What a fantastic weekend! We prayed for nice weather (or at least no wind) as we completed the Welsh 3 Peaks. We climbed a combined height of 9,397 feet, drove over 400 miles, walked 15.67 miles, saw all four seasons, but survived pretty much unscathed! We had a group of 6 of us for the day: Sophie and me, Marie, Michael, our grandfather and and Dad. Dad offered to be designated driver, which really was a lifesaver in this case!
Getting to the start line!
We set off from Cardiff at 11pm on Friday night to get up to Snowdon for the early hours of Saturday morning. We had our sights set on completing the challenge within 16 hours, which required a 4.30am start. We drove via Swansea to pick up our Grandfather and Dad (who took on the driving from this point). From Swansea the cross country route took about four and a half hours – preparing us for the fact that most of this challenge is travelling between Peaks!
The four of us and Dad set off at 4.30. Snowdon (or Yr Wyddfa in Welsh) at 3,560 feet above sea levelis the second tallest peak in the UK. It really was cold, with snow actually falling as we set off! We climbed up in the pitch black (with head torches, of course) walking up the PYG path for about an hour until it was light enough to walk without lights. The top was pretty snowy and almost a white out, but we reached the peak after two hours. Would you believe, there was actually someone else up there before us – a group of three guys from Hull who had taken a bit longer. The descent took just as long, and even with the light we were hardly able to see any of the stunning scenery, and we reached the bottom after four hours and six minutes.
After a bit of a drive South we reached Cadair Idris, where the sun was shining (like I said, all four seasons!). Cadair Idris lies between Barmouth and Dolgellau in mid Wales, and it the second most popular peak to climb in Wales, after Snowdon. The four of us, plus grandfather headed up the Pony Path, and we managed to get to the summit in under an hour and a half, with the total walk taking a few minutes over three hours.
After a quick detour into the stunning Dolgellau for a quick hot bite to eat, we started on the drive to Pen-Y-Fan, taking a bit longer than the others but a good chance for us to nap. The weather was clear and sunny again, although very windy at the top! This time all of us were heading up the hill, and whilst some were faster than others, we were up and back again in 1:15 hours. Sophie and I were chuffed with this, as another one of our challenge is to do Pen-Y-Fan in less than an hour!
So what was the total time?
So our target was 16 hours, but all in all we are really pleased to say our total time (including travel) was 13 hours 10 mins. What an achievement!
As always, there are a bunch of thank yous after one of our events:
- Dad, for doing all the driving, and for accompanying us on Snowdon and Pen-Y-Fan. Without a dedicated driver, we really wouldn’t have been able to do this challenge.
- Grampa, for his company for Cadair Idris and Pen-Y-Fan. It’s inspirational that he is 71 tomorrow, but he walked faster than the rest us!
- Marie and Michael, for volunteering their Saturday to join us on our mad adventure
- The many people we encountered on our walk who put a smile on our faces (and reminded how crazy we are by never failing to be impressed with what we were doing).
If you agree with those people we bumped into on the mountains, why not donate? It’s really easy to do – just go to http://www.justgiving.com/14challengeswheeler2 to donate online or text “GWSW98 £5” (or any other amount) to 70070.