Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Snowdonia 15 Peaks - the 3000 footers!

Yesterday was a big day for Mike - it was time for his 15 peak challenge! I have taken Mike and his son Rab out scrambling a few times over the past 2 years and it has long been an ambition of his to complete the 15 peaks as a 50th birthday challenge! At over 30 miles long and with 4100m of ascent this is a tough walk - much harder than the more well known 3 peaks challenge!

We set off from Pen y Pass just after 4am as it was starting to get light. Mike, Mike's eldest son Rab and I made good pace up on to Crib Goch and enjoyed an atmospheric scramble along the ridge with the clouds swirling around us. As we made our way onto Carnedd Ugain (peak 2) the wind got stronger and it was really pretty cold - below freezing with the wind chill! We stopped for a 5 minute break in the shelter of the Snowdon summit cafe before heading down the start of the Llanberis track then down the steep Llechog spur to Nant Peris. This took 4 hrs 20 mins.

I left Mike here to get refuelled by his support team who also doubled as his family! Mike wanted to tackle the Glyderau by himself to get some 'spiritual' mountain time by him self. this is probably the hardest of the 3 sections as it has some fairly brutal ascents and descents and lots of rocky ground.

I met up with Mike at Ogwen cottage and Mike's youngest Sam joined us for the last leg. We plodded up the long and steep ascent to Pen y Ole Wen in beautiful afternoon sunlight. It always nice to get this out the way as it is the last major ascent of the challenge. We took our time and enjoyed the stroll across the Carneddau arriving on Foel Fras at 10.00 just as the light was starting to fade. We made it to the car and Mike family at the road head above Aber just before midnight! It was a great effort by Mike and also his family for supporting him not just yesterday but for the last few months as Mike and I planned the day!

You can find more photos on my Facebook Page.

Mike in the cloud on Crib Goch

Mike and Sam on Carnedd Llewelyn

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