Travels with a Trekker - Mount Snowdon

Daytrip – Snowdon!

It was Snowdon or Bust – or so it felt! – We had the idea whilst whiling away the winter nights and
getting itchy feet and wanderlust. And suddenly here we were at the bottom of Mount Snowdon,
wondering why on earth we had made that phone call to our Expedition leader suggesting we climb
it.

It was the first time I had ever climbed anything with the word Mount in front of it – funny how that
word can fill your heart with horror and dread!! It is just a word after all, but no, here we were, at
the bottom of a mountain! It seemed pretty easy at first, nice gentle walk, with a few big rocks to
climb over, the view was lovely, the weather was lovely, the skies were clear blue and there were
lots of people on the trail. There was no chance of getting lost or not knowing which way to go –
you just followed everyone else.

It didn’t end there though, the path got a little steeper, the steps got very big and the rocks turned
decidedly rocky!

We started to split up as a group – I have learnt to not worry about that now, and one of the leaders
with us confirmed it when he told us at the back, to “just enjoy the walk”. Not sure how you just
enjoy the walk, when everything aches and hurts and you want to sit down or roll back down the hill
and cry, but we tried. And also, how did he look so young? Maybe there’s something in this trekking
after all?

The mix of people was huge, there were the people running up! Then there were very slow ones and
then there were the dogs – oh my goodness, I have never seen so many dogs on the side of a
mountain. Not easy sometimes, one delightful little creature (that was sarcasm – did you notice?)
scampered all around, completely out of control of his owner, and not only did you have to watch
your footing because of the rocks but because of delightful doggy. I do believe I swore a couple of
times under my breath. But I love dogs, so I let him off.

I remember sitting on a rock and being joined by a group of older men, all commiserating about how
tough it was, one guy said his heart rate felt like it was about 200, we played catch up all the way to
top after that. First they were ahead, then I was.

Round a corner and wow – the view was amazing, lakes and rocks and greenery and this incredible
blue sky above us. You could see the trail of people winding their way round the corner, up the
steps, along the ridge then across the top to the summit. Sounds easy when you say it, that route
took me over an hour to do, including stopping on the steps for nourishment. I remember being
amazed at how instantly a banana revitalised me, note to self – always take a banana !!

It was chilly but not really cold on the side of the mountain but the moment I reached the top ridge
the wind whistled over the top and changed everything. The path took the route alongside the
railway for a while and then parted right at the top. Funny how when things are so big you can get
the feeling you might fall off. I am sure the mountain was not wide enough for me and the fear of
that wind whisking you up and throwing you all the way back down again was quite strong.! Luckily
of course, it never happened.

I met with some of the others, and the other leader offered to take me to the top , so we went
round the back and I touched the top – hooray!!

The view was unbelievable – all the way out to the sea and across to Anglesey, it really was worth
the climb. But the wind made it impossible to stand too long, a chill factor of minus 11 made you look for shelter. The leader and I found a sheltered spot and ate our sandwiches, that simple tuna
sandwich tasted ambrosial!

I had walked up Snowdon – I couldn’t quite believe it. I am not a mountaineer – far from it!! I just
started enjoying trekking a couple of years ago and now I love the challenge. I don’t plan to climb
Everest, or even Kilimanjaro, but I do like the challenge. It all started with Life Changing Challenges.
I learnt lots, how to not fear a hard task, how to not fear being at the back and how to just love the
journey. But climbing Snowdon was enough reason for three of us to enjoy an Indian take away and
a bottle of champagne when we got back.

It wasn’t easy, it was challenging enough to make me feel I had achieved something, but not so
difficult that it seemed impossible, but I did have to think, I did have to take care sometimes and I do
feel that I was stretched that day – but I am ohh so glad I’ve done it.

Well - What’s next??

Guest Blogger - Annie Davidson

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