Guiding my sister and her friends in Snowdonia to send children to school in India

The last couple of weeks have been ok. More training and competing than outdoor climbing due to the weather and work.

The first thing was guiding my sister and some of her friends on the 28/29th Oct in the Snowdonia region. In total I had 7 14 year old’s and two parents.
Their initial plan was to get to the top of Snowdown.

This was for a charity ‘Wings of hope’ that they have been involved in and just a small part of the overall thing.
I believe they managed to raise £800 ish pounds to send children to school in India. Because of this one trip 5 children will now be schooled for a year. Unfortunately through sheer bad luck they ended up in Snowdonia on the two days where the worst storm since the 80’s was around. What timing!!!
With a forecast of 50/60 mph winds at valley level and over 100 mph at the top I was left with the only option of aborting the initial plan.
I hated telling them that they were not going up there as their faces and group moral dropped.

My back up plan was to take them on a low level walk the opposite valley (Ogwen valley) where I felt it would be a bit more sheltered, it turned out I had made the right decision.
We walked from Ogwen cottage up the Llyn Idwal. Got a bit of height whilst walking around the lake.
It was lovely to see the whole group have a unanimous ‘wooow’ as they got their first glimpse of the lake and again when they hit their high point for the day.

My favourite comment from them while at dinner was ‘Kyle … can we do it again?’ Nice to know that they weren’t put off by the initial bad weather.

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The second day was due to be the same weather so we had a late start and a plan to go to Llyn Bochlwyd. A little bit higher for them in the same valley.
After a good breakfast and a lay in we head off from the same car park with no wind …. not what was forecast.
As we got higher and higher the wind never hit more than maybe 25mph.

As they where resting at the lake I gave them the option ‘Right, I’m happy to try get you on a summit if you want?’
‘What actually get to the top of a mountain??’
‘Yes, that one there’ I point ‘the only mountain in Snowdonia you have to use your hands as well to get up, its called ‘Tryfan”
They all jump up exited at the prospect and so we head off.

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(almost but not quite there)

The trip went well, slow and steady. Everybody got to the top, and for 4 of them it was the first mountain they had ever been to the top of.
A nice achievement for them and although it was not Snowdon it was nice that they all walked away having summited something.

Something however tells me that they were rather tired by the end of it all:
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And a happy bunch at having done somthing:
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