Category: Snowflakes 2015

The gorge adventure

P1110881On Friday morning our adventure began with a sausage, tinned tomatoes and a hash brown then we handed in our boots and gloves as we were not going to need then for the rest of the trip and we then had a 45-minute drive to the gorge. When we arrived at the gorge we parked in a car park across from the beginning of the gorge. In the car park we sat in Mary’s minibus having a part of our lunch. After we had some of our lunch we put our harnesses, waterproofs, helmets and life jackets on and the we headed off into the gorge.

First we started of our adventure into the gorge by arriving at the bottom of the gorge and started to work our way up the waterfalls and getting even wetter each time we took a step. As we headed up the gorge we came across the group hailstones who were working their way through a part of the gorge called the elephants bottom. Whilst we were waiting for them we had a KitKat break. When the other group (Hailstones) had finished taking down their rope and detaching their harnesses, Mary and Mr White set up our rope and one by one we climbed up through the elephant’s bottom on our hands and knees without harnesses because were experts at climbing by this time of the trip.

We then over took the other group because we were too quick for them and carried on climbing the gorge. The first person to fall in the water was Hannah and slowly after Nicole fell in too. We came across a section in the gorge which looked like a slide so we used it and we each had several goes at sliding down a part of the gorge and this is where Summer slipped in and ended up going down the slide another time.

After the slide we had a hard section of the gorge to climb but we all made it through safe and sound. We then came to a steep water fall which we could only go under so we went under. Mary went first and helped us down on to the bolder in the water and then helped us through the water fall. To get out of the waterfall we had to take a swim in a shallow pool and then we had made it through. After the waterfall we were nearly at the top but we had a few more waterfalls to climb but after that we were at the top of the gorge where there was a deep pool of water. So everyone one in our group had the chance to jump in so we all did. It was extremely cold but it was the last day so we all done it and we even got Mr white soaked.

Our gorge adventure came to an end and we found the hardest bit was the last bit and we had to make the way down the gorge but not the same way a different way we went down the steep slope instead which I think half of us ended up slipping down.

When we reached the minibus we were drenched so we and to get changed in to clean clothes somehow so we had to change into our clean clothes, so we changed behind the bushes and that is when the weather got even worse because it began to hammer it down with rain whilst we were getting changed so it was absolutely pointless getting changed. Then we headed back to the centre in the minibus drinking hot chocolate and partying the whole way back.

When we got back we handed in our waterproofs, rucksacks and our hats and then we put all of our wet clothes into the drying room. We then had our dinner which was fish or minted lamb burger with chips and for pudding we either had strawberry angel delight or rice pudding.

After dinner we had an extra 45 minutes to pack our suit cases before our evening activity. Our evening activity consisted of watching two episodes of outnumbered and having a quiz about what we have learnt on the trip and also watching a presentation of all the photos of the trip and then we went to bed at 11.00 ready for our long car journey the next day.

