It was a Wednesday morning. 8am, and I poked my head out of my damp, dewy tent. The fresh air hit my face first, then I felt the light rain fall down on to my frizzy bed head. I looked ahead of me and all I could see was mist. The evening before I was sure there was a mountain right in front of me, but this morning I just wasn’t so sure.
I slipped into my bright red welly boots and padded on over to my Dad’s tent, or the lounge as I liked to call it. I popped the gas on, put a tea bag in my mug and fell into a camping chair, waiting for the water to boil. We sat quietly for a while, silently contemplating the hike ahead of us. The whistle of the kettle started, a sound that had slowly become my favourite, and my tea started to brew.
‘Are we really doing this…today?’ I asked my Dad.
It appeared we were. It looked to be the best day we had to climb the mighty Ben Nevis. I’d only visited Scotland once before and we barely made the border, but my imagination of the place was pretty much spot on, cold and wet but unmistakably beautiful.
With my tummy full of porridge and green tea and my rucksack kitted out with water, snacks and, most importantly, my camera…we were ready to go. I tightened my boots and the ascent began. Step, after step, after step. The rain continued but the layers soon came off as we heated up. My Dad had climbed Ben Nevis before but unfortunately saw nothing the whole hike, and I thought this walk was going the same way. Until about an hour in, I turned around to face the most amazing sight. We’d gained quite a lot of height in a short amount of time, enough to realise that we were amongst the clouds. We watched them part ways and reward us with the most spectacular of views.
We hiked the whole way up with mostly clear views, and about half an hour away from the top the mist really came in and didn’t want to budge. We reached the highest point and enjoyed a quick snack completed surrounded by fog, but feeling happy all the same, and then made our way back down where we knew a nice cold G&T would be waiting for us. The perfect reward.
There’s many words that come to mind when I try to describe how it felt climbing Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, the three highest peaks in the U.K. Tough, a little painful and just down right knackering, but most of all…rewarding. To achieve a goal I’d wanted to achieve for a long time was such a proud moment and motivating for me to continue to chase my dreams. It just proves that anything you put your mind to, with a little effort, dedication and determination, you can do it.
So… time for the next challenge…conquering them all in 24 hours. Challenge accepted. It’s on the bucket list.
Mt Snowdon – April 2016
Scafell Pike – September 2016
Ben Nevis, September 2016