A Resolven born man has just achieved a personal ambition by climbing the Three Peaks of Wales in One Day. This is his story, in his own words:-
It’s 4.30am, the sun is about to rise and the dark blue sky is highlighted by bright red clouds.
Today is the day I’ve been waiting for, months of planning, nine months of sitting on my backside during lockdown, but now I’m feeling free. The official Welsh Three Peaks Challenge is over 15 hours so that’s the time I’d like to complete this in. There’s enough daylight in the day, there’s no school holidays and it’s a Tuesday. All things considered when planning a little walk. It’s just walking, putting one foot in front of the other, how hard can it be?
Pen y Pass car park now has a pre-book parking system so I know I have a space, luckily I knew about it as it’s already filling up.
5.19am and I’m ready to start. I’ve chosen the Miners’ Track at Snowdon. I’ve done most of the tracks to the top and this one is the quickest. It starts with a shallow climb on a good track, then steeper terrain walking on huge stones, the steep part which is in part down on your hands scrambling over massive rocks. As I get my first glimpse of the peak all I can see are clouds, the path seems tougher than I remember and I’m not gaining as much ground as I want to.
Not too many people about, but everyone is much chattier than usual. When I get to the top, I have the place to myself. Well, I can’t see anyone else. I can’t see anything more than ten metres away.
At the summit of Snowdon
I quickly take my photos and return to the car park. It’s a great feeling walking down, people going up panting, and I’m just skipping down!
“How much further?” and “Am I going the right way?” are the usual questions and it makes me feel like a tour guide. I was hoping for a time of around three hours for Snowdon but I was a little over four hours, this is where the advantage of a Tuesday comes in, less traffic on the road and less hold-ups between Peaks.
For Cader Idris I have chosen the Pony path, I have not done it before but been told that it is quicker than the nightmare that is the Minffordd pass. The Minffordd pass has always been a challenge for me, it’s long, there are big steps and you never know where the peak is until you get there. Out of the five times I have tried it, only once I have got to the top, weather or time have always beaten me. The Pony path is a six mile walk with a 734 metre ascent. There are steps but they are nowhere near as steep as the other path. If you are slightly older (like me) or slightly larger (like me) and are thinking of doing this pass, I would highly recommend walking poles for this one. I’ve got them but like and idiot, left them in the car! Beginning the climb, I can see a peak and I am happy that after about an hour, I am over half way. I climb to a ridge and spot another peak further away and higher, that’s where I have to go. The sun is out and at its hottest, there is no shade and hardly any wind, glad I covered myself with sunblock. I reach the peak at 12.55pm.
At the summit of Cader Idris
There’s a stunning view of Barmouth and Snowdonia but I don’t have time to enjoy it. A quick photo and the plod back, knee impact is starting to cause a bit of pain and the concentration of where to put every step is tiring. I slip a few times and think what a disaster it would be if I had an injury now.
The drive to Pen y Fan is an interesting one. I cut through the country and see places I haven’t seen before. There’s a feeling of glad not to be walking but wanting to get there to start walking. I get out of the car and now I face my biggest challenge of the day, bending down to get my boots on! Happy to be on more familiar turf, I saunter up the path at the speed of a Sloth, focusing on putting one foot in front of the other.
The clear air and evening sun made it a pleasant way of ending the day. Get to the peak, take a single photo and turn around, too tired to enjoy the atmosphere.
At the summit of Pen y Fan
Back to the car park and a finishing time of 6.35pm. Just over 13 and a bit hours, 52,794 steps, an epic day out and a big tick off my ‘to do’ list.
The following are photographs previously taken near the three summits.
Pen y Fan
The RDN Team would like to say thanks for sharing this achievement with us.