By Nicole Cook


An early rise to the morning, we finished breakfast and made our way to the meeting room. surprised not to actually see our instructor in there, we wondered what the day ahead was going to be like. Mr White and vending machine (tom) unfolded a huge map of the Snowdonia National Park onto the table. Mary then walked through the door and we started to find out more about how to map read and what the symbols meant.
We finished the talk, and got going as quick as we could. We had a small delay as Gabriel’s hiking boots were completely filled with water and Jacob forgot his water proofs once again. On the way we decided to have a sing-song with everyone to some “popular” music. We eventually got to our starting point, where we then found out we were being left alone having to navigate ourselves over 7km.
We began our trek up a steep road to find ourselves at the first junction. We were confident that we had to turn right so we walked for between 5 to 10 minutes before vending machine (Tom) mentioned us taking a wrong turn. We had never been so annoyed with ourselves, so we walked back to the last turning off point and figured out the correct way.
About half way through the first section it started pouring down with rain. We got drenched. It was ridiculously muddy and sticky almost everyone got stuck, we were plastered up to the knees with mud and had never been so soaked. After all the hassle with Mud we finally finished the first section of the navigating.
The second section went fairly quickly as everyone got to the point where they didnt care whether they were wet and muddy so we didn’t bother stopping as much as we usually would. We were almost finished when Gracie tripped and twisted her ankle , so Gabriel told everyone to pretend they had an injury so we could skip the final section. We failed to complete the task of faking an injury and had to carry on 🙁 At the final point of the second we sat down and had lunch, believe it or not we ate under a big yellow sheet which did actually keep us fairly warm. Vending machine (Tom) started to film a vlog when Jacob decided to blabber on about god knows what.
Last section, still drenched, still raining, however the mud slowly started to stop. This final block was less effort as it was a flat surface or down hill the whole way. We staggered onto the slippery rocks that had a boggy drop down into the quick flowing stream. We managed to cross the railway track after getting soaked a second time from more rain, when we came to a huge field with cows and sheep. A few people were in front of us going for a leisurely walk, when they found themselves letting out around 30 cows through the unlocked gate. Swiftly moving ourselves around the cows we finally made it through the trek of 3 difficult but exciting tracks.

By Summer Stocker and Gracie Chapman

Sea-level Snowflakes

Everyone has remembered the days with waking up unusually but being so tired at eight o’clock you are not able to remember much, so if I skip to meeting in the room with our instructors you should be able to understand the day. When we went into the meeting room to talk about what we would be doing in the day and to make the choice of what we would be doing, we all decided on going sea traversing on cable bay, two other groups were also on the bay and we saw them sometimes.

We went on the left side of the bay first and went traversing, rock-climbing and looking for different types of shells so we knew what ones we could stand on when we were traversing on the rocks. There were lots of rock pools with anenomies on them and loads of crossing from rock to rock over the water with the tide coming in so we had to cross it really quickly before the tide came in and got peoples feet wet. The first to fall in and slip was Miciah, he didn’t quite make the rock on the other side and decided to jump in.

On our way back to the minibus to have lunch we had to climb up a crack in the cliff face up to the top. Lunch was refreshing and was enjoyed by everyone but at the same time people had no clue of what was coming next and they were probably quite scared.

After we had our lunch we went on the other side of the bay and the conversation while we were walking was mainly about YouTube and how it worked because a couple of people in our group have channels they were explaining about it operates. Jacob came up with at least one nickname per person some had two or three, one of our instructors for example looks like Guy Martin and also he teased Jacob into thinking there was a vending machine on top of one of the mountains the previous day so vending machine was also a nickname.

We went Tyrolean traversing as well which was one of the most fun things that we did today (even though everything else today was amazing this was just the best) we went from one rock to another over water (again) but this time it was much further and we had harnesses attached to a rope, we had to pull ourselves over and if you wanted to attempt a backflip you could, only three people managed but some got close. After, the group moved over to a rock that was safe to jump off of, all but one jumped and the others were cold until they had got changed round either side of the minibus, girls on one and boys on the other side.

