In 2018 I visited the Cairngorms to write and photograph a feature for the British Mountaineering Council’s ‘Summit’ magazine. The piece was about using eMTBs to access the steep skiing at the end of long corries in Scotland, the added power of the bikes negating the more inefficient standard issue mountain bike or a long walk.
After 10 miles, I knew I was going to finish this. As I stood on the start line at 6 in the morning, terrified, doubtful and teary, I talked myself into taking each mile as it came. It was all a win after the previous 8 months, I had nothing to prove. But to me I did, this was my target as I lay injured and broken. This is what I'd gone through the unimaginable agony of the manipulation of my wrist without pain relief and the hurt and frustration of physio, for. After 10 miles I knew I was going to do it.
For a period of over 150 years the landscape of Snowdonia, and particularly the western side from Bethesda to Blaenau Ffestiniog was dominated by a brutal, industrial, visage of dark grey horizons and giant spoil heaps.