The Snowdon Chronicles - The day (night) arrived at last

It has been a while since I have updated you on the Snowdon Chronicles where I have been charting my progress towards the nighttime fundraising walk to the summit of Snowdon.  This was postponed from last year due to Covid, but this year it was all systems go.

I have been doing a lot of walking in practice for this challenge.  I already thought I walked a lot, but I soon found out I needed to put in some real training to make sure I was going to be successful.  Last May we went to Wales with the intention of walking to the summit in practice, but the weather defeated us.  We did have a good  long walk, but 60 mph winds and lightning seemed weather to avoid.

Fast forward to 2022 and we knew we would be in Wales ten days before the date of the night time challenge so we decided that we must practice getting to the summit; come rain or shine we were going to do it (but not gales or lightning).  I also wanted to be able to see the walk, doing it at night time would mean virtually no views on the way up.

The decided practice day arrived.  My daughter and I had packed everything ready to set out fairly quickly in the morning.  We arrived at Llanberis by 9.30 and set off to find the Llanberis path.  We followed the signs and we were off.

It took about four hours to get to the top, we did stop for lunch about 2/3 of the way along and I was pleased with our pace.  We were just about in line with what I had hoped for and I admit, I had thought if we were not at the top within five hours we might just decide it was not for us.  Anyhoo, no need to worry, we did ok.  Some parts of the path are quite steep (for me anyway) but generally it is a steady incline.  When we got to the top I confess I wimped out of the last set of steps to the very top.  I could not trust my vertigo to get me to the top without wobbling and there was no hand rail to stop me from falling off.  I know this is not completion, but it was vertigo not energy that stopped me and I can live with that.  It was a beautiful clear sunny day when we went.  About 16 degrees at the start of the path and about -2 degrees at the summit.  I was very glad I had brought layers and gloves and my woolly hat!

We then set off back down the mountain.  I had my walking poles with me and they helped hugely in reducing the impact of the down hill walk on my knees.  It took another three hours to get back to my car where a much needed flask of tea was waiting for me.

We wended our way back to our cottage and fizz was consumed.  We had achieved the walk and I now felt much happier about the actual challenge.
Sunday morning 2.30am at the summit

Ten days later and there we were, 10.30 at night setting off with the group from Discover Adventure who organised the walk.  It was very well organised with enough people to never be too far away no matter what our speed and someone always at the back making sure no one got left behind.  We reached the summit at 2.30am.  This time I did make it to the very top, not being able to see the horrendous drop the other side of the steps helped but I confess I had to scoot down the steps on my bum to get down again.  

Walking the Llanberis at night was incredible.  As we were walking up there were people walking down the mountain, enjoy the peace that is the late evening on the path.  As we were walking down the mountain we could see lights of people walking up, presumably to enjoy sunrise at the summit which must be an amazing experience.  As we were walking back down we saw the first glimpses of light and heard the birds start to sing.  Hearing the birds start their dawn chorus was magical.  We stopped for a moment just to listen.  We reached breakfast just before 6am and wandered back to our cottage to get some sleep.

It was a great adventure: 21 months and one broken ankle in the making.  I am now a woman of walking kit including base-layers.  I have worn out one pair of walking boots and own more than one rucksack.  Will I climb Snowdon again?  At this moment I think it is unlikely, but I shall keep on walking.  That is a habit that I am continuing.

I embarked on this adventure to raise money for the horticultural charity Perennial, who like most charities could not fundraise in their usual way during the lockdowns.  The need to help them raise funds still remains.

If you would like to donate please go to my JustGiving page.  At the time of writing I still need £205 to reach my target so every £5 helps!  I paid for the trip myself so all the money raised goes directly to Perennial.

I want to thank my daughter Rose for her support and patience and for coming with me on this adventure.  I also need to thank Discover Adventure for running the event.  I want to thank all of you who have supported me.  It really is very much appreciated.

The full story of this quest can be found here

Take care and be kind

For more from the Blackberry Garden follow me on Twitter Facebook and Instagram