By Alice Crine and Oliver Smith

Climbing Y Garn

IMG_5659Today we woke up at 7:00am with the sound of an alarm bleeping in our ears. Then began the mad rush for the showers. After we had all finished, we headed downstairs for breakfast. We had a choice of scrambled egg, bacon and potato waffles or croissants and jam. When everybody had finished with breakfast, we went to our meeting room to discuss what we would need for the day’s adventure. We had two choices of mountains to climb, Y Garn and Snowdon. As you can probably guess from the title we chose the former. We thought that Y Garn would be more adventurous and require a greater range of skills yet we knew that when we got home and people asked us which mountains we climbed they would have no idea what Y Garn was. After this we returned to our rooms to pack our bags. And once we did that we were ready to go. We exchanged our comfy shoes for the hard, uncomfortable boots that were supplied. Remember kids, safety first =)! Next we got on the minibus. The journey was around 15 minutes and we listened to some ‘great’ tunes.
When we arrived at Y Garn, everybody charged to the kiosk trying to be the first person just in case they ran out of chocolate brownies. Then we entered a room and saw a model replica of the mountain range. In case you didn’t know Y Garn means ‘heap of rock’. In the following minutes we left the room and headed to the trail and Jacob began his moaning and Mr. White called him a melt. At first the path was quite shallow but it soon began steepen. It took us about an hour and a half to reach the top but we soon came to realise that it wasn’t and we still had a long trek ahead of us. We then stopped for a lunch break by the Llyn Clyd (sheltered lake) and continued on our way. Eventually after another hour of walking, Jacob talking and general chatter, we reached a point very close to the summit. We then stopped to finish our lunch and marched on go the top. We had made it to the top and we were so pleased with ourselves until we realised that we had to come all the way back down again. As we began to descend, we headed towards Devil’s Kitchen. We wondered why it was named this because it was a waterfall with nothing very kitcheny or devilish about it however, it is a spectacular view. Once we had clambered past the kitchen we went to rest by the beach on Llyn Idwal. This then turned into a stone skimming competition (and obviously Gabriel won!). Then we just resorted to throwing the pebbles as far as we possibly could. After the beach we climbed down more rocks and then got back to familiar territory. We then raced back down to the kiosk at bottom of the mountain where we purchased some more food before finally going back to our minibus. That was our day, thanks for reading.

By Gabriel Ellis-Jarman & Miciah Murphy

As The Snowflakes Start Their Journey…

IMG_5635I (Hannah) was woken at 7am today as our room group was on duty but Jacob woke up even earlier due to Okly singing Olly Murs songs! We served breakfast, a delicious range including sausages, hash browns, beans, cereal and yoghurt. After breakfast we had a few minutes to freshen up shortly before we were called for a meeting in the Common Room to be allocated our groups. We were split into 4 different teams, Sunbeams, Raindrops, Hailstones and our group, Snowflakes.
We met our instructor, Mary and discussed todays activities. Then we had a short 10-minute minibus drive to the base of the mountains we were to be climbing. Along the way, everyone was quite nervous but excited about the day that lay ahead. When we reached the mountains we started our long journey by walking about a mile on a stretch of road towards the foot of our first major ascent. Everyone started out steadily and full of energy but about 5-10 minutes down the road our excitement started to fade as we started to tire very quickly. We began our ascent up Carnedd y Filiast which was 821m tall. This sounds like a lot and unfortunately it was. We felt every metre of it with a few stops for drinks and taking off/putting on jumpers but mostly we were moving at a steady pace. We passed lots of sheep along the way and climbed over loose rocks where we had a few people tripping over! At the top there was a shelter spot in which we stopped for a good 20 minutes to eat some lunch but swiftly after, we were on the move again. As quickly as we descended the first we were going up the second. This one was a little smaller (It was 812m tall) but it was more of the same thing, scrambling over boulders of rocks trying not to lose our footing and slowly struggling to walk in a straight line up the mountain side.
(The following paragraph was written by Jacob)
On our way down, our enjoyment was abruptly ended when I saw a very old woman on the horizon. Then somebody spotted her about 10 metres from us. I thought I would be polite to this elderly community member by smiling, waving and shouting “Hello”…. She waved back, lost her balance, fell down and hit her wrist on a rock and broke it. She then passed out and Mary and Mr White ran down the hill to assist her. Mary phoned the police. The officer on the end of the phone, didn’t know anything about mountains, and Mary hung up, and we had to head back along the mountainous path to get her back safely. This meant that we couldn’t continue on the last mountain but we still had fun on the way back down.
Once we arrived back at the centre we had about an hour to shower and then we were all called for dinner, macaroni cheese or beef bolognese!
The groups split up to do the evening activities and this is where we are writing this blog!
Thanks for reading!

By Hannah Moran & Jacob Goodbody