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Snowdon Sunrise and Snowdon Day time walks..
It can feel pretty special eating flapjack while perched on a rock at the highest point in Wales simply drinking in the perfect views across the surrounding mountains knowing you’ve done the hard graft of walking to get there.
However that specialness takes on a whole new meaning when you know that all the effort you’ve put in to get to the summit of Snowdon will also help scores of hospital patients.
This year, over 200 people did just that by joining Large Outdoors in the Summit Snowdon Challenge in aid of four Midlands hospitals, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital.
In fact those challengers raised an immense £50,000 says the University Hospitals Birmingham Charity which is joining with Large Outdoors again for a trio of Snowdon challenges in 2020, two of which will involve hiking in the dark in time to see the sunrise at the very top.
Snowdon’s pulling power
According to the charity an increasing number of former patients, families and hospital staff are already chomping at the bit to don their walking boots and make the ascent to Snowdon’s lofty 3,560-foot summit, having listened to the experiences of previous challengers.
As the charity’s Fundraising Events Officer, Roisin Mooney explains: “Our Sunrise Snowdon Challenges are especially popular, getting the chance to walk up a mountain in the dark doesn’t come up very often so it’s a really exciting and fun event for people to take part in. In 2019 one of our Sunrise Snowdon teams was lucky enough to see an incredible sunrise with a full cloud inversion from the summit of the mountain. That amazing opportunity has made loads of people want to take part.
“The money raised this year has enabled us to fund equipment, research and facilities to help provide the best possible care for the two million patients who are treated across the Trust annually. Next year’s challenges will allow us to provide even more added extras that go a long way to improving patients’ hospital experience.”
The group camaraderie
Of course there’s nothing to stop people organising their own Snowdon hike but the charity says it’s the group element that really adds to the experience.
“From the moment our walkers get on the coach they’re meeting new people and making friends, and this friendship encourages them all to make it to the top of the mountain and back,” Roisin Mooney, explains. “Knowing they are all making the trek for the same cause also helps strengthen that bond which can really come into its own when the ascent becomes a bit little bit tougher.
“Crucially, it is invaluable to have incredibly friendly, knowledgeable guides leading the group as their help and support ensures our walkers are safe and means they can enjoy the experience far more.”
The 2020 University Hospitals Birmingham Charity events with Large Outdoors will be Sunrise Snowdon Challenges (23-24 May & 25-26 July) and a daytime Snowdon Challenge on 12 September. For more information go to https://www.hospitalcharity.org/shop/product/sunrise-snowdon-challenge-may-2020
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