Saturday, 21 November 2009

The Famous Snowdonia Pub remembers Everest legends

The famous Pen-Y-Gwryd pub is renowned for its connection with the successful mountain climbing expeditions of Mount Everest in 1953 and Kanchenjunga in 1955.

The pub dates back to 1811 as a farm house that became a public house serving the Llanberis area in Snowdonia, North Wales. The original ‘Climbers Club’ has its roots here being born over a few pints back in the day - in 1898. In 1922 the Pen-Y-Gwryd became a Mountain Rescue post and you can still see the plaque attached on the pub’s frontage (right hand side) when entering. This was closely tied to 2 other mountain rescue posts located in Ogwen’s cottage (now Ogwen Valley mountain rescue center) and Plas y Brenin (now the outdoors pursuits training center).

The hotel really gained its reputation due to the British Expeditions of Everest 1953 and Kanchenjunga 1955 who utilised the area to train and test oxygen equipment before embarking on their mountaineering missions. As you walk in and go to the right there is hiking boots string from the ceiling and a magnificent black & white print of Hillary & Tenzing sipping Chai on the Everest climb, You can still see the expedition party’s signatures on the ceiling on the left hand side of the pub (when entering). This includes the famous kiwi legend Edmund Hillary, British Everest leader John Hunt and Sir Christopher Bonnington who was successful on Kanchenjunga in 1955.

But what the Pen-Y-Gwryd is really renowned for is the classic ‘snug’ which is situated behind the bar and you can only enter it by ducking through the kitchen. If you’re a resident you are allowed to freely enjoy the sung with its classic memorabilia of the Everest expedition, if you’ve just rocked up to the pub you’ll need to have a word and ‘talk your way in’ for a 5 minute butchers. It has a great cabinet which has the rope which was used by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay to belay each other, crampons and other kit & equipment that was used to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Other trinkets and bits & pieces are shown with lots of photos and memorials are all displayed in a lovely wood panelled room which for any Everest aficionado is just great. A great way to enjoy a well earned dink after coming off the hill! Go check it out and soak up the classic atmosphere!

For some video footage inside the pub:

For info on Trekking & Mountaineering in the Everest region please see Sunstone Adventures new website on:

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

New Sunstone Adventures Website GO LIVE was born on November 3rd 2009!
A big thanks to my great friends at NV Interactive - Grant, Sam and Tim!

Sunstone utilises local guides on all their Adventures Trips in the Himalayas. It's a great way for Western clients to interact with a local person for an extended period of time learning about specific local culture and customs. It also means we provide employment which is ongoing and creates sustainability that adds value to that specific community. Expertise and experience can also be shared and passed on by Sunstone team leaders and vice versa. It also adds real interest to your trek, mountaineering or ski adventure where strong lasting friendships are made which can become an experience of a lifetime.

Sunstone also donates 5% of all Adventure Trip's prices to a voluntary organisation specific to that local area. For example trekking in the Khumbu (Everest) Region in Nepal, the Himlayan Rescue Association (HRA) are an excellent voluntary organisation providing education to trekkers & mountaineers on Altitude, creating awareness and organising rescue and retrieval to distressed mountain users. The classic lecture they hold in both Pheriche (Khumbu Region) and Manang (on the Annapurna Circuit Trek - Annapurna Conservation Area Project) provides excellent information on altitude awareness and the risks of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude Cerebal Edema (HACE) and High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HACE) and how to prevent and act should these effects become real.

In Gulmarg, Kashmir Sunstone are looking forward to furthering some of the work pioneered by the New Zealand Ski Club of Kashmir which is a voluntary organisation started by Martin Jones (Christhurch, NZ) and Billa Bakshi (Gulmarg, Kashmir). Eight voluntary international instructors donated their time and efforts to teach local Kashmiri kids from the Gulmarg area. This was a great iniatative and we hope to donate funds from our Adventure Trips towards this to help the kids hire ski equipment and pay for lift passes. Often the local Gulmarg kids have grown up in the area but haven't been fortunate enough or not had the opportunity to learn to ski, which seems a shame with such an amazing mountain so close to them!

For further info get in touch with Paul on:
Further web resources: Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA)
Info on the New Zealand Ski Club of Kashmir can be found on