The mountains are calling

I’ve lived in Norfolk the flattest part of the UK all my life, but yet I have a deep love for mountains but I’m not sure why. Is it because having lived in Norfolk the mountains seem like a mysterious place that I only see very rarely? Is it because my earliest childhood memory is of visiting Switzerland with my family? Or is it because my Mum passed her same love for mountains onto me? Whatever the reason they have a strong hold on me and they are calling………..

My ultimate running goal, if there is such a thing as an ultimate goal is to head to Mont Blanc and the start line of UTMB. The Ultra Trail Mont Blanc is part of the Ultimate Trail World Tour, the race starts in Chamonix and continues through France, Switzerland and Italy before returning back to Chamonix 103 miles later and I will have to up my game considerably if I am to complete this race, but I know with training and my usual determination I can do it if I set my mind to it. As I’ve already said my earliest childhood memory is of visiting Switzerland and France with my Mum, Nanny and Grandad, and crossing that finish line at UTMB will be a emotional affair as it feels like something I have to do for my Nanny who passed away but also because my Mum would love to return to Switzerland and what better reason to take her back there than to cheer me on, so again the mountains are calling………

During the course of the past couple of years for one reason or another I have spent a fair amount of time in Wales walking and running in the mountains, so much so that it’s starting to feel like a second home, and so far this year I have entered 2 marathons in Snowdonia, am planning a 3 Peaks Challenge and recently come back from a Sea Shepherd UK adventure weekend in Llanberis, which is a highlight of the year.

Although I love the mountains the strange thing is I had never climbed any of the big ones until the Adventure weekend last week when we climbed to the summit of Snowdon. It didn’t look likely we would be able to make it when we set off because of there being snow and ice towards the summit, and at the time I would have been happy to get as far as we could and head back down but as we got nearer I knew that I’d be disappointed if we didn’t make it, but the snow and ice had made the conditions pretty bad and the path was incredibly slippery, but after going a little way we decided we could maybe make it and decided to push on for the top. We spent the next hour or so making slow progress but we reached the summit and it was bloody freezing and snowing.

It has to be said at this point we would never have made it without the help of some great people and fellow Sea shepherd volunteers (you know who you are). We couldn’t see a bloody thing but this only added to atmosphere and although I had icicles hanging off my eye lashes and my hands were going numb I can’t think of many times I have been happier and felt more alive, being at the top of Snowdon it feels like a living being, and it’s easy to see why it has cast a spell over people since the beginning of time. At this point the weather was getting worse so we decided to make a sharp exit back down, this is when things became really exciting and we had a few very hairy moments, again I’m really not sure what we would have done without the expert help from those great people again. There were some sketchy moments but we all made it down safely, feeling cold, wet and knackered but very very happy and with a real sense of achievement and wanting to do it all again, and still the mountains were calling………

As a few of you will already know Hannah and I have a plan to move to Wales and live off the land and that plan is slowly coming into fruition, climbing Snowdon has only inspired us to move on with this plan quicker. Since last weekend I have been unable to think of pretty much anything other than trail running and of taking groups of people out on courses running in the mountains, hopefully inspiring them and nurturing a love for the mountains and being outdoors, to be able to head out of the door and straight out onto trails and to have those mountains as our playground will be a dream come true but for the moment though we still live in flat Norfolk and still the mountains are calling……..

3 Comments

  1. claireriches
    09/04/2018 / 08:31

    My parents and my sister live in North Wales opposite Portmeirion and my earliest memories are of my dad taking groups of students to climb various mountains while mum prepared huge meals for them to eat when they returned. I climbed Cader, Tryfan and others in my youth but never Snowdon. I was hoping to climb it with my sons but they beat me to it so I did an NSPCC night climb a couple of years ago. I felt absolutely amazing when I reached the top even though it was dark and I couldn’t see much (a bonus for me as I am scared of heights). I have lots of connections in North Wales who may be of help to you in the future.

  2. 13/04/2018 / 09:56

    Good luck – I hope to read about your journey to realise your dreams!

    • poweredbytheveg
      13/04/2018 / 11:07

      Thank you

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