The Charter School 2018

Cléo Gasquet, Matilda Killick

The great Snowdon hike

Their story, in their words….

Our ‘Great Snowdon Hike’ got off to a great start, the train ride was scenic and relaxing, far from what was to come! Once we had arrived to our starting point, the nerves kicked in, where would we go now? what if we got lost? We followed our map, which we eventually realised was not detailed enough (a lesson well learnt!), and walked for 5 hours until we reached our first camping spot. We came across the friendly lady who owned the land we were camping on and she asked us if we needed anything as the weather looked as though it was about to turn. On the first night there were thunderstorms and torrential rain, not to mention we were surrounded by hundreds of sheep who kept us awake! We woke up bright and early the next day and began to hike through the most beautiful forest. Despite the amazing sights around us, we realised there was no one for miles which terrified us no doubt! We continued through the forest for around 4 hours and came to a clearing, where we realised we had reached the top of a mountain. We stopped for lunch and took in the beautiful sights of the valleys. Following our map, we realised that our next task was to climb down the mountain and through the valley to the next mountain. However, disaster struck! The lightning from the night before had struck the path we were meant to be headed down meaning we had to improvise and use our intuition. We descended down the steep mountain face which took us another 2 hours until we reached the bottom and realised we had to wade through the river to get to the other side. As you can probably guess, after this we were both wet, tired and exhausted. We decided we would pitch our tent and camp next to the river. The next morning, we had both recovered and were ready for some more walking. We walked through the valley which was an amazing experience, seeing all the wildlife and animals you don’t find in London! Walking through the valley took us around 4 hours until we began to incline up the second mountain. Despite the issues with the first mountain, this was the most challenging! The incline was extremely steep, and our heavy bags did not make it any easier! Sweating, panting and exhausted we persevered and completed the mountain in 3 hours. At the top, we pitched our tent and had our dinner. The next day, Sunday, our final day, we made our breakfast and started our descent down the mountain. We were exhausted and ready to go home, but we had another 6 hours of walking back to where we had started. The final part of our hike was the hardest, we had never wanted a bath so much, but we go through it and caught the train back later that day. The hardest part of our ‘Great Snowdon Hike’ was our path being disrupted by the weather conditions and the weight of our bags. If we were to give advice to someone who is planning to do something similar, it would be try walking around with the weight of the bag before hand. However, despite these difficulties, we became a lot stronger as a result of the hike, both mentally and physically. Thank you Mark Evison Foundation for giving us this opportunity!