Archive for May, 2006

Snowdon – 3560ft

Welcome to the summit

Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales and this weekend I climbed it.

Now, seeing as it was the bank holiday weekend, my dad, my mate Jonathan and I decided to take a couple of days in North Wales and get some climbing done (an activity we all enjoy but never get to do much of). So off we went, Dad and I went down and met Jonathan there, who drove up from Essex (the drive itself was an adventure by Jonathans account). For me it was a nice break in the middle of my exams to get away and stretch myself physically after stretching myself mentally for all too long.

Being a bank holiday weekend, we all knew that it would be busy and yes it was, I wouldn’t say we were queueing up to climb it, but we got to the car park for 08:10 and it was already full up! We drove along another mile and a bit and found a lay-by with one or two more spaces left in it, so we decided to park there and walk back to the start of the treck at Pen y Pass.

There are several routes up to the summit of Snowdon, but we opted for The Miners Track, so called because it used to be used by miners during their day of work in the hills. This route offers some of the best scenery available in the area and takes in a resevoir (Llyn Llydaw) and a lake (Glaslyn). This lake is extremely blue because of the copper content from mining. At this point I looked up and kept on looking up wondering where the summit peak of Snowdon was. It was up there, but was being obscured by the clouds. It was then that I realised that I would be climbing into the heavens and the climb certainly lived up to this expectation. I won’t go into all the details of the climb, but to start with I was very worried that my bad knee would let me down. Well, it didn’t! I would now say that Snowdon and the surrounding area is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Unfortunately there is always one thing that ruins my favourite places in the world and that’s tourists! Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “You’re a tourist as well Martyn!” Yes, you are right, but let me explain.

The Summit is owned by the National Park but leased to the Snowdon Mountain Railway who operate the café at the summit. There is a railway that operates a train service that goes from the base to the summit of the mountain and has been since 1896. On Sunday, if I wanted to get the train to and from the summit, I would have had to pay £21. It’s the people that get this service that really annoy me. They get to the top, dressed in all the right gear for a full scale ascent of the North Face of the Eiger. Then they fill up the café and surround the summit point so that the poor buggers that have just spent 4 hours walking/climbing/scrambling to the summit have nowhere to go and have to push and shove their way past fat Americans (nothing against them, just talking from experience).

So anyway, a brief walk around on the summit, some pictures were taken, lucozade was drunk and then back down we went. Our descent took us back down the same path, but at one point there is a split and you can choose between the Miners Path (the way we came) or the Pyg Track. We opted for the Pyg (standing for Pen y Gwryd, which is the name of the hotel at the bottom of the pass much used by the earlier mountain walkers) Track. There is a lot of zig-zagging and scrambling involved and it takes a hell of a lot of concentration, but was worth it and when we got back to the car….wow my body then realised that it did not have to do any more work.

All in all, we were on the walk/climb for about 8.5 hours and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am now back in Salford and my muscles all over my body are aching, I’m covered in midge bites and my face is slightly burnt from the powerful winds at the summit, but boy do I feel refreshed in a funny way.

So now it’s back to the work and back to the revision for the final exam on Friday. If you fancy checking out the images from my day on Snowdon (including the magnificent views) then check out my Flickr Page and enjoy.

Colours

I know, I know and I know!!

I’m getting really bad recently at updating my blog, I just seem to get distracted by so many things; uni, work, social life, Clare.

So anyway, in reference to the Student Union Awards Dinner held last night, I wanted to start off with a little take on the advert for Mastercard:

Suit £85
Haircut £19
Ticket £13
Losing again………priceless

Yup, you guessed it, I didn’t win in any of the awards that I was nominated for. I was nominated for Journalist of the Year, which I knew that I would not win (Simon Keens won that, who I think deserves it more than anybody). The other award that I was nominated for was the Student Representative of the year. This award is given to the person who shows dedication, commitment, and enthusiasm to the Students’ Union. They could have contributed to anything, be it committees, clubs, societies, course reps, student journalism, or all of them.

Okay, let’s put things into perspective shall we? I know, a check list would be a good idea:

  • Committees – Yes (Students’ Union Council)
  • Clubs – No (this is a sports club…..come on)
  • Societies – Yes (Jewish Society committee for 2 years) (Shock Radio a member of for 1 year)
  • Course Rep – Yes (Course Rep for 2 years, Rep trainer, School Rep to Union Council)
  • Student Journalism – Yes (Writer for Student Direct this year, with 6 articles under my belt inc. front page and centre pages)
  • Represented the Union at two NUS Regional Conferences as well as at NUS Anti-Racism Conference.
  • Volunteered at Students’ Union OAP Christmas dinner.
  • General all-round Union hack that dedicates a lot of time to the Union.
  • Just taken over as Students’ Union Rep to ISD committee.
  • Elected to represent Salford twice at NUS Annual Conference.
  • Represents Student Rep views at meetings and training sessions.

Right, so we have that all understood, now let’s look at the winners (Alan Bailey) shall we?

  • Committees – Yes (Union Council and E&D committee as LGBT rep on both)
  • Clubs – No
  • Societies – Yes (LGBT chair)
  • Course Rep – No
  • Student Journalism – No
  • Represented the Union at LGBT conference and one NUS Regional Conference
  • Won a position on the executive as a Non-Sabb at the elections.
  • Not much else, but dedicates time to fulfill roles.

Okay, now going over these lists, I would love to see the reasoning for me not getting the award. I know this all sounds petty and I do not do any of my Union activities for any awards, but I was thinking today that it would be nice to be recognised for the amount of work that I put in. This is now the second time I have lost something that I am more than deserving of and I just don’t know what else I should be doing. Unfortunately the upsetting thing is that I may not be that involved in the Union next year as my emphasis will be near enough purely on Student Representation (hopefully), so this was really the only chance (that I can forsee) for me to get any kind of recognition.

Ah well, it’s a nice kick in the teeth at least!!

Even better news today, one of my old friends from down south died today in a road traffic accident, so I’ve been on the phone a lot trying to consol friends that have been crying all day. At least the story got a mention in the BBC.

I think that’s enough from me for now. Hopefully on Friday I will be back on here telling you all if I got a new Student Representation role (fingers crossed).

Martyn :D

Marshmallows

So, I had a dream the other night that I was eating this massive marshmallow, it was big and white and fluffy and yummy. When I woke up, I was shocked to find that one of my pillows had gone missing!! :D

Anyway, back to reality, I know that it’s been a while since I last blogged and I’m being constantly reminded of this by Clare. For those of you that don’t know, Clare is my girlfriend, although she is currently 875 miles in Barcelona on her university placement. I know it’s really geeky, but we both met through the Salford University forum. She saw my address and added me to MSN, we got chatting and we both really got to liking eachother, got chatting a bit more and eventually we decided that we wanted to be more than ‘friends chatting’. Well that was exactly four weeks ago now, so we have been official for four weeks :D woohoo. I’m really happy and can’t wait to finally meet her, she’s coming over for a trampolining competition in June, so hopefully I’ll see her then and then she’s back over for good in September, so I’ll be starting off the new academic year with a smile :D

On another note, I organised my accommodation for next year finally. I’m going to be living in the flats within Castle Irwell, this should be fun because it’s quieter there and there are more people that just want to get on with their work and not have 24 hour parties.

Apart from that, not much else is happening in the world of Martyn except lots of university work and a little bit of drinking every once in a while.

Oh, I sunbathed today because it was about 24 degrees out and then I spent an hour exercising, woooo go me :D