So me and my other half Gemma decided to go and climb Snowdon for her birthday, her idea but I was very quick to say yes and get it set in stone. I have been before with friends (we even camped at the top near the summit) however this was Gems first time so it was all completely new to her.
We set out on our adventure on Saturday around mid-day and arrived at a relative quite campsite where we spent the night. We pitched our small 2 man tent which was a present for Gem and it was cosy to say the least but with the cold night ahead it was ideal. We have been camping together before but this was very different from our previous experiences, going from a nice campsite with hot water and showers near a beach to sitting at the foot of a mountain with the bare essentials.
After a fairly sleepless night from the shear cold and excitement for climbing up Snowdon we set off on the Sunday morning. We drove up to the car park to start our journey up on the Pyg track however there wasn’t any space which was kind of expected. Not to matter, we drove down to the next nearest available space and started our long hike.
It added about an hour’s round trip on to our total walking time which didn’t seem to be bad at the start but on the way back down it was a bit of a killer. We headed up the Pyg track, taking plenty of breaks but moving at a steady pace as I didn’t want to push Gem too hard as it was her first climb and I wanted us to reach the top.
After making good time we were close to reaching the summit, about a 20 minute climb away however it started getting very cold and snowy just as the track started to narrow and become more and more treacherous. We could see many people at the summit so I urged us to continue at which point many people we passed were turning back because it was starting to get a bit dangerous and was very nerve-racking.
There must have been a 30m section which was covered in snow and most people had crampons to stop them slipping. This was the hardest part of the walk and gave us both jelly like legs as it was an extremely steep drop to the side of us so we ended up hugging the side of the rocks to stay away from the edge (neither of us are fantastic with heights and vertigo was kicking in big time). Anyway it took us several attempts to get to this stage as the first time we turned back but persistence paid off.
We got past the snowy track and towards the top it became much easier with less snow. We reached the summit about 10 minutes after and what a awesome moment it was for both of us. I was so proud of Gem for reaching the summit with me and what an achievement for us together (the first of many I hope).
The hike down was much easier but still tough on the legs and ankles. We managed to get back to the car in good time coming back on the miners track which took a little longer but was much flatter. The drive home was about 3 hours so we decided to stop for a much deserved KFC where we actually saw other hikers who had a similar mind set – food!