sNOwdon

34. Climb Snowdon

Hey! Are you a fan of sweating from every orifice? Do you crave the feeling of searing pain through those things you call legs? What about the total enjoyment of actually considering throwing yourself to imminent death off of a mountain 3,560 feet above sea level? WELL if you answered yes to all of the above, boy – you are in for a REAL TREAT!

Paddy McGuinness

I’ve always been a fan of the outdoors; fishing, countryside walks, bike rides – the lot. I reckon this stemmed from being forced to ride around our local reservoir every single Sunday with my family, rain or shine. I used to work as a phone chimp at Nationwide (represent) many moons ago, and I remember one week there was a load of buzz about the ‘Three Peak Challenge’. After a quick Google, I found out that it was a challenge to climb the three highest peaks in the UK, consecutively. Bollocks to that, I thought, so I decided when I had the chance I would pick up my lady balls and climb one. Lowe and behold, Mount Snowdon metaphorically fell into my lap. My first attempt fell by the wayside when at the last minute, my boyfriend chose a football match over our trip (big up the Foundry FC) so after that devastating blow of selfishness on the ball and chain’s part (I hope you’re reading this Frankie) we soon had another date in the diary, and we were to be joined by our friends Arnold and Marianne.

Pon route to WAY-ELS we had the grand old decision of picking which route we wanted to complete  – my colleague Trish explained if you’re driving all that way to just tackle the hardest one (can I just add at this point,  it actually states the trail we took was only to be attempted by experienced climbers and scramblers) So, all in agreement, the Watkins trail it was. We started the trail, and within the first five minutes we’d started the uphill walking. A battered and bruised sign, that would later resemble our legs, told us the trail would take us approximately six or seven hours. SIX OR SEVEN HOURS!? I could binge watch at least eight eps of Making A Murderer in that time I remember thinking. Let us fast forward to two hours in, the path was no longer a path, it was now boulders the size of my Nan’s Nissan Micra that we had to get on our hands and knees to scramble over. Marianne, or Le Petite Goat as she was so adequately named, was flying ahead, followed shortly by the resident motivator Arnold. Frankie and I were coming up the rear (that’s what she said) and it was TRECHEROUS. We then got to this absolutely amazing view, and for a moment, after catching our breath, there was an air of calm and genuine appreciation. We all took five minutes to gaze out over the valley and over this aquamarine hued lake.

Marianne view

WE HAD DONE IT! My moment of elation was absolutely shat upon when a man with ski poles pointed up to what I can only describe as a Mordor-looking ridge and whispered ‘no love – it is up there.’

pyscho

The ascent had now turned into a full blown operation, we were actually scaling Snowdon. To add some context, I am absolutely petrified of heights and you’re parallel to a sheer cliff edge. This bit was the hardest push, our legs had turned to jelly, there wasn’t too much to hang onto apart from falling scree and I was absolutely bricking it. This part of the Watkins path took about an hour and was genuinely petrifying, but soon enough we had reached the top! To celebrate this monumental success, we treated ourselves to a cider and a pasty and took in our absolutely beautiful surroundings.

 

The descent took us around three and a half hours, and wasn’t actually the worst thing ever, but we opted not to take the Watkins trail back (praise da lord) and finally made it to the pub for a sausage and mash. For me, it was physically one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to complete and even though I have littered this blog posts with complaints, I’m actually now motivated to complete the other two peaks; Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike. I took myself out of my comfort zone and really pushed myself to complete what I set out to do, so fuck it – give it a whirl (if you dare!)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowdon

Why Not?

I was a pretty naughty child growing up; think tantrums, playing truant and generally being a complete shit. I was selfishly living in a bubble of always wanting to have what I couldn’t have and yearning to be where I shouldn’t be so when my estranged parent/sperm donor  Jacob used to tell me no, I’d whine ‘WHYYYY NOTTTT.’ That phrase always had a negative connotation in my younger years. Little did ten year old Freja know – this double-entendre was going to end up forming the very foundations of her young adult life..

The teenage years came along, and I’d like to say I shed my cocoon of being a troublesome tyrant, but if we’re buttering bread here –  I was still the same. However, the phrase ‘why not’ had started to evolve. Instead of it holding me back, it was pushing me forward. I started saying yes to things that took me out of my comfort zone, that challenged me and it felt fucking great! ‘Why not’ gave me a kind of fire in my belly, and a freedom within reaching distance. It broke down barriers and limits became non-existent. I felt like I was living.

Let us fast forward to the present. What does ‘why not’ mean to me now? I feel like I’ve gone through the motions of heartbreak to evolution. I’ve metaphorically gone from crying on the bathroom floor listening to Bon Iver to contently smiling to Rusted Root. I’ve found a mutual understanding with ‘why not’ – we get each other, we’re like homies. Those two words have taught me I can do all of the things I’ve wanted to do, to see the world, to develop relationships and to kick the social boundaries that were chaining me to monotony.  I am no longer self-doubting, mentally anchoring myself to ‘I can’t,’ because I know I can. In the least egotistical way, if I can inspire anyone to do anything, it would be to say ‘why not’, because, why wouldn’t you? Now go on, go kick some ass you wonderful humans.

Oh and – 70. Add to tattoo collection

Why Not