Source: [Colechin]

Warwick’s Duke of Edinburgh society climbs Snowdon

From the 10-12th November 2023, Warwick’s Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Society set out on their annual trip to Snowdonia National Park to climb the busiest mountain in the UK and the third most visited attraction in Wales. 

Our journey started in a car park where we were faced with the difficult task of packing thirteen people’s kit into three cars. We managed it in the end, but the back of Adam’s car was practically touching the ground when we set off on our three-hour long journey. Emma, Ben, James and I had so many interesting conversations on our little road trip that we barely needed the radio to entertain us. Navigating the country lanes of North Wales in the dark was a challenge though, and I definitely think our designated drivers deserve medals for getting us to the bunkhouse in one piece. 

It was an early start Saturday morning, and the forecast was looking perfect. After getting the bus to the start of the route (thank you Alistair for getting us all on in the end), we were ready to set off. Starting from Pen y Pass, we began our ascent up the Pyg Track, one of the most rugged and challenging routes to the summit. 

Though the weather conditions were ideal, it was pretty tough to begin with, I won’t lie. The terrain included steep hills, rocky paths, and very large steps, which seemed like they were carved for giants. Thank you, Holly and Jack, for supplying me with those walking poles; I would’ve died without them. 

The last little scramble up to the peak was the hardest part, but we made it

Despite the fact that we were halfway up a mountain, Matty thankfully reminded us of the two minutes silence for Remembrance Day – it felt just that little bit more touching with the view of the mountain in front of us. 

The last little scramble up to the peak was the hardest part, but we made it. I was probably one of the last people of the pack to reach the top (Alfie looked like he had already been up there for an hour), but we all eventually made it. We joined the fairly long queue to take our picture at the peak and what a better moment than this for BeReal to go off! 

After a very quick lunch at the top, we started to get ready for our descent. Though the initial path down was incredibly steep and a gruelling test of knee strength, the rest of the route was incredibly scenic and rather peaceful. The Miners’ Track took us along the shores of Glaslyn, Llyn Llydaw and Llyn Teyrn and past the remains of the Britannia Copper Mine.

Conveniently, we reached the end of our route 10 minutes before the bus arrived and, though it was only 4:30 in the afternoon, we were all pretty tired and exhausted. Fortunately for us, our professional chef, Raymond, cooked us  a very delicious chilli dinner back at the bunkhouse – a perfect way to end our tiring day!

Even though we were pretty knackered, we all managed to get up fairly early the next day for our second hiking trip (although Joe needed a cider to get him going). Unfortunately for us, the weather was utterly miserable. The braver ones decided to continue with the hike that was originally planned, but the rest of us, myself included, decided to do a little exploring in the little village of Beddgelert. This included having hot drinks in a café, browsing various souvenir shops, discovering an isolated church and having a delicious roast dinner in a pub while praying for our fellow hikers who had been out in the rain all day. 

Despite the fact that I’ve only recently joined the society, I think I can say that this has been one of the highlights of my university experience so far

On our journey back, we all managed to regroup at a Wetherspoons in Shrewsbury. Still recovering from the roast dinner earlier in the day, most of us just spent this time relaxing except for Joel, who spent his time doing some last-minute coursework. After a very dark and sleepy journey back, we eventually made it to Leamington alive – Emma, I hope you’ve got the smell out of your car.

Despite the fact that I’ve only recently joined the society, I think I can say that this has been one of the highlights of my university experience so far. Next up, the Brecon Beacons in term two!


Comments (1)

  • What an incredible story! Well done for completing it and what a great account of your experience! 🙂

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