Nine and three half peaks
The GORE-TEX Experience Tour challenge was to complete the Fourteen 3000ft peaks of the Snowdonia National Park. The real challenge turned out to be the weather, with the most severe conditions in living memory for this time of year.
Undeterred by the alpine conditions, and equipped with the latest GORE-TEX products from brasher and Mountain Equipment, the GORE-TEX Experience Tour team headed to Snowdonia last week to take part in what is undoubtedly one of the most memorable week’s walking any one of them has ever experienced. Even the experts from Plas y Brenin who led the ten winners from five different countries were astonished by the harsh weather, which sadly ultimately led to the team’s downfall.
Day 1 got off to a great start. Kitted in the new GORE-TEX Pro, crampons and an ice axe all of the winners demonstrated the grit and determination that had won them a place by successfully reaching the peak of Tryfan. The conditions were not as expected, but despite this spirits were high.
With Day 2 came the sunshine and a fantastic day taking the total number of peaks to six. Elidir Fawr, Y Garn, Glyder Fawr, Glydwr Fach and Pen Y Gwryd were all ticked off the list in one picturesque day.
On Day 3 the weather started to throw its full fury at the team who spent most of the day walking in white out conditions. Everyone was really determined to succeed and thanks in no uncertain terms to their GORE-TEX products they captured Pen Yr Ol Wen and Carnedd Dafydd. As the team made their way to the next peaks in the range – yr Elen and Carnedd Llewellyn – the weather turned and even though they were tantalisingly close to both 3000s they had to turn back
Snowdon, the best known and highest mountain in Wales, was the target for Day 4. The Pyg Track looked glorious in deep snow, but as the team got higher and higher drifting snow and stinging spindrift made the going very tough. On the advice of Dave Evans, the team’s lead guide from Plas y Brenin the team had to come off the mountain before summiting.
Unfortunately this was the last of the Fourteen Peaks that the team would attempt. The forecast on Day 5 included fifteen centimetres of snowfall, blizzard conditions and avalanches! So, the final total was nine and three half peaks, which under the circumstances was very impressive.
“Our winners did amazingly well. They all showed the passion for the outdoors that we hoped for and were determined to succeed – whatever the weather. We are delighted that they managed to experience the benefits of GORE-TEX product technology and enjoy some of the most stunning scenery they’ll ever see in the UK,” explains Anna McNamara of Gore.
More pictures here: Flickr.