“…It was late, we were behind schedule and we now had a difficult decision to make, we were all very tired, red-eyed, achy and did I mention tired? By this time we had covered 8 of the 15 peaks (plus the annoying additional one by mistake) which means we had 7 peaks to go. Just over half way. I can tell you it did not feel like we were only half way and the realisation that we now had to basically do everything we had already done, again, weighed very heavily on our minds…”
The Night Before
Liz, Lydia, Stuart and I arrived in Capel Curig at about 9:15pm the evening before the challenge. We stayed in a church (St. Curig’s) that had been converted to a bed and breakfast. We had booked the bunk room which was a small room with no curtains or heating, up a small winding metal stair case. You had to duck at the top of the stair case to avoid hitting your head on the archway as you entered the bunk room. We were greeted by Alice, the proprietor, who asked about our plans. We told her that we were taking on the Welsh 3000 challenge to which she seemed quite confident that we would not achieve it in the 24 hrs. According to her, very few people make it on their first attempt and even fewer make it in the poor weather that was forecast. Getting such a briefing within 5 minutes of arriving at the accommodation did not exactly set us in a good mood and certainly did affect the amount of sleep I had that night; that and the lack of curtains!
Having packed our bags ‘efficiently’ beforehand keeping essentials within easy access, we were able to arrive and very quickly get our heads down for as much sleep as we could before 3am when our alarms would sound beginning a very long, hard day. We had just enough time to dress and eat as much breakfast as our nervous stomachs would allow and then, feeling unusually awake at 4:00am, we set off for Pen-Y-Pass: the drop off point for the climb up Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa).
By 4:15am we had said our goodbyes and we were marching our way up the Pyg track towards Snowdon’s summit along with a very large group of GE Aviation employees who on the same day had decided to organise a Welsh 3-peaks challenge (different to our challenge).
Our optimism and energy clearly showed in our ascent up Snowdon which only took us 1hr and 38 mins! And so we had reached the start of the Welsh 3000 challenge (W3K): the summit of Snowdon (3,560 ft), at 05:53am. The weather at the top of Snowdon was a real cause of concern for us. Despite the sun having risen by then, we could not see more than 15 metres in front of us for thick cloud, there were strong buffeting winds and it was very wet. We already had concerns over our chances of a successful completion of all peaks, especially with the dreaded, deadly Crib Goch ridge just two peaks away. Nevertheless we marched on away from the Snowdon summit and towards Carnedd Ugain with various ‘marshals’ from the aforementioned GE Aviation party trying to kindly usher us back down the mountain!
On our way up Carnedd Ugain we met a group of six young hikers who, it seemed, were also doing the W3K. We stopped and spoke to them, if only to point out to them that they might be going the wrong way. We, in fact, found out that they were, indeed, on the same challenge, but due to the inclement weather, they had decided not to attempt the Crib Goch ridge, especially as they had never crossed the ridge before. We acknowledged their wise decision and wished them luck with the remainder of their challenge which would of course now only be considered a partial completion. As we watched this group of six disappear into the clouds Stuart and I decided we would see and judge for ourselves the conditions on the ridge.
We reached the summit of Carnedd Ugain (3,494 ft) at 06:10 in identical weather conditions to that of Snowdon’s summit, however as we were stood at the trig point we were fortunate enough to see two hiker-shaped silhouettes coming towards us from the direction of Crib Goch. These hikers were also doing the W3K but had chosen a different route which ascends Crib Goch first, then Snowdon. They mentioned that although the weather and visibility was poor on the ridge, it was not as bad as what we were standing in at that moment on the top of Carnedd Ugain. We thanked them and wished them luck and we headed towards Crib Goch.
The route to Crib Goch starts with a less-exposed but still nerve-wracking ridge where approximately half-way along we met another two hikers who were also attempting the W3K. We stopped to talk to them where they asked us, whilst flipping the pages of a guide book, what the best escape route off Crib Goch would be since they had not previously been on the ridge and were not confident enough to navigate the ridge themselves. I explained the best escape route from where we were if they felt they needed to use it (I have the same guide book which I’d read cover-to-cover) but then we also explained that we were headed for the ridge anyway and had navigated the route only two weeks previously during training and we were confident, based on the account of the two hikers we’d met on Carnedd Ugain, that the weather wouldn’t pose too much of a threat. They then asked if we wouldn’t mind them tagging along and after they agreed with my ‘disclaimer’ we were now, temporarily a group of four heading for Crib Goch ridge.
