Last weekend Mr Decisive and I, and a friend, travelled to Wales to climb Mount Snowdon as part of our preparation for tackling the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in July. The weather forecast wasn’t good but we decided we would start off, and if the weather was too bad we could always turn back. The morning began with a thunderstorm, but by 10 am it had cleared and, as we parked the car in the car park for the Llanberris Path (and the Snowdon Mountain Railway), the sun actually came out.
Snowdon is in Snowdonia National Park and, at 1.085 metres above sea level, is the highest mountain in Wales. In fact, it is the highest point in the British Isles outside Scotland. Each year it is climbed by over 360,000 people and, despite the dreadful weather forecast, it seemed as though about half of them were there with us on Saturday!
We checked that we had everything we needed and set off, feeling slightly smug because the weather hadn’t turned out to be as bad as everyone had said. Our smugness was shortlived however as, about 20 minutes into our climb, the sun went away, the clouds moved in and a few drops of rain started to fall. It went from bad to worse after that as the rain lashed and the wind blew. We hadn’t been able to see the summit when we started, but now we could see almost nothing of the view. I had imagined being spurred on during the climb by the dramatic vistas which unfolded before my eyes… I had not imagined being able to see almost nothing, and for my view to be obscured by the hood of my waterproof jacket!
I had hoped to take lots of great photos, but it wasn’t until about halfway up, when there was a brief easing of the rain, that I was able to snatch a quick shot of the view down into the valley. About 2 minutes after taking this, the view disappeared back into the clouds.
On the way up we were passed by people running yes, you read that correctly, running up and we met others who were running down – it was enough of an effort for us to walk, never mind run!
At the summit there is a very welcome, and busy, cafe, and after a drink and some food we set off back down the mountain. There is a train which you can take to the summit, and I have to admit that, as I was huffing and puffing my way up the last quarter of the climb, the prospect of just taking the train back down was very tempting! We had no opportunity to admire the view because we were actually in the clouds at this point and so there wasn’t even the slightest suggestion of a view to be seen. As we walked down (very, very much easier than walking up!) we met a few people carrying bicycles! What kind of madness would make you climb a mountain carrying your bike to then ride it back down again?
As we walked down the rain stopped and the clouds began to clear and eventually the sun came out.
Nearly at the bottom now…
I feel very pleased with myself for having completed the climb, and I’m glad I didn’t get the train down, but it has shown me that I need to do a bit more work on my fitness before I tackle the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge!