It was a huge honour and something that exceeded all my expectations when I was asked to carry the Olympic torch to the summit of Snowdon.
It seemed a bit of a cheat to go by train but I was told that it would have been logistically very difficult to do it on foot. My police escort was also looking after the miner’s lamp carrying the Olympic flame which had been collected in Greece and carried back in these lamps.
It was great having my two nephews, Suilven and Liam with me, but I wish I had had my Keswick family, son Rupert, Ann & my grandchildren, Emily & Will there as well.
Quite a few runners were going up almost as fast as the train!!!
For me this was a sentimental journey – my climbing routes are around Snowdon – it was where I started too climb over 60 years ago, did some of my best routes and spent many months over the years amongst these lovely mountains. Above is Clogwyn du’r Arddu, arguably the finest crag in the British Isles, where I did some of my best early climbing.
At the Station and visitor centre just below the top of Snowdon my torch was lit from the miners lamp.
and I ran out through a big friendly and enthusiastic crowd.
I’ve never seen so many people on the top of Snowdon.
It was good to see plenty of Welsh flags as I got to the top. I did feel a bit concerned that I, an Englishman rather than a local Welsh climber, had this pleasure and honour, but I had spent much of younger climbing hearts in Wales, as indeed had so many of my climbing friends – especially Joe Brown, the greatest rock climber of us all. I hope they won’t mind me representing them.
I felt I had to climb up onto the trig point to be truly at the highest point but confess to having trouble getting my balance. The BBC helicopter is in the background.
It was a wonderful feeling standing there on top of Wales and England surrounded by so many warm friendly faces.
On the way down everyone want to touch or hold the torch. It was a delight to share this with them.
Above is a group photo with the children from the local primary school back at Llanberis station – and practically all of them got an individual photo holding the torch.
The support team of the Olympic relay were fantastic – they work incredibly hard and are so enthusiastic and friendly. They are doing a great job as they help the torch around the country before the games.
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