On Saturday 13th October, 79 intrepid adventurers pulled on their hiking boots and rain coats to attempt to walk to the top of Snowdon. This was all to raise money for UK nurses facing hardship and a key event in the #10kForNurses fundraising campaign taking place throughout October.
People all over the UK signed up to do ‘10k their way’ and raise money for Cavell Nurses’ Trust. This could mean running, walking or hopping a 10K, doing a 10,000 calorie bake sale, or even skydiving from 10,000 feet.
The Snowdon challenge was all about ‘going the extra k’! The route was longer than 10 kilometres and being the tallest mountain in England and Wales, it brings its own extra challenges to anyone trying to climb it.
On the weekend, Storm Callum arrived and caused huge disruption to people’s journeys. Landslides, fallen trees and flooded roads all stood in the way, but luckily only a small handful of people were beaten by the weather meaning 79 fundraisers stood ready for the challenge on a wet Saturday morning in Llanberis.
What happened next was truly extraordinary. The weather did it’s best to derail the challenge, but we persevered for as long as possible. Winds up to 70mph eventually stopped us summiting, but the journey to that point and back was a huge challenge and still clocked in at over 10 kilometres!
A big thank you must go to Jason Rawles and his team of expert mountain guides. With their vast experience and knowledge, this challenge was able to go ahead. Throughout the whole process, they looked after us, kept us safe and kept us in good spirits. The mountains can be a dangerous place, and in the middle of a storm, they guided us with great care and professionalism and above all with safety as their number one priority.
The following poem captures some of the events and feelings from this epic day of hiking and fundraising. Well done to all who took part, and only we can really know just how extreme the conditions were and how fantastic we all did.
“Battered, Bruised, but not Beaten”
Like flotsam from a sinking ship,
We arrived in the mountainous deep.
A hearty meal (and a few pints),
Were needed to send us to sleep.
Storm Callum had shown his intentions,
But built his strength overnight.
Feeding on the darkness,
He was ready for another fight.
Day broke meekly through thick grey clouds,
But determined, we packed up.
And met at the Padarn,
For some warmth in a tea cup.
Setting off, the rain and wind lashed,
Trying to slow us down.
Determined in the face of the enemy,
We put on our battle frowns.
On our way in the wild, wild, west,
We had live updates to tweet.
Falling over was always a threat,
Made worse by soggy feet.
Half way house was achieved by everyone,
Proven with a great group photo!
Too much further, and we may need to crawl,
Plenty were thinking ‘oh no…’
‘Hold the fence!’ we began to hear,
As number one survival tip.
As gusts picked up, stumbling’s increased,
We prayed our boots would grip!
The summit was out of the question,
In conditions such as these.
We’d come as far as we possibly could,
Time to head home now please.
Coming down, we saw upturned trees,
And Alan bounding around.
The steep descent punished our weary legs,
Our joy was nearly drowned.
Finally, the Padarn emerged,
Glowing warmly in the gloom.
We’d done it – what a relief,
Now we can shelter in a sweaty room.
Beers were drank, and stories shared,
All food was heartily eaten.
As we looked back on our triumphant day,
Battered, bruised, but not beaten.
We’d come together and achieved great things,
For UK nurses facing hardships.
A worthy cause and a terrific challenge,
We left with smiles and new friendships.