Breathe It In

To try to unwind, on Sunday we went to one of our favourite spots a short drive away. Lake Vyrnwy provides perfect running, cycling or hiking routes. We took Dr Jones and made a day of it.

Snowdon, Snowdonia — Take II

A three hour tour. A six hour tour.

After Andrew’s big BBC debut we went back to where it all started – Snowdon, Snowdonia. Having seen Snowdon on a clear, crisp fall day, we were excited to see it in the cold of winter.

It was like going through the seven layers of the Candy Cane forest. We were in shirts and sunshine at the start of our hike and by the midpoint of our 6-hour hike we were bundled up and in snow.

The majority of the hike was technical, and closer to the summit it grew more challenging. Talking people in Crampons and carrying ice axes. We? We brought Indy.

No booties and we stripped his jacket off within the first mile. Poor guy kept weeing on it. However, on the hike he was brilliant. Couldn’t get over how high he was jumping. There was one other Jack on the mountain, also in a red harness. Doggy destiny. Makes you wonder if dogs get sore. He successfully made it for 5 of the 6 hours. Andrew and I each have a sore bicep, so worth it.

This is a short drive from us. Spoiled.

February Sweets & Television Debuts

Dear February,

Have you seen January?

Sincerely,
December

Not sure if it was the skiing or the massive amounts of Swiss chocolates I inhaled, but I’ve been in a sugar-induced fog/coma these past few days.

This month is going to fly by and we still have loads going on. February is also an important month as Andrew will be making his local tele debut.

BBC One contacted me most urgently while on vacation, and to make a long story short, remember when I told y’all about the most EPIC rescue mission from the Royal Air Force in Snowdonia? Well, I wasn’t lying. BBC One was on board the RAF that day filming the rescue and now they want the perspective we had from holding on for dear life atop the mountain. They Google’d RAF Rescue and found the videos I posted – scary, right?

They are probably going to have to edit Andrew’s poignant choice of words at the end of the clip but he’ll be on the program. Pays to be beautiful and daring I tell ya! I have a DVD coming, don’t you worry – and I asked for tickets to Top Gear. Did I mention I work in PR?

As for me? The person who documents our life and puts it online, I get to host the viewing party. And this only rewards Andrew for schlepping me up a deadly mountain. I guess people are reading this little old site after all.

You Are Your Own Obstacle. Get Over It.

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?