At Whiston Solutions we are proud to get involved and participate in local community activities – we REALLY enjoy active challenges.The opportunity arose to support two such challenges, within a week of each other – Both involving a head for heights!
The next Challenge - 7 days later:
A trip to Wales to Climb Mount Snowdon via the notorious Watkins Path.
The aim of this challenge was to raise funds for the local LNK Charity (Lives Not Knives) school roadshows which visit Croydon’s primary and secondary schools, talking to the kids about the dangers of knife and gang culture.
On wet cold morning the 10 strong team, sporting LNK T-shirts, assembled in Llanberis having carbo-loaded the night before. We took the bus to the Pen-y-pass carpark in thick mist – would the whole route to the summit be through this dense cloud?
There was a mix of experienced and novice mountain walkers in our group and we were all kitted out for the unpredictable weather conditions.
The ambitious route we planned was not via the usual Pyg or Miners tracks, but rather the notorious Watkins Path which starts just above sea level and therefore ascends the majority of the 3,560ft height of Snowdon.
Because the bus route did not pass the start of the Watkins Path at Plas Gwynant we ended up walking there – 3 hours DOWN hill from the Pen-y-pass carpark through boggy, water logged ground!
When we finally began our ascent via the Watkins Path the clouds had lifted and the sun shone through. We added even more excitement to the experience by taking a ‘semi-planned’ off-track detour which included negotiating head high ferns, hidden boulders underfoot and more deep peat bogs.
Back on the Watkins Path again we ascended the track meandering through the ever narrowing valley, past the film location for ‘Carry on up the Khyber’ and then Gladstones rock. Turning sharp right we climbed across slate onto the ridge where the views over Llyn Llydaw and beyond were amazing (see photo)
Now for the difficult, dangerous last section the climb to the summit, scrambling across loose scree with a 1000ft drop below. – I’m not sure if the clear weather was a good thing because you could see both what needed climbing ahead and also the sheer drop below if you slipped.
Having reached the summit there was huge sense of achievement amongst the team, everyone had operated outside their comfort zone and overcome their ‘individual moments’ during the climb. But we had not finished yet as we still had a two hour walk back down the Llanberis Path to the village.
Stats: 21.5KM and 9 hours of trekking, climbing, scrambling, followed by a well-earned celebration that evening and more importantly £10,000 raised to continue the charity school road shows.