a five day adventure in the lakes of snowdonia
#SWIMSNOWDONIA - EXPLORER WEEK
Allow yourself five days to become fully immersed with this guided week exploring some of the finest lakes in the mountains of Snowdonia.
Join me for five days, experience all the mountains have to offer in terms of swimming. From the deep, long valley lakes where you can stretch out and see for miles, to the isolated hidden high mountain pools you can have all to yourself, bask in waterfall pools so clear and fresh it takes your breath away, test your senses in the inky darkness of peaty waters. I love the magic that happens swimming in such a wide variety of different types of water, uncovering and unearthing the new, unknown, unexplored. I am inviting you to join me and share in this experience as I guide you to some of my favourite locations over the five days and take your swimming to a deeper level within the wilderness.
This week is about embracing the elements, accepting mother nature with an open heart, delving into your hopes, faces your fears, sharing conversations, skills, ideas, and bathing yourself in freshness only a mountain lake can give.
GUIDING & COACHING
WHATS NOT INCLUDED
FOOD & DRINKS
IN WATER PHOTOGRAPHY
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?
What will it be like?
As always, this isn't about measuring distances, times or temperatures. This is about exploration, about experiences, about finding different kinds of water to swim, bathe, share, laugh in and sometimes even, face your fears in.
There will be a good mixture of high mountain lakes to satisfy our need for peace and solitude and long valley lakes with easy access on those days when our legs need a rest from the hills when we feel the need for a good stretch out or find respite from the weather.
There will be opportunities for long swims and brief joyous dips, early morning swims to awaken your senses, sunset swims to nourish the soul, coaching sessions to get you closer to your swimming zen and naturally everything is by invitation.
But it always rains in Wales!
The mountains are inherently wet. There is no getting away from that, it's part of the water cycle, but that's what makes the lakes and swimming so amazing!
This week is about embracing the fine Welsh weather, taking all it gives us and riding with it. Sometimes it stops us in our tracks, sometimes we can work around it, sometimes it gives incredible gifts. Who has swum in mountain mist? It's like magic! Taken a dip in wind so feisty it has reminded you, you are alive? Or in water so still and so glassy you find it hard to break the perfection?
Safety will always remain paramount, exact locations we visit will be dictated by the weather conditions on the day.
What and where?
This is about the great outdoors, so I am inviting you on my first week in June to join me as an outsider, I don't hide that I have spent the last year living half of my time in the small space that is a Volkswagon Van, I am a big fan of waking up to the smell of dew, having my first cup of coffee as the morning mist is rising, wrapping up warm til the sun hits my face, and seeking sanctuary in quiet places. Join me in the fresh air for a bit of time out from the world of buzzing gadgets and screens. Get in tune with dark and light, noise and quiet. Reset your internal clock.
We will be based at the quiet riverside campsite of Dolgam Farm in Capel Curig. This is a week of reconnection with the natural world but we will be by no means roughing it. There is access to beautifully clean toilets and showers on the campsite, incredible mountain views and quiet space.
Bring along your campervan, van, car, tent. Pack your china mug and sheepskin rug, this is about camping with whatever gives you joy, not an ounce of hardship.#carlife is the new #vanlife so I'm told so don't feel glum if you haven't got the instagrammable hipster van to bring along!
*If you wish to stay elsewhere you are very welcome but I am unable to reduce the cost of the week.
GET CLOSER TO THE ZEN
I often talk about the 'zen'. For me, it's the moment when my breathing, stroke, arms and body are aligned. When my rotation feels perfect, when I have that cool abyss of nothingness below me, my rhythm just flows. I know that this has taken years to reach and I have to work to maintain it. If I don't stretch myself out, practice my stroke and also look to improve, it's harder to find and that doesn't feel so good.
I trained as an open water coach because I wanted to help others to feel the zen. I realise that we are all different and just because front crawl across a deep dark mountain lake is my place to feel good, your place may be a slightly different mix, but whatever our combination we all want to feel amazing, right? I am super keen to help you improve your open water swimming stoke to help you feel amazing in the water. This isn't about winning in your next triathlon or swimming event, this is about improving your swimming stroke to make you feel wonderful! I'll be offering several opportunities for coaching sessions over the five days .
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
It is entirely up to you what you want to bring along, this week is about having experiences, not endurance. But as a general guide, I would suggest...
All your own camping equipment
Food and drinks
Waterproof trousers and jacket
Boots or trainers
Plenty of Swimsuits/wetsuit
Swim hats/woolly hats (may get wet)
Several pairs of Goggles
Towels/Robies (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)
Rucksack to put everything in.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
“Such amazing memories.
It all feels like a beautiful dream”
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 outdoors 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 its 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. Depending on which type of guided day you choose will determine how strenuous it will be. Mountain days are more strenuous than valley days for example. In the mountain environment, there is generally uphill walking to be done, some of this may be steep and it is very likely to be on uneven terrain and 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.
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. 'Afterglow' a short film about my passion for both my creativity and cold water swimming won Best Woman in Adventure Gold Award at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival., Best Short Film at The Four Season Film Festival and was recently selected for The Patagonia Film Festival in Santa Monica. 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, RLSS Open Water Lifeguard, RYA Day Skipper and hold RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Offshore Theory. I hold Emergency First Aid in the Outdoors, RLSS Water Safety Management Level 1-3, STA Level 2 Swimming Teacher Award and Certificate, I am an RLSS Trainer and have more than 10 previous years of experience lifesaving in swimming pools.