During our walk, we learned to plan but also to adapt and change depending on the conditions. Life – and business – it’s all about planning but also about having the agility to respond to changes quickly. We paused between the Llyn Peninsula and our final push down the west coast of Wales back to our beloved Ceredigion for one more irresistible challenge: the mountains of Snowdonia, Waiting for the weather gave us plenty of opportunity to practice that flexibility.
The mountains of Snowdonia
From Pwllheli, the mountains of Snowdonia form an imposing – and for us, irresistible, draw. We were unable to resist and set aside some time in the mountains, basing ourselves near Llanberis. From there, we took the opportunity to run/walk Snowdon two and a half times (summitting twice and once completing a 6 mile loop along the Pyg Path to where it meets the Miners Track and then back down to Pen-y-Pass). While not in our original brief, the opportunity to run such an iconic peak wasn’t one we could pass up – and if you’re going to do it once, well why not make the most of it?
Snowdon – Day 1
Any kind of mountain adventuring demands close attention to the weather. Whatever it’s like in the morning – and down in the valley – things can be different at altitude; conditions can also change pretty quickly up on the mountain. We consulted the forecast and decided that today was a day to leave the running and we set off for from Pen y Pass up the Pyg track. We avoided the turning off for Crib Goch and continued up the track, enjoying views of the lakes below and the summit ahead of us despite the rain that had set in. The views were short-lived though. True to form, and as we suspected, the weather closed in and it started to snow. We continued to the summit undeterred. The snow didn’t dampen our enthusiasm, although it might have chilled it a little: a quick trip to the café for soup and hot chocolate confirmed that it was -3!
Snowdon – Day 2
After our snow-filled adventure of the previous day, we spent a day in Llanberis enjoying the excitement of the Tour of Britain, watching Wiggins, Cavendish et al screaming down the Llanberis Pass, ready to head up the mountain again. Another poor forecast for the day ahead meant we planned a circular route, running/walking up the Pyg Track to the point where it meets with the Miners Track and back down to Pen y Pass. Although huge winds were expected at the summit, we enjoyed fantastic views as we ran our route – 6 miles in less than 1 hour 45 minutes.
Another bonus of basing ourselves in Llanberis for this part of our adventure was the opportunity to enjoy a huge and delicious meal at the (deservedly) legendary Pete’s Eats ready for another attempt at the summit the following day.
Snowdon – Day 3
What a Snowdon day! From our perspective it was certainly one of the highlights of the whole trip – testament to the fact that the best things do come to those who wait. Our persistence with the weather meant we were treated to a dry day with clear views for our final attempt to summit: up the Pyg Track and down the Llanberis Path. Totally brilliant.
Back to Cadair Idris
We’d loved walking Cadair Idris previously with friends, but our experiences running in Snowdonia over the last few days pushed us to go back and run Cadair too. We set out from Dolgellau to the Pony Path. After a speedy start, our Snowdon endeavours caught up with us, so we slowed down to make the summit still in good time, just not quite as quickly as if we had run. It was misty at the top so no stunning views but an opportunity to catch breath, to eat our lunch, and regroup. While we may not have managed to run up, running back down was certainly the order of the day, and strangely easier than walking. It’s certainly not something I’d have found myself saying when we set out from Cardigan for our round Wales adventure After a rest at the bottom, we also ran all the way back into Dolgellau where we were camping.
A huge tick off our bucket list and such a massive achievement for both of us – running the mountains together as we now run our business.