back to archiveMatt Elliott's story
My parents were both keen hillwalkers, and I climbed Snowdon for the first time when I was four years old. My early walking experiences instilled a real passion for the mountains and for Snowdonia, and I have since spent a huge amount of time walking here.
My interest in the 14 Peaks (Welsh 3000s) was stimulated when my father completed the challenge for charity in 12 hours with two friends. They decided to reduce weight as much as possible by sleeping on the top of Snowdon in binbags. I remember being very impressed by this!
My first attempt at the challenge was as a group of four in June 2004. Although we made it as far as the summit of Pen yr Ole Wen, bad weather and a lack of collective fitness meant that we decided to turn back before the finish. However, two weeks later I returned for a solo attempt, camping in a tent near Snowdon’s summit. This time I was successful, finishing in 13 hours 20 minutes.
I completed the Welsh 3000s again in March 2008, solo and unsupported. This time I decided not to camp on Snowdon, but to climb Crib Goch on the morning of the challenge. This ascent was particularly exciting (and a little scary!) as it was in the dark, with a few small patches of ice. Once the sun appeared the weather was glorious, and a layer of snow on the Carnedds made for a memorable ending to this traverse. 14 hours 30 minutes was my completion time.
I am in the mountains of Snowdonia at least once a week, and have walked each section of the Welsh 3000s route a large number of times, using many different variations. After much research I created the website www.welsh3000s.co.uk/ which contains detailed information on the route and how to plan for the challenge.