Popes and Panties

There’s not a weekend goes by in the season that someone – an individual or often a group of people – decides to walk up Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) in fancy dress. It might be to celebrate a birthday, a stag-event, a hen-do, or an anniversary. And quite often they’re going to raise money for charity at the same time.

Yr Wyddfa helps raise well over £1m a year for charities, just by being there!

It’s quite hard to be original these days, and over the years we’ve seen Stormtroopers (see a previous blog), the Pope (well, probably not the real one), men in women’s underwear, men in mankinis, a diver in full (old style) diving gear, people dressed in pyjamas or in dinner party outfits, superheroes, Mediaeval knights, Father Christmas, ladies in prom dresses, mewn in tutus …. You get the picture.

A Medieval knight at the summit. Well, why not?

Sometimes it ends badly, In 2017 a man wearing only a flimsy Superman outfit had to be treated at the summit for hypothermia. In 2012 a stag group dressed in pyjamas went up in a thunderstorm; they had no waterproofs, and only light footwear. Their inevitable rescue made the media, The Times commenting that “they did not even have dressing gowns”.

Animal costumes are also not a good idea; chickens, fluffy rabbits, emus (Rod Hull style), dragons and pantomime horses have all been seen. However, the wearer can easily overheat in summer, and these kinds of costumes are never waterproof. On one occasion a group planning to dress in giraffe suits to raise money for a giraffe charity consulted wardens, but were advised against it, given the conditions.

An elderly man once seen at the summit in carpet slippers wasn’t actually in fancy dress; he wore them to walk up because they were “comfortable”.

Naked people have even been seen on Yr Wyddfa (though usually sensibly opting to wear boots and to carry a rucksack).

Organisations often like to take up related items, so a boating group might carry up a canoe, firemen might carry a ladder or walk up inside a model fire engine, a surfing group might carry surfboards, and a Young Farmers group might carry up life-size farmyard animals. A group of plumbers once carried up a complete shower kit and constructed it on the summit, and a trampolining group took up a trampoline (in pieces) and used it at the summit.

On numerous occasions a fridge has been carried up, as have loaded wheelbarrows. Ironing boards have also been carried up (those doing it seriously also take a generator and actually so some proper ‘extreme ironing’).

Other feats have included walking up backwards, walking up on stilts, walking up blindfolded, leap-frogging up, crawling up on all fours, pushing a sprout up with your nose (it took 4 days and 22 different sprouts, but raised nearly £50,000), riding a unicycle, driving small remote-controlled cars up …

Needless to say, it’s mostly the Llanberis Path which witnesses these kinds of challenges.

And it’s all part of the fun. Long may it continue.

(See also our page on ‘charity walks’.)

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