MOUNTAIN SWIMMING WEEKEND
There is more to swimming in a mountain lake than changing into your swimsuit, join me for two days for an introduction to swimming in the mountains, find out how to prepare for the perfect mountain swim.
'Wild swimming', 'Outdoor Swimming', I've even heard it called 'Wild Water Swimming' (which conjures up an image of sailing hopelessly down some rapids on the River Yukon), but really it's just plain old 'swimming'. Sometimes there is nothing wild about the serenity of a picture-perfect glassy lake under the summit of a mountain but on the other hand, the mountains can be a harsh environment, freezing cold, wet, windy and very serious.
This weekend isn't just about going for a swim, it's about how to choose a swim, the importance of the weather, what to take, managing expectations, dealing with changing plans and making decisions, with the objective that you leave with skills to have your own adventures outdoors in the future.
Each of the two days will start and end at either Llanberis or Capel Curig and where we go is totally dependant on the weather conditions on the day.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
It is entirely up to you what you want to bring along, these days are about experiences, not endurance. But as a general guide, I would suggest...
Waterproof trousers and jacket
Boots or trainers
Swim hat/woolly hat (may get wet)
Towel/Robie (Dry Robes can be a little bulky to carry on the mountains but if you can carry it you are very welcome to bring yours)
Personal first aid kit
Rucksack to put everything in.
Note. I can provide a changing robe if required, please leave space in your rucksack.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY?
Of course, I think swimming in the hills is the most incredible experience, but read what other people who have joined me have to say about my Mountain Swimming Weekend.
Loved it, thank you. Amazing weekend!
I’m still smiling from the recent weekend of swimming in Snowdonia, thank you so much.
Amazing spot for a swim! Expertly guided adventure, thank you Viv for a great day.
A magical few days, thank you so much!
Vivienne is just brilliant. My partner and I took part in a Mountain Swimming weekend in June 2018. It was evident from the start that Vivienne knows her stuff - she instils confidence; she's a calming influence when I experienced some trepidation about being high up (I suffer from vertigo); getting into colder water etc. We learned a lot about how to plan a swim i.e. kit to take to cope with changing weather conditions; what to look for in terms of lake access points etc. The biggest bonus for me was the increase in confidence I felt at the end of the weekend in being able to plan a swim weekend on our own. Vivienne took us to the most beautiful of lakes - it was a magical experience. It was weekend that I'm sure we'll still be talking about in years to come. I highly recommend.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What lakes will we visit?
Where we go is entirely dependant on the weather conditions in the mountains on the day. The decisions on where to go are made in the morning and based on the weather and the safety of the group.
How far will we swim?
All my swim sessions are based on having experiences, not endurance. No one is expected to swim laps or the length of a lake if you wish to just lie back and stare at the sky that is fine. I do ask that you have swimming experience if you come on a group day, if you are nervous about swimming outdoors I would book on to one of my wild swim water confidence sessions first.
How cold is the water?
All water in the UK is deemed to be 'cold' even in the summer months! I don't measure water temperatures as I prefer to feel the changes in the temperature in my skin. As a general guide, however, the water in the mountains is at it's coldest in February/March and at it's warmest in August/September.
Do I have to wear a wetsuit?
My kit list is a guide, you are welcome to wear in the water whatever you feel most comfortable. Wearing a wetsuit will enable you to stay in the water longer. If you bring one along you can always then make the choice, to wear it or not.
It's summer do I really need a wooly hat and gloves?
I would bring them, I don't think I have ever been swimming in the mountains and not put a woolly hat on afterwards. It may be glorious sunshine, but after swimming in a high mountain lake you will feel very chilly and be grateful for all those warm clothes you brought along.
How far will we walk and how steep will it be?
The distance we will walk will depend on which lake/s we go to. Generally, the walk-in is no more than an hour or so. It will be uphill as we are in the mountain environment, some of this may be steep and it is very likely to be on uneven terrain off well-trodden paths. However, all walking is done at a gentle pace, where everyone is the group can keep up and hold a conversation.
Can I come for just one day?
This is a progressive weekend, building skills and decision making over the weekend. I run several different one-day swimming sessions I suggest that you take a look at these and see if they are suitable.
What about Covid?
I completely understand and share all concerns about Covid-19. I have been awarded the UK Governement 'We're Good To Go' mark meaning I comply with their current guidance on Covid. If the government decides that due to the pandemic, any activities you have booked onto can no longer go ahead, I will offer you an alternative date in the future or a full refund.
WHERE TO STAY?
There is a full range of accommodation options in Snowdonia to suit every budget and taste.
The ones suggested below operate independently from me
GWESTY PLAS GOCH
TY'N RHOS COUNTRY HOUSE
A special treat...
Who wouldn't love the gift of a day or two outdoors in the fresh air swimming in a stunning mountain lake?
Want to give a swimming day as a gift but not sure which date would suit? Gift vouchers are available for all my days and weekends.
I have limited dates available in Snowdonia this year, so it is advisable to check dates are available and book asap.
All gift vouchers are valid for 12 months from date of purchase.
I am an artist, educator and outdoor swimmer. I spilt my time between the mountains of Snowdonia in North Wales where I have lived since 2002 and on the beautiful South Coast in the New Forest where I grew up. My project #swimsnowdonia was listed amongst 'The 10 most inspiring adventures' in The Guardian and has been the focus of several short films including a music video for the band Elbow. My film 'Afterglow' won Best Woman in Adventure Gold Award at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. I was included in the first San Miguel Rich List, 'a unique list of men and women who value experiences over any possession' and listed as one of Britains 101 Adventurers. I am currently featuring in an ITV documentary 'The Mountain ' which follows the lives of a selection of people who live and work on the busiest mountain in England and Wales, Snowdon.
I am a Qualified Teacher, Mountain Leader, Open Water Swimming Coach and RYA Day Skipper. I hold Emergency First Aid in the Outdoors, RLSS Open Water Lifeguard, RLSS Water Safety Management Level 1-3, STA Level 2 Swimming Teacher Award and Certificate, STA Level 2 Award in Baby and Pre-School Aquatic Teaching, and have more than 10 previous years experience lifesaving in swimming pools.