I remember the first time I climbed a mountain... I hated every moment of the path to the top. I was very young, but but if memory serves me correctly it was a foggy, wet, windy and down right miserable day as my Dad, brother and I headed up the Miners Track on Snowdon early one morning. I didn't want to be there, I moaned and complained for what must have been 90% of the way.
What I remember most though was when we finally reached the summit (after what I remember to feel like an eternity). The clouds cleared, the wind calmed and I could see further than I'd ever been able to see before, and for once, nothing and noone was taller than me. All the slogging and hard work had paid off, and although my socks were soggy and I was freezing cold, I had made it. I felt on top of the worldand from then on... I was hooked.
We all have fond memories of the mountains from when we were young, we don't realise it at the time but it often shapes who we grow up to be and can have a tremendous effect on physical and mental wellbeing. This is why when Somerset Bridge Primary School got in touch with us at the Alpkit Foundation with an opportunity to help a group of school children have their first mountain experience, we couldn't say no.
We spoke Shane Stevens about why the schoolisundertaking the project...
These children come from a school with an above average number of disadvantaged pupils.
This project will give them an experience of camping and of accomplishing something special, ascending their first mountain. During the two day trip they learn how to erect a tent, cook healthy camp food themselves and ascend a mountain in Wales.
Some of these children have never experienced the outdoors and the confidence this experience gives them enriches their lives and teaches them they can do it and anything is possible.