Taking on Cadair Idris

Sunday, 4 June, 2017

On the 28th of May, a damp, foggy, bank holiday morning, ten Climb Any Mountain volunteers gathered at the base of south Snowdonia’s beautiful Cadair Idris mountain wondering if, when we reached the top, we would be awarded with the views the mountain is so famous for. At 10am, with a sprinkle of cold rain and low white cloud, it didn’t seem likely, but neither did it wane the enthusiasm of the group. All of us were determined to give the mountain a go and raise awareness and funds to make a difference in the lives of those with intellectual disability and mental illness.

With our pace maker selected (who had just recently completed the UK ten tors challenge), walking boots tightened and poles at the ready, off we went.The pounding rain the night before may have given us pause for thought that the climb would be harder than normal, however on the day it had filled the babbling brooks, streams and mini waterfalls along the route making the first stage incredibly beautiful. At first the ascent was deceptively straight forward and at the lower level of the mountain we were met with endless green pastures and lazy grazing sheep that Wales is so synonymous for. Soon though the path steepened and the real challenge began. As we climbed the visibility worsened and soon it felt we were walking in the clouds with only being able to see a few feet ahead of us.

Being a mountain ridge climb the main aim was to keep going, to keep putting one foot in front of the other; as once did traders guiding their ponies up the steep mountain terrain from which the Pony Path gets it’s name. After 2.5 hours we reached a cliff top where we paused to catch our breath and hydrate. Luckily the mountain winds had broken up the shrouding cloud to reveal a hint of the view we would get from the very top, as the stunning lake Llyn y Gader was revealed to us for fleeting moments. However it too revealed the mounds of pillow lava rock which were the final hurdle in our ascent to the top.

After a further 20 minute scramble up piles of rugged rock we finally reached the summit of Cader Idris!
When we finally reached the top, the view was so great it inspired Tom, a member of our party to propose marriage to Alex – congratulations to both.

For a short time we were still surrounded by cloud but a little patience and the magic of Cader Idris was soon known to us. Clouds completely parted for breathtaking 360 degree views of deep blue lakes, rugged, Jurassic like mountains and stunning Welsh valleys. All that was left to do was to pause, reflect and rejoice in it’s beauty….. and put off thoughts of the 2400ft descent back down!

If you would like to join Climb Any Mountain in future hiking events, or wish to complete a physical challenge of your own and want to fund raise for us, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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