Letter from Shawforth: Day trip to Snowdon

Posted: May 23, 2011 in Friends, Life's Experiences, Society, Uncategorized
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A week ago, a good friend of mine undertaking his “Mountain Leader” qualification, asked if I wanted to go and tackle Mount Snowdon (Wales) with him. Always one for challenge I agreed; we set to, planning the route, the kit we would take, and checking the weather reports on the Mountain Weather Information Service, an invaluable resource. We had even planned two routes to the summit, dependent upon the weather conditions, and the time we arrived. It felt great to think that we had done everything we could to make the trip a safe and enjoyable experience.

We hadn’t even left the car park before we came across our first experience of lunacy on the mountains. Whilst checking and agreeing the route we were to take with map and compass,  a lad in his twenties came up to us and asked, “would it be a good idea to have a map”? We suggested that it would probably be a good idea, if he had a compass as well; but then we asked if he knew how to use one and he stared blankly. Thanking us, he went back to his party looking a great deal more concerned than when he first approached us. It was the continuing lunacy of what was going on around us which raised a smile on the trip. There were tourists, with expensive camera’s in shorts and trainers and the thinnest of tee-shirts strolling off the mountain sides. Kids being carried shivering, wet through and tired. Groups wearing fancy dress, people without wet weather gear, no provisions, the list goes on and on. As an idea of how bad the weather was the BBC News reported on several incidents.

Now the route we decided upon was not a particular challenge in the early stage; most of which was clearly defined by way of a great deal of hard work and patience. The route became a challenge in the latter ascent, primarily because of the driving rain, gusts of wind in excess of 60mph, and an ever descending cloud cover. The views of the surrounding mountains and valleys were breath taking and added to our overall experience. The wind and rain didn’t give us much to laugh at whilst we were out; and at the end of the day, despite all our preparation we didn’t make the summit. We made a joint decision to come back another day, because Snowdon would always be there to be conquered. To put us to shame one group of walkers conquered it twice, but that was for charity, whilst we tried for fun.

What we saw in the way of lack of preparation by most walkers, had us questioning how and why such dedicated volunteers, who make up the Llanberis Mountain rescue Team, should want to risk their lives. It takes a great deal of dedication and skill to rescue anyone of the mountains. However, it must take an awful lot of self control when you have a rescue anyone who has just gone on the mountains without any forethought or knowledge. We put it down to total dedication and we are grateful for it.

Any way, what more can said… Mount Snowdon awaits for another day, when we will conquer. And, if you do fancy a trip up please plan and wear something sensible.

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Comments
  1. WOW!
    Superbly crafted blog – absolutely excellent!
    Check out my Snowdon adventures: http://www.walksandwalking.com/?s=snowdon

  2. Pete Buckley says:

    I once met a walker who asked how far he had to go to the top of Snowdon – trouble was we were on Y Garn which is several miles away and in a completely different range. If it wasn’t so serious it would be hilarious! Nice post.

  3. I’d be inclined to go along with with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

  4. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything. However think about if you added some great pictures or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and videos, this blog could certainly be one of the best in its niche. Terrific blog!

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