Last Monday I climbed Snowdon. Not so remarkable, you might think, even on a grotty day like Monday when hundreds of other people were probably doing the same thing. But for me it was a bit of breakthrough. My last real “mountain” climb had been almost four years ago when I attempted Snowdon but only got as far as Y Lliwedd before escaping back down to Nantgwynant. On the ascent I was so short of breath that I genuinely worried that I might be seriously ill, and for several days afterwards my legs were so painful I just couldn’t face it again.
So what was so different about last Monday? I left my DSLR kit at base camp and took just a Panasonic GX1, two lenses, and a travel tripod. This is a brilliant combination for lightweight travel and seems to be capable of excellent results. Not that I got anything on this trip because the cloud was down at about 2500 feet and the promised clearance just didn’t happen. I’ve usually been good at choosing mountain days but got it wrong this time!
Nevertheless the exercise and sense of achievement was rewarding, and there were a couple of other things that made the day memorable. Firstly, I was amazed by the number of parents taking their children up the mountain. Never in a million years would mine have done such a thing, or even considered it for themselves. They just didn’t do the outdoors.
Secondly, I had sat in the summit cafe for a couple hours to see if the cloud would clear, but as I stood up to leave a man at the next table caught my eye, and said he recognised me. Did I live in Rhyl, or Kinmel Bay? Was I a church-goer? Had I been on Crimewatch? Errrr…… no …….wellll…… errrm…….. ! He just couldn’t place me.
For my part nothing really rang a bell. I had done a little photography in Rhyl for “Wales At Waters Edge” and I spent a morning at the Art Gallery earlier in the summer while the exhibition was showing there. But Rhyl is, to put it bluntly, a bit of a dump, and not my cup of tea at all. A vague memory came floating out of the ether. I had had a chat with a visitor to the exhibition and managed to persuade her to buy a copy of the book. Could he have been her companion? It was the only thing I could think of.
I checked my emails later that day, and there was one via my website from Dave Cutting, who had been with his wife Ellen when she had bought a copy of the book that day at Rhyl! Funny old world……..
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