Bangs Conquers Snowdon!

A recent report by Chris Bangs  (1964).....

As my 60th birthday and retirement after 35 years in the Civil Service appeared on the horizon, I (and my G.P) realized that I was in pretty poor physical condition and needed to do something to get into some sort of shape to have much chance of enjoying a ripe old age and the pension I had paid into for so long.

My weight, blood pressure and cholesterol were all out of control so I started a regime of trying to eat more sensibly, giving up alcohol and increasing daily exercise. In 18 months I has lost over 7 stones in weight and got my blood pressure and cholesterol back on track.

My youngest son, James suggested that if I was really serious about getting fitter I should set myself some sort of a challenge. Rather than running a marathon, his first idea, I decided on going up a mountain.

If it was to be a mountain, the only one of the biggest would do. So now I was committed to the ascent of Mount Snowdon, and the time was to be during the first week of Whitsuntide 2010.

Family party at the start. Chris Bangs is second from the right

As soon as my family heard of the plan I was delighted to get offers of being accompanied by my two sons, daughter and son in law, two nephews, their wives and a great niece and great nephew- with a support team to include my grandson (who has just had his first birthday). Supporters were to take the Mountain Railway up to the summit and meet walkers with a picnic.

Knowing the vagaries of the Welsh climate, we booked a clutch of holiday cottages for a week, but the pressure was to get the attempt done early, as some of the party had work commitments.

Sunday 30/05/10 was selected as the day to go. The weather was good, but with it being a bank holiday weekend, no train tickets up the mountain railway could be booked for the supporters. Anyone who wanted to ascend would have to walk it.

The next fly in the ointment was parking. The guide books advised an early start, but we found we were still unable to get parked near the trail and had to traipse a mile and a half to the start of our chosen route, the Pyg Track.

We set off and went off at a good pace. Some of us made an error and instead of staying on the steep, but reasonable path, took a wrong turn onto the Crib Goch- a rocky scramble that scared the daylights out of me and had me retracing my steps after a mile of sheer drops and tricky clambering.

Back on the main path things settled down.

Half way

The views were spectacular and we made it to the top for a well earned picnic. The youngsters, their mum and my son in law (nursing an Achilles tendon injury) got seats on the train down. We set of down the more gentle, but longer, Miner's Track. Don't let anyone kid you that going down is easy. When you've done 3.5 miles and gone up 3000 feet your legs get a bit heavy and it seemed a real slog.

We got down by tea time and went back for a BBQ.

It was a fantastic experience and a real family bonding time.

Made it!

After deciding to do this challenge I thought why not turn it into a way of doing some good for others, as well as myself? I therefore sought sponsorship from all my generous friends, acquaintances, colleagues, family and the generous folk of Glossop (where I have lived for 20 years) to raise funds for Crusaid, one of my pet charities. I've raised over £300, so far.

If you want to sponsor me (even though I've done it)- feel free. Details are below. Another challenge surely beckons!   

Crusaid is a charity helps people in the U.K. and worldwide who are affected by HIV/Aids. These people often face prejudice, poverty and isolation to compound the health problems they experience.  Their families often have to cope with all of these, coupled with the stress of providing long term care and, all too frequently, bereavement.

Donations/sponsorship can be given securely on line via :


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