My Snowdon Revenge!

So as a little kid, I tried to walk up Snowdon with my family and another family. With six kids, it was always going to be ambitious, but hey, we tried, it looked a bit foggy at the top and one of the kids had had enough, so we failed.

Flash forward to 2019 and I’m much older and I actually own walking boots. We didn’t really know which path we wanted to take up – didn’t fancy Crib Goch (yikes) and an article said Watkins had screen and we don’t like that. So the South Side path it was.

Oh, and I camped the night before – and wasn’t cold.

The day started with noisy fighter jets scaring the crap out of me once more – I have fond memories of me and my sister crying at the noise when we were kids. After some minor fright we were off.

The South Side path starts the same as Rhyd Ddu.

Walked through fields of sheep and cows before the paths split – one labelled Rhyd Ddu and the other ominous…

The path led us through lots of slate, including some half fallen down buildings. After that it gets small and scrambly in places – though nothing too difficult.

The views are spectacular – I never really appreciated Snowdonia as a kid.

About this point my legs got a bit tired. Always do when it come to rocky steps. It was also really windy despite the clear skies!

Naturally, we carried on!

Heres me at the summit wondering why I’m holding two sets of walking poles. There was an adorable dog at the summit who had all the attention.

I enjoyed the summit, and the fact there’s a café, but it was crowded and there’s something a bit weird about having steps to the highest point instead of a scramble. It’s really cool that Snowdon is quite accessible.

I had a cup of tea and some Welsh cakes, then it was off back down. We chose to go down via Rhyd Ddu because it has less scrambling.

We also wanted to walk along this pretty cool ridge but it wasn’t that cool in reality.

I think I appreciated the views even more on the way down, and Dan got some cool shots of me.

Going down is always a bit repetitive. But we made it. The path was a little boggy in places but a few well placed rocks meant we escaped any accidents. I did slip down some rocks at one point but only got a bruise out of it.

The cows had decided to block our path on the way back (thanks cows) but they weren’t bothered by us. They were huge though!

I was glad to be back at the car. Had some nice pasta for dinner. Here’s a shot of Tryfan which we camped next to.

Little me would be proud. Definitely going back to Snowdonia at some point – maybe to give Tryfan a go.

Puig de Massanella – My First Summit

17th April 2018, a few days into a holiday in Mallorca. The day of my first mountain summit. Puig de Massanella, 1364m, the second highest on the island, the highest accessible to the public.

Starting at Cúber, a reservoir surrounded by fantastic scenery, I didn’t quite know what to expect. But I had my trusty boots and trekking poles, and my other half (aka the navigator).

First was a nice, flat amble alongside an aqueduct with some pretty views of the reservoir and surrounding mountains.

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Then we entered a forest, beginning the ascent. Here the trees provided some much needed shade. We crossed a group of older people, all kitted out with their trekking poles. We passed each other many times on our ascent to the viewpoint below the scramble to the summit. They were so happy – and it was amazing to see people as old as my grandparents climbing the same hills as I was. If I can do that when I’m that old, I’ll be very happy!

At that point my calves began to really hurt with each step, but my other half thought to tighten my boots and that seemed to keep the pain at bay. The hike was beginning to feel long, and we hadn’t even exited the forest yet! At this point, I began thinking there was no way I’d make it to the top (my uphill walking fitness is pretty rubbish haha).

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After a lunch of trail mix (ours has cashews, raisins, dried cranberries and apricots), we finally left the forest and could see the peaks before us. A rocky path would lead us upwards – at times we lost it and had to clamber over some bigger rocks to get back on the right track.

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Finally, we reached the view point – the clear skies allowing us to see all the way to Menorca. And we again met the older people, who had finished their ascent and were enjoying a nice lunch. At that point we had to decide if we’d carry on to the summit. Me, being inexperienced, didn’t quite realise how much scrambling that would require. But I’d come this far – and really wanted to reach my first mountain summit!

So off we went, beginning the climb. I hadn’t scrambled anywhere near as far before. It was actually quite scary, and my thighs ached with every step upwards. But I saw many people passing us on their way down, and knew if they could do it then so could I. Someone was even hiking in a long skirt!

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We made it to the summit plateau, and hiked across to the summit, almost at our end point. We crossed paths with lots of goats (how I wish I had the agility of a goat!). My other half captured a great video of one making a very human like noise! Then came the last bit of scrambling, and there I was, at the summit of a mountain higher than any in the UK. I could see all of Mallorca from up there.

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All that was left was the descent. The downhill scramble was difficult and challenging – sometimes even scary. But the views were stunning and we made it down to the path in good time. Back through the forest and back along the aqueduct, we made it back to our trusty rental car where we found a few donkeys!

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It was an exhausting day with over 10 hours of walking, but I’ll always remember how it felt to reach my first summit!

I really appreciated my Osprey pack – very comfortable, my hydration bladder (so much easier than getting out a water bottle) and of course my trekking poles.

Here’s to many more mountains in the future – I will not linger only in the foothills anymore!

Rebecca.