Snowdon : The Prog Track

I know it is The Pyg Track and not The Prog Track, but bear with me as I stretch a musical theme in my walking blogs.  And apologies that this is being published so long after the event.

I had been meaning to climb Snowdon a few times recently, but each time somthing got in the way.  This was it, though, because I felt if I did not do it today then I would never find a time to fit it in.  I left the house at 0604 with the weather cloudy and windy.  My favourite petrol station was open so I filled up for the 200 miles, 4 hours 15 minutes journey.  Yes, not an ideal preparation for the actual climb, but as this was in part preparation for taking the National 3 Peaks challenge in July, it was not such a bad idea to make it less than perfect.  And as I am publishing this so late, I can make the point that my attempt at the National 3 Peaks did not actually happen this year.

Pendragon – Passion
What a way to start the day !  This is 6am get up and do something music, and especially as I was about to walk all over this green and pleasant land.  This is an album which has really grown on me recently, and although I do not think it will ever get to the same level as Pure, it is trying its best to convince me otherwise.  At 0655 I drive past Northampton on the M1.

DeeExpus – King Of Number 33
A great one to keep me going and it comes just as I hit the M6.  The title track comes to an end as I leave the M6.

Galahad – Battle Scars
I have reached the M54 when I put on another stirring album.  It is a brilliant and worthy successor to their excellent Empires Never Last and provides everything you would expect from the current version of the band, and more besides.  I am eagerly awaiting the live dates…and managed to not make it to a single one of them.

And the sun comes out as I drive along the A5.  That album comes to a close as I enter Wales and I put on

Steven Wilson – catalogue preserve amass
Listening to this brings back great memories from the stunning gig last week, and driving along these Welsh roads, surrounded by countryside which is as stunning in its own way as the gig, brings back fond memories of childhood holidays.

I reached the Pen-y-Pass car park at 1003.  I got my daypack ready, ate a banana, put on my Scarpa boots, bought some sun cream from the shop and put that on, bought the £10 day parking ticket and left at 1042, following the Pyg track.  A gap stile leads to the path I need to follow and it climbs to Bwlch y Moch (the Pass of the Pigs) at 587m.  Less than 3000m to go then.  I kept walking, below Crib Goch and above Llyn Llydaw, and then above the still waters of Glaslyn, before I can see the distinctive summit of Snowdon itself.  The weather has remained sunny, though not too hot.  I pass the meeting of the Pyg Track and the Miners’ Track at 1230 and keep steadily on.  The path starts to climb more steeply, heading up in a series of zigzags, and eventually reaches the track of the Snowdon Mountain Railway by a tall marker stone.  I walked by the side of the track and reached the summit at 1350.  The views were magnificent on a completely clear day, and I could not have wished for better.  I was also fortunate enough to find someone willing to take my photo.

I listened to my iPod Shuffle through the ascent, and the track list is below.  It was quite fitting that something involving John Dexter Jones (the lead singer with Jump) should come on as I scaled the highest peak in Wales.

Russian Circles – Fathom
The Waterboys – Church Not Made With Hands
DeeExpus – Me And My Downfall
Steely Dan – The Royal Scam
Jethro Tull – Rocks On The Road
Porcupine Tree – Halo
The Waterboys – Let It Happen
Lazuli – En Avant Doute
The Waterboys – A Pagan Place
Rush – Driven
Porcupine Tree – Shallow
Katatonia – Forsaker
Rush – Far Cry
Brother Dege – The Battle Of New Orleans
Rainbow – Eyes Of The World
Eddie Vedder – Hard Sun (twice)
Tinyfish – Nine Months On Fire (live)
Lazuli – Les Malveillants
Von Hertzen Brothers – Bring Out The Snakes
Steven Wilson – Harmony Korine
Crippled Black Phoenix – We Forgotten Who We Are
Deep Purple – Fireball
John Dexter Jones & The Steven Twins – Bethesda

I began my descent at 1415, turning right away from the railway line at the tall marker stone, and reached the junction to take the Miners Track at 1440.  I headed steeply downhill over rocks and scree, and finished the descent to the edge of Glaslyn at 1500.  From there it was just a matter of following the track along the shores of Glaslyn and then Llyn Llydaw, passing a number of ruined buildings.  The walk gets me to the causeway at 1555, and from there I get a wonderful view of the whole of the Snowdon horseshoe.  Now I am walking parallel with a pipe carrying water to the hydro-electric power station.  The track continues above Llyn Teyrn, and I arrive back at the Pen-y-Pass car park at 1625.  It had been an excellent day’s walking.

Once I had reached the summit I preferred to have just the natural sounds of the countryside around me, and I was fortunate that mostly I was walking with no-one else around me.  It was only after I had crossed the causeway that I went back to listening to my iPod Shuffle, so just a few tracks for the descent :

The Waterboys – Don’t Bang The Drum
Iron Maiden – The Longest Day
UFO – Lights Out (live)
Iron Maiden – These Colours Don’t Run
Riverside – O2 Panic Room

And I drive away to
Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson – Thick As A Brick Two

The traffic comes to a halt on the coast road because of a lane closure, and I put on
Steely Dan – The Royal Scam

Time to kick back and relax.

You can find my photographs from the day on my facebook

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