Crib Goch has two large pinnacles (steep vertical rock protrusions) which must be taken on before reaching the ridge proper. We arrived at the pinnacles and by this time we noticed that the wind had largely subsided, most likely Snowdon and Carnedd Ugain were providing shelter. The buffeting wind would certainly have been the greatest risk factor whilst crossing the ridge, so with relatively better conditions we felt we could push on. During training, we followed our guide book and decided to ‘skirt’ the pinnacles round the south face. This took a long time in training and was very exposed and consumed a lot of energy. This time, we decided we would ignore the book and go more-or-less over the top of both pinnacles. This involved something less like hiking and more like rock climbing, trying to find good foot and hand-holds and hoisting ourselves up over the vertical rocks however it took much less time and energy and felt good.
Before we knew it, we were on the Crib Goch ridge proper. The poor visibility was probably a blessing in disguise since we could not see the sheer magnitude of the precipices either side of us that would otherwise have made our heads spin. At a point along the ridge that we felt was the highest (3,028 ft), we recorded the time of 07:00 breathed a slight sigh of relief and carried on. On the second half of the ridge we passed a group of 3 hikers who were also attempting the Welsh 3000 challenge however one of their team had clearly succumbed to vertigo and was clinging to the rock, frozen, unable to move more than one limb at a time. With the ridge being a dangerous place to be at the best of times, trying to overtake someone else became a lesson in balance and nerve. The top of the ridge, at least, has broken rock that serves well as places to put one’s feet. Anything more than a meter down away from the top of the ridge is slippery, wet, loose rock. I did not thank the three hikers for that experience!
We descended Crib Goch along its northern ridge and down the western scree slope (small loose rock). We headed towards Llyn Glas, a small lake, and followed a rocky gully back down towards Llanberis pass, the road that would lead us to the first meeting point with our support team in Nant-Peris. We found our support team and wished the two hikers who joined us for Crib Goch good luck on their way. Back in the valley it was very windy and cooking anything proved very difficult but nevertheless we had bacon sandwiches, hot water, cereal and bananas to recharge our batteries, and blankets to keep our joints and muscles warm whilst stopped. At this point we were on schedule, if not a little early so we felt very positive having completed the most technically challenging part of the route. 3 peaks down, 12 to go!
By 9:30 we were on our way up Elidir Fawr. This mountain, which Stuart and I would eventually hate with a passion, provided a new kind of challenge. To ascend this mountain, you must follow an unmarked route up very steep, slippery grassy slopes with small streams and bogs hiding under long grass waiting to trip you up or soak you to your knees with mud that fills your shoes with tiny stones which stick to your insoles and can’t be removed. The steepness of the slope means that your feet are constantly at an acute angle to your shins putting great pressure on the balls of your toes and makes your calves fill up with acid. The effort causes you to get very warm so you are constantly removing layers of clothing and then putting them back on again when the wind picks up so you don’t get cold. This mountain is a slog and it’s the first of the 15 peaks to put your stamina and mental resolve to test. We pass and then get overtaken by other W3K challengers, who we then pass and then get taken over by again. On one of these passings we meet a group of three hikers, a Welshman of around 60, his daughter and her husband who we end up meeting regularly at different points along the route and eventually complete the challenge with. We never thought to ask their names, so I’ll refer to them from now on as the ‘Welsh team’. After what seems like forever, the steep grassy slopes turn into large boulders of rock and for the last 200 ft or so you are scrambling over these large boulders to the top.
Just before we reached the summit of Elidir Fawr, we met our two friends again who joined us along Crib Goch. We stopped and spoke to them and found that one of the two of them (the one with the maps and guide book) could not continue due to a bad knee. The other chap was still keen to carry on and so they agreed between them that the injured would descend back to the valley and the keen one would carry on with us, and so we became a group of 3. Our 3rd member of the group introduced himself as Sam and we carried on. We finally reached the summit of Elidir Fawr (3,031 ft) at 11:04am and cursed its ‘bleep’ing slopes.
