Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 8 -- Hiking Mt. Snowdon

Today’s adventure was to hike Mount Snowdon, the second highest mountain in the UK and an adventure it was. The weather forecast was not in favor for those who wanted to take on the challenge. The group woke up early today and made our way to the bottom of the mountain, before we even got there it started to rain. Since it did not look like the sun was going to come out, only a group of nine started the journey in 30 degree weather. Eric led Amber, Elizabeth, Ariana, Molly, Olivia, Callie, Brett, and I up a slow slope at first around a lake. We booked through the first part optimistic that the rain and wind would let up. After walking up slopes, the terrain turned into a steep path of rocks. While on the hike up we could see water flowing down the mountain, but that was about all we could see because of the rain and fog. We could not even see the top of the mountain because of all of the fog. 

About an hour into the trip up our spirits were lifted by a couple of experienced hikers who told us at the top it was sunny with pina colada’s were awaiting for us. With this incentive we kept trucking up the mountain even though we were cold and wet, and some put on some very fashionable ponchos to protect them from the rain. After a couple of steep walks up paths of rocks, we then had to climb and make our way up piles of rocks. This was about two-thirds of the way up and when the rain and wind really picked up and it was pretty much miserable hiking conditions. We would hike up parts of the mountain and then not be able to see where we were due to the fog and rain. Even though we were about 40 minutes from the top, we turned around due to the awful weather conditions. At this point we were all soaked completely and bummed we didn’t make it to the top, but we knew we needed to. 

Since we did not make it to the top we had to go down the slippery rocks we just hiked up, instead of an easier path going from the top. After making our way back down we talked to another hiker who was also heading back down, he told us even the mountain guides were turning around to get off the mountain, at this point we knew we made the right decision to turn back. With helping each other we made our way down the very slippery rocks. We could not wait to get back to the lodge to warm up. After a four hour round trip we did make our way back to the lodge. Due to being on the mountain we could not reach our coach driver to pick us early so we shivered in the lodge with dripping wet clothes for about an half an hour. Hot coco and tea helped warm us up, until the coach arrived. Overall everyone was glad we hiked as long as we could, even though the weather was miserable. It will be an experience none of us will ever forget!

We then headed to Llandudno to meet with the rest of the group who was exploring the town for the day, they said the town has cute places to shop and eat. After warming up and taking a quick nap from all the activities during the day, we got ready and headed out on the town. We headed toward the beach and walked out on the dock to get a better view of the rocks and the offshore wind farm. After taking in some beautiful scenery we headed to an old opera house turned into a restaurant for some great food. Once full and happy we headed back to our bed and breakfast for good group bonding. There’s nothing better than relaxing and reminiscing about the day and the adventures we had.