It’s one thing having an idea…and it’s another making it happen…
HOOP (Helping Overcome Obesity Problems) Supporter, Annie Cummins, contacted RAW Adventures to Climb Snowdon at the end of February to enquire about organising a group climb of Snowdon, in North Wales, to raise awareness and funds for this newly formed charity. She was positive and focused on organising a challenging, yet achievable, event and did an amazing job of attracting 27 people to climb Snowdon, in North Wales on Saturday 31 May. Annie worked tremendously hard even before setting foot on the mountain, liaising with Kate at RAW Adventures for the many months it took to finalise numbers, payments, Booking Forms and final details. Well done to Annie for taking on this mountain of administration to start with!
And it was an absolute pleasure to finally meet the whole team at The Heights, in Llanberis, on a sunny Saturday morning. Yes there were nerves but there was also a great feeling of support from the whole team and it was with a very positive spirit that we set off at 10am to take the Llanberis Path up Snowdon. The Llanberis Path is considered one of the less demanding paths, but it is one of the longest and no one would pretend that the first steep tarmac incline out of the village was easy…in fact it’s deceptively brutal and the group all took rests and lots of sips of water to get up this first climb! Easy does it was the name of the game and there were 3 qualified and experienced Mountain Leaders looking after the whole team. It’s a 5 mile climb to the summit of Snowdon from Llanberis, which doesn’t sound far if you’re used to training walks on the flat…you could probably walk that comfortably within 2 hours. But when you’re walking on tough rocky terrain and ascending up to 1085m above sea level…then it becomes a whole different challenge! The groups took lots of breaks and ate snacks and drank water very regularly, to keep energy and hydration levels topped up. It was a hot day and there was also the need for suncream (usually unheard of in North Wales) so the groups were very lucky to have fantastic views and little wind to make the hard climb that little bit more enjoyable! There were a further two very rocky and steep sections higher up the mountain to negotiate and once the teams had conquered these, it was an ‘easier’ walk to the summit area (dare I say there was some flat in there somewhere?!) That’s before you reach the final summit steps which really make you work hard right up until the last step onto the summit cairn. Teams reached the summit by 2.30pm.
There is no denying that the feeling of working that hard to achieve a goal is priceless. Everyone worked to the top of their ability level, which means that whatever point they reached on Snowdon that day, they had pushed their sights and their bodies further than anything before. And, remember, this is a group of people that aren’t sponsored athletes or regularly climbing mountains…this is a group of real people with real lives, family and work pressures or past and present issues with weight control who were looking for a mental and physical challenge to enjoy with friends and other HOOP supporters and give them a goal to train towards and a sense of personal achievement like no other. There were high emotions as the teams reached the summit. The entire team naturally split into 3 groups on the mountain and all worked as hard as each other to make their mark on Snowdon. It is a wonderful sight to see people stand on the summit of this beautiful mountain and gain an important perspective on the world below and have time to reflect on the journey they have come on. I certainly felt very privileged to be a part of that journey and offer the support of RAW Adventures’ staff team along the way.
And then we had to get down…
As the team will now know…it’s a hard descent…5 miles of rocky terrain on tired legs in the hot sun…but with the help of many trekking poles and a high level of chit chat and banter to keep morale high, the long walk down was just about bearable and certainly ticked off well by the whole team. We toppled back into The Heights at about 6pm, all ready for a drink and some food before people made their journeys back home.
A brilliantly successful HOOP Climb Snowdon day – and an absolute pleasure to meet such a friendly, motivated, supportive and committed team of walkers. Massive congratulations to all involved and we hope to see you again for another mountain challenge!
Written by Kate Worthington, Director of RAW Adventures