UPDATE - Challenge completed!
Jonathan completed the Welsh 3,000s on Monday 23 June. Despite poor weather over the last few weeks, there was a window of good weather . . . a real answer to prayer. Jonathan started the challenge at 3.20am on Monday, in the company of Bethan Haine (another local 17 year old who wanted to try the crossing to raise money for her gap year project). In about 2 hours they had climbed Crib Goch, Crib y Ddysgl and Snowdon. The long trudge up Elidir Fawr slowed their pace down a bit, and the long rocky descents of Glyder Fach and Tryfan took a toll on their knee joints. But by now the early low cloud had broken up to an afternoon and evening of sunshine.
The final range of the Carneddau has 7 summits over 3000 feet high, and the long climb up Penyroleuwen onto the range almost brought Jonny to the point of giving up. However, guts and determination kicked in and once on top of Penyroleuwen he had a fresh burst of energy. The 15th summit, Foel Fras, was reached in the last light of dusk, at 10.45pm. By now, Jonny's knees had stopped working properly and he was yelping in pain with every step. The descent over Drum would normally take about an hour, but it took Jonny two and a half hours.
The challenge took a total of 21 hours and 55 minutes.
Thank you to all of you who sponsored Jonny on this adventure. He is very much looking forward to joining SIM in October for his training, before heading overseas in January for his next challenge. Thank you also to those who encouraged and prayed for Jonny - he felt very lifted up at those most difficult times in the challenge.
Jonny writes: 'Many of you know that I have recently been accepted to do a gap year with SIM, a Christian organisation working in many parts of the world. After a two month training and orientation course at their headquarters in Suffolk, I will then be sent out on a placement to either Africa, Asia or South America for six months from next January. The decision as to where I go will be made in the autumn when they see what projects are the most suitable for me. I am particularly interested in working with street kids through the use of sport and hopefully the project I get involved with will include this.
'The down side to this exciting news is that I have to raise £6,000 – £8,000 to cover all the costs. I have decided to take on a sponsored challenge to try and raise some of these funds. After my A levels are over I am planning to attempt the Welsh 3,000s. We have set aside the last week of June, the weather forecast deciding the best day.
'There are 15 mountains in Wales over 3,000 feet high. The aim is to try and climb all of these inside 24 hours without use of any transport between the mountains. This involves around 38 miles over rough mountain terrain, and 14,000 feet of ascent. It is a tough undertaking and by no means a foregone conclusion that I will make it. We will start around 3.00am from Pen y Pass, first crossing the most dangerous of the mountains, Crib Goch – with its knife edge ridge - whilst still fresh. Snowdon will be third and the craggy peak of Tryfan number 8. The last mountain, Foel Fras will be late the following night.
'If you have any thoughts or questions about my gap year please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thank you very much for your interest and support. I will let you know how I get on.'