Suffering rather tragically from those post-summer blues, the boys and I decided to go for one last escape to the country to soak up some autumn sun. Not a family to just go somewhere peaceful and relax, we set ourselves the challenge of conquering the trickiest path up Mount Snowdon- The Watkin Trail!
After a long drive (poor old dad), with dad’s hideous jazz music blaring from the speakers (poor old us!), we finally arrived in the tiny town of Beddgelert. The spitting image of a picturesque postcard, this was exactly what we all needed. Sometimes you just crave fresh air you know?! Or is that just my crazy family and I?
With no time to waste, we hopped out the car, put on our sturdy nerdy walking boots, checked our food and water supplies (jam sandwiches a necessity of course), and set off on our trek. All we had to do was not get lost.
Ten minutes later we found ourselves off-piste in the middle of a field full of cows. Lost! Classic us. But look how cute they were.
Getting my father to admit that he had taken us the wrong way was a bit of a challenge, but he swallowed his pride eventually and we traced back our steps to find the path. To our great relief we spotted a few other people too. Other crazy climbers is always a good sign.
One of the most incredible people we crossed paths with on our climb was a mountain runner named Tom. I was totally in awe of course! This guy had dedicated his holidays to running up and down the mountains in ‘naked trainers’ – the closest thing to no trainers at all! He’s living the life of a mountain goat, but he’s living his dream, and for that reason we now have a hell of a lot of respect for the nutter.
With an estimated climb time of three hours we raced against the clock climbing higher and higher (competitive is an understatement), with each step taking us further up into the clouds. One false step and we’d be falling through the air like in one of those hideous Hollywood tragedies. Don’t worry, we’re all still alive!
The fear of falling was well worth the views though.
Right up in the top of the mountains the path practically vanished. We were climbing up the rock face like Spiderman wannabee’s, which I must admit had me with my heart in my mouth. Not my favourite experience ever.
BUT(t), my heroic brother, sensing my nerves, decided to distract me from the task ahead. With one rather ambitious lunge up to the next rock, we heard a rip! Joshua’s trousers had split! We froze in silence and looked at each other before bursting into hysterics.
When we finally reached the summit, visibility was minimal. But we didn’t let that faze us. We’d done it! We’d climbed to the highest point in England and Wales, and nobody could take that away from us.
Just the thought of being somewhere totally new, totally fresh, was enough to clear my head of all the worries that had been plaguing me that week.
With gale force winds blowing our hair in all directions, and cloud so thick you could feel it filling your lungs, we stood at the top and took in the moment, before taking a snugly seat inside the summit cafe. A hot cuppa was very much needed!
On the descent we collected magical quartz crystals to remind us of our adventure. Gorgeous, pinks, golds, and whites, with ribbons of black. Once a geologist, always a geologist, my dad’s face lights up whenever he tells us about how the layers of crystal and rock were formed, and to be honest, we secretly love it!
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the thought of an imminent, never ending winter, then a change of scenery could seriously help clear your head. Nothing kills anxiety quicker than accomplishment and loved ones.
We loved it so much that when we woke up the following morning in our quaint hotel, we fuelled up with scrambled eggs ad croissants, and set off to do it ALL AGAIN!
Lots of love,