Thursday, August 11, 2005

Amazing holiday facts - children can climb mountains

The Carey Family Conference (more another time, I hope) runs from Monday evening through to Saturday morning, but the "pre-conference" runs from the previous Saturday evening. This opens up further opportunities for ministry and fellowship on the Sunday and Monday. As a further explanatory note, my brother-and-sister-in-law are full-time Christian workers in Brazil, and being a keen walker, my brother-in-law won't pass up an opportunity to get into the mountains of Snowdonia.

So, being as how CFC is a mere two hours from Snowdonia, last year he took the opportunity to lead a group up Snowdon, which included me and my two older children (7 and 9 at the time) - our first time - up the PYG track and down the Miners', for those to whom it means anything.

Liz hadn't been up Snowdon for a long time, so was hoping to go with the two older ones again this year. However, the BIL decided that it was worth going for a different peak, and selected Y Garn (have another look at the map, if it helps - to be honest, I just followed the person in front ...). Hopefully that would mean we wouldn't be late for dinner this time on Monday evening! Liz was a little disappointed not to renew her acquaintance with Snowdon, but we decided to all go - conscious of the fact that it might mean carrying the four-year-old, from whom even a walk down the road normally elicits a request for a "carry".

And we did it! We were five of a party of about 19, several of whom were a Danish family. I don't know what they made of it - 900 m up a mountain when the greatest elevation in Denmark is about 170! It was cloudy - we got up to the lake under the mountain and couldn't see the peak (which probably helped - I think it would have been intimidating) - but decided to go for that rather than for a walk around the lake. The youngest got a bit teary on the way up - not particularly fatigued - we were all well-stoked by Mars Bars - but apparently uncertainty about doing something new and occasional fright at rather intimidating slopes. But she made it, with hardly any carrying. There is a photo of us on the peak below. (Well, them, anyway - I took it). There were some spectacular cloud effects - peaks rolling in and out of sight; cwm faces full of cloud; and so on.

The descent was probably the hardest work for me. We had a descent down a corrie wall, which had been stepped, but some of the steps exceeded the jumping ability of a four year old. So I had to make the descent myself, then turn round and lift the youngest one down. She was very patient - as were those people following us.

Inevitably, the children all recovered far more quickly than the adults did ....