Carrying the Olympic torch to the summit of Snowdon

Sir Chris Bonington - carried the flame to the top of Snowdon

Sir Chris Bonington – carried the flame to the top of Snowdon

Sir Chris Bonington, mountaineer – carried the flame to the top of Snowdon.

It was a huge honour and something that exceeded all my expectations when I was asked to carry the Olympic torch to the summit of Snowdon.

Police escort with the miner's lamp

Police escort with the miner’s lamp

It seemed a bit of a cheat to go by train but I was told that it would have been logistically very difficult to do it on foot.

My police escort was also looking after the miner’s lamp carrying the Olympic flame which had been collected in Greece and carried back in these lamps.

It was great having my two nephews Suilven and Liam with me, but I wish I had had my Keswick family, son Rupert, Ann & my grand children, Emily and Will there as well.

Clogwyn du'r Arddu

Clogwyn du’r Arddu

For me this was a sentimental journey. My climbing routes are around Snowdon – it was where I started to climb over 60 years ago.

I did some of my best routes and spent many months over the years amongst these lovely mountains.

To the left is Clogwyn du’r Arddu, arguably the finest crag in the British Isles, where I did some of my best early climbing.

Lighting the torch

Lighting the torch

At the station and visitor centre just below the top of Snowdon my torch was lit from the miner’s lamp and I ran out through a big friendly and enthusiastic crowd. I’ve never seen so many people on the top of Snowdon.

Crowds at the summit

Crowds at the summit

It was good to see plenty of Welsh flags as I got to the top.

I did feel a bit concerned that I, an Englishman rather than a local Welsh climber, had this pleasure and honour, but I had spent much of my younger years climbing here in Wales, as indeed had so many of my climbing friends – especially Joe Brown, the greatest rock climber of us all. I hope they won’t mind me representing them.

Standing on the trig point

Standing on the trig point

I felt I had to climb up onto the trig point to be truly at the highest point but confess to having trouble getting my balance. You can see the BBC helicopter is in the background.

Sharing the moment on the way down

Sharing the moment on the way down

It was a wonderful feeling standing there on top of Wales and England surrounded by so many warm friendly faces.

On the way down every one wanted to touch or hold the torch. It was a delight to share this with them.

With the Olympic team

With the Olympic team

The support team of the Olympic relay were fantastic. They work incredibly hard and are so enthusiastic and friendly. They are doing a great job as they help the torch around the country before the games.