Taking A Tumble… Off A Mountain (Part 3: Snowdon)

The final part of the trilogy will be comparatively easier to write than the former two, for the simple reason that there are no photographs to embed in the text. You may sigh here, perhaps your mouse will begin to drift to the ‘back’ button as you anticipate impending boredom… Here’s the thing though, I would have loved to include pictures – lots and lots of picturesque mountain ranges and windy paths and shapely boulders! But I can’t, because due to the horrific weather conditions in which we climbed, any electrical items exposed to the elements would immediately have perished. So basically, I have no evidence to show my successful climb of Mt. Snowdon. WHICH WAS DAMN DIFFICULT.

Therefore, I shall do my best to recount the grand finale (even though Snowdon was the first of my climbs) of my tale as succinctly and humorously as possible. Let me begin by saying Wales is a beautiful country. Made up of rolling hills and grassy glens, it is the definition of idyllic, the very image of Arcadia. However, all of that lush, green beauty must come from something, and that something just happened to nearly drown me several times within the week I stayed in Wales. Pro tip: no matter the season, take LOTS AND LOTS of waterproof gear with you, and backups! Travelling to Wales in August by no means promises sun, or warmth, or any sort of comfort whatsoever…

Anyway, the day we decided to climb Snowdon was drizzly, beginning much the same as my trek up Ben Nevis would, but this did not faze us. Perhaps it should have done, but having spent the past few days in a state of constant dampness, we figured we were virtually waterproof by now. Oh, how we were wrong. By the time we reached the starting point at the mountain, our waterproofs were thoroughly shined up with the continuous drizzle. As we began the climb, the light spattering became a curtain of rain, which developed into a hazy blanket of cloud. The vibrant countryside colours were sapped from our surroundings and replaced by a wave of grey misery, drenching us in a continual slow wave of rain. Oddly, it never occurred to me that I should turn back. Even as the wind worsened and began to buffet us left and right, making us stagger along the path and grab any handholds we could. Not even when we were forced to clamber across a waterfall threatening to overflow did the notion of turning around enter my mind. This was it, we were in it for the long haul. We were already soggier than we had ever been in our lives, turning back would make no difference.

Then came the scree. Endless piles of loose rock, all rocking and rolling at different speeds and directions. I couldn’t sigh, I couldn’t even cry. We were on our own. Anyone who had started out with us had long disappeared, leaving us the only two lunatics crazy enough to venture further into the suffocating abyss of cloud. Well call me crazy, but we made it. We found the trig-point by tripping over it, and clung to it with all our strength for fear of being blown off the summit. We were at the highest point in the whole of Wales, and boy, were we paying for our stubbornness. The wind had joined forces with the rain to make the ultimate stormcloud, and we were unfortunate guests of the mountain-rulers. Through the lashing rain and horizontal hail we managed to focus on each other’s faces for a moment. Exhaustion. That’s all there was, sheer exhaustion. We kissed, there and then at the top of the raging mountain. It wasn’t romantic, it wasn’t even heartfelt or long-lasting. It was a second of warmth in a sky of unfeeling. It was a gesture of togetherness, proof of our united strength in this time of stress and danger. Then it was gone, and without pausing to fathom our surroundings, we turned and tramped back the way we had come.

Sliding/climbing/half-crawling down the mountain was of course quicker than the ascent, more so due to the several newly crafted waterfalls spewing from previously unseen crevices, causing us to cross them as quickly as we could possibly wade. The actual waterfall we had passed earlier was unrecognisable. Instead of an exhilarating, lively stream, there was a roaring, unstoppable torrent, coursing straight through our path. Well, we couldn’t get any wetter…

Several days later we were dry(ish), though sadly my walking boots were never quite the same. Mountains are most definitely trials and, for me, Snowdon was the most difficult of the three peaks. One thing still grates on me though, and that is that I have no photographs of my trek. That leaves only one resolution really; I must climb Mt. Snowdon again and settle the score. I will also do my best not to end up inside a cloud, but I seem to have a fair knack for accidentally shrouding myself in smog. There are many more stories still to tell about my mountainous travels, but for now this concludes my ‘Taking A Tumble’ trilogy. If you haven’t read the other Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike editions, i’d love for you to give them a read. I promise there are pictures! Keep an eye out for more mountain stories (and other fantastical journeys), The Fairytale Traveller is restless for more adventure!

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