Mt Snowdon

A few months ago Matt Smith visited and we went up the tallest mountain in Wales with the Kiwis. Were you aware that Britain as an island even had mountains? I was not. As I had grown up in a place where mountains are both 1) large, and 2) everywhere, it just hadn’t occured to me that the flat glacier-scraped plains of England would or could taper to a point.

We took the train up to Llandudno on the north coast of Wales. I was so nature-starved after months in the big city that even the dinky green hills and froppy surf of the Llandudno landscape got me excited.

Here is where I would post a photograph of the moutain, but it was so foggy that it took away all the majesty. We had no idea what we were climbing up half the time. We could see below us into the valleys — and the view was wonderful — but above it was just damp cloud.

The other extremely strange thing (to the visiting Alaskans and Kiwis) was how crowded it was. There were people everywhere. It felt far more like a pilgrimage up a sacred mountain than a hike in the wilderness. There was a dozen charity walking organizations, tens of schools groups, packs of people on guided tours, a race complete with trailside medics, cheerleaders and snack captains. We were on the most recommended and direct path up the mountain, I suppose, but none of us had anticipated it.

We actually stopped here on the way down, but it gives you an idea of the crush of humans

When we got to the top, we saw the trolley line that connects the summit to the base, a cafe/bar, and most bizarre of all, a stone staircase up to an artificial summit where you could take a selfie. There was at least fifty people in line.

Important summit selfies

Upon getting down the mountain we went to Sir Edmund Hilary’s favorite pub. He had apparently trained here before going up Everest.

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