Monday, 26 March 2012

High As a Kite

For some time my hiking buddy and I have been threatening to get back to the hills. We've had numerous planned jaunts that have crashed and burned over the past 12 months due to various unforseen circumstances, but last Saturday the planets aligned and we found ourselves in North Wales standing at the blunt end of a mountain.

In the past our excursions have been to the more esoteric* peaks and ridges of this sceptered isle, but my hiking buddy's heel had been giving him some trouble and he wasn't sure quite how it was going to hold up. The last thing I wanted was to be wasting the last few hours of daylight waiting for the Mountain Rescue team to arrive, so we decided that liberal use of Ibuprofen and a nice easy route was the order of the day.

We chose Snowdon. On the sunniest day of the year so far. Via the easiest route.

Normally when we are in the hills I can count the number of people we will meet throughout the day on the fingers of one hand. A combination of shite weather and scarily rugged terrain means that only the committed, or those that should be committed, are out and about. That's just how I like it.

But not this Saturday. Oh no. On this day the sun shone and you couldn't have thrown a rock in any direction without hitting several nutters.

 Follow me, if you will, on a pictorial journey through the inhabitants of Wales' highest peak.

First up is this lady. She is sporting a very outdoors-y combination of high heeled sandals and a Lidl bag. I believe this is the 'classic' mountaineering outfit as popularised by Chris Bonnington during the 70s. Personally, I would have left the weekly shop in the car.

This couple are far better prepared for any eventuality. Note the appropriate clothing and baggage. As you will also note, the guy has even gone to the effort of putting a backup dog in his pack. Should there be a problem with his primary dog (currently walking alongside), they still have a dog in reserve. Very sensible.

Honestly, WTF?

Especially entertaining is the shadow cast by someone a little further down the trail. The purple dude does look very pleased to be chatting to the chap in the blue coat.

Honourable mentions (but sadly no photo) also go to:

  • The well-to-do elderly couple, he in deck shoes, she in high-heeled wedges, both with cashmere sweaters draped artfully over their shoulders.
  • The young girl walking in stockinged feet, Converse Allstars in hand.
  • A chap who looked like Gandalf's more wizened elder brother, complete with staff two feet taller than him, slogging up the hill and swearing like a trooper.

If you ask me, even though we were all at the same altitude, some of us were higher than others.


* - E-so-ter-ic. adj. The types of peaks and ridges where people rope themselves together, in order to stop the sane ones from running away.


  1. I was laughing at "Backup Dog" and then got seriously freaked out when I saw blue spandex dude.

    And then rolled under my bed and cried when you pointed out 'the shadow'.

    Glad you found (and documented!) the humor in it all!

  2. Glad you decided to re-start your hiking on one of the UK's smaller hills...great pictures and commentary.

    P.S. Is hiking buddy now crippled for life?

  3. Was this just some peeps out for a walk or was it the local loony bin outing? The blue dude....words fail me (for once)....

  4. Loving the purple lycra dude (Teletubby style...)I've seen some skiers lately in similar garb - are they related? Hiking: we call it "tramping" in New Zealand to much hilarity here in the States.

  5. Is the girl in the black, to the left of the purple man, trying to conceal her laughter/embarassment by pretending to shield her eyes from the sun?

  6. The things you see when you haven't got your gun.......

  7. TTT - I love the idea of backup dogs, maybe there's a market for them?

    NB - Hiking Buddy has been crippled mentally for a long time. Mainly because he's had me as a friend for a long time.

    CQ - He appears to be the main turn of our outing.

    ALW - I imagine tramping in the US is an entirely different proposal....

    Libby - That's a favourite saying of FMA :)

  8. My comment didn't stick here :-(

  9. Oh no, did you comment? What did you say?

  10. It was something about the lady in black, to the left of the purple man, trying to conceal her laughter.