Thursday, 26 July 2012

Walking in Wales Weekender: Update

On 14th July me and a group of work friends, and one or two of their mates and partners, went for a walk in Wales! I wanted to use the opportunity to raise a little bit of money for Help For Heroes [see text box opposite]

We initially intended to walk The Glyders, ascending via an area known as The Devil's Kitchen. I'd never done anything like this before so I was expecting it to be a bit more of a challenge than a walk in the park with the kids or a stroll down to the local hostelry with the lads!

The chap running the excursion carried out a risk assessment of the proposed route a couple of weeks before and decided that The Devil's Kitchen would be too demanding for some of the people going on the trip, and that if the weather turned a little inclement then navigating our way through it might also prove a little difficult

We finally settled on walking up Snowdon instead, an alternative that would be roughly equivalent in terms of distance travelled and the amount of time it would take us to complete it, but that would involve less scrambling over boulders and be far easier to navigate our way through, even if it did happen to pour down with rain and/or become a little misty

We set off for Wales, from Birmingham, at 6.15am and stopped off for breakfast in Llangollen, just over an hour away from our start off point. The weather, in the end, was very kind to us. It was a bright day, but not too hot. As we walked the rain restricted itself to a few light showers and for much of the walk we didn't actually need the waterproofs that we had all packed, just in case the heavens did decide to open up on us

We ascended along well marked paths and for much of the time people were able to move at their own pace. The more confident, and fitter, members of the group often strode on ahead leaving me and one or two others to bring up the rear! Every now and again we would stop for a rest, regroup and take on food and/or drink. I took plenty of water - a 3 litre bladder carried in a rucksack - as well as a box of sandwiches, a couple of energy bars and a pack of Kendal Mint Cake, which I absolutely love!

It was a very enjoyable experience, and when I reached the summit I really did feel like I'd achieved something. I wasn't able to move as quickly as some of the others but it wasn't as exhausting or as painful as I initially thought it might be and the only place I really 'felt it' was in my hamstrings. Coming down was far worse than going up! For the last twenty minutes of the descent, quite possibly longer, my knees were quite stiff and I really did feel every step, but it was well worth it

The sense of accomplishment was reward enough but in addition to that we all had a fantastic night out in Llangollen, where we were staying, and I managed to raise £200 for H4H, not a massive amount but every little helps and I am now planning to do something similar next year, in a different part of the country

If you're reading this and you happen to be someone who contributed to my fundraising then thank you, again, for your support. Here are a few more piccies we brought back from the trip

The Trig point at the summit

As you can see, it was a bit cloudy at times

The main man, or trip organiser, in red

There really are some lovely views to be had in this part of Wales.....

.....and one or two nice public houses, too, in Llangollen. Like this one, where we were sat for quite some time admiring the beautiful sky on the banks of the river

The party that made it to the summit. Yes, I'm the one in army fatigues. As an airsofter first and foremost it's the only suitable 'outdoor' clothing I possess. Rest assured, I was the butt of many a joke all day but the gear stood up to the test!

As did I! Yours truly at the summit. An unforgettable experience

Until next time!

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