Few facts about Snowdon: 1. Highest mountain in England & Wales. 2. 1058 m/3560 ft high. 3. 8 miles there & back. 4. It's beautiful.
I've always wanted to climb it. Like, always. I text my Australian bff, Alex, a couple of days before & said 'Hey, wanna climb Snowdon next Sunday?', he quickly replied 'Yeah, sure', with little idea what he was letting himself in for. Now, Snowdon is a pretty high & tough mountain to climb. People train for it, rescue helicopters are constantly whirring round it & people frequently die whilst climbing. Alex & I went with absolutely no experience in climbing anything before. Kitted out only with backpacks full of haribo, munchies, squashies, galaxy counters & a small bottle of water between us. Absolute pros, some would say.
This waterfall right here nearly killed us both off. We were happy quite literally crawling up the mountain, then we were faced with this. Two guys from the opposite direction passed over it with ease. We stood, perplexed, at this new challenge as though we were the only two people to have ever crossed it. Alex & his damn lanky legs slithered across, relatively unscathed. Myself & my dwarf legs had to literally stand in the waterfall, hold onto the rocks and crawl across, trying not to slip off the edge. With soaked jeans & soggy shoes, I made it across, rather impressed with myself & the sheer power of my haribo-fuelled frame. We were both estatic to have overcame this & a little naive to believe this was the biggest challenge we had yet to face.
This is about 4/5 hours into our climb? We kept being tricked into thinking we had reached the top. Convinced there was no more. I swear I saw 'the top' around 6 different times. Each times my legs cried with relief. But no, theres always a little, or in some cases, alot more to do.
We knew we were pretty damn high in this point when we were half in the clouds. You can see in the snap below. It was so, so surreal. So magical. We were both climbing, then at the exact same point just stopped. The realisation that everything was silent hit us both. I don't mean silent where you can still hear birds, the sound of the wind, etc. No, I mean total and overwhelming silence. As though we had both been put on mute. It was just the most incredible experience. I've never experienced any sensation like it, hearing absolutely nothing.
At the top...!!
Here you can see we were actually in the clouds. Surrounded by nothing but white, fluffy clouds. The air felt wet & my hair was damp. We struggled to see each other if we went too far away. Or when Alex went for a celebratory top-of-snowdonia pee with the many sheep inhabitants. We were soggy but so, so happy. Beyond elated, it was quite emotional.
Knowing the top was the half way point of the entire climb helped alot. There was now only one direction we were headed, down. This was the point where my previous dead-weight legs regained some energy. We put our headphones in and absolutely powered back down. With a fair few tumbles on the way. My legs have never shook so intensely & consistently for such a long period of time. I was like bambi sliding down the rocks. Alex went ahead & acted like the pide-piper for myself & another family, his experience of going first helping us all. 'Katie, go this way down', 'watch that rock, it's unstable', 'be careful at this point, it's slippery'. Such an absolute gem.
8 hours I think it took us. I would do it again in a heartbeat. This is easily the happiest I have felt in a long, long time. Saying climbing Snowdon is my idea of a perfect day out would make some question my mental state. But it is. I loved every second. Though Alex would disagree & say otherwise.
With shaky legs, soggy clothes & hungry sugar-depleted bodies, we headed for McDonalds. It's kind of our tradition, whenever we go for a day out. A McDonalds always comes into play, paticularly a McFlurry.
A full 12 hour day, 8 hours of climbing & 5 days for my legs to recover. I've already convinced him to agree to more climbs & I'm so, so excited.