In August 2007, we went camping near Harlech for two weeks. We thought that while we were there, we’d walk up Snowdon with the daughters, who by then were old enough and strong enough to manage the ascent. Well we really should have known better – we may have had plans, but the weather in Wales certainly wasn’t going to let a little thing like that get in its way. For a fortnight we watched from our hillock as the clouds grew thicker and dropped lower and lower every day. By the end of the first week, it had begun to rain almost all the time.
When it was time to go home, the camp site owner gave us a discount for being brave enough to tough it out until the end of our holiday. But we didn’t get up the mountain. In fact we never actually saw the top of Snowdon, so dense, low and persistent was the cloud that covered it.
So last weekend, nearly four years later, for some unimportant reason, we decided that we’d have another go. We grabbed our camping kit and our walking boots and headed off to deepest North Wales – full of optimism. And guess what? We did it!
I just can’t believe how lucky we were. We arrived at our campsite outside Beddgelert on Friday afternoon, in glorious sunshine – and for the first time in my memory, it stayed sunny for four consecutive days.
On Saturday we set off up the path from Rhyd-Ddu. The daughters were a bit daunted when we hadn’t reached the summit after half an hour, but they’re built of strong stuff, so on they went.
It was very windy, but the sun never once slipped behind a cloud, so we had the most glorious walk. Naturally, this being Wales, the summit cafe wasn’t open, nevertheless, we were well prepared with food and drink, so after a few pictures and a sit down to admire the views we felt we’d done well. Fortunately we have bladders of steel, so no problem there.
There were LOADS of other people there – I suspect most had walked up the Llanberis path.
Prize for the most bonkers people we met must go to the mountain bikers – just thinking about it makes me feel ill even now, but you’ve got to admire their spirit. Personally I’d be worried about the state of their lower anatomy – but I guess that’s their business!
So an excellent day for us, and for a great many other people too. I don’t think you get too many chances to experience something like that in that kind of weather. And best of all, the daughters loved it. It’s given them the most tremendous feeling of personal achievement and they want to go on now to walk up more hills and mountains – roll on the Lake District!