over more rock, and were faced with an apparently unscaleable pillar, like a church spire, looking gigantic and eerie in the mist. However we could hear the voices of David's party from beyond the spire and realised there must be a reasonable way up; there was - quite an easy way. Here we caught up with David's group and decided to stay in contact through the misty part.

FRM navigated through the mist and over that rocky stretch that lay ahead - at one stage there was discussion between Miss Fenton and David as to which route to take; leader decided on the route over the high rocky ridge - Dave Weedall admitted to being worried. There was no reason for his worry and in a few hundred yards the way became easier and we were able to follow the cairned path through the mist.

After several miles we came to a steep scree-y descent, and a quick recce' disclosed Llyn Cwn, for which we were looking. The way was now clear as we dropped below cloud base, and Dave forged ahead showing the physical superiority of youth.

WW1962-026 an image from 1962
WW1962-026 an image from 1962

After a wait at Llyn Cwn for the group to rest, we pressed on easily over the grass to make our final descent down Afon Las. Again Dave sped on - some members hung back unnecessarily, claiming that they didn't get a fair rest if they came up with the leaders at the fairly frequent halts.

This descent was good fun, though Dave did gallop too fast and Mr Mason, after waiting for the tail-enders, went after him fast, but did not quite catch him to stop him taking the wrong route over the fields. Unwisely, leader sped on along the correct path, not realising that he had, in a short time, left the main group well behind so that they did not see the way he'd gone.

On arriving at the finish Ian who, knowing the route well, had arrived some half hour earlier, was met. He was a little excited and, turning to look back, the cause of this was obvious; the mass of our two groups were straggled across several fields, and none were following the correct path. The farmer was present and, justifiably, pretty cross; leader made his peace with the farmer, accepting the blame and apologising for this slip.

Later the leader read the riot act to members for not keeping in closer contact, while at the same time admitting readily that he had, maybe, neglected them a bit on the last easy downhill leg.

We were late for the bus and the skipper was a little annoyed, but he was pacified and later consoled by a handsome collection by the children.

In general this had proved one of our most exciting adventures, with no mishaps, although one or two occasions when discipline wasn't as good as one might wish. Discipline in our club is probably better than most school groups, but is still not up to the standard needed to achieve maximum safety and pride, as well as respect from the public. The difficulty in achieving really good discipline is understandable these days when the general attitude of the country seems to favour the completely undisciplined disorderly rabble - they call it individualism.

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