A month ago we were preparing for / travelling to complete part 10 of our 2018 challenge!
For Part 10 we were climbing Snowdon – the biggest Peak of our Challenge and we were adding a twist!
We had planned an amazing end to our final climb – we were going to hike up in the dark so we could watch the sunrise from the top.
With the final walk being in October we wanted to make sure that we completed in early October to try and avoid as much of the bad weather as we could.
We checked the sunrise times and worked out exactly what time we needed to start our final climb, sadly for us this was at 4:00am!!
With this being the final walk we had roped in some other supporters to accompany us on our mission, we are forever grateful to those people who were bonkers enough to agree to climb a mountain in the dark with us!
I left home at 1:30am ish to ensure that I was at the correct carpark in plenty of time to meet the other walkers, Toby was most confused at being asked to get up at that time of day!
Once we all arrived at the car park and were donned in our various Purple and Orange charity shirts, headlights, torches and reflective attire we set off on our merry way up the Llanberis Path.
We had researched paths beforehand in order to ensure that we were using a path that would be safe in the dark, I have previously walked up Snowdon via the Snowdon Ranger Path, but I wouldn’t like to attempt that path in the dark. We spoke to a few people who had walked Snowdon in the dark to gauge which path would be best suited and Llanberis was recommended.
I don’t need to tell you that the path was steep for this as what more can we expect with it being the tallest climb of our challenge?!
Surprisingly for 12 of us walking in the dark I don’t think anyone actually fell over (impressive!) there were a few slips/trips which is understandable I guess when you climb in the darkness! We had a few little scares on the walk – mainly sheep appearing out of nowhere and making us jump! I can confirm that sheep are quite creepy in the dark, the way their eyes glint is slightly sinister when you have had limited sleep!
The climb although quite tough was extremely rewarding as we arrived at the top to the clouds parting and being able to see some beautiful scenery. Sadly for us we didn’t get to see a sunrise, we arrived at the top in plenty of time, we had made sure we packed plenty of blankets and extra layers in case we arrived early and had to wait around, but it was too cloudy for us to see the sunrise, which is a shame but we still thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Whilst we were at the top the clouds parted slightly and we managed to get a few nice pictures, as we didn’t get to see the sunrise and as it started to snow whilst we were at the top we didn’t wait on the top for too long before we began the return trip to the warmth of the cars!
It was odd going back down in the daylight as we didn’t recognise any of the scenery that was around us, we were able to use the land marks around to ensure that we were on the correct path down and had made a note of which side the railway was on etc. to ensure that we didn’t stray from the correct path on the way down.
The benefit of climbing in the dark was that all the really steep sections that would have been horribly off putting to see before you climbed, we couldn’t see – so didn’t actually know how long all of the very steep sections went on for!
This no doubt went in our favour as we did have a few walkers who needed a morale boost on the steep sections and those horribly steep sections would not have acted as such! I think with this being the tallest climb and us all being so tired we did have some dips in morale during the climb, but once we have got to the top and knew we had completed the hardest part of the challenge we all perked up considerably.
Following on from this walk I would love to do more climbs in the dark as it is so peaceful and I thoroughly enjoyed myself (I would also like to see a sunrise from the top of somewhere at some point!) so this is something that I may look at doing more frequently, also climbing in the darkness means you come across less people which I know Amos would thoroughly enjoy!
This whole challenge has been incredible, we’ve seen some utterly beautiful places and climbed some really interesting routes. We’ve managed to speak with and engage with several people along the way about Suicide Prevention and Mental Health and have done our best to raise as much awareness as we can to this really important topic.
Planning for the 2019 challenge will be underway soon and we will keep you posted on what we will be getting up to next year to raise awareness for these amazing charities.
Thank you again for all the support that you have shown myself, Sophie and Toby for this challenge – we wholeheartedly appreciate each and every message of support from you all.
Special Thanks to all of the people who have accompanied us on any of the walks we have done throughout this challenge, it really means a lot to the three of us (I include Toby in the appreciation) that you kept us company throughout the walks and helped us make the challenge even more enjoyable! ❤️