Nightclimb and cliff face sleepover 2017
- 01 January 2017 to 31 Dec 2017
- Snowdonia, Wales
1.15am... Vision limited to the beam of your head-torch as you inch your way upwards. Glancing down you can't see the ground, it’s too dark and you're too high up now. Looking up you see your goal – a tent attached to the cliff face and your bed for the rest of the night. Your sleep separated from the void below by a sleeping bag, camping mat and the thin nylon floor of the tent. Morning suddenly seems a long way off...
Not many people can say that they’ve climbed 175ft at night by head-torch and then slept the rest of the night on a thin piece of nylon suspended from the rock face! It will take nerve, strength and determination.
This event is for just two people at a time and no climbing experience is necessary as you will receive full training during the day in preparation for the epic night ahead. You will be very well looked after – hotel accommodation the night before, breakfasts and a three-course meal are included. You will be supported by a team of two highly experienced climbing instructors and one further member of support crew.
Normally this event is run over a weekend from Friday night – Sunday morning but mid-week dates are possible. The event can run in April, May, late-July, August and September to allow enough hours of darkness to complete the challenge.
To take part in this unique, once in a lifetime challenge we ask you to pay a non-refundable £150 registration fee, we will not ask you to pay this until we have two participants registered. We will ask you to pledge to raise a minimum of £1,200 per person.
We will provide you with full support and ideas to ensure you feel confident in raising the pledged minimum. You are also able to nominate a branch or centre to receive your support if you wish.
We understand the commitment, courage and thought that goes into participating in a challenge event on behalf of Cats Protection and promise we will do our very best to give you all the help and support you need to have a successful challenge and raise lots of much-needed funds to help us care for cats and kittens.
You will arrive at Betws-y-Coed on the Friday evening where you will meet your climbing instructors. We recommend that you travel by train and meet them at the station where you will be driven to the hotel. If arriving by car, then you can meet them at the hotel. Hotel details will be confirmed on registration.
On Saturday morning, after breakfast in the hotel, participants will have an initial briefing and kit check before heading off to a local crag for a day of training, kit familiarity and to practice skills required for the climb overnight. Depending on forecasted weather conditions this is likely to include rock climbing training, abseil practice, techniques for ascending a rope and, of course, getting to grips with life on a portaledge. You will drive back to the hotel for an early dinner and time to relax (and to go to the toilet!) before you take them to another crag after dark (30 minute drive away). You will need to carry personal kit on the walk for approx. 20 minutes to the crag. At the base of the climb, your climbing instructors will talk through the plans for the night based on the latest weather and rock conditions.
You will then start to climb up to the portaledge which will already be rigged 175ft above ground. Prevailing weather conditions will dictate the plan; if it’s dry you will climb the rock and if wet you will use special devices to ascend fixed ropes that are no wider than a finger. Neither option is easy.
Participants will be led by, and will be under the supervision of, instructors at all times. Climbing by head-torch takes a while to get used to, with depth perception altered and shadows shifting as the head-torch beam moves across the rock. Even if participants have climbed before, this brings an increased physical and mental challenge, especially when mind and body want to sleep. When you arrive at the portaledge, the climbing instructors will make sure that you are settled safely into bed and will remain on call close by throughout the night on their own portaledge.
Just before the dawn you will be woken (that is assuming you have slept!) with a cup of quality coffee or tea brewed from a hanging stove and some tasty porridge. As participants unzip the door of their portaledge tent, you will see where the night’s efforts have brought you. You can sit back and enjoy a breakfast-in-bed experience like no other!
As you soak up where you are, your instructors will be preparing the final stage; either a short climb up and a walk off the crag, or an abseil all the way back down to the ground.
You will then triumphantly walk out and drive back to Betws-y-Coed for a hot shower and a fantastic breakfast… which we know will be well deserved.
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Frequently asked questions
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