Mind Over Mountains
Sunday 24th September 2023
Women in Law Kent began 2023 with a number of goals in mind. One of them was to dream big, and not to set any limits on what we can achieve and experience as a group.
A charity climb to support Young Minds
On Sunday 24th September 2023, WILK will be climbing a real mountain together. Keep reading for details on how, when, where!
Storey Arms Outdoor Education Centre/Car Park,
12 noon, Sunday 24th September 2023
ESTIMATED LENGTH OF HIKE:
We will be taking the traditional circular route, of climbing one track up which is a little rockier underfoot, and then descending via the ‘tourist route’ which is essentially a long gravel path all the way down to the ground.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Google Mapping the above postcode is the easiest way to do it. I would recommend downloading the Google Maps route just in case your phone struggles with being in remote Wales (although I have not had an issue with this yet!).
Storey Arms is located at the base of Pen Y Fan. It is the only light coloured building, and there is a red telephone box outside it.
There is ample parking. Options are Storey Arms car park, over the road a further car park, or just parking on the grass verges around the road for free. Many cars do this. If you do end up driving past Storey Arms in search of this and go too far, you will see a large lay-by in which you can turn around.
WHAT YOU NEED:
Although this is a mountain climb, it is a very popular tourist destination and the vast majority of people who come here are not professional hikers. You do not need fancy gear in order to climb the mountain safely. That being said, the below gear is recommended to maximise your safety/enjoyment.
Sensible shoes that you can walk in. You will be walking on rocky paths and stony tracks, with only one small stream crossing that can usually be done without wetting your feet. Shoes with some grip and support would be ideal.
Comfortable walking clothes. Depending on the weather in late September it may or may not still be sunny; as a rule, Wales is cooler than England. We would recommend bringing clothes that you can
An extra warm layer. It will become cooler towards the top of the peak as the elevation rises. Mountain weather can also turn quickly and although it may seem sunny at the start, it is safest to bring a warm option in case it changes.
A waterproof jacket. As above, the weather can change quickly.
Water. This will feel like a workout; participants must bring their own water.
Hiking snacks. An energy boost half-way round is sensible given that we will be hiking over the lunchtime period, and also to keep up your energy levels during the climb.
Backpack. We will be on our feet for a few hours. We do not want anyone to be suffering shoulder/back pain from taking a tote bag up a mountain, and would suggest you use a bag that you can put on your back. This will also free up your hands to climb onto the top most rocks on the route!
WILK will carry first aid emergency equipment in the hope we do not need it. You are of course welcome to bring whatever you think you may need if it sets your mind at rest.
ABOUT THE MOUNTAIN:
Pen Y Fan is truly a sight to see. It is the highest peak in South Wales, and located in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It stands at 886m above sea level.
The climb towards the top of the mountain is a path among mountain moorland.
The author of this document, Magdalena, has climbed Pen Y Fan numerous times and would not have suggested it if there were any concerns at all about anyone’s safety in doing so. It is also a popular tourist destination where small children and those with limited hiking experience frequently enjoy a one-off climb as we intend to.
However as a group of lawyers WILK does need to be clear that we are not professional athletes or mountain experts and that participation in this challenge is undertaken at everybody’s own risk. We will do our very best to keep everyone safe as far as we are able.
The only reason this event would not go ahead is if the mountain forecast indicates that it would be unsafe to attempt the climb. If this occurs, then another date will be found and we will reschedule. WILK will confirm to participants by email on the week commencing 18th September 2023 if this is the case or not – while we certainly hope not, we do need to pre-warn everyone that sometimes circumstances will be out of our control.
We see climbing the mountain as more of a life achievement than anything else, but we are inviting our supporters to consider donating to Young Minds.
Young Minds are our chosen charity of the year, and we felt that this challenge was a great way to bring attention to the need for mental health recognition as escaping into nature can be a truly magical way to cope with the demands of life in the law.
Please see below our fundraising link, for any and all donations in support of this challenge:
Gemma - 07539 379708
Megan - 07854 096821
Please note that phone signal around Pen Y Fan will probably be non-existent for some of you (I rarely get signal there myself).
For communication purposes, I will wait in the nearest town of Merthyr Tydfil (17 miles/35 minutes away) until 11am, in order to pick up anyone’s messages who may be lost/unsure/needing help.
I will then set off to arrive at Storey Arms before 12.
It is up to you whether you would like to drive to the start on the morning of Sunday 24th (usually around 4 hours from Kent including a stop), or whether you would like to make arrangements to break up the long drive with an overnight stay.
WILK is not going to formally arrange any accommodation as everyone’s travel arrangements will probably differ, however please note that if you do wish to stay, there is a Premier Inn and a Travel Lodge both located in Merthyr Tydfil.
In terms of facilities on the day, there are portaloos in the Storey Arms Car Park. There are also a number of hot food/drink vans that also sell snacks/other things at the foot of the mountain – we would advise bringing cash for these (they do take card, but sometimes the weather can affect the card machine signal!).
Otherwise, we would recommend making a stop in Merthyr Tydfil en route for toilets/other sorts of food (there’s a McDonalds, Asda superstore etc).
There are petrol stations in Merthyr Tydfil (Asda and Apple Green) for fuel top ups as well as many others on the drive into Wales.
Q: I don’t have hiking boots/shoes, can I wear trainers?
A: Yes, you can. It is for you to consider whether you can walk comfortably in them for a few hours or not, and if they can withstand uneven terrain.
Q: I am worried I won’t be fit enough, can I still come if I don’t exercise/hike regularly?
A: Absolutely. We will be taking the climb slow and steady, and it is a walk. Much of the lower part of the route is a slow incline, with the real ‘mountain climb’ taking place in approximately the final third. Once we reach the peak, it is downhill all the way!
Q: How intrepid is the route/terrain?
A: We will be on a path at all times. This will be either rocky/stone/gravelly. As mentioned previously there is one small stream crossing which can be done by stepping on stones. There will be no hiking through bog/long grass.
Q: Can I bring my partner/family/friends with me?
A: Yes! This is an event open to anyone and everyone who wants to come and support us and try out a new adventure.
Want to join us?
... then please get in touch!