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Two Decades to Reach the Top

Two decades ago, after I finished my A Levels, I went on holiday with three of my best friends at the time to North Wales. It wasn’t an expensive holiday; we borrowed my mum’s Mini (a proper Mini, not the BMW bloated thing) and crammed Caro, Liz, Liz and myself in with the luggage and a set of Youth Hostel memberships. We spent a week travelling around seeing the sights and generally enjoying ourselves. In my memory, there are three big standout things from that holiday; an argument (less said the better), a manic moment at the beach by Harlech Castle in a storm, and climbing Snowdon.

Summit of Snowdon

The climb was memorable for a number of reasons, one of which was the fact that we didn’t actually make it to the top! We had started on the Watkin Path, which begins close to sea level and ends in a dodgy scramble up a scree slope to the summit of Snowdon a kilometre or so higher up. It was a glorious day until we came within 50m or so from the top, at which point a storm came in and the people coming down told us that there was an advisory to get off the mountain. Anyway, as the cloud was descending quickly we turned around, thwarted at the last.

I’ve never been back until last week, when I went on a work team building exercise.

As you can see from the picture above, this time the weather didn’t stop me! It was a great feeling of achievement to get to the summit. There was a part of the walk (which was along the Miner’s Path and the Pyg Path) when I thought that I wouldn’t make it. The general deterioration in my fitness post Nathan’s arrival was visible. Aerobically, I was fine, but my thighs were burning with near cramp for a good long stretch which really slowed me up. However, if anything, that made the completion of the climb all the more sweet. I certainly need to get some more exercise in my life!

Below is the route we followed from our first stop shown in Google Maps, tracked by Motion-X GPS on my iPhone. It stops just as we reached the bottom again by the lake, mainly as my iPhone was about to run flat. We actually started from and returned to the nearby Youth Hostel, so the route shown is shorter than we actually did! All in all, it was a great feeling of achievement.

View Snowdon Climb in a larger map