#147 – Ring out the old … 2013 hill memories

Tryfan in North Wales (JB)

Tryfan in North Wales (JB)

As 2013 draws to a close, it’s good to look back in pictures at another year in the hills, so here are some of my best memories of the old year.  Best wishes to all my readers, and here’s wishing you all a great hill year in 2014.

Snowy checkpoint on the Spine Race at Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales (JB)

Snowy checkpoint on the Spine Race at Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales (JB)

The year started with the Spine Race (post #114) . I work on the safety and support team for this event, billed as Britain’s most brutal race –  the Pennine Way (268 miles) in winter, with kit!   The 2013 event was memorable for the blizzard that hit the competitors on the last night.

Home for two days on the Spine Race – Greg’s Hut in the Northern Pennines (JB)

Home for two days on the Spine Race – Greg’s Hut in the Northern Pennines (JB)

The final group to finish the Spine Race, the morning after ‘The Blizzard’! (JB)

The final group to finish the Spine Race, the morning after ‘The Blizzard’! (JB)

By February the snow had virtually disappeared as Chris and I visited some prehistoric sites in the hills of the Northern Carneddau in North Wales (post #116) finishing off with a walk over Tal y Fan.

The Maen y Bardd dolmen (burial chamber), about 5000 years old.

The Maen y Bardd dolmen (burial chamber), about 5000 years old.

The Conwy Estuary from Tal y Fan

The Conwy Estuary from Tal y Fan

By early March the only snow remaining in North Wales was on the highest summits (post #120).  Shortly afterwards we had a warm day on Moel Eilio (post #121) just north of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon), but it wasn’t to last – another set of storms took us back to another mini Ice-Age.

The author and Mist on the summit of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon)

The author and Mist on the summit of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon)

Moel Eilio, to the north of Yr Wyddfa

Moel Eilio, to the north of Yr Wyddfa

The snow was just in time to add a bit of interest to a trip to the Lake District – members of The Spine ‘Mountain and Medics’ Support team plus my Border Collie ‘Mist’ had a great day out on a wintery Striding Edge (post #123).

Striding Edge under snow (JB)

Striding Edge under snow (JB)

Even ‘Mist’ had a good day (JB)

Even ‘Mist’ had a good day (JB)

Members of the Spine Support Team near the summit of Helvellyn

Members of the Spine Support Team near the summit of Helvellyn

By April the snow had consolidated nicely, giving great snow conditions for a day out in the mountains of the Glyderau (post #125).  There was even enough snow left for some winter training with the search and rescue dogs of SARDA Wales (post #128)

The headwall of Cwm Cneifion in the Glyderau (JB)

The headwall of Cwm Cneifion in the Glyderau (JB)

Descending Twll Du (The Devil’s Kitchen) (JB)

Descending Twll Du (The Devil’s Kitchen) (JB)

The author and ‘Mist’ search training with SARDA Wales (DH)

The author and ‘Mist’ search training with SARDA Wales (DH)

Digging snow holes to practice searching for buried victims (DH)

Digging snow holes to practice searching for buried victims (DH)

By May the snow had finally retreated, and we had some great days out in Snowdonia on Yr Aran (post #129) and on our local hills, the Clwydians (post #131).  June arrived with a scorching hot day on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in The Dales (post #133)

Chris heading for Yr Aran

Chris heading for Yr Aran

Moel y Plas in the Clwydian hills

Moel y Plas in the Clwydian hills

Ingleborough seen from Whernside on the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk

Ingleborough seen from Whernside on the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk

 We seemed to spend much of July in the Aran mountains in North Wales, with weather ranging from miserably wet back to scorching again (posts #135 #136 and #137).  A trip to Mid-Wales in August gave us a visit to Hergest Ridge (post #138) on the Welsh-English border, again in very hot conditions, followed by a misty day on Yr Wyddfa (post #139)

Chris ‘enjoying’ a wet day near Aran Fawddwy

Chris ‘enjoying’ a wet day near Aran Fawddwy

‘Mist’ enjoying a much drier day in the same mountains

‘Mist’ enjoying a much drier day in the same mountains

Hergest Ridge, on the Welsh-English border

Hergest Ridge, on the Welsh-English border

The author and ‘Mist’, both enjoying a misty day on Yr Wyddfa

The author and ‘Mist’, both enjoying a misty day on Yr Wyddfa

A weekend away with my mountain rescue team NEWSAR (North East Wales Search And Rescue) gave us a walk out in the Berwyn hills (post #140), followed by a return to Moel Eilio in October (post #142).

