Team Snowdonia Society brave the heatwave in 100km challenge
Over three scorching days last weekend our intrepid team – Glynis, Charles, David, Dan and John – took on the epic Snowdonia Challenge event.
From basecamp in Betws y Coed they completed routes equivalent to two and a half full marathons over three days from Friday 29th June to Sunday 1st July. With temperatures around 30C each day this was no walk in the Park!
This exceptionally well-organised and responsible event took 130 people to places they had never been before. A prime reason for the Society taking part was to highlight just how much of Snowdonia goes under the radar, while honeypots like Snowdon attract numbers so vast that they raise questions about sustainability.
Our Director John Harold writes:
‘I’ve never done anything like this before and it was quite an experience. I liked the balance between it being an organised event but still a personal achievement. On all three days we travelled miles without seeing a soul other than those doing the Challenge with us – just one or two small groups and a few individuals in 65 miles of footpaths in the National Park. As well as all that tranquil space I was delighted to discover new perspectives on familiar places – for example how satisfyingly Dolwyddelan links across country to Capel Curig.’
‘At various points on the way I was reminded of the need for our practical work. Most of the footpaths we used, being off the beaten track, were pleasingly litter-free. Only when we approached busier spots did we have to pick up some wrappers and bottles. On one day a section had to be re-routed as the dry weather was causing the path to crumble – this footpath happens to be part of the Snowdonia Slate Trail which our volunteers help to look after, so there may be some work for us there later on. To the east of Moel Siabod as we left the plantation forestry we came out on to wildlife-rich heathland and scrub, being invaded by non-native self-seeding conifers – another task which our volunteers regularly tackle. And as happens with many events, some selfish person took exception to people quietly enjoying the countryside and removed some of the temporary signage – a reminder that we can never be complacent about hard-won access.’
‘I loved the way new views unfolded unexpectedly and I enjoyed the wildlife, my favourite being a family of common sandpipers by an unusually languid river. I had the benefit of 3 days in the good company of Dan our Project Officer. and I relished the chance to rekindle that feeling of doing something out of the ordinary and pushing yourself physically. At the end of it I definitely felt a bit more connected to some special parts of Snowdonia.’
It’s not too late!
All five our team found it hard going and some have the blisters to prove it, but the support they’ve had from sponsors and friends made it easier to keep going. It’s not too late to sponsor our Fabulous Five – their Local Giving pages will be open for a few more days. Please support their efforts – all the proceeds go into the Society’s work in helping to keep this amazing place beautiful and to help people enjoy it responsibly! Links below: