Bespoke guiding, 21 Sep 2019

Amar & Sameer's bespoke run

  • Snowdonia
  • GB
  • 21 Sep 2019

Running as a gift is a lovely thing. Amar & Sameer's parents contacted me to design a run to incorporate into their holiday to Snowdonia.

The first climb

Amar & Sameer were both keen to be challenged on a long, continuous ascent. Having good fitness on the road, both lads were excited to be up for the challenge of running over technical terrain with big climbs & descents.

We set off from Llanberis at a steady pace, enjoying a chat and warm up on the flat ground before hitting the slopes leading up to Elidir Fawr. It's a big, relentless climb. 800m ascent in just over 2 miles on a mix of trails, quarry inclines, grassy slopes and scree. From the start of the climb I set a good pace and the lads kept right behind. They seemed more than capable of running most of the ascent, so I pushed them on, with just a brief respite to teach them the classic fell runners 'race-walk' as we hit the steep grass section. 

We hit the top ridge of Elidir Fawr in under an hour, a fantastic effort, particularly given neither had run on this sort of terrain or gradient previously! The weather was stunning, allowing excellent visibility and views. Although we had sunshine galore, high winds, with gusts up to 45 mph, meant we needed to keep moving. The lads were given some training tips on downhill technique, then we set off around the ridge towards Y Garn.

The extension

The pace allowed the option for an extension of the route. It would, however, also mean a big descent to restock water, followed by another big climb back to the ridge.

Both were keen. The descent from Y Garn down the North-East ridge is a mix of steep scree and stepping stones. It also provides some magical views, the aspect showcasing the vastness of the Ogwen Valley while revealing hidden cwms bounded by rugged crags. Once meeting the shore of Llyn Idwal, we headed back up towards the Devil's Kitchen, or Twll Du, meaning ‘black hole’.

It's an impressive place, named so because of the plume of steam that can sometimes be seen rising from the crack, an imaginative illusion of the Devil's cooking releasing steam up the 'chimney'.

The final slog up the slope of Yr Garn was rewarded with stunning views, followed by the long, grassy slope descending down to Nant Peris. All that was left was a little reminder of maintaining good form as we ran the final two miles on pavement, back to Llanberis. I often enjoy factoring in this sort of training. Too much time on the fell can make you 'sloppy' unless you make the effort to run at a good pace. A final section on road teaches you not to get too lazy.

Well done guys on sticking in on the climbs and applying your newly learnt technique on the descents. An awesome effort by you both, covering 13.5 miles and 1600m ascent. Great fun and a pleasure to guide and teach two keen and talented lads.