Sabbs Do Snowdon – The Grandeur and the Anguish
Hello, it’s me! Your Vice-President Community! In case you hadn’t heard, the other four officer trustees and I went to Wales a few weeks ago to climb Mount Snowdon! We did this for a few different reasons, to bond as a team while trying to defeat the beast, but also to raise money for a great cause. We raised money for the trip by taking donations, and in return we’d do a challenge on the way up the mountain, which were suggested by donors. All money raised went towards Womens Work, one of our nominated RAG charities this year, who aim to improve the well-being of disadvantaged women in Derbyshire.
“Wales, we are in you!” – Jacob
On the first day, it took us over 5 hours to get there, but when we did we pitched up, went food shopping and then rented some Kayak’s to go on the lake which was sooo fun! We cooked dinner and made a campfire, then had to quickly hide everything as it started raining… And didn’t stop. By the next morning half of our stuff was soaked through as the tent Dani and me were staying in wasn’t actually water proof… The weather was dismal so we pushed back climbing the mountain to Sunday, as long as the weather cleared up in time, as it wouldn’t be safe (nor pleasant) to climb the mountain in that weather.
“Look at all those chickens!” – Charlie
Instead, we spent Saturday exploring the northern coast of Wales, which included exploring some ruins and seeing some dolphins! We didn’t plan on seeing the dolphins, we didn’t even know they were there! We were just at the beach near a light house when someone there mentioned them, so we looked out to the sea and there was a big pod breaching! The dolphins were truly breathtaking, and we were awe struck. You can see them in the video below.
That night the campsite wasn’t in a good way. The tents were flooded, most of our stuff was wet through and there were strong winds ripping at our tents. Luckily, we were able to stay in Jacob’s relatives house as they didn’t live too far away. We were still snoozing in sleeping bags on sofas and floors- so still felt like a legitimate camping experience…
“Day 3 in the Big Brother house” – Dani
On the Sunday, we woke up as early as we could bare and started preparing for the ascent up Snowdon. Wales was really foggy and damp, but we decided to plow on anyway. The climb up was really tough- we took the Pyg track which is one of the harder routes up. The rain wasn’t the heavy type with big drops, but rather the impenetrable mist which soaks you down to the bone. We were wringing out socks on the way up as we were sloshing around in our shoes, and had to stop for regular food breaks to keep energy up.
We ascended a total of 700 metres, with only a couple of walking poles between us. The entire way up it was really foggy, so we couldn’t see the summit and were constantly guessing how far we had left to go. In some places, we had to walk through streams and waterfalls which soaked our feet further, and some places we had to use our hands to actually climb up parts of the mountain. Jacob and Scarlet were up like a whiz, as they’d done this kind of thing before, but for the rest of us it was really tough. With each of us going at different pace it was extra challenging, but we endeavored to climb as a team nonetheless.
“We’re all a bit sad and a bit soggy” – Abby
By the time we reached the summit, we were absolutely drenched and emotions were running high. Not long after we reached the top, the clouds cleared and all of a sudden we could see for miles and miles, which made it worth the blisters, cramps and sores. The view was absolutely incredible from the top, and I’ve never seen anything like it. We felt broken, exhausted and emotionally battered. I don’t speak for everyone, but I know I was in a lot of pain and struggling just to stand, so the thought of descending the mountain again right away was troublesome at the least. We considered getting the train down, but it was fully booked. In a way this was a good thing, because none of us really wanted to cop out anyway. I face-timed my mum from the peak because there was an incredible reception, and I wanted her to see what I had achieved! There was a small cafe at the top, so we all had a hot chocolate and some hot food, and after an hour of relaxing and swapping our socks for considerably dryer ones, we were ready for the descent.
We took the miners track down, which was steeper at first but levelled out for the last hour or so of the walk, which did our poor knees a favour. The first half of the trail was the same as Pyg track, before splitting off to travel past the beautiful Snowdon lakes. The way down was much more fun, and our spirits were much higher. While going down the mountain was still a challenge, it was much easier than going up. We even played Cowboy, Ninja Bear, which is kind of like Rock, Paper, Scissors but with your whole body! And naturally, we skipped rocks on the lakes, which were beautiful. On the way down, as the fog had cleared, we could see the peak and were actually relieved we couldn’t see it on the way up. If we had seen how far we still had to go at some of the hardest parts of the climb up, we were all in agreement that we might have given up. By the time we got back to the van, we could have cried at the relief of dry clothes and somewhere soft to sit down. Now that the sky had cleared, we could see the peak, and were grateful for the fog earlier that day, as we weren’t sure we could have made it if we could have seen it on the way up. Jacob, my hero, drove us home that night, and I finally arrived to my bed at around 11pm.
“You know what, your sheep impressions suck!” – Scarlet
At the top of the mountain, in the cafe was a quote that I think sums it up well; “The grandeur and the anguish”. I actually genuinely feel a lot closer to the team after that weekend, and have so much more respect for everyone, for the stress they endured and how well we worked as a team. I’m especially grateful to Jacob, who drove us home after that long day, with sore legs and a lack of sleep. I’m impressed with Abby, who climbed the mountain despite having back problems and being in pain. I’m impressed with Dani, who kept her positivity and 10/10 humour all the way to the top, and I’m impressed with Scarlet, who all the way through kept cheering on the rest of the team. Lastly, I’m impressed with myself, cause that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Check out the video below!
I did catch some cool pokemon at the top of Snowdon, though.