As part of the ongoing relationship between the Livery and our Army Affiliates, 135 Geographic Squadron, we regular provide financial support for reservist members to participate in the Royal Engineer’s mountaineering expeditions to remote locations in the world, with a follow up presentation of their endeavors to the Livery upon return.
It was at the last such event earlier this year that the intrepid expedition leader Captain James ’Nessie’ Smith offered the opportunity of providing a more local experience for the livery members! Six months later, twelve willing volunteers were heading up to North Wales for a ‘Mountaineering Experience’ with the royal Engineers!!
On arrival … and to add to the ambiance, the accommodation was a traditional mountain ‘hut’, complete with zero heating and bunk beds, located a good 20 minutes up a mountain trail in the pouring rain!! Clearly this was not going to be a weekend of home comforts!! A warm welcome was however on the mat and, after a military sized spaghetti bolognese dinner, we retired to our bunks in nervous anticipation of the following day!
Snowdon was our target for Saturday! Coffee in hand (“so London”), we all headed off up the Pyg Track, with the option to peel off and ascend to the dizzy heights of Crib Goch … depending on ability and appetite to experience fear and exhaustion! All routes led to the summit where we met (along with every other walker in Snowdonia)!! Despite the attraction of jumping on the train back down, we all completed the ‘horseshoe’, eventually descending back to Pen-y-Pass for a well deserved cuppa tea, to be swiftly followed by a full post mortem in a local hostelry, followed by more spaghetti bolognese (can you spot a trend!!) back at the hut! We all retired to our bunks late into the evening, very satisfied with our achievement!
Sunday dawned to a rude awakening of rally cars … as we were unknowingly located only a few hundred metres from the stage of the Welsh Rally!! Crawling from our bunks, a hearty breakfast was consumed before heading out to the crag to try our luck at rock climbing! With helmets, harnesses and a strong tug on the rope, we all managed to scale the challenges presented, making a fitting completion to our weekend experience!!
Five Stars to our guides for providing a superb weekend of fellowship, hospitality and a true taste of the mountaineering experience!! Look out for the next trip in 2019!!
Court Assistant David Reynolds, Military Affiliates Liaison Officer