Crypto Daddy: A Short Story
Back in November of 2021, when Omicron was a mere footnote on the BBC news homepage. My friends and I were optimistic about going skiing in Bulgaria in early January, 2022. However, those plans fell through due to Covid complications and we weren’t about to waste those precious days off, so we quickly booked another trip to somewhere as glamarous and exciting.
All jokes aside, we went to Snowdonia which is easily one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. We had a small cottage in the middle of the national park, one hill over from Snowdon itself. Our two cars could take us anywhere we wanted and the dutchtub that came with the cottage provided ample entertainment trying to get the water hot enough with the wood provided.
Whilst not explicitly being a full-on hiking trip, we definitely wanted to make the most out of the peaks nearby and had decided to tackle the most impressive, Snowdon.
Part 1: The Trip Up
Thursday, the big day, we drove over to Pen-y-Pass, thinking we had prepared well. Brand new hiking trousers galore, I had somehow squeezed myself into a pair of leggings and workout shorts, our multicoloured rainjackets providing a pleasant change from the drab interior of the Fiat 500 we were in.
In typical city folk fashion though, we could have done a lot better than buying the first results on Amazon. January in Northern Wales is not warm. Luckily the weather was on our side with the sun coming out to play so we tramped on, staying still too long allowed the cold to seep in.
There are many routes up Snowdon and I hadn’t looked any of them up prior to going, I didn’t even know how long the walk would take (some say it’s relatively obvious that I grew up in a city). We opted for the Miner’s Track which was a pleasant walk for the first part. This easy bit is a long, flat bridleway along crystal clear lakes with Snowdon looming above you, piercing the sky. We are mostly alone here aside from one lone walker a half kilometre back.
The second bit, however, is the steep bit and when I say steep, the lines between “walking” and “climbing” up Mount Snowdon became a little blurry. It was almost a right angle from the path we were currently on and we needed confirmation from a resting walker that this was the correct route. We’re constantly losing the trail as we go up, not by much, but enough to have to walk back several tens of metres to then try a different path.
At this point, the lone walker behind us ends up catching us up. It’s clear he’s done the the route before so we fall in line behind him, keen to not lose the path again. We end up chatting and he shares his knowledge of the route and points out the places where rockfalls have whiped out the old path. “It’s a little more challenging than it used to be,” he says reassuring us. The Llanberis Track is an easier walk down according to him and he promises to lead us to it. “There’s a shuttle bus there that will take you back to Pen Y Pass.”
Eventually, we reach the ridge and the wind buffets us. The views are spectacular and we stop for pictures but are eager to move on to the peak as the cold starts to bite again. The lone walker is keen to stay a while so we carry on.
The wind is worse at the peak, but we’ve made it and we stop for lunch and my mate has a beer. After a while, the lone walker appears again, reminds us of the route down and bids farewell.
This is the last we think we’ve seen of him.
Part 2: The Trip Down
The trip down was relatively uneventful. The Llanberis Track is a lovely, slow decline all the way to the village of Llanberis. It runs alongside the Snowdon Mountain Railway (the lazy route as some call it) which was shut when we went up. It was going through maintenance and we spotted a few railway engineers hard at work.
As we reached Llanberis we stop by at the Pen-y-Ceunant Cafe for a coffee. We’re presented with some complimentary welsh cakes and make pleasant chat with the owner. I cannot recommend this cafe enough, everyone was so nice. Even the cat came and said hello.
As we start thinking about packing up to head over to the shuttle bus, one of our posse spots a car coming up the hill. “Is that the guy we walked up with?” It can’t be, we say.
It was. He pulls into the neighbouring drive, winds his window down to poke his head out. “Do you want a lift back to your car?” he asks. Of course we do. We quickly pack up and jump in.
Turns out, the lone walker had gone into Llanberis to discover that the shuttle bus wasn’t running its usual timetable so he thought he would drive up the lane to try and find us to offer a lift back.
Part 3: The Car Ride
His car was so much nicer than ours. A close to new Land Rover Defender with enough room in the back for three of us with one in the front. Impossible in a Fiat 500, I can’t even sit straight in the back as I’m 189cm tall. There’s a large screen between the driver and passenger and arm rests the width of my head for both to lean on.
We make conversation and ask about the lone walker’s obvious experience with hiking. Turns out he takes his car with him everywhere and is planning on doing more peaks this week with it. He’s been up and down the country and is particularly fond of the Scottish Highlands and even Canada!
As for where he stays, we ask him. “Up there,” he motions upwards. On top of the car there is a folded up package that unfurls into a 2m x 2m bed with an inflatable mattress. As for showers, there’s 50 litres of pressurised water in the back with a heater attached which he can easily loop out the car and stand behind one of the doors. This man is very well prepared.
He goes on to talk about how he has internet as well. There’s a satellite on top of the car that can get internet in “97% of places I’ve been to,” I think his words were. When he wants to get work done he sits in the passenger seat and has a table extension where he can put his laptop to get stuff done.
We are in awe.
We remember Canada and ask if he takes his car out by boat over there. “Oh, I have another one of these out there already.”
The inevitable question comes up: “What do you do for a job?”
“Have you heard of cryptocurrencies?”
My friends all look at me, the only person working in tech in the group. “Yeah I have. Are you a dev?” I ask.
“Which coin do you work on?”
“Are you familiar with Cardano?”
“Heard of it.”
“Yeah, that’s the one. It had a big spike last year and we have some interesting projects coming up this year.”
The rest of the journey is spent idly chitchatting about cryptocurrencies, our trip, his trips, and London, where he once lived for a while. Upon reaching our car, we bid farewell, thanked him for giving us a lift, and squeezed back into our Fiat 500.
As we’re pulling away, we realised we never actually got his name and him ours. So we started thinking of names. “Hiker Dude” and “Lone Walker” were two suggestions, my contribution was “Uncle Crypto”. However, as you may have guessed by the title of this blog, we ended up with Crypto Daddy.
So Mr Daddy, whoever you are and whatever wonderful thing you’re doing with crypto now, you made our walk up Snowdon that much more enjoyable and safe. I may be down on the ADA I bought when we got back to the cottage, but I’ll carry on hodling it just for you.