#64 Conquer Snowdon

This morning I stood at the foot of the biggest mountain in Wales with a solo mission in mind. It took me until my 35th year to make my first ascent and ever since it has become a bit of an annual pilgrimage. I like this place, there is something special about it that draws you in. It is in so many ways such a static landscape, but one that also offers a fluid and ever changing picture.

My chosen route this time was to be the Llanberis Path; some 9 miles in length and climbing over 3000 feet, it is also the route for the annual Snowdon Mountain Race which will no doubt make an appearance on the neverendinglist at some point in the future. There was to be no race today other than against myself! No sooner had I crossed the cattle grid marking the start of the path when reality hit home. I’d arrived with a desire to sprint up Snowdon and run off the 3000 feet on two of my own, but I’d left respect at home in thinking this was to be easy. The thighs soon started to burn, the lungs gasped for air and it quickly became apparent that running up mountains is no easy feat. In some ways it is akin to the journey through life. It can be hard work with lots ups and downs and the need to pace yourself. It requires determination, perseverance and a purpose. However, as I’ve learned in life, mountains can soon be conquered and there is a huge sense of achievement and satisfaction when they are!

Standing on top of my homeland in isolation is both eerie and inspiring! With the wind whistling across the summit in the early misty morn I allowed myself a moment to pause for thought before turning to head back from whence I’d climbed.

It is a long way off the winning time of this years Snowdon Mountain race, but it is a marker and now I have a benchmark to better. Bring it on, let’s see if I really can conquer Snowdon.¬†Whatever your mountain, go and climb it!

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