Thursday 2nd June 2022:

We arrived in Betws Y Coed in the afternoon and set up camp. The weather was cloudy but warm and we were excited to meet up after a rather stressful few weeks of exams and assignments. Our other halves had kindly offered to join us on our adventure and help raise money and donations for CLEFT Charity. A wander around the shops and an early dinner of fish and chips meant we were back at our campsites and ready for an early night.

Thunderstorms and heavy rain …. not exactly the weather forecast you want to read the night before your climb! Waterproofs, hats, and jumpers at the ready; we were all prepared for a rather wet and soggy climb. To avoid the afternoon thunderstorms, we agreed to set off in the early hours (in the hope we’d avoid the worst of it).   

Friday 3rd June 2022:

5am came round rather quickly and we were soon packing down the camping gear after a night of rain before heading off to Snowdon, arriving just after 6am. We opted to take the Llanberis path, the easiest but longest of the routes up Snowdon. Given the weather conditions we thought we’d be facing it seemed like the most sensible choice.

At around 6.30am we had the snacks and water together and we were off! The road leading up to the start of the path was rather steep and the realisation of what we were about to undertake really hit home! The many layers we’d piled on were soon crammed into our already full backpacks, but it felt nice to have the weather on our side.

It was quiet and calm, an early start meant that for most part we were on our own and it didn’t take long before we were greeted with spectacular views. The start of the climb was tiring in parts, but the wonderful company made for plenty of laughter and motivation.

Breakfast and chocolate bars were demolished on the route up between the light showers and cloudy spells. The clouds came and went quickly revealing our surroundings and allowing for photo opportunities. There was a combination of steep and gradual ascents to test our leg muscles and we knew things would be aching in the morning.  

The further up we climbed, the further into the heavy cloud we went. It took seconds for the beautiful views to disappear and for us to only be able to see a couple of feet in front of us. We bumped into a family who believed the summit to be close to where we were, so we went off following Cairn’s (piles of rocks for navigating) along the path only to realise 30 minutes later that we were headed in the wrong direction! A quick detour later and we were back where we were, the sign for the summit was now visible so we knew it wouldn’t be long.

The last stretch of the climb was hard going, it was wet and cold but the smiling faces of the people ahead of us spurred us on, as well as all the lovely messages we’d received and donations we’d raised for CLEFT.

A little wait at the top and we’d done it! We reached the summit! We proudly took off the layers to reveal our CLEFT T-shirts and posed for photos in the clouds. It’s a shame the views didn’t quite do the climb justice at the top, but it felt amazing to be there.

We then moved quickly down the mountain and out of the clouds, we’d agreed a pub lunch was in order after all our hard work which seemed to speed up our pace. The aches, pains and sore feet kicked in on the slippery rocks and uneven surfaces (one of us even wearing socks and navigating the grassy verges) but we made it down!

Shortly after 1pm, we arrived back and headed straight to the pub. As we sat and enjoyed a much-needed meal we beamed with pride and couldn’t have been happier of our achievement.

The money raised from our climb took us over our goal for the year and we are so very grateful for everyone’s support and donations!

Ashley & Olivia