in Personal, 04 Sep 2017
July 30th, 2017, my girlfriend surprised me with a birthday trip to Wales - a much better present than the shampoo and condition I’d gotten from her for Christmas - anyway, the weekend entailed driving up to Wales on Saturday, climbing the notorious Snowdon on Sunday, and then Monday we were booked to do the worlds fastest and Europe’s longest zip line! With my passion for the outdoors, the weekend sounded incredible…
On the beautiful and windy drive into Snowdonia, we were unsure of what to expect. A sole mountain standing high and proud above any other surrounding peak was our guess but through the breath-taking valleys there didn’t seem to be this giant monster greeting us as we had envisioned. From the ground below we couldn’t decide which mountain was our nemesis, heads back, our eyes searching the sky we came to the conclusion that it must be the one engulfed by clouds.
Skip to the next day, the great trek up to the peak. Beth and I had decided to ascend via the Pyg trail and descend via the Miners’, both incredibly scenic routes. The weather wasn’t in our favour and we found ourselves summiting a mountain with no sight of the peak... Our distance to the top was unknown.
Before we started we were warned of hurricane winds sweeping through the valley; we tightened our boots, zipped up our jackets, smiled at each other and started our ascent. Thirty minutes into the hike, we reached a viewpoint that had us stop in our tracks. In front of us, a jagged dark grey mountain range wrapped around a lake that looked like it was home to the Loch Ness Monster... I was well aware that we weren’t in Scotland.
As we got higher, the pebbled path turned into a route that forced us to climb over boulders and sharp edges. The gradient became steeper and the wide-open spaces to either side of us were replaced with sheer drops to the lakes below. Suddenly the 'hurricane winds' came into play. Our scenic hike had gotten a bit more interesting. We passed people who had turned around; others huddled together for protection and many hiding behind rocks. Dog owners who fancied a change from their usual walks had their canine children clinging to their chests, fiercely protecting their furry loved ones from nature’s harsh conditions. Beth and I looked at each other and knew that we weren’t going to head back anytime soon... Come rain or shine, we were going to make it to the top of the highest peak in Wales.
As the winds grew stronger, the rain began to hurt; the danger level of the situation we’d gotten ourselves into became apparent. Our feet were aching and thighs were burning, we began to question whether Snowdon actually had a peak or not. Out of nowhere, we felt as though we were surrounded by open space, the air was thinner and the wind was colder. We were almost there... Our adrenaline kicked in and the slow steps we were taking turned into what could only be described as a ‘Mo Farah stride.’ After two hours of battling through the weather conditions, we had finally made it to the peak and the view was... well, there wasn’t one. The cloud cover had caused a complete white out which meant that we couldn’t see further than ten meters. Non-the-less we stepped into the café, ordered a couple of beers and cheered to our successful hike up Wales' highest peak! Standing there with our cut fingers, drenched clothes and aching bodies, we knew that we wouldn’t change a thing about our unforgettable experience climbing Snowdon; before realising that we now to make the climb back down.
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