When we moved to Derby we ended up on the British Heart Foundation fundraising committee – some readers of this blog will know we have Dilated Cardiomyopathy in the family, our son Gareth had a heart transplant in 2004, a transplant which gave him another nine years of life. The BHF group organised a weekend – and I found myself saying “I’ll climb Snowdon with you.”
I was up early on Saturday 2 June 2018, left home about 0515 and had an easy drive across to North Wales. I got to Llanberis about 8, treated myself to a bacon roll from the station café, and watched the trains – I want a ride.
Other BHF folk started arriving by 0820, but it was 0900 before we were all together and able to set off. The first mile or so is steep, then it got slightly easier.
There were lots of people walking, but the queue for the half way café wasn’t too bad. Refreshed, we continued on. It was quite misty, so it was ‘head down and keep going’ – I prefer my solitary walks.
We started being passed by people on their way down – “another 15 minutes” they all said. It was a long 15 minutes, but eventually the signal for the station shone through the darkness. The top was like Piccadilly Circus on a bad day – a queue for the trig point, a queue for the loo, and such a queue for the café I gave up.
We headed down about 1, and the fog cleared. Then the views were lovely. We walked together, or in small groups, and had some good chats. More tea on the way down, and an enterprising person was selling ice lollies at the top of the road – they must have made a fortune.
Back down about 4.15 – with a sense of achievement. We ate cake! According to Strava I had walked 9.66 miles, ascended 2,975 feet, and descended 2,978 feet (my car must have sunk!). The mountain is 3,283 feet high.
The others were making a weekend of it and doing the world’s longest zip wire tomorrow – what a shame I have to work on a Sunday. I wandered back to the car, and a chap waved at me as I left the car park. I could hear a funny sound, stopped in a laybye just outside the village, and found that my rear passenger side tower was shredded. I phoned Green Flag at 1705, Nicole was lovely and efficient, I was collected by Gwalia Recovery before 1800, taken to Caernarvon, a new tyre was fitted (I snoozed), and I drove home. When I sorted the money out later in the month I had raised over £1,000 before gift aid. Chuffed! If you wish to make a donation to the BHF, please do – website.
I will quietly hide the fact that I only walked 33 miles in June – so now I’m 221 down (if I’m aiming for 1,000 miles).