Monday, 27 April 2015

Mountain High


The weather’s set fair so Tom and I decide Wednesday’s the day to tackle Snowdon. Armed only with sandwiches, sushi, Gala pie, Mars bars, a tray of Bakewell tarts and lots of water (yep, you can tell we were determined not to starve), we’re up at the Crack of Doom and out the door at 6.30 am to be at the car park for our walk at 9 am.

After a slight false start when one of us spots the sign which states ‘Watkin Path’ and one of us who ‘has been here before’ ignores it, we are on our way. At first, I wonder what all the fuss is about; it’s just a series of wide stone steps, isn’t it? But the ‘steps’ are high, uneven and the incline just keeps getting steeper.




Along the way we have a very slow race with two men neither of whom has climbed Snowdon before and who are both a little daunted by the path – or lack of – across the treacherous scree slope which leads to the summit. Tom’s hearty reassurances that the path isn’t as dangerous as it looks make me completely oblivious to any difficulties until we’re actually on it. Fortunately the sound of my calf muscles screaming in agony as I pin myself to the side of the mountain stops me worrying too much about falling off. I even manage to perform a daring grail quest when the two men above us stop for a breather and send the lid of a thermos tumbling down the scree. 



However, the views on this glorious day when we finally reach the summit are worth every bit of pain and effort; it’s truly sublime. Now all we have to do is get back down.



My hopes that we might somehow avoid sliding down scree slopes on the descent by taking the Rhyd Ddu Path first before re-joining the Watkin Path further down are quickly dashed, but once again Snowdon rewards us with wonderful views.



After eight hours of climbing, scrambling and walking perhaps the most welcome sight at the end of the day is that of our car. It’s been a wonderful and extraordinary day… but I’m glad I don’t have to get up and do it again tomorrow!




P.S. For anyone who hasn’t read it, Turning the Tide is the Amazon Kindle Daily Deal today at 99p.

15 comments:

Kathryn Freeman said...

What fabulous photos. So glad you were rewarded for your efforts (6.30 start - wow!) with such a glorious sunny day. I have climbed it, but as a child when I was at the 'I don't want to do this' stage. Now I'm all grown up I'm looking forward to getting my own back and dragging my reluctant teenagers up it!

Chris Stovell said...

Although Tom's done it, Kate, I was inspired by the photos taken by my teen aged niece and I'm so glad I did it... and yes, the start was a bit of a killer!

Lins' lleisio said...

RIGHT, conquering Snowdon has moved up in the to do list. I've always wanted to do it, but you've really inspired me now. Fantastic photos too.

Chris Stovell said...

It's well worth the effort, Lins, especially if you pick your weather because the views are sublime.

Jane Lovering said...

Beautiful. I'd love to climb Snowdon one day. From the looks of your pictures I might need Sherpas though...

Chris Stovell said...

And cakes, Jane, 3 Bakewell tarts worth for me! It was hard work, but so worth doing.

Unknown said...

Lovely photos! I'll stick with enjoying Snowden through your eyes :)
Angela Britnell

Chanpreet BookAddict said...

How wonderful Chris! You just talked about climbing Snowdon recently and you've done it already! Bravo! Those are some wonderful views and I would brave calf pains for them. :)

Clare Chase said...

Your photos are amazing, Chris – and the day must have been spectacular. I have been up, but we started a lot later than you did, and got a view of thick fog from the top! Bad planning on our part!!

Chris Stovell said...

Angela, I think you've climbed enough mountains lately - you've certainly had plenty of ups and downs. all best, Cx

Chanpreet, we saw there was a perfect window in the weather so we went for it but it was good to do it quickly before anything else cropped up. Yes, certainly an example of no pain, no gain!

Yikes, Clare, that must have been so frustrating to put all that effort in and not to see the view... maybe next time? x

Frances said...

Chris, I am so glad that you packed your camera along with those other provisions. The views are spectacular. Your descriptions add so much depth to my understanding of what you and Tom actually did accomplish.

Grand that the "some day" or "one day" that you all actually chose for the climb was so clear.

Surely, "some day" this experience will be translated into one of your novels. Bound to happen. xo

Irish Eyes said...

Was that yourself I saw waving across the sea to me? Wow! Chris, your energy leaves me exhausted, and peckish having read your supply list :-)
As always you bring us with you in your blog. Loved every single bit of it, and had a good read down the line of blogs. Making the best of getting online again...catching up and enjoying the trip. x

Maggie Christie said...

Fabulous photographs! We climbed up through thick cloud, so at the summit we had lovely views of white marshmallow cloud with bits of mountain sticking out. It's lovely to see how it should have looked! I'm threatening to take my girls up now.

Pondside said...

What a wonderful day you must have had! If ever I hike Snowdon I will call you for provisioning advice - you sound like my sort of food-provider!!

Flowerpot said...

That's amazing Chris - well done you. You can do anything after that!