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The Snowdon Push part 2 - the descent

And so we set off. As the summit was quite level, there was still a bit of pulling to do to begin with, until Dan was in a position to free wheel himself over the rocks. However, whilst Dan’s wheelchair was seemingly well adapted, it was missing one key feature. Brakes. He was, therefore, reliant upon us to stop him from cruising over the edge of the mountain. No pressure…

Four of us stayed at the back of the chair, clinging onto the ropes to provide some resistance, whilst the others jogged alongside. This seemed to work well until we hit the slopes covered in the smaller rocks which simply gave way and tumbled down the mountain side with every movement. We quickly organised ourselves so that the heaviest members of the team were at the very back to provide the most resistance, but even then this wasn’t enough to stop a couple of people taking a tumble and sustaining a few cuts and bruises in the process. In the end we formed a human chain, clinging onto each other’s backpacks and hoping for the best. If one person fell, we all fell. With our thighs burning, calves screaming, and our knees on the verge of collapse, we somehow made it past the most dangerous part of the descent.

As the gradient started to become more manageable we picked up the pace again, jogging in tandem, passing another team and the man in the inflatable dinosaur costume. We stopped briefly at the Halfway House so that everyone could catch up, before resuming the jog. We made it back to the Llanberis Path in very good time, or so Dan told us. At this point we had no choice but to walk or risk falling and sustaining some serious damage. In some ways, walking down the hill was harder than walking up it. In addition to our knees feeling like they were on fire, we now had the added pressure of being a couple of kilometres from the finishing line and trying not to fall over and hurt ourselves and Dan in the process.

Once we reached the bottom of the path, the harnesses were once again quickly pulled through to the front of the wheelchair. Two further team members picked up the ropes and, on Dan’s command, did their best Usain Bolt impression and sprinted the last kilometre to the finishing line, dragging the wheelchair behind them. We received a few odd looks as we ran through a housing estate, past the train station and café, and across the main road back to Electric Mountain. With pride weighing heavy on our shoulders, our bodies switched to autopilot, and before we knew it we had crossed the finishing line. All that was left to do was collapse onto the grass and take it all in.

We definitely thought that we were in the top three, but when we heard the news that we had completed the Push in the fastest time, we were absolutely ecstatic. Naturally, Dan was also very happy to return the trophy to its rightful place in his home for another year.

 Support the Back-Up Trust

The Snowdon Push was a completely unique experience. It wasn’t easy, and required a true team effort, but the feeling that you get once you’ve done it is second to none and we had the chance to raise funds for an incredible cause. You can’t ever fully appreciate how hard it is for someone to live with a spinal cord injury and be confined to a wheelchair until you’ve met them and listened to their story.

Team JMW would like to extend our thanks to the Back Up Trust for organising the event and keeping us all safe, and to Rhys for lending us the wheelchair which made the impossible, possible. But most of all we would like to say thank you to Dan. He was the ultimate Mr Motivator, and trusted us enough to look after him and bring that trophy home. 

We are still accepting donations via BT MyDonate. We are close to reaching our target, but need a final push (no pun intended) to reach the £2,000 mark. If you would like to donate, you can do so via the following link: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/snowdonpushitrealgood 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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