Welsh Mountain Ponies
Snowdon and the mountains that surround it can pose a threat to those who best endure their slopes. Summer travelers may feel lost as night falls or stumble from one of the many fatal falls within reach, and those who are unprepared can quickly find themselves in trouble. In winter there are even more dangers and the purpose of this article is to make people aware of them.
Sir George Everest may never have set foot on the mountain, let alone the Everest Base Camp trek, yet he was honored to have the highest mountain in the world named after him. This was because his job was to refine and perfect the trigonometric equipment for the Big Survey of India, which he led as a general field surveyor. This enabled the first accurate measurement of the true height of the mountain by his successor Andrew Waugh, who named the highest peak in the world in honor of the Everest plant.
About a century later, in 1952, Sir Edmund Hillary expanded the Welsh connection by choosing the Pen-y-gwryd Hotel in the Snowdonia Mountains as a base to prepare him for his Everest trekking mission. The hotel still functions as a popular pub and resting place for hikers trying to climb the famous Mount Snowdon. When you visit the Pen-y-gwryd Hotel, you will even see a pair of Sir Edmund’s famous walking shoes in the bar. Since the tavern was the center of the Everest Trek expedition for half a year, today it is a mecca for Everest trekking memorabilia, with newspaper clippings featuring images from the 1953 expedition.
Charles Evans, a surgeon, continues Everest’s Welsh connection. Growing up in Wales and fluent in Welsh, he was the designated main climber of the 1953 Everest trekking expedition and the first man to reach the top of the mountain. But only 300 meters before the summit he and his climbing partner Tom Bourdillon had problems with their oxygen equipment and unfortunately had to return to the Everest base camp.
Although many Britons have successfully completed an Everest trek, the first Welshman only reached the top of the mountain in 1995. The man in question was Caradog Jones, who later told the press that his team was under great pressure to convince the subordinates that they had the strength to continue their Everest trekking mission.
While only a few Welsh have ever reached the summit of Mount Everest, many more have gone to Everest Base Camp. One of the most interesting stories is Cardiff cricket captain David Kirtley, who organized a team that played a 20-over-cricket match at Everest Base Camp and successfully raised £ 250,000 for charity. The 31-year-old ignored the idea two years ago after discovering that the flat plateau of the Everest base camp was very similar to the Twickenham oval stadium.
The mountain has been successfully climbed by people of all nationalities, but it is still clear that Wales has a special place in its heart. After all, the country not only gave the mountain its name, but also the training ground for one of the most successful Everest trekking missions ever.
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