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Bryn Hafod, Southern Snowdonia, 1st-3rd March 2019

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A trudge in the dark for half a mile led the hillwalkers from the car park to what could only be described as the most luxurious bunkhouse the club had ever laid eyes on. There were sofas, a coal-burning fire, cooking utensils, tea pots, GIANT JENGA, hot showers and even an axe to chop fire wood!

On Saturday, two keen beans headed off into the hills before the rest of us had even emerged from our sleeping bags. With heavy rain and strong winds forecast, we braced ourselves for a miserable day. Instead, there was some sunshine, the rain held off for much of the day, and temperatures were above 5°C.

The club’s new president, Mary M, led her group with great energy, overtaking another group to county top bagging glory. However, it was not all plain sailing for Mary and her band of merry hillwalkers. Their journey was almost ruined when the wind suddenly whipped their map out of Mary’s hands and almost over a ridge. Thankfully Seb P dived after it and managed to retrieve it in time. They didn’t get much further before Oliver N realised that he had lost his phone. The group retraced their steps for a little over a kilometre, scanning the ground as they did so, before Peter M miraculously found it, phew!

Mary and her merry band of hillwalkers made it to the pub just as heavy rain set in. Once they had finished their drinks, they headed back to the bunkhouse under classic, torrentially, wet Wales weather. Fortunately, Elliot B, who had been in another group which had returned to the bunkhouse earlier, had (finally) mastered the coal fire, and the bunkhouse was toasty and warm for their return.

The evening was filled with giant Jenga, cards against humanity, several songs from the song book and a game of the ‘cereal box challenge’, where an ever-shrinking cardboard box must be lifted from the floor using mouths only and no hands! Some very impressive technique and flexibility was demonstrated. Congratulations to Tom S for winning against stiff competition from Susannah P.

Sunday was miserable, wet and the wind was howling at up to 70mph. A group headed off to bag yet another county top en route for Cambridge. Another group ventured to the small touristy seaside town of Tywyn in south-western Snowdonia. There they dropped Elliot off at Talyllyn Railway. This railway is represented in the Thomas the Tank Engine series of books by Rev W. Awdry as Skarloey Railway, and most of Awdry's fictional locomotives are based on real-life equivalents. The blue steam engine there greatly resembled the trains from the popular children’s series.

The trip was a great success for the new committee!

Trip list: Mary M, Seb P, Paul C, Jodie W, Elliot B, Eva F, Oliver N, Susannah P, Cameron J, Derek P, Qi Y, Tom S, Yaron B, Chris K, Peter M, James S, Rachita C, Paul F

Jodie W