Friday, 3 September 2010

Llyn Cau

Most people who climb Cadair Idris camp at the base. It is in fact forbidden to camp on the mountain, but we are responsible campers who leave no trace, and we have a general disdain for organised campsites. Besides, we wanted to test the truth of the legend. So we pitched camp on the shores of Llyn Cau.

Llyn Cau is a classic cirque lake, not far below the summit of the mountain. With its crater-like shape and stark surroundings, it is a truly awe-inspiring sight.

It is not, however, a hospitable place to camp. Wild winds and crosscurrents rip across the lake, and the nights are bitterly cold.

Around midnight, Saha’s two-man tent – a rather flimsy affair – collapsed under the onslaught of the winds. We hastened to fix it, but it was a moonless night, the winds were fierce and erratic, and our fingers were numb from the cold. We soon realised that it was a hopeless task, and four of us huddled into the other two-man tent.

But while we were grappling with the tent, all of us had noticed a peculiar thing. There was someone with a flashlight on the opposite shore of the lake.

Once we were safely inside the other tent, as the wind howled and moaned around us, we began – inevitably – to talk about the light. The other side of the lake, where the light had appeared, was steep and rocky. Walking along that shore would be tricky even in the daytime; pitching a tent was out of the question. So it could not possibly be a camper. Besides, we knew for a fact that there were no other campers on the lakeshore, or indeed on our entire route. A shepherd then? But what lunatic shepherd would be out on that perilous slope, on a night such as this?

Then someone told a story about a serial killer who stalked hikers in the wild and slit their throats at night, and we realised that further discussion would only spook us further. We drifted off to an uneasy sleep.

The next morning we were already laughing about it (as perhaps you are laughing now), but each of us admitted to being pretty scared at the time. Each of us also admitted to disturbing visions of a serial killer creeping up to our tent in the dead of night.

Interestingly, everyone had a slightly different mental picture of the killer. Saha had pictured a handgun-wielding killer, Indro imagined him brandishing an axe, and the Quaker visualised a slasher with a knife. My version involved a huge brute clubbing us all to death with a baseball bat, with no one to hear our screams.

We checked the other shore in the morning, and there was no trace of a campsite.


Tommy said...

I couldn't imagine posting a pic not just of a cwm, but of a cwm in Wales, and not using the word cwm in the accompanying text. But that's just me.

Dhruva said...

Safe to assume, then, that you have gone insane, or have become a bard. Why do I have this sneaking suspicion that your night was wasted, then?:D

Rohan said...

Where's Bullwinkle when you need him?
And I noticed that you believe xkcd might be unsuitable for liberal arts majors. Why? I'm in liberal arts now,everybody at this place is, too, and well, the only thing they'd find remotely offensive is Ann Coulter.

Rohan said...

And liberal arts includes mathematics to an extent too.
Just saying.

Priyanka said...

If it was really cold, and if you peed in your pants, and if all of you were in one tent, it would explain why this blogpost turned out the way it did. Hypothetically.

Sroyon said...

@Tommy: But it gave you the opportunity to use the word cwm three times in a single sentence. :D

@Dhruva: I know, what an anti-climax.

@OC: I'm just quoting Randall Munroe on this (look at the Warning on the xkcd page).

@Priyanka: Eh, what?

Pratiti said...

Randall Munroe, incidentally, was in liberal arts.
And I was thinking EXACTLY what Tommy posted!! Cwm!Our geography book said cirque lakes also known as cwms in Wales, but I always rephrased it in my answers to cwms also known as cirque lakes.