It has been pointed out that this hiking blog contains almost no useful information. Indeed, these may be among the most pointless posts ever written. (One can aspire to greatness.) And, following the flight of Father Martin to the Great Croissant of Europe, they no longer include such semi-helpful statistics as distance and time taken, or even random squiggly lines pretending to be maps.
But in these times of turmoil, it seems irresponsible to do anything Just For Fun. Thus, from now on, it has been decided that each hike must contain a Moral. So sit back children, and prepare to be sermonised to.
As everyone knows, the competitive world of day hiking is a tough and thankless one. You drag people up mountains and, instead of delighting in the magnificent views off a sheer precipice, they inconveniently fixate on the fact that you are proposing to descend that same precipice without the benefit of an actual path.
This was the situation The Snoobabs found ourselves in after hiking up Llandudno Ravine with an otherwise most stylish and witty guest hikist.
The problem was, as usual, caused by Tony Lourens and his occasionally dubious directions. Now, Tony should not begrudge this little jab, as this blog has punted his Table Mountain Classics book quite diligently. And that fine tome does contain a perfectly adequate description of the route up Llandudno Ravine on page 257, which we used with undeniable success.
However, coming in at just three sentences, the route description for Llandudno Buttress was rather less definitive. And, to make things worse, it included the words ‘vague path’. These, as anyone using Tony’s hiking guides will know, should immediately set off warning klaxons and big, red, flashing lights. Tony uses the words ‘vague path’ the way some people use deodorant: as a hopeful but completely ineffective way to deal with a real problem.
Nonetheless, both routes were rated ‘child-friendly’, which seemed fair for a guest hikist, so the plan was to go up one, and down the other. We had hoped to ascend via Llandudno Buttress since it was described as ‘more interesting’, but we missed the path on the way up. No problem. We’d ramble around up top and be sure to find the path on our explorations. ‘And if all else fails,’ declared Alison, firmly believing it wouldn’t, ‘we can just go back down the way we came up.’
Which led us, past a ‘Dangerous, No Entry’ sign, an Indian-Head rock, and a baby-bottom-scented bush, to that point on the edge of a precipice.
Here is a Useful Graph of Hikist Levels of Madness:
Fortunately for the guest hikist, Alison has a little rhyme she likes to say at the end of hikes. It’s very short, sweet, and extremely reassuring. It goes: ‘Nobody died and nobody cried’. Since it was starting to look a lot like the second part of this statement would soon not be true, and that the first part could eventually be called into question too, sanity and sense prevailed. The Snoobabs did the Right Thing, turned around, and went back the way we knew to be safe.
I hope you enjoyed this very educational post. More Morals From The Mountains coming soon.