As part of April’s charity activity for Guide Dogs UK, members of the team took part in blindfolded walks. Whilst one took place in Blackpool, the other was held in Wales, as Group Content Manager Jess Clayton set herself the challenge of climbing Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) whilst being blindfolded.
Donning a blindfold and hi-vis clothing, Jess headed for the Llanberis Pass route, with Guide Dogs UK trainer, Yvonne Robinson, as guide for the 7.5km hike with 975m of ascent. The route is a tricky one, with a huge variety of surfaces, obstacles, trip hazards and dangerous drop-offs along the way. To add to the adventure of the day, fresh snow had fallen at the summit overnight, and temperatures in the region of -8ºC awaited the team (including support from Tracy Leeming and Ross Gellatly).
Jess chose the challenge because she’s a keen hiker, and spends much time in the mountains, but wanted to experience something she enjoyed doing from someone else’s perspective who would normally face considerable difficulties doing the same.
Speaking after completing the challenge, Jess had this to say:
To say today has been an experience is an understatement. It’s been emotionally and physically exhausting, but certainly a day that’s given me a greater understanding and appreciation of what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. I’ve summited Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) on more than a couple of occasions, but never had I conceived that I would do it blindfolded. I’ve found that I trust others more than I trust myself sometimes and that my occasional lack of faith in my abilities bubbles up into a frustrated terror.
Today was scary, exhilarating, humbling, and massively rewarding… in essence, everything that a challenge should be.
I can not thank Yvonne, Ross and Trace enough for getting me through today and allowing me to work through my self-indulgent temper tantrums! You guys all rock!!
Thanks to everyone else who supported us with donations and kind words of encouragement – it means everything! Guide Dogs UK is an incredible charity, helping visually impaired people to live an independent life, and do everyday things that certainly I have have taken for granted.
The Travel Village Group will continue to support Callum Stoneman in his efforts to raise £10,000 for Guide Dogs UK, and if you would like to donate please do so here: justgiving.com/page/callum-iggy