Moffats matrons Katy Link and Sam Whyte successfully completed their “Welsh Hike Challenge” on 17th and 18th August, walking almost 20 miles and ascending over 8,000 feet in the two days.
The challenge, to climb the three Welsh peaks Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen y Fan, was helped by perfect weather, affording superb views from all three peaks.
Sam and Katy left Moffats on Sunday evening, and after spending the night at a campsite in Nant Gwynant were parked up at Pen-y-Pass early on Monday morning, and were climbing the Pyg track by 7:30 under beautiful clear skies. The summit - 3,560 feet (1,085 metres) was reached three hours later, and by 12:30 the girls were back at the minibus, having descended the gentler Miners’ track.
Lunch in the car park, then the 40-mile drive to Minffordd at the base of Cadair Idris. Despite being 630 feet shorter than Snowdon, the walk involved starting at a much lower altitude, so the girls now faced 3,360 feet of climb - to follow the 3,300 already climbed on Snowdon! This was, unsurprisingly, the toughest part of the challenge, but with plenty of time and a glorious day Katy and Sam reached the top of Cadair after 3 1/2 hours, and celebrated having completed half of the challenge!
The descent, by the same Minffordd path, was slow and careful, but made more interesting by encountering, then escorting, a young French boy who had become separated from his father and sister half way down the mountain. Apart from the happy ending of reuniting the boy with his family, the episode also helped take minds off the pain of the descent, and by 8:30 the girls were enjoying a chip supper in Dolgellau, delighted to have completed two of the three peaks without any alarms.
Tuesday started with the 90-mile drive to the Storey Arms car park below Pen y Fan. The last peak was the easiest of the three, with only 1670 feet of ascent along a very well made and mostly gentle path. Again the weather was glorious, and Katy and Sam joined a host of other walkers making their way to the summit. This was reached at 1:00 p.m., and the girls then enjoyed a gentle and leisurely descent by a less trodden path.
The matrons arrived back at Moffats at 5:30 p.m, 47 hours after departing, exhausted by their accomplishment but delighted to have completed the challenge.
“The biggest incentive was the thought of the money we have raised through our sponsors giving so generously,” Katy said. Sam agreed: “I couldn’t have made it without the wonderful sponsorship we have received.”
The amount raised currently stands at £1,215. If you are inspired by Sam’s and Katy’s achievement, please visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/moffatsmatronschallenges - it would be wonderful if we can push the amount over £2,000.
Congratulations, matrons! what a fantastic achievement!
Katy will be walking again in October, this time taking on the Long Mynd Hike, 50 miles in 24 hours.
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