First things first: apologies for the simply AWFUL photograph of me above! Anyone who read my Life Lately post a couple of weeks ago will know that my friend and I were going to do a charity walk up Mount Snowdon, and let’s just say we had to battle the elements to do it, hence my bedraggled state!
And thanks to that rogue raindrop for totally obscuring my friend’s face (although to be fair, I haven’t actually checked with her whether or not she wanted to appear on my blog, so seriously – thanks raindrop!).
The walk was for a charity that is really close to my friend’s heart: it helps support the children of alcoholics and families affected by addiction. Our original target for the amount we wanted to raise was £150, so the fact that we ended up raising almost £600 was absolutely insane!
The English weather has been absolutely glorious the past month or so, so it was typical that the day we were due to do our walk it not only poured down but there was also weather warnings for strong winds and extreme weather conditions. Thanks England with your stupid, unpredictable weather!
We stayed in the beautiful Welsh seaside town of Llandudno the night before we were due to do the walk, which is a place I used to go a lot as a child but haven’t been to in years (I hadn’t been to Wales full stop for years until a couple of weeks ago – now I’ve been twice! Look out for my photos of Bodnant Gardens coming up soon!). I got a few pictures of Llandudno, and the weather was actually looking OK the night before…shame it didn’t continue the next day!
We were up bright and early the next morning (5.30 am – on a Saturday!!!) and were all parked up and ready to go by 7am (we met up with my friend’s Dad and step-mum who climbed up with us). Unfortunately the weather had other ideas, and we had to seriously think about postponing the walk until the following week. In the end we decided that since we were there we may as well try and see how far we could get, so we set out, loaded up with plenty of snacks and drinks.
We hadn’t exactly banked on such terrible weather in August when we had prepared for the trip though, and so we were soaked through to the skin within half an hour. My rucksack of course turned out to not be fully waterproof, and so all my things, including my phone and purse and camera got soaked (hence all the blurry photos!) – in fact I initially thought I’d broken my new camera!
We went along the Miner’s Track – a moderately difficult path – which led us deeper into the mountains, and then began to slope steadily up for several miles. The higher we got the more we were battered by the wind and rain, and it did start to get a little precarious, as we were quite close to the edge in places.
Despite the horrible weather, the scenery was absolutely stunning. In fact, I think having all the mist and grey skies made it even more atmospheric if anything, and there was a real sense of being far removed from civilisation as we walked on and on (not least because I totally lost phone signal!).
However, things got truly scary when we came to the last part. The only way to keep going higher seemed to be to climb up a steep section of rocks and scree (you can see part of it in the bottom right picture above!), and despite our misgivings we were determined to keep going as far as we could.
We got a little further, but the wind became so bad that at points we literally had to crouch behind rocks, or flatten ourselves against them to avoid falling, and it genuinely got quite scary. In the end we had to stop about half a mile from the summit (where that awful picture at the top was taken!), but I think we did pretty well getting that far in the weather conditions.
We were considerably slower and more bedraggled on the way back down, and absolutely dying to change into some warm, dry clothes (which we ended up having to try and do in some Portaloos – quite a challenge in itself!). It was certainly an experience though, and the views were simply fantastic! I’d love to go back in better weather and hopefully reach the summit next time. Plus we raised lots of money for charity, which was the most important thing!
We finished off the day with a nice hot meal in Wetherspoons in Rhyl, before we drove home for a well earned rest. Me attempting to waddle round work the following day on my aching legs was certainly a sight to behold though!
So have you ever been to Snowdon? Or have you ever climbed up any other mountains? What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for charity?