If you’ve never heard of Mollie Bylett,
where have you been?
If you have, you’ll know she’s a young, fun, adventurous travel blogger, whose enthusiasm is overwhelming and whose blog is fascinating and inspiring.
This post is about how I ended up hiking Snowdon with Where’s Mollie and over 50 other people.
Just a few months ago Mollie created a Facebook Group (Global Travellers) for anyone with an interest in travel to share their ideas, tips and events. She then decided to take this one step further and organise her own even – to arrange for 60 people to spend a night in a hostel and then hike the tallest mountain in Wales: Snowdon.
For anyone this would be a huge undertaking, but with her undying enthusiasm, excitement and encouragement we all arrived, made new friends, completed the challenge, and left feeling that we had all just been part of something special.
For me, this was going to be a challenge in more ways than one:
I’m not the most confident person when meeting new people.
The great things about the Facebook Group was that we could all chat, arrange car-pooling and generally introduce ourselves, before the nerve-wracking aspect of turning up and meeting complete strangers. We could simply put names to faces and enjoy the weekend.
I’m one of the most unfit people I know (and I’ve never hiked before in my life)
I have never been interested in sport or exercise, in fact I have actively avoided them. However, in the last year or so, as my interest in travel has increased I have discovered a new found liking for walking – hiking though was never on my radar.
I was unsure how I would manage completing such a demandingly physical challenge.
This was more that just a small stroll. This was heading out on a hike, that takes on average six hours, including scrambling over rocks and on uneven surfaces. Ten years ago I would have laughed at the suggestion, five years ago I would have rolled my eyes, even one year ago I would have though it was ridiculous.
Back in 2007 I had spinal fusion surgery due to suffering from the condition Scoliosis, this meant that I was unable to walk, stand or sit for long periods of time before needing to either move around or lie down to relieve the pain in my back, neck and hips, I would also need to catch my breathe due to restricted lung capacity.
Arriving and Meeting the rest of the Global Travellers:
Mollie had arranged that everyone (!) would be staying at the beautiful YHA Snowdon Bryn Gwynant, a lakeside Victorian mansion surrounded by woodland and stunning scenery, for the Friday night. I arrived at around 6:30pm after a 5 hour journey to find quite a few people already there, as rooms were allocated and we all gradually started meeting each other and introducing ourselves we all became much more relaxed.
The great thing about meeting in a Facebook group was that most people had already chatted, arranged car-pooling and asked for advice regarding the hike and what gear to bring. This meant that for a lot of people it was just a matter of putting a face to the name.
After initial introductions and a dinner there was the added bonus of a campfire, toasted marshmallows and delicious hot chocolate, more chatting, laughter, photographs and talk about the next day’s adventure.
Hiking Snowdon with Where’s Mollie
Arriving at Pen-y-Pass car pack we slowly began our ascent, we took the Pyg Track up and with the pleasant weather and the stunning scenery it was easy to see why Snowdonia is such an attraction to so many people.
This track is definitely not the most strenuous, but you still need a degree of fitness to keep a decent pace and reach the summit in a reasonable time. I was one of the last few people in our large group to reach the top (3.5hours) – I would have liked to have been a little quicker but I found the last 20 minutes or so of scrambling and climbing particularly tiring.
Reaching the top we were all slightly disappointed, low heavy cloud and mist meant a complete lack of view, but the point was that we made it!
Head into the café area for a break – their heated flooring is a godsend.
After food, drinks and even more photographs it was time to head back down – we took the Miner’s Track, and although this is a much quicker descent it can be a little tough on the knees and ankles.
This only makes up half of the track though, once you pass the lake (more photo opportunities and snack breaks) the track is much easier.
I arrived back at the car park in a decent 2.5 hours with the beginnings of the dull ache in my shoulder blades. However, this was soon pushed to the back of my mind as we all remembered the prospect of the hot meal that was waiting for us.
Overview of Where’s Mollie Global Travellers
This may have been the first event of this type that Mollie has ever arranged, but it was without a doubt a success. Not only did she arrange accommodation, dinners, packed lunches, goodie bags and a hike for nearly 60 people (and she didn’t lose a single one) she also managed to create a group where complete strangers encouraged and supported each other and left having made brand new friends.
That is something she should be incredibly proud of.
I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Mollie Bylett for organising such a fantastic weekend
Lydia Collins for every gorgeous photo in this post
Have you hiked Snowdon?
How was your experience?
Let me know in the comments.