Y Garn and a Wrong Turn
After a shallow 1000ft descent from the summit, the next part of the challenge provided a chance to recover somewhat from the punishment we had just endured on Elidir Fawr. This part of the challenge involves a walk/jog along a reasonably level foot path along a wide ridge. At this point in time, we would occasionally be rewarded with a clearing in the clouds where we could glimpse the valley below and appreciate our altitude and views. I then made our first navigational error: we reached the foot of a hill which ascended back up into the clouds which I assumed was Y Garn, our next peak. Having correctly navigated this section in the past during training I am annoyed and frustrated at myself to have wasted our time and energy in this way by taking our team up a peak we did not need to ascend. What I thought was Y Garn, was in fact Foel-goch, a 2,726ft unnecessary peak. I did not realise the error until we reached the summit and I realised i did not recognise the terrain, nor did it feel like we were at over 3000ft. I apologised sincerely to the team after reprimanding myself for such a waste of time and effort. Without feeling too demoralised, we continued with our journey, watching below as people we had passed on Elidir Fawr had now overtaken us on the path skirting around Foel-goch. We rejoined the path and began the ascent up Y Garn. We reached this otherwise uneventful Y Garn summit (3,107 ft) at 12:22. Another small descent but on loose terrain, we were back on the path towards our next peak Glyder Fawr.
As you approach Glyder Fawr you pass a beautiful lake called Llyn Cwn which if the weather hadn’t have been so cold, wet and windy, might have looked very inviting as a cool-down dip. Instead we just paused to admire the view for a brief moment and proceeded to fill our mouths with Kendal mint cake, snickers bars, bananas and Lucozade as we peered up at the cloud covered peak and its scree-scattered slope that awaited us. The ascent up Glyder-Fawr is like walking up a sand dune, its slopes are covered in scree (small loose rock) where each step up results in a half-a step slide downwards and the occasional ankle-scraping rock-fall. The slope is also very steep especially early on where the route leads directly up towards the peak without any zig-zagging. We had to pause many times to catch our breath as the loose rock began to take its toll on our legs. Eventually, the ascent begins to level off and it’s back to more boulder scrambling as we search around the foggy and somewhat disorienting summit looking for the highest point. There are many strange-looking rock formations at the top of Glyder Fawr but we eventually find the summit stones of Glyder Fawr (3,284 ft) at 13:30 and took shelter behind them for a moment whilst I took a bearing for the next peak from off our map since visibility is very poor again and there is no chance of seeing Glyder Fach. After satisfying myself with what direction to take, we notice ‘the Welsh team’ arriving at the summit just as we are about to head off, they didn’t hang around and soon moved off but in a different direction and so I quickly shouted to them as loud as I could (even though they were probably only 10 metres away, the wind was so strong that I’m surprised they heard me at all). I explained to them that I was pretty convinced of where the next peak was (despite the heavy fog) and we discussed it briefly and they eventually agreed to my bearing after consulting their own map and compass. This was a good feeling for me, I felt I had redeemed myself for the error I made previously by and saved another team from certain error.
As we descended out of the clouds along with the Welsh team we struck up a conversation where they mentioned a disputed 16th peak (Castell y Gwynt) which they intended to climb. The peak itself is just a small rocky outcrop which isn’t even named on a 1:50k OS map. I discussed the prospect with my team and we agreed to have a look and have a go however I had to stop half-way along the path to put a jumper on (starting to get too cold) and the Welsh team carried on out of sight. We continued on our bearing over yet another boulder-field and when the clouds cleared we realised we had passed the Castell y Gwynt outcrop by about 200 metres back and couldn’t face the prospect of back-tracking for the sake of an un-planned peak. I do not know if the Welsh team actually made it up Castell y Gwynt, there was no obvious route. After a short period of time later we saw what can only be described as a mound of large boulders signifying the Glyder Fach summit. Getting to the top of this pile of boulders was no easy feat and the flatness of the summit plateau meant that the full force of the wind was able to make things as difficult as possible for us. Nevertheless we reached the Glyder Fach summit (3,261 ft) at 14:30.
We descended down out of the clouds and along the path which brought us to the top of a buttress overlooking Bwlch Tryfan, and Tryfan itself beyond that. It felt tantalisingly possible to just go straight ahead and down this buttress but thankfully sanity set in and we decided to take the correct route which goes around the east side of the buttress down a very steep, knee-grinding scree slope. We passed a group of teenage school girls who were by far the loudest group of people I’d ever heard on a mountain range before… should they ever have got into trouble I’m certain that a scream for help from all their party in unison would have summoned the mountain rescue team from their base at Pen-y-Pass without the need for radios or phones.