Setting up the mountain rescue display at the Corwen Walking Festival …. (BB)

Setting up the mountain rescue display at the Corwen Walking Festival …. (BB)

…. but trainee search dog ‘Mist’ wants to go for a walk! (BB)

…. but trainee search dog ‘Mist’ wants to go for a walk! (BB)

At last!  Out on the hills above Corwen (BB)

At last! Out on the hills above Corwen (BB)

Descending from Moel Eilio with Moel Hebog and the Nantlle Ridge in the background

Descending from Moel Eilio with Moel Hebog and the Nantlle Ridge in the background

As the months started dashing towards the end of the year we had a great training weekend with the search and rescue dogs near Cnicht (post #143) followed by a very autumnal day in our neighbouring hills (post #144).  The year ended with a great mountain day out for ‘Mist’ and I on Senior’s Ridge in the Glyderau (post #145), followed by a cold day out on Moel Famau in the Clwydians (post #146)

Search and rescue dog training near Cnicht, North Wales (RA)

Search and rescue dog training near Cnicht, North Wales (RA)

Chris and ‘Mist’ near ‘World’s End’

Chris and ‘Mist’ near ‘World’s End’

Seniors Ridge in the Glyderau

Seniors Ridge in the Glyderau

Near Moel Famau in the Clwydian hills

Near Moel Famau in the Clwydian hills

It’s been a good and varied year in the hills – here’s to more in 2014!

On the way home!

On the way home!

Text and images © Paul Shorrock – Images tagged (JB) © John Bamber, (DH) © David Higgs, (BB) © Babs Boardwell, (RA) © ‘Rich Ard’.

Please contact the author for permission to re-use any images

About Paul Shorrock

I've been mucking about in the mountains for longer than I care to mention. I started out by walking my local hills, then went on to rock climbing, mountaineering and skiing. Still doing it, and still getting a buzz. I'm now sharing the fun, through my guided walking business (Hillcraft Guided Walking) and by writing routes for other publishers, mainly Walking World and Discovery Walking Guides. Just to make sure I keep really busy, I am also currently a member of my local mountain rescue team.
This entry was posted in 2. Lake District, 3. Yorkshire Dales, 4. Northern England, 5. North Wales, 6. Mid and South Wales and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to #147 – Ring out the old … 2013 hill memories

  1. geralddavison says:

    Lovely post Paul. Made me think back to my year.

  2. John Donovan says:

    Great article Paul, got me juices flowing to get off the couch and into the wilds.

    • Cheers John, though looking out of the window as I write this it’s p*ss*ng down!! I think I’ll give it a bit longer before heading for ‘the wilds’ today 😀

  3. MrsBoardwell says:

    Certainly an exciting year for you & Mist Paul 🙂
    I don’t like looking back that much (I’d rather look forward :)) so here’s to a (hopefully!!!) exciting 2014; may all your wishes comes true and may we all stay healthy & happy [and get rich PDQ :)].
    Let us know if you fancy a puppy friendly half day’er one Saturday or Sunday in Jan?
    All the best,
    Rich’n Babs’n pooches x
    [and thanks for the feature :)]

    • Thanks for the comment Babs – I’m tied up for two weekends in Jan with the Spine Race, but we should be able to sort something out for a joint dog walk,

  4. LensScaper says:

    A great review of the year, Paul. You’ve packed a lot in and posted some superb images. All good wishes for a Happy New Year to you, Chris and Mist.

  5. lanceleuven says:

    That Striding Edge climb looks a bit precarious!

    I look forward to reading about more of your adventures in 2014. Have a great New Year!

    • Thanks for that Lance. Striding Edge frequently flatters to decive – conditions on the day were quite good, though the snow was fairly fresh. Most of us used Kahtoola Micro-spikes rather than crampons, but the photos look impressive 🙂

  6. Looks like you had a wonderful year! I hope 2014 is equally fun for you
    🍻

    • Thanks for that ‘Plant Girl’ (I’m going to have to shorten that to PG for future replies) 🙂
      Likewise wishing you a good year to come.

  7. All great memories Paul…have a Happy New year to you and your family!

  8. Excellent round up there Paul – lots of varied trips. All the best for the New Year.

  9. Happy New Year! Off to a wet and windy start, but it won’t last forever. Will it?

  10. ” …. but it won’t last forever. Will it?”

    No – it will just feel like forever 😀

    Happy New Year!

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