Hiking Up SnowdonReading Time: 5 minutes
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales at 1,085metres above sea level. Located in Gwynedd, North Wales it is also the highest point in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands. As one who loves the open air, adventure, nature and challenge, it seemed like a good idea to go up for a hike up this mountain with some friends while on a camping trip in the area. ‘It will be really amazing,’ I thought, ‘I will be able to test my body and see if what they said about reaching the top is true’
The journey started at about 4.10pm and more experienced hikers informed us that it would take us about 4-5 hours depending on our fitness levels. We were full of excitement as we started the Llanberis Path, which is supposed to be the easiest path to the summit. Snowdon Mountain Railway is aligned to it therefore; one could take the train in either direction. With bountiful energy, minds and hearts full of excitement and enthusiasm we ascended the trail.
I had ideas of how it would feel to be at the top, I knew that I would love having completed the challenge, seeing the mountain ranges from a different perspective and enjoying the views. I was confident that the hike would by no means be an easy feat as although plenty of people have done it, many have also tried and failed. Although I exercise regularly, I had not prepared for the hike and so hoped my will power alone would be sufficient.
Singing loudly, taking pictures, dancing and expressing vocal excitement about each landmark we reached. Soon, the gradient became steeper, the body started to yelp internally, exposing gaps in my fitness. I tried self-talking to keep going as I continued pole pole (slowly, one-step after the other), with a slight lean to keep my centre of mass stable, and I was reintroduced to muscles I had long forgotten I had. In spite of the pain, the higher we went the more I could see, the more I saw the more I wanted to see.
As the trail continued, we met people going in either direction. Some just smiled and continued along their way, others engaged and shared experiences from the trail, and others gave us encouragement to keep going, others told us we were so far off the mark, while others tried to give us a plain realistic view of the rest of our journey.
Although I knew the end goal was there were times I felt that I could not go any further. I just wanted to say, ‘I have done my best, I tried and I can share experiences of my attempt’. However, because I was doing it with my friends -in as much as we all had different reasons to do it-we held each other accountable and no one wanted to let the rest of the group down.
Truth be told we may have been slower because we did it together, we waited for each other and cheered for each other when anyone was about to give up. If we had tried to do it individually, there is a strong chance that only one of us, if any, might have made it to the summit. As we hiked up, we rested in places and looked down to see how far we had come; we stopped to take in the views around us and then gathered our energy to go up again.
Once we got to the summit, we enjoyed our lunch while taking in the breath taking views. I was so glad that I had persevered, as although I was in physical pain it was totally worth it. I was on top of Wales!!!
What this taught me about myself is that I can come up with brilliant/wacky ideas, but I really cannot bring them to life alone. It is good to have a group of trusted individuals with whom I share these ideas with and once I start taking action they hold me accountable to ensure I am making progress or even help me take the action. I am also not a machine, I have strengths, I have weaknesses, and being aware of what these are will help me seek the assistance I need to make the ideas come alive. I have will power and a fair amount of tenacity, but I do not always have the right skills to effectively make things happen. Putting time and energy into developing my skills is helpful in making things a bit easier (I really should have trained more before the hike), I need to put more work into getting things done. Making the idea come alive may be hard work and a lot of effort. Enjoying and celebrating throughout the journey is incredibly important.