We reached Bwlch Tryfan and sat on a flat rock to take on more fuel before our ascent of Tryfan peak itself. The ascent of Tryfan is a mixture of stony paths and scree until you get to about 2,600 ft after which it is a boulder scramble to the top with some scarily exposed sections, one in particular is near the top where you have a cross a wet, flat slab of rock which leans slightly downwards to the east, is about 1 metre wide and at the east end of the slab is sheer 200 ft drop and where the wind is constantly pushing on you from the west. To say that I was nervous is an understatement. What’s worse is that the route I chose to come down (for good reasons) takes us back over this slab! We reached Tryfan summit (3,010 ft) at 16:05, well behind the schedule and feeling very tired. It had been over 7 hours since we last had proper food and a rest. Sam was first to arrive at the summit and he mentioned that he had just seen the Welsh team who had told Sam they were taking Tryfan’s north ridge descent, which surprised me because everything I had read advised against this, especially in bad weather. The route I had prepared was longer and involved back-tracking all the way to Bwlch Tyfan, but was far easier on the legs and once we had got to Bwlch Tryfan is a relatively shallow descent back into the valley. The Welsh team had already left by the time I arrived at the summit so there was nothing to discuss and I wasn’t prepared to change the plan. We began to back-track to Bwlch Tryfan and found the path that follows a stream, just below Heather Terrace back down to Ogwen valley where Liz and Lydia were waiting for us with more bacon sandwiches, hot chocolate and blankets. They even made our new member Sam a hot chocolate.
We now had a difficult decision to make, we were all very tired, red-eyed, achy and did I mention tired? By this time we had covered 8 of the 15 peaks (plus the annoying additional one by mistake) which, for the less arithmetical, means we had 7 peaks to go. Just over half way. I can tell you it did not feel like we were only half way and the realisation that we now had to basically do everything we had already done, again, weighed very heavily on our minds. The one single consolation was that we only had one more big ascent from the valleys which was our next peak. The next time we would need to descend to the valley again would be the end. If we continued now, we knew we would not be able to finish in day light which would make navigation even more difficult and progress generally slower. Ultimately the prospect of having to do any of this ever again was the tipping factor in our decision to keep going so off we went for the final leg of the W3K, up Pen yr Ole Wen.
Pen Yr Ole Wen
The first part of the ascent up Pen yr Ole Wen was very much like our old foe Elidir Fawr: wet and grassy. Thankfully, this ended quite soon where the going changed back to more solid rocky paths again. Due to my extreme exhaustion I then made another, demoralising navigational error. We were faced with two rocky gullies leading up the mountain, one to our right, the other to our left. Again, I had been up this mountain before, and recently, but despite being able to recognise where we were, I was finding it very difficult to remember where to go and without really stopping to check we continued to our right which was the wrong direction. Thankfully it wasn’t too long before there was no obvious route and everything looked so unfamiliar that I stopped the team and decided to head back down a little bit until things began to ring a bell again. This was certainly a wake up call for me since I did not have the energy to make any more mistakes and from now on I would be absolutely alert and constantly check the map and compass. The next part of this ascent involved a small rock-climbing experience which I remember enjoying on my training, but not so much this time around when everything was wet and covered with a slimy, mossy ooze. By now, all the climbing and scrambling we had done had left holes in every finger of my gloves which meant my fingers tips were freezing cold and red-raw from being used to cling onto sharp rock. The exhaustion was really setting in now as well, the last 500ft of ascent up Pen yr Ole Wen was slow and arduous. I needed something to help me focus and stay motivated so I began to count my steps. Each right-foot step incremented my count and when I reached 100, I allowed myself a quick break to catch my breath then started again at 1. I was amazed to see Sam steaming ahead in front of me, he was clearly much fitter than both Stuart and I. Finally at 19:52 I caught up with Sam who was waiting at the summit of Pen yr Ole Wen (3,209 ft) with Stuart arriving behind me shortly after.
We were now very motivated since we had completed the last ascent from the valley for the rest of the challenge. There was one big problem however, the time of day meant that the air was getting much cooler, and with less energy reserves in our bodies, the cold was becoming a real problem. Also, with the lower temperature, the cloud base was getting lower and visibility was very poor again. The wind had picked up and for the first time in the challenge, we began to see the exposure to the weather as a serious risk.
