Protecting the Peaks Together

Snowdon: Grafters and Doughnuts

Volunteers and Warden Helen Pye on the PyG Track
Volunteers and Warden Helen Pye on the PyG Track. Photo by Dan Lane

On the weekend we embarked on a major challenge – carrying out repairs and maintenance on all three mountains of the Three Peaks Challenge. Sarah Lewis from the John Muir Trust has written a great blog on their adventures on Ben Nevis, there’s an update coming soon from Scafell Pike and here’s a little update on our adventures on Snowdon.

Volunteer Branwen McBride
Volunteer Branwen McBride

The team of volunteers met very early on Saturday morning at Nant Peris car park with much enthusiasm and joviality. We couldn’t all park up at Pen y Pass as it’s normally full by 7:30am on a weekend so shuttle runs in our Wardens trucks it was. Branwen – one of our volunteers – proclaimed that this was one of the main reasons she turned up for the day. After experiencing Rhys’ (Assistant Area Warden) driving up to Pen y Pass I think she regretted her decision…!

And so at Pen y Pass the challenge began – our aim for the day on Snowdon was to clear out every single blocked drain on the PyG track. A tall order but with the levels of enthusiasm and energy in the group I was quietly confident!

The challenge begins....
The challenge begins….

The first section of the PyG wasn’t too bad and we worked our way up to Bwlch y Moch quite quickly. But as we got higher the drains and culverts were increasingly heavily blocked with loose gravel and litter along with a smattering of random objects including a false nail; a euro coin and a AAA battery.

Volunteer Chris (one of the main perpetrators of bad jokes) in action
Volunteer Chris (one of the main perpetrators of bad jokes) in action

It was great to have huge support from passers by and the enthusiasm and energy of the volunteers really did blow me away. They just kept powering their way through the blocked drains, with a few doughnuts, yum yums and bad jokes to help them on their way.

After a full on day of grafting we finally got to our last drain and the gang attacked it like a mad bunch of squirrels – this was probably the worst drain of the lot to but within 20 minutes it was clear and running beautifully. Back we then trudged on the long trek down to Pen y Pass finishing with a much deserved thank you drink for all the volunteers at the YHA. We completed the day at 5:45pm, and although everyone was absolutely exhausted spirits where still on a high.

A huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped out on the day: Jason Rawles; Ross Worthington (RAW Adventures); Chris Littlehales; Gareth Dean; Branwen McBride; Lou Dee and Dan Lane. You were all truly amazing!!

Volunteers and Warden Rhys Wheldon working above Glaslyn
Volunteers and Warden Rhys Wheldon working above Glaslyn. Photo by Dan Lane