Scuba Up Snowdon
On Saturday 7th May 2016, Bethan (me), one of the PADI Divemasters at Ocean Turtle Diving set off on a brave endeavour with the assistance of Kerrie Eade, owner and PADI Staff Instructor, Stefan Taylor, one of the other PADI Divemasters and Douglas the dog to walk up Snowdon (1085m) in full Scuba Gear raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society.
The challenge was set to be a tough one with both the weight and size of the kit and also the forecast of extreme rain and thunderstorms due to hit the mountain range throughout the day.
Not to be put off, our merry band that would become known as #DougtanianAndTheThreeMuskerTurtles, made our way to Llanberis and the foot of the mountain which loomed above us through some dense rainclouds.
The very beginning of the walk nearly finished us off. Ascending what felt like the majority of the climb up a tarmac road over about a quarter of a mile was a very tough start and one that is not for the faint hearted, despite the route from Llanberis being billed as the “easy” one. We persevered and were grateful when the path started to even out to a more manageable climb.
Whilst Stef was keeping Douglas under control from chasing all of the sheep, Kerrie turned mountain goat and began climbing ahead to take countless photos and videos of the journey until we got to the Halfway Hut for a much earned rest.
We were all feeling rather good having conquered the initial climb and were lulled into a rather false sense of security once we began the second half of the ascent. We still couldn’t see the summit but it couldn’t get any worse than the dreaded tarmac road, surely?!
How wrong we all were, after continuing on the nice gentle incline once more, we turned the corner and were faced with a very steep climb up towards the three quarter mark. This was relentless and despite words of encouragement from passers-by and both Kerrie and Stef it was very tough going and all the words leaving my mouth came out as grunts of despair.
After another rest and many tonnes of chocolate and jelly babies, we carried on once more. At this point we crossed to the other side of the mountain to be faced with some spectacular views of the valley where we could appreciate just how far we’d come. This spurred us on and summoning all the reserves of energy that we had (mainly provided by the previously-mentioned snacks) we powered up the final steep climb before the long, yet immensely more gentle, path to the summit.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though as that is when the earlier promise of heavy rain came to the fore and we were properly lashed by the raindrops as we continued on. It wasn’t so bad for me, I was in a wet suit, but for Kerrie and Stef, this made the end of the climb more miserable than it should have been. However, poking out above the clouds, we could see the summit! Noticeable not because of it clearly being the highest point on the mountain, but because it was total carnage and surrounded by an unfathomably large number of people.
With this in sight, we made the push for the top and once there, I climbed up triumphant, pushing all other walkers out of my way because I had completed this most ridiculous, bonkers and tough challenge flanked by the awesome support team of Kerrie and Stef.
After more photos and a much earned beer in the Summit Cafe, the clouds cleared the way to show the most spectacular views of the mountains and North Wales coastline and the sun was shining. Perfect weather for rolling down the mountain back to the car before returning to Turtle HQ in Basingstoke.
A totally ridiculous and fantastic day but for now, the walking boots have been retired.