Snowdonia was in the news last week. Wrong reasons. I was there today, presenting Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales Awards to Caban Cyf and Gwynedd Council for the classy transformation of an old Edwardian school at Brynrefail, near Llanberis into a restaurant, business premises and gardens. The project is a great example of a local authority working with the private/voluntary sector to create employment. Good for perception of CPRW as well. The Award recognised importance of the built environment in Wales most stunning landscape, and the recognition that economic and social development have to be accommodated.
The summit of Snowdon can be seen from Caban. I decided to stop at the Cafe located at the highest point on the Llanberis Pass for a coffee on the way home. Its in the shadow of Snowdon and is where most walkers start there trek to the summit. It was a 'high cloud' sky this afternoon, and her profile was sharp and innocent. Mt Snowdon is not innocent. She is fearsome and demands respect, and last week claimed the life of a senior policeman. We don't know what role the mountain played in this tragedy, but it adds to her unyielding reputation. I think she looks best in some low cloud (not enough to hide her face completely) and light rain - when her dangerous, threatening Kyffin-esque blackness dominates all who look at her. Hard to believe that I've never walked to the summit.
Everyone else waiting to buy coffee was wearing climbing gear. I was wearing my suit and tie. Thought I looked quite smart until the young girl taking my order asked me if I was a driver. I know that I have a tendency to scruffiness, but I do try if I'm 'on duty' as I was today - but to accuse me, in my best suit, of looking like a bus driver hurt. I suppose if I'd said "Yes", I'd have qualified for a free cup. But a man had got his pride. So I paid up.
I'm in Llanrwst on the 18th April and I'm going to climb the great mountain after my meeting. I'm told its better to start at the Beddgelert side rather than the Llanberis Pass side. If I can find a companion, and arrange our transport, perhaps I'll go up one side and down the other.