‘Escaping modernity’

Pen y Gwryd Pool

No. 100 #swimsnowdonia

elevation; 290m depth; <2m

weather - sunny and fresh

I always had the pool at Pen Y Gwyrd (PYG) down as my last lake in this project, I would treat myself to a night there with a celebratory dinner and a dip in the lake. Well that opportunity came along early and with perfect timing as I reached my 100th dip instead. Myself and my other half were very kindly invited to dinner by our friends who were residents at the PYG, dinner and a weekend of swimming for myself and Anne, while the menfolk headed out to do climbing.

Saturday flowed so well it deserved to be mentioned in it’s entirety. Meeting at PYG is a treat in itself, the hotel is like a museum to British mountaineering. We had coffee in the residents lounge where you can’t help but gaze in awe at the wood panelled room and wonder about the stories it has heard. It was here that the successful 1953 Everest team did their training, their equipment and trinkets from that trip adorn the walls. There is no phone reception, limited wifi and real people to chat to, just imagine such a thing!

Anne, Otto (a beautiful Hungarian Vizsla) and myself headed off for a walk along the Afon Glaslyn, scouting for potential pools deep enough to dip our toes, but we settled for a dip in Llyn Dinas with Otto, showing us his own unique swimming style. After lunch and an explore of Llyn Gwynant we headed back to PYG to catch the pool before the sun went down.

It was perfect timing, the sun was just hitting the Lilly pads, the flowers glistening white. Changing quickly Anne and I hopped in, the pool looked fairly shallow, the bottom wad hard but mulchy. It felt cooler that our earlier dip, the light dancing above and below the surface, I could have circled the pond for ages, and thought about the people who may have swam in here before me... Mallory, Irving, Hilary, Tenzing, Lowe.

I normally have a dislike of Lillies but in this lake, I loved them and couldn't leave them alone. Perhaps my swim in Port Meadow had cured me of my fears. The light rays shone down to their roots, this was perfect... Made all the more perfect by a lakeside sauna to hop into post swim. What a way to cleanse away a day on the hill than a re-engerising swim and sauna?

Felling totally warm and relaxed, we sipped wine in the Smoke Room before enjoying a hearty dinner, accompanied by antique silverware that has served generations like the rest of the hotel. A truly incredible experience, thank you so much Dan and Anne x

More info on the Pen y Gwyrd

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