A group of intrepid Oswestry fundraisers recently took on the Snowdon at Night Challenge, in aid of the mental health charity Samaritans. Although poor weather conditions prevented them from reaching the summit, they were delighted to raise over £8,000 thanks to donations from family and friends.

The event, organised by Charity Challenge, involved trekking the 9 miles of Llanberis path up to the summit of Mount Snowdon and back, starting at midnight on Saturday 16th October. The team of sixteen consisted of staff and members of Zest Women’s Fitness, Strength & Pilates Studio in Oswestry, as well as other friends and family keen to tackle the mountain for a good cause.

Training for the challenge began back in June of this year. The group practiced together with monthly walks including Rodney’s Pillar, Gyrn Moelfre, Nescliffe, the Panorama walk at Llangollen and Cadir Idris, but team members also logged many hours of hiking individually. Zest gym even held special Snowdon training classes every Saturday morning for those taking on the challenge, and anyone else interested in improving leg and cardio fitness.

Though conditions were initially dry and mild, heavy rain and strong winds began in the early hours of Sunday morning. The group completed three quarters of the Llanberis path, passing Allt Moses, (approx. 800m elevation) before the mountain guides decided that the conditions were too dangerous to continue. As well as the downpour, the wind speed on the trail ahead was at minimum 45mph, with gusts over 65mph. Disappointed, but satisfied that the guides had made the right decision for everyone’s safety, the team headed back down and finished their journey a little earlier than planned, at 4am.

‘It was a tough, but rewarding night,’ said team member and Zest fitness instructor Louise Aust. ‘At certain points the wind was so strong it blew us off balance and the rain, once it had started, was constant. You could see the raindrops flying by horizontally in the headtorch beams!

‘Yes, we were disappointed not to reach the summit, but we are amazed and delighted by the amount we’ve raised together for Samaritans. It really has made the months of training and the cold, wet night on Snowdon worth it.’

Every day, Samaritans volunteers respond to around 10,000 calls for help. The charity’s vision is that no one should die by suicide, and they work tirelessly to provide support for anyone who is struggling to cope. If you would like to learn more about or donate to the organisation please visit samaritans.org

Pictured The team on the night of the climb.