Posted by: suzannetakesyouup | June 24, 2010

Snowdon, highest peak in Wales (1085m)

I had just one day to do this so this is how I did it:

6.00 Drove from home to Milton Keynes train station

7.41 Caught train from Milton Keynes to Bangor via Chester

10.55 Took a taxi to Llanberis (having just missed the bus due to train being late and next one not for another hour)

11.15 Reached Llanberis and started walking

14.45 Arrived at summit of Snowdon

15.45 Had a jolly ride back down mountain having bagged a lift on the Snowdon Mountain railway in conductor’s compartment

16.40 Noseyed around Electric mountain visitor centre in Llanberis

17.40 Caught bus back to Bangor

19.00 Got on train from Bangor to Milton Keynes via Crewe

23.00 Drove from Milton Keynes to home

24.20 Arrived home

As I was driving to Milton Keynes, early in the morning, I was distracted by a demented bee  inside the car. I thought how I’ve been like that bee – feeling trapped and crazy, held back by a force that no matter how hard I threw myself at it would just bounce me back and leave me more dazed and confused! But I’ve found a crack in the window now, a way out to freedom.

And that’s what I felt most of all on this walk – free.  Freedom from everyday challenges and free, or at least far from, bad times and bad habits.

I took the Llanberis path up Snowdon because of it’s accessibility, clearer path and more gradual (but longer) ascent. It had a few very steep sections but was generally quite manageable, with fantastic views!

I had my mp3 player and when my legs got tired and heavy I got in step to a bouncy tune and made it to my next rest point!

The Llanberis path is quite a busy route and I met and talked to some really friendly walkers. It was a very hot day and quite a few people without much walking experience were trying it. Along the way I saw several stop and start back down the mountain.

I devised a point system to help me going upwards – as follows:

You overtake someone: +10

Someone overtakes you: -10

Someone much older than you overtakes you: -15

A sheep crosses the path: +5

You hear Welsh conversation ahead: +5

You overtake the Welsh speaking group: +15

(I arrived at the summit with a score of 70.)

Just before I reached the summit I was grimacing in pain (yet loving it!) when I found myself gently crying too.  I stopped for a minute, looked at the breathtaking views and worked out where the tears were coming from . . . I struggle a lot (which I’m very good at hiding from people) and, though I’m grateful for what I have and very capable too, I would often choose not to be here, if the impossible could be arranged and my suddenly not being here didn’t have any impact on others. It was incredible to have a moment when I felt really glad to be alive. Why it came while I was sweating and slogging up a mountain I don’t really know!

I’ve decided to raise money for the NSPCC while climbing mountains. Here’s the site if you’d like to make a donation:



  1. Such a great moment you had on the mountain-top, that joy in being alive. I get them every now and then, almost always from something in nature. Sometimes when I’m feeling down, I try to use that as a touchstone to remind me there’ll be better days.

  2. I LOVE this story! What a beautiful experience. I am now so very very inspired to go hiking!

  3. What is NSPCC?

    Wow – not only are the photos gorgeous, but your analogy of the bee is wonderful. Sometimes I feel like that bee.

    I think of you when I take my new “friend” (Harvey) out for walks. I’m building up those calves & thighs for hiking up some mountains. I’ve no lofty goals like yours, but I DO want to be in shape!

    Thank you so much for sharing… I could get lost in those photos…

  4. Your photos are stunning. What a awe inspiring place to be walking and climbing!

  5. Your description of the bee being trapped inside the car is a perfect analogy of addiction. I recall those sad and desperate feelings all too well. Thanks for sharing such intimate thoughts and GREAT job on climbing these mountains! You are an inspiration.

  6. One down!
    Well done. The travelling sounds like a marathon.
    How many european summits are there to aim at?

  7. Well done, and a terrific post and photos! xx

  8. Sounds like quite a day!

    Next time you’ll need to put aside a bit more time to spend on the mountain and if the weather is good try walking around the horseshoe (

    Anyway, all the best and good luck with your charity project!

  9. Great post – I’m really glad that Flighty has pointed us in your direction 🙂 I admire your energy and your commitment to this trip and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  10. Great story and amazing photos!

  11. Suzanne, thank you for your soulful pictures. And your words, I want you to know, “I get it”.
    I took the liberty to put you on my blog roll.

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