As the launch of our first ever watch, the RACER X1, draws closer a brilliant idea pops into my head. Why don’t I hike up a mountain and do a photoshoot? I can take all three RACER X watches, the X1, X2, X3 and take photos of them in the great outdoors with an impressive backdrop. I’m not bad with a camera. I have all the gear. What could go wrong?
I explain the idea to my adoring wife. She looks at me in that usual way that says, ‘okay Will, whatever you say’.
The closest tallest mountain that is accessible by mere mortal is Mount Snowdon in Wales. It’s a 4hr drive from our house if we take the motorhome. We have to navigate through the heart of the midlands to get to Wales which is notoriously bad for traffic, made all the worse because I would be travelling at rush hour on a Friday.
The trip would not be the same without at least one of my daughters accompanying me, so Bella who is 12 years old agreed to supervise. The motorhome was packed and stacked to the rafter with BBQ meats, corn on the cobs, some kebabs, and a deluge of snacks namely Clubs, a giant toblerone, hoola hoops, a bag of eclairs, a large bag of fruitella, an assortment of Mr Kipling cakes, and some shortbread. We deemed these essential to the success of the mission - getting to the summit.
I picked up Bella straight from school in Hannah the Hymer and we headed straight for the mountains. We had reserved a spot at a nearby farm that had views of the mountain. We arrived at a respectable 8pm on the Friday evening, just in time for a pizza and a beer before we settled in for the night.
Our ascent of the mountain would be via the Llanberis Path. This is apparently the longest and easiest of six paths to the summit. We headed to the base of the path only to find that parking Hannah in the car park was strictly prohibited. £100 fine. This was a problem. It was 50:50 whether I should just chance a fine or move to a different car park. Luckily, another carpark which was only a short distance away did allow motorhomes (or rather, there was no mention we couldn’t) so we parked up and started our walk.
It was a beautiful day. Not too hot, not too cold, and hardly a cloud in the sky. This is the point at which deciding whether to take a coat or not could make or break your hike. We both decided that a hoodie would be the right option. Fingers crossed.
It was unsurprisingly busy for a bright, sunny, Saturday morning. It was interesting to hear all the different accents from other people climbing, the main one being the scouse accent. And it was also interesting to see what people had chosen to wear.
We reach the top which took Bella and I two and a half hours. Not bad at all. I was however sweating buckets, while Bella was still hopping around like a mountain goat. So much energy! It was extremely busy at the top and in true British fashion there was a queue to the summit which lay approximately 25 metres ahead of us. How I was I going to take photos with that queue bearing down on me I did not know. In the end we decided this wouldn’t be ideal and we found another spot just as good on the south side of the summit.
We sat down and ate our packed lunch of sweaty, squashed, ham/cheese/pickle sandwiches (we had forgotten to pack silver foil and instead had to make do with cling film…), followed by a couple of kilos of chocolate, cake, shortbread, and sweets.
Now let’s get these photos done. With an audience of Liverpudlians looking on with amusement I began to carefully place the watches on top of the summit marker, a rock about one metre in height with a beautiful backdrop to the south side of the mountain. ‘The man clearly likes his watches’ came a comment from the crowd. ‘Don’t be daft, he’s a professional photographer’ came another. ‘What’s he doing all the way up here’…. and so on. Bella was in hysterics.
I’m not saying this put me off, and I had to be quick because it was still a busy photo spot for many people, but let’s just say my photos were…okay.
It was time to descend, which proved harder on the knees than the climb itself. Interestingly it took just as long to get down as it did to reach the top. Once we returned to the campsite it was time for the BBQ and a firepit. Bella said it was the best BBQ she had ever had. While the photos of the watch weren’t great, the real success from this trip was the quality time spent with my wonderful daughter. She will only be this age once and I intend to fill it with the best memories. Thanks kiddo for the best time. Love you!