It was a reasonably gentle ascent to Carnedd Dafydd summit (3,425 ft) arriving at 20:23. From this summit, in a fleeting moment when the cloud lifted slightly, we saw the outline of three hikers ahead. “Could this be the Welsh team?” We asked ourselves. Confident that they were, we began to run for if nothing else the running would warm us up. It was indeed the Welsh team and we felt a lot of relief that we were now ‘less alone’ in this wet, windy and progressively darkening hell.
Carnedd Llewelyn (Twice)
My next planned peak was Yr Elen. This rather awkward peak is quite a diversion westward from the generally northward direction of this final W3K section. The route I had planned takes a well-known short-cut around Carnedd Llewelyn following a contour line until you get to a saddle point between Carnedd Llewelyn and Yr Elen you then ascend Yr Elen, come back down, then ascend Carnedd Llewelyn from the western side then north to the remaining peaks. However, the brief glimpses we got of this short cut, looked like the contour we had to follow was around a perilously steep mountain side and furthermore the Welshman advised against this route in such bad weather. Heeding his advice we all decided that we should ascended Carnedd Llewelyn from the south side, down the west side, then up Yr Elen and down, then back up Carnedd Llewelyn again from the west side and then north to the remaining peaks. This means that we would be ascending Carnedd Llewelyn twice. In many ways, this prospect did not excite us, but we decided that it carried a much reduced risk of death; and so we began our (first) ascent of Carnedd Llewelyn, reaching the summit (3,491 ft), the 3rd highest summit for the whole challenge (after Snowdon and Carnedd Ugain both from the first leg) at 21:26.
We got our compasses out and took a bearing from the summit to Yr Elen, turned into the westerly wind that had battered us all day, and pushed forward one step in front of the other towards our 12th peak, rather frustrated with the knowledge that each step down Carnedd Llewelyn had to be repeated back up on our return from Yr Elen. The ascent to Yr Elen was uneventful and we reached the summit (3,156 ft) at 21:58 and began our descent back along the route we just took, and back up Carnedd Llewelyn for the second time which felt far steeper than just a moment ago when we were coming the other way.
With the cold really starting to reach our bones, and with the daylight now all but gone, we took a bearing north-north east from the summit of Carnedd Llewelyn towards Foel Grach, Carnedd Uchaf and Foel Fras, the last three mountains of the W3K challenge. The plan was that so long as we don’t fall off a cliff, or find ourselves going down a steep valley, we will be on the right course since the last three mountains are all on the same wide, relatively flat ridge. In normal daylight in good visibility we would be able to see a path, the final hills themselves, and everything would have been easy from now on, we may even have been able to run all the way to the end. The reality was that we could not see more than a meter in front of us, not everyone had head torches and for the life of us we could not find this damned foot path.
So following our bearing from Carnedd Llewelyn, we began to descend until the ground flattened off. On our way down, we saw some faint lights ahead and were amazed to find some more crazy hikers who decided at Ogwen valley that it would be a good idea to carry on and try to finish. They seemed very lost, staring blankly at maps and walking in a different direction to us. We stopped and spoke to them, showed them our map, bearing and general plan (to not fall off cliffs remember?) and soon our team had grown again. Stuart and I were now part of a group that consisted of Sam, who we initially met all the way back at Crib Goch and then joined our team on Elidir Fawr when his friend had to quit due to injury, ‘the Welsh team’ of three hikers who we had encountered many times throughout the route and caught up with and stuck with on the way to Carnedd Llewelyn, and now three new members who were possibly very lucky that we were in the vicinity at the time.
We all carried on in the pitch black fog, driving rain and wind, getting colder and colder with every passing minute and gradually running out of energy. Sam had run out of food and was now sharing my emergency snickers bars. We kept on the bearing, finding a path, then losing the path, then finding it again. Most of the time we were walking over long, sodden grass with the occasional stone put there to trip up night hikers like ourselves. The going was very slow and involved lots of caution to avoid ‘hidden’ ponds and mud pools lurking beneath the grass. At some points the visibility was so poor, I could barely see what I was treading on. It was difficult even to make out whether a bump just a metre ahead was a rock, or just a bit of grass or a slab of rock, or a mud pool. With the head torch on, everything was the same colour. There was no moon, and even if there was, it would not have made any difference through the thick fog.
After what seemed like an age, the ground began to rise again and we were ascending, before we knew it we had reached the summit of Foel Grach (3,205 ft) marked by a cairn. This was further confirmed by the slightly rocky and slightly steep descent just the other side. We were on the right track and feeling better.
