Climb your first mountain
Are you called to climb your first mountain? Back in 2020 I took the plunge and booked a trip to climb Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). This blog post is about my first adventure into the mountains where I met Sally, a highly skilled mountain guide and coach. We have gone on to run three more trips into the mountains together – helping beginners to enjoy this natural playground, gently stretch their comfort zone and realise just what they are capable of….
If you have seen me over the last couple of weeks or so you won’t have been able to miss me talking about my three day adventure to climb Snowdon. After a strange and quite intense Spring and Summer of pivoting my business online, working hard, and homeschooling (or more unschooling in our case) I really felt the need to get some adventure, some space and perspective, as well as a healthy dose of outdoors.
Since most of my friends have children, it is harder and harder to co-ordinate time to do stuff like this together. And that’s totally natural during these years of the kids being younger and family life being a priority. It meant that I know that if I was going to do something like this, I would need to organise to do it myself. Thankfully, there are more and more companies out there now tailoring to trips for women on their own. I had been following Gutsy Girls for a while on Instagram, they organise trips such as stand-up paddle boarding in Sardinia, climbing in Bath, and hiking in the Lake District and Snowdon. It was the Snowdon trip that caught my eye – climbing Snowdon has been on my list of things I want to do for a while now, and this weekend trip came along at just the right time.
We arrived on the Friday afternoon with all the kit we would need to camp out wild on the Saturday night. Friday night was spent in a campsite at the base of the mountains, and we met with our host, Sarah and guide, Sally for the weekend. They took us through pitching our tents, and how the weekend would pan out over a hearty dinner in the local pub. The guide and host put us all immediately at ease, answering all of our questions and putting our minds at rest about any worries we might have had. The weekend was suitable for complete beginners such as me so Sally had created a plan with several options for routes that would account for everybody’s needs.
Saturday morning we packed up our tents and kit and were given guidance on how best to pack and organise our bags. We then set off for the path that we would be taking – away from the crowds. The pace was relaxed, and even though it was pretty windy the sun was shining, and I was feeling good about reaching the top, even though we were going to take the day as it came and see how everyone felt as we got nearer to the summit.
For me, I knew that the challenge was going to be any steep drops that we had to negotiate. Again, my mind was put at rest skilfully by Sally who is well experienced in coaching people in these kind of situations.
We made it to the top at around 5, and the plan was to walk down to a valley with a beautiful lake to camp for the night. The sun was setting over the peaks as we climbed down and the wind really seemed to pick up. We had one last push to get ourselves to the camp and get the tents set up.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of a truly physically tired body at the end of the day and I was in my tent by 9.30pm – to rest my weary bones. One thing I became aware of was just how present you become when you are doing something like this. I realised that I hadn’t thought about anything, that day except where to put my feet next.
On Sunday we made our way down the mountain in the sunshine and finished the adventure with ice cream by the river and a reflection on the weekend.
Here are some the lessons I learnt from climbing the mountain:
- Fear is about our perception of risk, which may not always be correct
- How important nutrition and hydration are
- That I am stranger than I thought
- We need less stuff than we think we do
- The stuff we do have should be good quality
- When managing changeable conditions, have a few different plans and be flexible.
If you have always wanted to go on an adventure what is holding you back? Is it the idea of going alone, or fear? There are so many ways of approaching your goals in a way that is supported.
Sally, our mountain guide of Far Out Pursuits is highly skilled at helping beginners to enjoy the Mountains and gently stretch their comfort zone to realise just what they are capable of. Read about how Sally coaches people through fear in her article here.
We will be running 4 trips to the Mountains in 2023
5th – 7th May HIKING and WILD CAMPING in the LAKE DISTRICT £345
12-14th May HIKING AND ALPINE HUT IN THE LAKE DISTRICT £395
July 28-30th HIKING and BOUTIQUE HOSTEL in SNOWDONIA £445
4-6th August HIKING and WILD CAMPING in SNOWDONIA £345
Spaces are limited to maintain the quality of the experience so let me know asap if you are interested and know you can make the date.
Initial deposit of £50 is required to secure your spot and then 50% 60 days before the trip, and the balance 30 days before the trip (if you would rather spread the payments over a longer period let me know and we can arrange something).
Contact me directly to book your spot.
Photo credit Sarah Hewitt