Snowdonia - April 2016 by Victor C (WG)
On Saturday 23rd April, 2016, I embarked on my most treacherous journey yet. I've got to admit I was a little nervous as this was my second time rock climbing and the weather forecast said it was going to rain, but other than that I was so excited I woke up an hour earlier than planned. I have never been to Snowdonia before but have been told it is a beautiful place. They weren't lying. After a long 3-hour drive, we reached our location safely thanks to Mr Tamplin's driving and Ms Baker's supervision of him driving. All of us were fast asleep as soon as we got on the bus. We met up with our climbing instructor Matt, who is one of the most eccentric person I have ever met, mainly because of his jokes when I feel I am clinging on for dear life.
The first climbing location was Lion Rock in Llanberis. We reached the rock face, I geared up, attached the rope to my harness and started to climb. I have a long reach so it wasn't too hard for me, but I kept slipping as I didn't plan out which holds to use. As I climbed to the top of the face and gazed at the scenery, it was unreal. The environment I was standing in felt like a movie – everything was picture perfect. From every angle it all looked majestic. For anyone scared of heights in this situation, I am sure that fear would vanish and they'd want to climb to the top, to see what I saw. Even clinging for dear life, it is worth it to achieve something unique and push yourself to the limit. In the afternoon we climbed at another crag, called Bus Stop, and then in the evening we went to a nice restaurant which was famous for pizza. The best thing was that you can create your own pizza with the most bizarre toppings like egg. Safe to say that the food on the trip was nothing short of exquisite and delicious.
On the second day, during breakfast Matt gave us 2 options. The first was to do more rock climbing and the second was to do something that James Bond did in almost every movie – abseiling. Everyone chose option 2 because it was something new. So after a 15 min drive with Mr Tamplin singing "Let it go" from Frozen, we reached the top of a 30m cliff. Once Matt finished setting up the abseil he asked "Who wants to go first?". All 7 of us kept quiet as we didn't know it was THAT high. Eventually Matt volunteered for us as some people were procrastinating out of fear. I was third and when it was my turn and I was dangling at the top of the cliff, Mr Tamplin took a picture of me. Once I was a quarter down of the cliff, Matt told me to jump as it was faster. So I imagined myself as a spy and tried to jump, hopefully looking cool whilst doing it. Not the best idea because I didn't know where I was jumping and eventually got hit by branches. So instead of being a "spy" and looking cool, I looked like someone having a seizure on a 30m cliff. Eventually I reached the ground and watched the others descending out of the sky. This is one of the most must-do activities for a bucket list.
In the afternoon we went to another crag, called Australia, that was full of discarded pieces of slate from the old mines and Ms Baker found a perfect one to make a new clock. After ascending some very impressive climbs, with sore feet, I changed out of rock boots and proved Matt and Mr Tamplin wrong by climbing a slabby climb with trainers on. With a lot of shouting and slipping, I reached the top. Even though I got scrapes and bruises from it, it was worth it.
Everything was worth it and not a single minute wasted. Two things I've learnt on this trip. First, doing life-risking activities you get to meet new friends and really bond with them. Second, by testing and pushing myself I was surprised by how much I could achieve. To appreciate this trip, I didn't have to be an expert climber nor a gym fanatic that could do pull ups with one hand – it was worth it for the experience alone.
Thank you Mr Tamplin and Ms Baker for organising this trip. I speak for all of us that we had a great time because of the activities (and not the KFC / McDonalds on the way home!