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Upper Years Snowdonia Trip

Last academic year, Daniela had an idea. That idea was realised during an arduous eight-hour journey to the glaciated Snowdonia National Park of northwest Wales. It was like something out of Middle Earth; menacing and silhouetted mountains peered down on us as the coach snaked its way through the valleys. Some had that ‘what have we got ourselves into’ feeling, but local hobbits Tom (TR), and Tom (TWR) felt right at home, chirping until we arrived at our sanctuary, the YHA Snowdon Ranger. Arriving at 12.15 am, our little luxury was having the place all to ourselves.

Day 1 – Prologue

On minimal sleep, the Upper Years had to get their game faces on as many of them were about to descend from altitude hanging from a zip wire. Year 11 were lucky enough to go on ‘Velocity’, Europe’s longest and fastest zip wire, travelling a mere 165km/h! Over at ‘Titan’, Year 10 got to try out three different zip wires. All stood up to the daunting challenge, and a particular mention must go to Leon (Y9) in this regard. Those not doing the zips had a great time horse riding along the valleys.

Later that day, Tom’s (TR) parents came along to say hello and some Year 9s had a run in with the Llanberis bee population. To calm matters down, we took the Snowdon Mountain railway up to the top of the peak. A mixture of approaches was taken; some refusing to touch the top as they hadn’t earned it yet, others charging to the summit just in case it didn’t happen the next day. Of course, any concerns would prove to be unjustified.

In the evening, some windswept faces celebrated not one, but two birthdays – Steph (Y11) and Beth (Y9).

Day 2 – Snowdon

There was a quiet anticipation when leaving the hostel in the morning, no one knew what to expect. After a stop-start first kilometre, the Upper Years fellowship found their rhythm and made light work of the grueling climb into the clouds – ‘high-vis’ indeed. We made the top in an excellent time of 2.5h.

At the summit, there were smiles, souvenirs and a palpable sense of satisfaction. We had done it! Every student was, and should continue to be proud of themselves for such an achievement.

The descent was busy and technical, but Tom (TR), in the comfort of local surroundings, set a blistering pace. Welsh mountain goats on energy drinks was a topic of discussion. Despite the harsh terrain, there were no incidents apart from Dhelia (Y9) being caught off guard by suspicious rock movement.

Seeing the bus at the end was a welcome sight for many. Everyone had accomplished the same; the Upper Years now bound by the same mountain. This could become a rite of passage for our HCH students. We arrived back at school at 9 pm, precisely when we meant to.