Return to Snowdon

Every year my husband and his old best friend take their kids on a camping trip. It’s a tradition that stretches back about 10 years. On that very first camping trip there was just the two dads, my eldest and my husband’s friend’s daughter, 18 months older than my son and at that time an only child. ย The camping trips alternated between closer to us (usually the Malverns or Forest of Dean) and closer to them (usually North Wales). Over the years, the number of campers has grown – first there was my younger son, then my husband’s friends younger daughter and my daughter (the only two out of the posse who are the same age) and finally my husband’s friend’s son. Two men. Six kids aged between 6 and 14. Could be a recipe for disaster.

The camping trips always took a similar form. Arrive early afternoon on a Saturday, put up tents, play in playground, cook and eat tea, go for a walk, play in playground, go to bed. In the morning they would cook breakfast, play in the playground again, take the tents down and head for home. They weren’t gone much more than 24 hours.

But this year, they wanted MORE. My eldest and my daughter have been truly bitten by the Snowdon bug – we went earlier this year and they wanted to go again. So this year it was a longer journey and two nights camping, with a flipping big walk in the middle.

I can’t tell you how anxious this made me feel. There’s something about seeing your entire family driving off together that can make a person quite nervous. It’s the thought of them all being wiped out in an accident. And me not being wiped out in the accident. Can you think of anything worse? So that was two long car journeys and a mountain climb to make me nervous, not to mention the general loneliness of being on my own at home for two days (this has never happened before).

I was also worried about how my younger son would cope. He got very upset when we went to Snowdon in April and couldn’t make it to the the top.

I realise I’m a bit of a control freak. I worry about things like food, drink, medicine, sun cream, warm clothes and hand washing. I like to be prepared for every eventuality, even if that does mean carrying a really flipping heavy bag. I made a discreet checklist and gave it to the kids so they could be sure they had everything they could need for climbing Snowdon. My husband would never see them starve, but would he think about warm clothes or take enough drinks?

The plan this time was up the Pyg track, which follows a similar route to the Miner’s track we took earlier this year. I thought the Pyg track was worse, but apparently it isn’t. It’s steeper all the way, whereas the Miner’s track is fairly flat most of the way, then you have a rather scary climb, which involves using your hands sometimes. Too scary for me!

Boys, sons, climbing, walking, Snowdon, Loud 'n' Proud

That’s my boys!

Well they all made it up the Pyg track to the top, including my husband’s friend’s 6 year old son. Very impressive! The weather wasn’t great – the kids said they were ‘in the clouds’. Visibility was poor, the wind was strong and it was drizzling. It was probably the poor visibility which helped my son overcome his fears and make it to the top – he couldn’t see well enough to see how far down it was!

The cafe was open, so they were able to have a proper lunch before heading back down. They planned to go down the Llanberis path, which runs parallel to the railway. We went down this way last time – it’s very gradual and an easy walk, although a rather long one! My younger son bought a hat with a map of Snowdon and all the paths on it. He kept telling them they were going the wrong way (as they couldn’t see very well), but they didn’t listen to him. In the end they managed to take the Ranger’s path down instead.

Apparently my younger son started to get very cold at one point. I’m not sure how many layers he had on/ with him. I would certainly have insisted on an extra jumper in the rucksack in case, but of course I mollycoddle the kids! He needed gloves. That was one thing I hadn’t considered in August. Even for Snowdon.

Son, Snowdon, Climbing, Walking, Loud 'n' Proud

My younger son

And they all made it! A very long, steep walk in quite poor weather. No accidents (apart from my eldest tripping on a rock and falling flat on his face), no moaning and nobody being scared. Presumably they also managed it without mummy’s supply of squirty antibacterial hand gel too!

When I spoke to the kids later, they were all buzzing. My younger son will rarely speak to any of us on the phone, but he couldn’t stop chatting. It was a bigger achievement for him than for anyone. He’s so proud to have made it to the top – and that he has now, at the age of only 10, walked four of the six paths leading up Snowdon. And he kept saying to me: ‘I’ve had two Cokes today!’ I think he thought he would be in trouble. Coke is a special treat and, even when he has it, he’s only allowed one. But to walk up and down Snowdon? That is DEFINITELY worth two Cokes!

 

Mum of Three World

Author: Sarah Mummy

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39 Comments

  1. Wow what an adventure. To have done all of that at such a young age is so impressive. Well done to them on making it all look so easy. And if definitely deserves two cokes ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks very much, they did so well. It definitely deserves two Cokes! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Holy mozers well done those kids! We climbed Box Hill last week which felt like an amazing achievement at about half the height ๐Ÿ™‚ #PoCoLo

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    • Thanks very much, they did brilliantly! To be fair, your kids are a lot younger, so Box Hill was a real achievement for you too!

