Morning folks. The teams are on their way down from Snowdon and en-route to Bangor whilst the train is on its way from Holyhead where it was stabled overnight. We’re due in at 04:20 and the coaches carrying the teams should arrive shortly afterwards.
We’ve heard from staff with the teams that fog was a real issue on Snowdon and that’s delayed some of the climbers. We’re hoping to delay the trains departure from Bangor in order to ensure we can collect everyone. The problem is we’re occupying the only Westbound platform. We’re due to leave at 04:38 and the first service train from Holyhead is due to arrive at 04:55. To add to the fun, it’s started raining!
Due to the wet and slippy conditions on Snowdon the coaches bringing everyone back from were late and there were a few anxious moments as we waited and clock-watched. The first arrived, then there was a gap before the other three turned up. A rapid unloading ensued with volunteers shepherding the tired walkers onto the train as quickly as possible. Even so, we left 9 minutes late but the main thing was we didn’t get in the way of the service train. Now we’re en-route to Scafell.
It’s time for some sleep as I’ll be joining the walkers climbing Scafell later today…
08:00. I managed an hours sleep and now everyone’s up and being fed and watered. The bacon roll delivery was especially well received.
Sadly, the weather’s not the best we’ve ever had. There’s low mist and cloud, with rain forecast.
We’re on lil’ Ratty..
Sorry for the gap in blogging but the area around Wasdale and Scafell is a notorious phone blackspot. One of our number discovered that you could only get phone reception if you stood on a metal cattle-grid!
Today’s been both amazing and frustrating at the same time. Unlike previous years it wasn’t possible for me to get ahead of the teams ascending Scafell in order to get pictures of them doing so. Instead I joined the others from the Railway Children to walk the 8 miles across country from Dalegarth to the start of the climb up Scafell. It was an enjoyable walk despite the misty rain we encountered at the top and the boggy conditions underfoot.
The vast majority of teams did brilliantly on Scafell and the minibus and coach operation that got us back to Ravenglass worked really well (I’ll elaborate later when I’ve downloaded the pictures). Our evening meal was served by the cafe on the narrow gauge railway station. They served a humongous Baked potato and Chilli combo that would’ve filled almost any walker.
Sadly, it was after that things started to go a bit ”Pete Tong’. We were informed that the lead Class 37 on our train had failed at Barrow due to a defective starter motor. This meant shunting the train to detach is. The delays this (and another incident) incurred meant that our 19:30 departure became a 20:40 departure. As all the walkers were in the two pubs the first announcement was received with cheers!
Now we’re on our way to Fort William with some real pressures on our timetable. We have two fixed times, the amont it takes to climb and descend from Ben Nevis and the time our train has to leave Fort William to make our connections and get everyone home.
But, right now the most impoertant thing is – sleep. I’ll blog more about our adventures in the morning