It’s around 3.30am, zero hour. Nine, maybe slightly crazy, men are standing in the rain, eight of them about to set off up the tallest mountain in Wales followed by 14 others. It is going to be a long day. Roughly an hour-and-forty minutes later the team is struggling to stand upright in the gales that whipped around the summit of Snowdon. There was time for a quick photo, to start the clock, and then it was on to the next one.
Crib Goch saw some members of the team pushed almost to the point of surrender before breakfast. The drop to the right meant it was probably best we hadn’t had breakfast by this point. The team was expertly guided by the Rev and despite some shaken nerves everybody had made it across.
From this point on it was the big drop down to the valley and a road walk to breakfast, which was expertly prepared by the RSM. Then it was a long, roughly two hour, slog up Elidir Fawr. After this the team toughed it out through the mist, with aching limbs and sore feet, as they pushed on over the Glyders. Although the climbs weren’t as severe as Elidir Fawr, they still took their toll. With the weather appearing to be closing in we made it to Tryfan and on the way down to supper, began the decision-making process of whether or not to call it a day, as we saw the clouds sweep in over our next, steep and enormous objective.
Facing tiredness and the possibility of becoming disorientated in the mountains in the middle of the night, it was decided that at 6.00 pm, after fourteen and a half hours and eight peaks, it was time for a hot shower and a warm bed.
As we drove back to base, looking up to the ominous clouds and towering summits, we were all thankful not to be on the mountain in the rain and wind at midnight, and were all completely shattered and asleep probably well before ten. Undoubtedly, though, we are all thankful, too, to the Rev and the RSM, for coping with our moaning, and for the exhausting yet awesome experience!
The group: Ben Cox, Alex Curtis, Ben Durston, Oli Millward, Will Osborne, Alex Thompson and Alasdair Young.