I don’t generally blog about the days/weekends where I’m adventure guiding and tend to lean more towards posts on social media. This weekend, however, is the exception that breaks the rule!
A while ago my pal Belinda who founded Explorers Connect asked me if I’d run a wild camping weekend. I of course agreed as it sounded like fun. But, what can happen here, is that a range of experiences attend and that can bring certain challenges.
What did we do.
To begin with I hatched a plan but the weather in the lead up wasn’t nice. This meant that certain areas would be really boggy and that’s important when selecting a wild camp site. I also wanted to give people the best chance possible and even have a crack at a decent sunset/sunrise.
So the plan was adjusted, we met as a group, and then cracked on. Right from the beginning I knew it was going to be just fine! The group were all amazing and showed a super attitude. Naturally there was some anticipation and a touch of anxiousness as people hadn’t done this before and we had heavy rucksacks.
The plan was to traverse the Glyderau mountain range in north Wales with a wild camp in the middle. The weather was set to be fabulous but nothing prepared me for the awesomeness that unfolded…
We set off at a slow pace allowing people to warm up, chat, get chatting and start heading in to the mountains. Soon we were working our way up the slopes to the higher mountains and once we hit a nice level section we stopped for lunch. This was also our first view of how the valleys and ranges piece together. Three mountain ranges split by two distinct valleys.
After a nice lunch in the sun we pushed on further across taking in Foel Goch which was a pleasant surprise as we could pass below but we decided to summit. This makes me smile as it shows hunger and a great attitude. After pushing over Y Garn we dropped down, found water, and set up camp for the night.
We had a lovely dinner together, swapping stories, perhaps some rum was drunk and we toasted some marshmallows. We were careful to be away from the paths and ensure we were discreet with how we managed ourselves. After a 3am wake up call we went back up to Y Garn for a STUNNING sunrise and then back to tents for another kip, breakfast and break camp.
At this point there was a little nervousness as we had a big old scree slope to walk up. There’s no denying it, it’s less than favourable but these things are a necessary evil of getting to wonderful parts of the mountain. The group were AMAZING in putting one foot in front of the other.
They did so well. To this day I’m so proud. This then unlocked the terrain around Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach and we took our time to take pics and savour the experience.
We finished a little later than planned as we had an extra hour in bed. With glowing faces, big smiles and some sore feet, we debriefed/hugged and then went on our way. I have to say it’s up there with one of the most fantastic weekends EVER!
What I have witnessed is that Explorer Connect teams are hardcore. EC certainly seem to connect explorers with amazing attitudes to the world of adventure. A really big shout and thanks to the team - Neil, Freyja, Sarah, Miranda, James, Lisa, Viktorija, Julia and Lindsay.
You guys ROCKED that weekend…thank you for your attitude, willingness to stretch your boundaries, fun, laughter and togetherness. You’ve made this world a brighter place for being in my life now.
Words by Jason Rawles
This blog appeared originally on jasonrawles.co.uk