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  3. Wow! Well done to all of the kids. Sounds as though the trip was a resounding success.
    I’m a bit of a control freak here too & when my daughters went camping last weekend I was desperately trying to double check they had everything! As they’re going to be 20 in a couple of weeks, they were not impressed in the slightest!
    #PoCoLo

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    • Thanks, they did brilliantly! Glad it’s not just me who is a control freak! Wish I would grow out of it though!

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  4. Fantastic, well done to everyone, it sounds like a wonderful trip and amazing achievement. #PoCoLo

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    • Thank you! They did really well, I’m so proud of them ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Lucas says – AWESOME!!!! I would love to do this. Me and Ash was be great explorers and beat everyone to the top too. The Mother better have the Haribo ready though……………….. #pocolo

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    • Yay! I recommend waiting a few more years, Lucas, but you can definitely have as much Haribo as you want!

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  6. How lovely, I’ve done Snowdon many times on my own but yet to take my own kids up there. It’s a great mountain for their first time for sure.

    He’ll be doing Crib Goch before you know it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ #PoCoLo

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    • Eeek! Don’t mention Crib Goch to me! I have a feeling my eldest will do it one day and the thought terrifies me.
      Good luck with taking your kids up Snowdon when they are ready.

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  7. Indeed it is worth two cokes! I think the Pyg track up sounds like a good option, I don’t fancy climbing up using hands either – my middle one would be terrified! *Adds gloves to the list”*.

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    • I think even I might be brave enough to do the Pyg one day. I did say ‘never again’ after I did it, but that was partly because my younger son was so scared and upset. Gloves are a must, but you can understand why I wouldn’t have considered them in August!

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  8. Reading this made me want to go somewhere where I can walk too!I know those worries and fears. I have so many of them when my husband & son would go for a walk and would take longer than I expected it. Turned out they just lost track of time inside the Lego Store (yep the Lego Store always). Nice that your younger son made it to the top and I read his last trip there. This really is a 2 coke kind of event =) #pocolo

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    • Thanks very much. You never stop getting those fears! I am especially proud of my younger son, after last time, and I know he is pleased with himself.
      I can totally understand why your husband and son would forget about the time in the Lego Store!

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  9. Oh very well done! I’ve done that and it’s not easy. Gloves in August though, seriously?!

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    • Thanks very much! Yep, gloves in August! Apparently it was much colder than when we did it in April!

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  10. Thanks very much. I think I might just be able to relax next time! They loved it so much they reckon they will do it again next year. My eldest is all up for doing the Three Peaks at some point too ๐Ÿ™

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  11. What an amazing adventure…..I would worry to if my two were on an adventure like this!!

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    • Thanks very much. Glad it’s not just me!

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  12. What an adventure for you guys! I love that ifrst photo. Things like this make the biggest memories I think. Love it. x

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  13. I think I would have felt exactly the same as you! Well done to all of your children, what a brilliant achievement ๐Ÿ™‚ #PoCoLo

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  14. What an amazing experience. I would love to climb Snowdon but will wait until the kids are bigger, they moan enough climbing the zig zags at Bournemouth beach! Well done kids xx

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  15. Wow! Such an achievement and they have every right to be proud! I think all walks should be judged by Cokes needed to do them. Although I would think Snowdon would be more of a 3 Cokes walk than just 2!!

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    • Thanks very much! You’re right, three Cokes would probably be more appropriate! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  16. Looks like a fantastic adventure for everyone! A great achievement by the kids too ๐Ÿ™‚ Bron

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  17. Well done to them! I love going out walking with the kids and it always amazes me how well they manage to keep up. A treat is always in order afterwards.

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  18. What a fantastic achievement, definitely worth two cokes! It’s so wonderful that they have made such brilliant memories xx

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  19. What an amazing achievement! I too would have packed extra, extra coats, jumpers and squirty hand gel ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks very much, glad it’s not just me! I don’t go anywhere without squirty hand gel! My husband rebels and refuses to take it!

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  20. What an amazing achievement! Your son certainly deserved 2 cokes for it #whatsthestory

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  21. A post full of love and one that made me smile. I too have a control freak thing going on and never think my OH will remember what he needs to when looking after the children. Yet he looked after 2 of them when I went to the USA and then again when I recently went to France and they lived to tell the tale.
    What magical memories for all the children involved and such a security thing too with it being in the diary for so many years.
    Carry on camping and carry on scaling greater heights on all fronts

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    • Thanks very much, what a lovely thing to say! Glad I’m not the only control freak, and impressed that your OH coped so well!

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  22. Definitely a two coke day! They are going to be talking about that trip for a long time to come I think! #magicmoments

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  23. Wow, that sounds like a fantastic tradition and must be so much fun…. though I can understand it must have been a bit nerve wracking for you. It’s a big old adventure with mum to make sure they have everything they need! Sounds like they all did so well though so you have every reson to be proud! xx #loudnproud

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  24. A fantastic achievement indeed. I’d like to try Snowdon one day… No immediate plans though, need to up my fitness levels a bit before that! Well done, kids.

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