I think you can get an idea of the friendship between Clare and I by her opening message to this chat; ‘I’m ready for ya’. I’ve known Clare since 2008 but it wasn’t until a fateful and spontaneous trip to see Wicked the Musical together that we became close friends. Always fun and bright our friendship has led to my more adventurous escapades. Clare hails from Lancashire and many weekends would entail 5 hour long train journeys to meet each other as teenagers. We’ve experienced a break in at a hostel, sleeping on sofas for a week in Chicago and rowing a boat across Lake Windermere. Often keeping in close quarters, Clare is always one to make a joke. Innuendoes fly high but Clare is always considerate and caring and it’s part of the reason Clare is so easy to have around.
Clare now works within the film industry in London and actually lives in the town I was born. We no longer have 5 hours journey’s to see each other but Clare is taking a journey up Mount Snowdon for charity. And I chatted to her about it.
Hannah: So you’re climbing Mount Snowdon – please explain where it is and how high etc etc for those who don’t know (me)
Clare: So Mount Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, 1085 miles about sea level.
Hannah: Nice copy and paste there, thank you.
Clare: I think it’s in Snowdonia National Park which is where we’re staying before the climb.
Hannah: Have you done anything like this before?
Clare: No never! I climbed a small part of Ben Nevis, in Scotland, when I was a child but I’ve never climbed a mountain before!
Hannah: I can’t not say Ben Nevis in a Scottish accent. I know you used to do running when you were younger, how have you found training for it? What has it entailed?
Clare: I’ve found training quite challenging to be honest. I’ve done a lot of walks as well as exercising at the gym twice a week. Tomorrow I plan to go on an 8 mile hike across Surrey to get a feel for the length of the actual climb. I’ve found Box Hill in Surrey to be a good training ground – the steps are a quite a challenge! Lets not mention all the kitkats I eat breakfast….
Hannah: Well you need your breaks Clare.
Clare: Haha true.
Hannah: Kendal mint cake
Clare: I love that shit. Apparently you’re meant to take sugary stodgy food up, like flapjack (any excuse).
Hannah: I think it looses its purpose when you eat it without moving.
Clare: I love a bit of flapjack I do. Kendal mint cake is such a weird experience like it’s solid but dissolves so quickly.
Hannah: The title of the blog post.
Clare: Strong opening.
Hannah: Have you gone like head first into the walking?
Clare: Yeah, I never actually realised how much I actually enjoy walking – because I spend my weekdays in London it’s actually such a nice experiencing getting out and about. Surrey especially has some really lovely locations to offer, which I’ve enjoying exploring. The only downside to going headfirst into a new hobby is the equipment – walking boots aren’t cheap!
Hannah: Oh god yeah, Millets you bastards.
Clare: Karrimor mate
Hannah: It’s nice that discovered you like something new you enjoy doing though.
Clare: Yeah, absolutely! I love it!
Hannah: And Surrey has some great views. Home county’s where it’s at.
Clare: Yeah I love Surrey. Reminds me Lancashire in a in a lot of ways.
Hannah: So you’re going up with your buds, who is making it up there with you?
Clare: I’m going with three other girls: two friends I know from university, Krystal and Becca and Krystals’ friend Alice.
Hannah: Have you trained a lot with them? Has that been helpful?
Clare: I’ve trained a lot with Krystal mostly, but we have all walked together. We’re all so supportive of one another. It’s really lovely. I think the mental game getting up Snowdon is going to be quite tough, so to be able to rely on such enthusiastic and encouraging friends is really helpful.
Hannah: Yeah it’s that little way in. Good to have the support and I know Krystal is great at that – you both are. How long will it take you?
Clare: I believe the average time for the track we plan to walk, the Pyg track, is around 3 hours up and 3 hours down. But apparently there’s a train that takes you up to the top, so it’s always a bit tempting to jump on that!
Hannah: So you’re all doing this for different organisations, is that how this came about?
Clare: Krystal decided to challenge herself, and we all jumped on board with the idea of climbing a mountain. It incorporates teamwork, charity and fitness; which is all accessible to us. The charity aspect came later when we thought we could actually do something for other people as well as something personal to ourselves.
Hannah: Can you talk a bit about who you are raising money for?
Clare: I’m raising money for Cancer Research UK. It’s a charity that’s close to my heart; my dad passed away in 2003 from cancer. So it’s important to me.
Hannah: It’s really admirable that you’ve taken a project but are using it to raise money and I hope that gives you the extra will to make it though the hard parts up there.
Clare: Yeah definitely!
Hannah: Are you going to do something special when you get to the top?
Clare: Photo op for sure! We’re filming the entire climb, so maybe a couple of words will be said. And a cup of tea in the café at the top for sure! (not me, not a fan of hot drinks)
Hannah: Oh yeah gotta get a selfie with Snowdon. Do you think this will motivate you to do more climbs and things like it?
Clare: Yeah definitely. We’re already talking about possibly doing the Three Peaks Challenge next year – three mountains in 48 hours! And one of the mountains is Snowdon!
Hannah: That’s so cool! And you’re walking boots will be well and truly worth the money. So my last question is who is going to look after Margo?
Clare: Haha, she’s been left alone for 48 hours before so I think she’ll be ok. She’s quite an independent soul.
Hannah: I mean I’ve seen her go, I reckon she could make it. Get her a just giving.
Clare: She could raise money for the RSPCA.
Hannah: Well I think you’re gonna do great and I really want you to go over your target. I think you’re gonna have a huge sense of deserved achievement and some cracking instagram pics.
Clare: I really hope so! It’s already been such a rewarding experience!
Hannah: I’m really proud of yoooou!
Clare: Thank yoooou!
We then go on to discuss the toilet situation, which I’ve omitted for the good of us all. But how cool, and it does make me feel tempted to go and climb some mountains. The gym twice a week though? Better start with hills.
Clare’s Just Giving page is here and she’ll be recording her climb for a youtube video which I will post once it’s up!