Week 11 at Plas y Brenin

  • Cake of the week – Fresh Scones!
  • Interesting Fact – Plas y Brenin hosts over a third of all outdoor qualifications in the UK (via Sport England)
  • Best Thing – Mountain Biking from Coed y Brenin to Bala via the Bwlch y Groes
  • Work Highlight – Will’s car cleaning services at the Brenin = shiny car!
  • Best Outdoor – Winning the Oggie 8 Challenge (and setting a new course record!)

Summary: Most of the week off camping near Bala & scampering around Snowdonia…

Ascending Moel Sych with a group, Berwyns

Ascending Moel Sych with a group, Berwyns

Monday-Tuesday – AROUND THE BRENIN
Lie-ins, admin, CWA & SPA registration (haha finally!) – plenty of downtime. I also took a trip to visit Sam (North Wales’ best car mechanic!) – handbrake now doesn’t stick and car does more MPG, yoo-hoo!
Tuesday afternoon I drove down to Bala to say hi to the gang, and spend the evening catching up with folks from Nottingham High School & Derbyshire in the local Library Pub.
Looking forward to the new Blue trail (easy) at Coed y Brenin (Mountain Bike Centre), I took 3 groups of Year 9 boys for hour loops – plenty of fun! To get some mileage in, I continued out of the south end of the trail centre (after taking in some cracking red/black descents), cutting the corner off Dolgellau, and carrying on over a lovely section of bridleway to the top of the A470 saddle at Bwlch Oerddrws (14% gradient down!). A whizz down (50mph!) and a lap around the Arran’s heading back North over Bwlch y Groes, the highest mountain pass in Wales (545m), gave a sufficient workout to arrive back at the campsite in time for a hearty carb reload 🙂
Biking up the Bwlch y Groes

Biking up the Bwlch y Groes

Thursday – MOUNTAINS
An almost annual trip up Penygadair with the best team of 7 year 9 kids I’ve ever had! They walked and managed themselves as a group all day in a text-book manner; it was a joy to simply shadow them and reinforce some skills they’d need to employ themselves on the unaccompanied walk the following day.
An equally traditional visit to Barmouth for Fish & Chips & an ice cream, then back to camp for a campfire and entertainment!
A slightly haphazard day of communication! Joe joined me for some remote shadowing and checkpointing of the 4 year 9 groups traversing the Berwyns N-S/S-N. With a scattering of 2-2ay radios and plenty of “No Signal”, we had a lovely time on Moel Sych, observing at one point all 4 groups moving along their routes. Even time for a cheeky ice cream at Pistyll Rhaeadr.
I dashed back to the Brenin to meet Andy that evening who was staying over to in preparation for the Oggie 8 Challenge the following day…
Bwlch y Groes, 545m above sea level

Bwlch y Groes, 545m above sea level

So, we’ve won 2 times, time to break a record time *and* make it a 3rd? Oh yes! Team C’est La Vie were on fire on Saturday 8th August – the 4th Oggie 8 Challenge since it began in 2008. We had an even better team fitness and knowledge of the area than ever before this year, with the aim to break the 6 hour mark. Start time 7am – pace chaps! Burning a little bit over a sustainable pace, we raced off and finished the Carneddau legs in under 2.5 hours (Yr Elen, Carnedd Llewellyn, Carnedd Dafydd, Pen yr Ole Wen), arriving at Idwal Cottage c. 9.30am. Some excellent banter (& sweets) at checkpoints, and flavoursome soup and flapjack, the Glyders were next (Y Garn, Glyder Fawr, Glyder Fach, Tryfan) – 3 hours for this section approx, arriving back at Oggie base at 12:40. Total time: 5 hours 40 mins – new course record beating the old one we set by 1 hour 12 mins 🙂
A trip to the cinema in the afternoon, and return to base for a Hog Roast and presentations, all in all a successful day & a big thanks to Ogwen Vallery Mountain Rescue for hosting the event again! We raised quite a bit of sponsorship this year – total to be calculated soon 🙂
Sunday – Lie-in 🙂 Will washed my car for some £s and a night shift in preparation for Young Persons week (2/2)…
Camping on the lakeside near Llanuwchllyn, Llyn Tegid

Camping on the lakeside near Llanuwchllyn, Llyn Tegid

One Response to “Week 11 at Plas y Brenin”

  1. 1 Andy John

    Yet another excellent blog entry and a great account of the Oggie 8.
    I’d like to pass on my thanks to the OVMRO for their hard work in organising a very successful event!

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