This weekend did not fail to disappoint. Andrew and I tackled a climb at Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd, Wales — a quick drive from our place in Shrewsbury. I give a full run down over at Live for the Run, complete with an epic rescue video.
I knew that the climb would be difficult but had I done my homework I might not have done it at all. We trekked Crib Goch, a section notorious for being difficult even for the pros:
The classic traverse of Crib Goch from East to West leads up from the Pyg track to a “bad step” where hands and feet are both needed briefly. It is followed by ascent to the arête, before tackling three rock-pinnacles to a grassy col at Bwlch Coch. This first part of the ridge is exposed with precipices below, having resulted in several fatalities, even of experienced mountaineers;the Snowdonia National Park Authority describe it as “not a mountain for the inexperienced”.
Yea, that’s putting it lightly. I pushed my comfort zone and tested Andrew’s patience with me. Does he have to make even climbing a mountain look easy? The hike took around 4 hours and I think I am still on a high from the day. I cannot put into words the views, and pictures don’t give the perspective of the height or sheer beauty of the area.
This wasn’t like hiking your local mountain (sorry Kennesaw), this was professional stuff. We met a photographer for National Geographic and multiple outdoor experts throughout the day on the path — pretty cool, until you realise you have no business being with them.
What may have saved the day, quite literally, was seeing an actual Royal Air Force rescue. I felt like I was in the middle of an episode of MacGyver. The Prince of Wales is based a few miles from the mountain and we can almost guarantee he was in the helicopter. Andrew was under the “Sea King” filming it all, whilst I was laying down a few feet behind him. The wind from the blades pushed you around and I was shaking the whole time.
I initially thought I would never do this again, but reflecting back I think I might be up for the challenge. Only because I now know how to be more smart about climbing. The weather would have to be perfect. There is no way that I would go up in cloudy or windy weather.
There is still much more of Snowdonia National Park to explore, and easier paths to take. We are fortunate that this is right in our backyard. We will definitely be back soon.
How was your weekend? Anybody reach new heights?