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Climbing Snowdon with IBS… Because There Are No Toilets!

We couldn’t go all the way to Snowdonia and not attempt to climb Snowdon. However, I’m not entirely sure I knew what I was letting myself in for. But, sod it, because I bloody well did it. I made it to the top. I mean, I should probably say we made it to the top, because Al was there with me and the main reason I made it.

I think I went in to this naively thinking that it’d be a flat path with a potential incline to the top. Maybe a few steps and stones.

My god, was I blindly optimistic.

I did a lot of research in terms of what to wear and pack but not the actual routes and what they had in store.

I made sure I was wearing comfy sports gear; leggings, sports bra, vest top, tee and a huge hoodie. I also bought some mega cheap walking shoes for both of us so our ankles were supported.

We packed water, cereal bars, fresh fruit (berries, grapes and bananas that ended up super smooshed at the bottom of our bag), Frazzles (sooooooo goooooood) and rice cakes.

We wrapped our feet in blister plasters, smothered our faces in sun cream, went for one last pee and were on our way.

And I can’t say I wasn’t worried about my IBS. Because I was. The fact that the trail is 6 hours up and down and that there are NO LOOS on the way could have been terrifying. Usually this would send me into a complete meltdown but I got bad car sickness on the way due to all the windy roads and I couldn’t actually think about anything else other than trying to not vom my Cornflakes back up.

It definitely worked in my favour.

When we arrived, I made two trips to the loos to be on the safe side – couldn’t help it – and bunched a load of loo roll into my hoodie pocket, just in case. Then I told myself to forget about it and focus. I could worry about it later (shout out to worry postponement training from my CBT sessions).

I decided that if I needed to go, I’d hide behind a rock, find some extra soft leaves and get my husband to create a protective shield round me, shouting “nothing to see here, folks”. That’s love.

Any way, none of this is even relevant because I didn’t even need a pee let alone a poo. And that’s over the course of 5 hours.

The climb. Well, was my body in for a shock or what.

We chose the Miners Track, because Al had completed it before with his mates and loved it. He knows my need to be near water and this track has three beautiful lakes to take in.

I strode off with purpose and determination, on a mission to nail it. And I’d like to tell you I found it easy but who am I kidding, I am not fit in the slightest. As soon as the path ended and we hit the rocks I was a sweaty mess, breathing like bloody Darth Vader.

All of which Al found fucking hilarious.

We had to keep taking pauses so I could regulate my breath and get some feeling back in my jelly legs.

I got frustrated when we saw people coming back down from the top looking fresh-faced and joyous when I was such a dripping mess.

I worked muscles I didn’t know I had.

I climbed rocks, worked out paths when we got a bit lost, admired the beauty and calm and I fell over a fair bit, mainly on the way down.

But we made it and bloody hell it felt good.

Apart from being nearly blown away, we stood at the top, clinging on to the podium trying to keep my contact lenses in, admiring the epic views and taking cheesy selfies.

It was epic.

7 Tips to Make it Up Snowdon

Get there early. The car park for the Miners Track is small and gets busy pretty quickly, and you don’t want to be parking elsewhere and waiting an hour for the bus back. We arrived for 8ish and parked easily.

Choose a weekday. I can only imagine how nuts it could get peak summer holiday season with all the tour buses arriving. We went on a Thursday and it was nice and quiet when we started before getting busier around lunchtime on our descent.

Wear proper shoes. Seriously, your feet are going to need all the support they can get. You need ankle comfort and you want grip. I picked up these Gelert’s from Sports Direct for less than £20 and they did the job.

Pack smartly. We saw a lot of people carrying whopping great rucksacks, whereas we’d packed fairly lightly in a little drawstring bag. Classic. We packed enough snacks to tide us over, a bottle of water each, painkillers, plasters and our waterproof jackets.

Wear layers. The weather report gave us a mixed bag so we wore layers that would be easy to strip off or pull on. I spent the majority of my time in my tee as I am a sweaty Betty, however, it was bloody windy and chilly at the top so needed the hoodie. We left before the rain came.

Stop to take in the scenery. We took a lot of pictures but none of them really do the magnificent views any justice. It was bliss.

Give others some support. What spurred me on was others on their descent telling us we didn’t have long left and that the worst was over. The sense of camaraderie was priceless and encouraged us to do the same on the way back down if we saw someone struggling.

Read more about our Welsh mini break: Taking Some Much Needed Time Out in the Welsh Countryside

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