Experiences of a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia (2016-19) and further adventures…
UK 2022 -Snowdon
After a couple of days to adjust to the time change and explore Liverpool, Joanie and I set out to stretch our legs on some trails for the first time – the primary goal of our trekking holiday. We followed Iain’s recommendation and made the fairly short drive to Snowdonia National Park in North Wales to climb up Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) , the highest mountain in Wales and the highest point in the British Isles outside of Scotland. At 3,560 feet (1.085m) above sea level, it is easy to think of Snowdon, like all the famous mountains of the UK, as quite small when compared to the Sierra, Rockies, Alps, Andes, Himalayas, or any number of taller ranges around the world. But the terrain and oft-changing weather attests to why so many mountaineers of old did their training on the peaks of North Wales, the English Lake District and the Scottish Highlands. Sir Edmund Hillary was only one of the many alpinists who trained in the UK before making the first successful ascent of Mount Everest with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953.
There are many trails to Snowdon, from all directions, and even a rail line that operates in the summer season. We chose to park at the Pen y Pass trailhead of the Pyg Track to approach from the East.
It soon began to drizzle and the wind picked up, making our footing a bit slippery.
The Pyg Track goes up the hillside to the upper pass and the Miner’s Track drops from there down to the lake.
Looking back, we could see both trails.
The winds were gusting and the clouds above Glaslyn started to cover the summit.
With the weather deteriorating, we reached the junction with the Miner’s Track…
… and had to make a decision how to proceed.
With rain starting to fall, we donned our waterproofs and started back down the Miner’s Track.
We kept looking back up, to see less and less of Snowdon.
Stepping carefully over the slippery stones, Joanie thanks her daughter for the rain pants she borrowed.
I was styling too!
Looking back up from Glaslyn, all the peaks were now out of view.
On the trail back down, we came across ruins of mining operations…… and a few feral Welsh Mountain Goats.
We were disappointed not to make it to the top, but enjoyed the day immensely. It was a great introduction to the type of terrain and conditions we were to face in the upcoming weeks of our holiday.
Our hike in Snowdonia National Park, in red, was not far from Liverpool, Merseyside and The Wirral where we stayed with Iain and Janie.
We got close to the summit. Hopefully, we’ll make it next time!
Until 2019, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia focused on Community Economic Development. Before that, I was a high-tech executive, small business owner, consultant and business broker.
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