When it comes to hiking, Tim is a lot more eager and adventurous than I am. I always tell him he has stronger legs than I do, therefore making it a lot easier to climb. If truth be told, hiking is a long way out of my comfort zone and not something I had ever really done until I met Tim. Our first big hike together was in New Zealand (I will save that story for another day) and since then I am becoming more confident.
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and one that Tim and I wanted to conquer. Since I started warming to the idea of hiking, I have bought hiking boots, hiking trousers and walking sticks. Tim tells me I ‘have all the gear and no idea’, which to be fair is pretty much bang on.
There are six different paths to chose from to climb the 1085 metre peak and we picked the Llanberis Path, which is the longest but also one of the ‘easier’ walks you can do. The walk starts in the town of Llanberis and there is plenty of parking. If you are not keen for a 6 hour hike you can always get the train up and down. I will admit that there were points on our hike I wished I could hail the train and jump aboard.
The hike was lovely in the beginning. Not too strenuous, beautiful country scenery and nice enough weather. Then, the heavens opened up. It was a mad dash to get our waterproof jackets on and keep climbing. I made a rookie error and left my only hoodie tied to my backpack, which later resulted in Tim telling me ‘what a silly idea’ that was.
As we climbed further up, the path got a lot steeper. I kept shouting in my head ‘I thought this was the GENTLE ONE’ as I watched Tim effortlessly climb ahead of me. As we got higher and higher we walked further and further into the clouds. Seeing more than 10 metres in front became nearly impossible and the wind and rain got more wild. We knew that when we got to the top we wouldn’t be rewarded with a beautiful view, but we had come this far and couldn’t turn back.
What really frustrated me was having no concept of how close we were. I kept saying to myself ‘Only a few minutes to go’, and an hour later we had reached the summit. Hooray!
We bundled ourselves into the cafe/souvenir shop. I bought a beanie and a pair of gloves for the climb and a scone for some energy. I sat glumly freezing at the table, Tim told me I should wear his hoodie because mine was drenched, I looked longingly at the train that was going down the mountain and then we stood up, walked out the door and started our trek down.
The trek down was really difficult. Clouds, strong winds, rain and hail that stung your face when it hit. You couldn’t see more than a few metres in front and it was absolutely freezing. I cursed Tim in my head for thinking that the weather was okay for this climb. I felt like we were on bloody Mt Everest battling all the elements. I knew that we just had to get down far enough and out of the clouds before the bad weather would cease a little… and it did.
We made it to the bottom, wind blown, exhausted, wet and relieved. What a climb. A week later we met a couple who told us ‘how amazing’ and ‘beautiful’ the views were from the top of Snowdon – something that we will only ever see searching through Google images.
Oh well, it still counts. Snowdon = conquered.
Tim’s weigh in
I have to put it on record that when I checked the forecast it said it would clear up… it was wrong and the conditions were hard work. If you’re into hill or mountain walking this track will prove no problem though, as it is gentle most of the way. Not being rewarded with summit views is always disappointing, still, I had a great time.