Here is what I learned.
This June I did my first gill scramble. As a relative newcomer to the world of climbing and mountaineering, I wanted to gain experience planning and navigating a route whilst climbing something slightly different. So when a heatwave struck I grabbed a friend and headed for Sandbed Gill, a grade 4*** scramble in the Lake District.
Here is what I learned.
There are often so many routes you can pick to ascend a popular mountain, especially in the UK. So why is it that some people want to take a harder way up to the top?
A question I would never ask!
I’m a climber, so taking a challenging route is what I do.
However I have hill walker friends that don’t understand why I would ever want to take a more vertically challenging route?
When my outings in the mountains were all as a walker, I used to be astonished at the sight of lean and lithe runners, usually wearing the skimpiest of shorts and skipping along rough paths and up and down hills like mountain goats. Now that I too run in the mountains, I often receive comments from the walkers I meet: “I wish I were as fit as you”; “I’d never be able to do that”.
But the truth is that you don’t need to be some superhuman athlete; runners of all abilities and fitness levels can get out and enjoy themselves in the mountains.
Here are 8 tips to get you started:
For a mountain lover, Snowdonia needs no introduction.
Home to Wales’ highest mountain and a recognised AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), the National Park is a staple for adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts.
As the highest peak in Wales and one of the Three Peaks, Snowdon garners much attention, not only from seasoned hikers, but also from tourists looking to get out into the wild. The railway that travels from Llanberis to the summit carries nearly 150,000 passengers annually, opening up the possibility of standing atop one of the UK’s highest points to everyone.
Whilst this is fantastic for opening up the mountains to everyone, and tourism for the National Park, the ease of access makes Snowdon a very, very busy place. Personally, one of the reasons I love the mountains is the tranquillity and the sense of wilderness...
Not at Snowdon’s summit, however.
Swathes of people queue to take a selfie at the trig point, whilst hundreds more file into the cafe to buy refreshments. Again, this is great as far as inclusion is concerned but it’s not what I want from a day in the mountains. Not at all.