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Guest blog: Twitter walker on The Snowdon Horseshoe

Written by Fiona April 04 2011

@MrIrvingClarke chats on Twitter. The other day he tweeted about a walk he’d enjoyed to the highest peak in Wales. I tweeted back and said it sounded fab because it wasn’t the usual tourist route to the top of Snowdon. He tweeted back (as you do) and said, indeed it was fab. So I asked him to write a guest blog about the walk. I like to hear about other people’s adventures in the great UK outdoors. This is MrIvingClarke’s walk on The Snowdon Horseshoe.

When not on Twitter,  @ MrIvingClarke  is 36-year-old Yoric Irving-Clarke, who works in Supported Housing – and likes to walk to “get exercise and clear my head!”. He started walking aged eight when he first climbed Snowdon. (Most likely on the tourist route!)

@MrIrvingClarke writes: “The Snowdon Horseshoe. Three words that either strike terror into your soul or make your mouth water…or both!

“If I’m honest I’d put this one off for as long as I could.  Breathless accounts of the knife-edge traverse of Crib Goch always made me think twice about trying it.  But better to live one day as a lion and all that…

“Days on Snowdon start at an ungodly hour. Fact!  Arrive at Pen y Pass any time after 9am on a half decent day and you can forget parking in the car park proper – you’ll have to park at the bottom of the Llanberis pass and face a stiff uphill walk before you get anywhere near Snowdon.

“So we arrived early! The first section of the epic walk is the Pyg Track, which, if I’m honest, is a little dull when you compare it to the next section! Added to this, the first section is soon forgotten the minute you turn right and head to Bwlch y Moch and on to the dreaded Crib Goch.

“What starts as a reasonable walk up the lower slopes soon turns into a scramble. And, be warned, once you reach the scramble there’s no way back so make sure you have the guts (and experience) for what’s coming!

A walker heads up Y Lliwedd on The Snowdon Horseshoe

“Ha! ‘Only a grade 1.’ they tell you. How scary can it be?

“Er, well, if your idea of scary is a 2-3 feet wide sloping arête with a 2000ft drop on either side, then scared you will be!

“Fortunately there’s a path on one side of it with good hand-holds down the spine.  I won’t lie to you, I was scared but this is one of the most exhilarating walks you can do in the UK – and well worth the fear!

“Once you’ve got that, and the short scrambles over the pinnacles behind you, it’s a glorious walk round Crib Y Ddysgl and on to Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon’s true summit).  The views into the horseshoe and down to Moel Siabod are immense, as are the views out to the coast and the Llyn on a clear day.

“Yr Wyddfa is a good place to have a recharge before dropping down to Bwlch y Saethau and facing the scramble up Y Lliwedd.  Again, the views across the horseshoe from both summits are jaw-dropping.  You can see your whole route from here.

“Now all you have to do is drop on to the Miner’s Path and back to Pen y Pass. One superb walk.

“And for my next challenge? Scotland’s highest peak, Ben Nevis, via CMD Arete. Another epic scramble and fantastic views, I’m told. I’ll blog about this one once I’ve plucked up the courage!”

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