We pushed on through more of the same terrain when after a short while the ground began to rise again and in a fleeting lifting of the fog, we could make out the outline of another hill, we were ascending Carnedd Uchaf, the penultimate peak in the challenge. Having reached the stones marking the summit (3,038 ft) we took our final bearing northeast to the summit of Foel-Fras.
At this point, I was beginning to get frustrated with the three ‘lost’ hikers we picked up on the way because they insisted we kept stopping to check the map. At this point I was shivering with cold, and fearful of hypothermia. The only thing keeping me warm were snickers bars, kendal mint cake and the energy I expended by KEEPING MOVING. This is all I wanted to do, and I knew that if we just kept moving north east, we would eventually hit a fence and wall which would take us to the final summit and back all the way down to the final meeting point at the car park. All we had to do was to keep moving. At one point, they had stopped again, because the fog had lifted and they wanted to check the map. None of them knew what to do with the map so in my frustration I took it off them and found that they weren’t even looking in the right place. One of their three revealed he had a GPS, but barely knew how to use it. He eventually was able to give us a grid reference so I opened up the map to the correct page, and showed everyone exactly where we were on the map. I then pointed to the final mountain on the map (Foel Fras) and then pointed to the silhouette of a mountain that had briefly revealed itself when the fog lifted. “This,” I said “is where we are. That is the last mountain which is north east from where we are, we just need to head for that silhouette, find the fence and wall and we’re home. Now please can we just keep moving?” After that, we kept moving.
To everyone’s relief we found the fence, which then became a wall. Suddenly the fear lifted, we knew that we had found our lifeline home and that we would be safe. The ground began to rise again as we ascended our very last peak. We reached the summit of Foel-Fras (3,091 ft) at 12:43 setting our W3K challenge time of 18hrs 50mins. As much as we’d have liked to have celebrated, patted each others backs, put our hands on our hips and stroll around all proud, there was, unfortunately, no time for that. We were all absolutely soaked through, freezing cold and feeling like we just wanted to get home.
The Final Descent
The walk back to the final meeting point was very long. All we had to do was to follow the fence/wall back to a bridle way and then onto the car park but this took forever. The ponds and mud pools had become larger, wider and more concealed. At one point, Sam leapt out onto what he thought was a rock in the middle of a pond in order to jump to the other side; it was not a rock but a small bush which just sank into the pond dowsing Sam up to his waist. People were slipping and tripping over rocks, losing balance and just falling over. Everyone was at the end of their energy reserves we were all our own worst enemies; unable to focus or concentrate on the ground ahead. Then, suddenly after about an hour and a half after reaching Foel Fras, a crackling noise occurred on the walkie talkies we had borrowed. This was good news because it meant we were approaching the car park and we were becoming in range of Liz and Lydia’s walkie talkie. Another 30 mins passed and eventually I could make out a voice! It wasn’t long after then that I was in communication again with the support team. At one point I asked the girls to beep the car horn which they did and we could hear it! “It’s just over there” I said to Stuart with renewed enthusiasm. We finally reached the bridle way where a short half-mile trek brought us down to the car park, we arrived at 3:00am.
All Stuart and I could think of at this stage, was that we wanted to be warm and dry. Liz and Lydia handed us towels, hot drinks, dry clothes, blankets and turned the car heater on. Poor Sam still had a way to go yet, his friend who left the challenge at Elidir Fawr had failed to arrive at the car park to collect him but we had no room in our car to take him anywhere. Our boot was full of bags, clothes and food, and our back seat had a large portable fridge. He continued on with the 3 others we met coming down from Carnedd Llewelyn who were able to provide a lift for him back to his accommodation.
We got back to our accommodation at about 4:00am and I went straight to bed fully clothed because even though an hour had passed since we finished, I was still shivering. It wasn’t until Sunday afternoon, after a full cooked breakfast in the morning and some coffee on the way home, that the euphoria began to kick in and I began to cheer up and revel in what we’d accomplished. I am very glad we decided to carry on at Ogwen valley, even though at around midnight on Saturday night I was beginning to question the sanity of ever trying to do it in the first place! Anyway, as with all these kinds of challenges, whether it’s the 3 peaks, or some other kind of foot breaking, mind bending, hypothermia inducing challenge, I’m even more happy about the fact that having completed the challenge, I never have to do it again.