Thursday, 5 September 2013

Oggie 8 Challenge – 8350ft of ascent – 17 miles of walking! – 3rd August 2013

Registration/rucksack inspection commenced at 6.30am with a 7am start to pit your strength, stamina and endurance against eight 3000ft+ Peaks that surround the Ogwen Valley in Wales.

This was Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation’s (“OVMRO”) 6th year of running the event with a target of £10,000 of funding to be raised.

In early April Paul Hodges had issued invites to walking friends to join “Team Siabod” in the challenge.  On the morning all six turned up to help OVMRO achieve their fund raising target and to help them to help others!

We were one of 19 teams from across the country entering the event.

The Route
The route took in the following mountains:
  • Yr Elen 962m
  • Carnedd Llewelyn 1064m
  • Carnedd Dafydd 1044m
  • Pen yr Ole Wen 978m
  • Y Garn 947m
  • Glyder Fawr 1001m
  • Glyder Fach 994m
  • Tryfan 917m.

Our performance/times
We were on the first mountain at 8.30am, Carnedd Llewelyn at 9am and Carnedd Dafydd at 9.30am where we had a short break to eat and drink.  While it was a great day weather wise for walking it was cold on the Carneddau as it normally is and I put on my shell, cap and a pair of gloves.  We were on Pen yr Ole Wen at 10am and then it was a steady descent to the Ogwen Valley below and along by the lake side to Idwal Cottage which was a feeding stop with food and a selection of welcomed drinks.  Here you could also fill up your water bottles.  We were in 5th place and the team in 4th place, not that far ahead of us.

Next was the ascent of Y Garn which is a very demanding ask and I got there at 12.47pm!  This took me 1hr 12mins to get to the top.  My best time here is 1hr 6mins so I was pleased with my performance considering I had done four large mountains earlier in the day.   A team member was struggling with blisters and cramp so while the rest of the team waited his arrival I pushed on with my next target of Glyder Fawr firmly fixed in my mind.  As I was reaching the top I could see four of the team coming behind me (one had taken the escape route down Devil’s Kitchen which was so wise) and it was good for us to reach the top at 2pm.  It was then an almost level walk with a bit of scrambling onto the top of Glyder Fach at 2.35pm.  It was then down the Miners Track to Bwlch Tryfan which for me proved difficult and seemed a lot longer with tiring legs.  The scramble to the top of Tryfan was enjoyable and here we all got to the top at 4pm as the 4th place team commenced their decent.

Going down again proved hard as we had once again to descend to Bwlch Tryfan and then it was a bit of debate as to which path we should take but after discussion it was seen to be “Heather Terrace”.  Having done this demanding route (never again I hope!) in error we surrendered our opportunity of catching the team in front of us and permitted the team behind us, who rightly descended via Cwm Tryfan, to cross the finishing line ten minutes before us.

At 5.24pm we crossed the finishing line in 6th position in 10hrs 24mins.  This was a challenging event but ever so enjoyable with excellent team spirit.  We had kept together as a team for most of the day.  The winning team came in with a fantastic time of 7hrs 48mins.

Thank You
Organisation of the event can only be described as excellent and a massive thank you to all the helpers that were involved in making this a very special day for all the teams who took part.

Alas we could not wait to take part in the party afterwards and as we were driving we left after enjoying a plate of fish, chips and mushy peas from the catering van and alas having to leave behind all the beer that had also been laid on!

Talk was that we would participate again next year with two teams of four.

Further Information
Photographs of the event can be seen on and see links on

13th August 2013

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