Sarah’s Spontaneous Snowdonia Adventure
Snowdon Mountains, North Wales, UK – The highest mountains in Wales and the second highest mountains in the UK.
I had always wanted to visit Snowdonia and sink in its beauty. Lost in the Welsh wilderness, we reached Snowdon Mountains at sunset. A conversation with a local warned not to go too far up as it was getting dark and the narrow paths could lead to a deadly fall. I hadn’t planned to trek the mountains but just wanted to go for a quick walk and see what it was like.
The trek began shortly after 8pm. As I walked further on, counting sheep along the way, past farm houses, climbing over dry stone walls to a sign that read, “Snowdon Summit”, pointing to a gate off the road and onto rocky terrain. I wanted to see how far I could go and secretly challenged myself to make it to the top. To quench a sudden thirst and combat dehydration, I drank from a stream along the way with the taste of iron stained in my mouth.
Darkness fell and we trekked the steep path into thick, wet clouds. The instincts in my gut cried out in two very different directions. Should I go back or continue? Safety versus the unknown stirred in my stomach as we passed “DANGER” signs. We were the only humans on the planet to be trekking Snowdon at that time. The eeriness was a test beyond measure but deep down I knew that I had to accomplish this mission and going back after making it this far, wasn’t in my blood. The city lights vanished. Stillness swept me into a daze of questioning my existence in a reality beyond any reality I had seen before. We were walking on the railway line, following the trail up to the peak on a narrow path inside a cloud and all I could see was mist with a faint sign of the rail tracks. It was our only compass. From time to time, the torch light would expose the steep fall on the sides and my knees would weaken.
PETER: We died and now we’re ghosts walking in the clouds.
The blood drained from my face and I believed this for 5 seconds as the surreal scene before my eyes matched the statement too well. A snap back to reality… The clouds cleared for a brief moment revealing the twinkling stars in the night sky, constellations clear. I caught the sight of a shooting star! A wish…
During a break on the rocks, I wandered why I was doing this… I can’t even see the scenery! Why on earth am I trekking the Snowdon at night? All I can see, taste and feel are the dark night clouds and the stillness of the wild. My inner voice replied, “To finish what you started. It’s not just about the scenery. A spontaneous, self measuring challenge that would amount to an achievement.” I kept going.
We followed the train tracks up to the top. Then a few set of stairs leading me to the summit. I looked at the golden plaque that marked the summit at 12:45am. I turned on my iPhone to take a picture but it had died. Gutted. I was inside the the clouds on the highest mountain in Wales, the Snowdon in the middle of the night and the view from the top remains a mystery. It was an experience very different to any other and very surreal. Like something you would conjure up in a dream…
But, I had accomplished my mission.
The descent was easy. From there, we star gazed all the way down the mountain until we reached the realm where we came from.
What an experience! Will never forget this. Thank you Peter Greenall for being a part of this and showing me the way up even when you thought I was completely nuts to trek this mountain in the middle of the night.