The past couple of years have been a bit underwhelming, for all the obvious reasons, so this year I’ve decided that it’s time to get moving again, set some challenges and have lots of fun and adventures along the way. This year, 2022, I’ve decided to run, bike, or hike all the mountains in Wales, all 188 of them!! My reluctant boyfriend, Garry, will hopefully (if I can bride him enough biscuits ), be joining me on many of these adventures along with faithful Cassie dog….so let’s begin!!!
January 5th No. 1 Drum
E- bike ride 24.05 km 1,064 meters accent
Slow starting, weather’s been pretty grim and cold. Have managed to persuade Garry to come with me, and we are on our Specialised SL electric bikes so hoping the riding is gonna be pretty easy-going…I mean how wrong could it go? Easy assent of Drum, then we take a path less trodden for the decent. There’s a thickish covering of snow on the ground but luckily we can still make out the start of the path down. After a 10 mins of fun, skidding in the snow and dropping down a few rock gardens, we’re lost…. we are in snow covered heather and we’re trying to go up a small hill, and we are having to carry our bikes as riding has become impossible. At the top of the hill there’s a boulder field, great!! more carrying our bikes, then another un-rideable climb, couple of fences to get over, a few bogs to get through, a few river crossings …ahhhh, why did we decide to bring the bloody electric bikes for a spin!
Eventually recognise where we are and can actually start to ride again….exhilarating first accent!!!
January 14th No. 2 & 3 Snowdon and Cynghorion
Run 17.03 km 1,119 meters of accent
Amazingly still day, no wind but very icy towards the top. Fantastic views with distant clouds.
January 17th No. 4 & 5 Moel Ellio and Foel Gron
Run 12.51 km 701 meters of accent
Had the idea to run all the mountains in England and Wales this run. Mentioned it to Garry when I got back and he said are you crazy?!! You’ll never get 420 mountains done in a year!! Im hoping to prove him wrong 😁😁
January 18th No. 6 Siabod
Run 7.77km 740 meters of accent
Relentless head wind on the way up Siabod, and icy cold too. I remember the last time Garry, myself and Cassie where up here, the weather was virtually the same except there was a lot more snow. Seems like every time I decide to scale Siabod the weather is unfavourable, however it always makes me feel very much alive after battling the elements. Back at the van, tingling with cold, put heater on full blast all the way home.
January 20th No. 7 & 8 Elidir Fawr and FoelGoch
Run 13.04 km 870 meters accent
Freezing head wind again, super icy at the top so go slow over the boulder fields. First time that I’ve been up Foel Goch, just a short detour from the main path to reach its summit. Took a short cut through the quarries on the way back to avoid unnecessary climbing.
January 21st No. 9 & 10 Bera Bach and Bera Mawr
Run 14.65 km 710 meters accent
Felt comforting heading back to Rachub to start this run, having previously lived there for over 10 years there was a huge sense of familiarity and homecoming. Weather was looking good and the icy cold wind that been around over the last few days had finally died down. Situated on the lower flanks of the Carneddau to reach Bera Bach and Bera Mawr all of the hill side you pass through is common land, where sheep and wild Welsh Mountain ponies graze. A sheep looks in trouble, its trashing around on some uneven ground, as I grab hold of the wool on its back and put it back on its feet I can see that a crow has already taken 1 of its eyes; nature can be ruthless even in this tame land of Wales.
Cassie and I get to Bera Bach in under an hour and the weather is still holding out, although there’s some clouds beginning to gather on the higher peaks. The Carneddau can feel quite vast when the weather comes in and I didn’t fancy getting lost this morning. We push on to Bera Mawr and the clouds envelop us just as we get there. Its white out and I can barely see 10 meters ahead, Cassie takes the lead and we re-trace our exact route back to Bera Bach then back down onto the main path and then finally we are out of the clouds once more. Good old Cassie girl!!! my sense of direction is hopeless.
Didn’t want to pass by the sheep with 1 eye again, in case it was down again; it was unlikely to survive. I wanted to remain optimistic that it would be ok, so avoided looking, what could I do anyway? .. .
Body feeling a bit battered!! In the last 8 days I’ve run 65 km and climbed 4,140 meters …phew gonna have a few days off!!