We have raised an astonishing £866.96 for Coventry Haven! Thank you so much to everyone who has donated!
On Saturday 1st September, 15 brave members of UWMXDHC hopped into cars in various points around the country, gearing up for some hefty road trips to the little town of Llanberis, North Wales, to climb the 2,372 ft ascent that is the magnificent Mount Snowdon the next day.
After 2 months of fundraising and prepping, we were hyped. As a club we’re so passionate about our chosen charity, Coventry Haven, and ever since stepping into my role as Charities & Welfare Officer I knew I wanted our first event of the year to reflect our big ambitions for fundraising over the next 9 months or so.
While I was confident that we were an outdoorsy lot and people would be keen, the idea of a sponsored Snowdon climb felt initially ambitious. It’s a really, really big challenge and is no ordinary hike, with a quite a few scrambly rocky sections involving actual climbing, so I was expecting maybe 5 or 6 of us to take it on. But the 15-person response from the club was phenomenal and just reinforced what I already knew about the determined and good-hearted nature of UWMXDHC.
A rather intense and eventful group game of Articulate in the Youth Hostel lounge (sorry to respective YHA Snowdon residents and staff for the screams and shouts of exasperation) meant we all hit the hay at around 11pm, giving us an 8 hour sleep to soak up all the energy we would need for the next day. And some more than others – as part of our fundraising, several members were nominated to do challenges – more on that below…
While the weather had looked hopeful in a ‘light-cloud’ sense leading up to the weekend (BBC weather obviously sensed my anxious checking and wanted to keep my hopes up) we stepped out on Sunday morning to a light but consistent drizzle of rain. But mere water droplets could do little to dampen the fire in our hearts – our spirits were high, and we left the sanctuary of the hostel to get the bus (cheeky warm up for the U1 next term) to Pen-y-Pass which marked the beginning of our chosen route, the Miners Track.
The bus journey marked the beginning of our charity challenges as Nick was treated to a full face of makeup (lovely eye-shadow work El) including impressively applied mascara for a bus journey. He was also challenged to hi-5 every hiker that walked past us, which I can firmly say he valiantly completed, even in the face of some heart-breaking parrs right from the get-go. Other challenges included a sing off to The Climb which was originally supposed to be Ryan vs Mary but descended (or ascended?) into a group singing (if you could call it that) sesh as we neared the summit (other features included the entire Les Mis musical). Resident dad-jokester Sarban was challenged to swim in the lake, but in true altruistic style, 6 others took his place, Aslan 4 Edmund style, and took to the mystical misty lake as I laughed along uneasily trying to remember the ‘hypothermia’ bit of the risk assessment. But luckily the squad were prepared enough with towels and spare clothes to change back into after their mountain swim.
The ascent took us a nifty 3 hours and 15 minutes, and I was blown away yet not surprised at the amazing team spirit that carried us up there. Everyone helped and supported each other (Nick and Tommy even helped a random lady down a particularly difficult scrambly portion we had just ascended, ever the gentlemen) and at no point did morale drop, despite the increasingly windy and wet nature of the climb the further we went. I don’t think anyone had ever been so pleased to see clear man-made steps in their life as we hit the last couple few metres to the summit. After group pics, lunch, hot drinks, and even a bottle of prosecco in the café at the top, we started our descent, and to our joy the clouds began to clear and we started to get better views of the stunning scenery (and sheep) of Snowdonia National Park. Taking the Llanberis Path down, we ended up walking right back into Llanberis and made it back to the Youth Hostel at around 4.30pm.
I am so proud of everyone’s fundraising efforts, the huge achievement of pushing through the adverse weather and scrambly rocks and making it to the top, and the attitude everyone carried throughout. It marks the beginning of a great year of things to come for Mixed Hockey charity activity, so watch this space!
Thank you SO much to all who donated, you are angels and we and Coventry Haven are so, so appreciative. <3
Your Charities & Welfare Officer,