The ninth annual ‘Snowdon Rocks’ has been hailed a huge success, after a record number of people attended the annual walking and music event set up by rocker and cancer patient Mike Peters.
Over 400 people braved the rain to summit Snowdon on Saturday while enjoying intimate performances along the way from the Alarm front man. It is estimated that the event raised over £40,000 for North Wales’ three Cancer Treatment Units.
Seventy four people whose lives have been touched by cancer and who were unable to take part in the walk met the walkers on the summit after travelling on a special train laid on by the Snowdon Mountain Railway and sponsored by local Rotary Clubs.
Mike Peters said: “Snowdon Rocks is always a really special occasion and we’re joined by people from all over the world. This year it was incredibly moving to be able to welcome some of the people who are actually set to benefit from the money we raise to the summit.”
“We’re fortunate that here in North Wales we have great nursing and medical teams and Snowdon Rocks is the perfect way to show our thanks to them, while raising money which will help other people in North Wales during their journey with cancer.”
Among those travelling on the aptly named ‘Strength Train’ was Anwen Lokier and her son Matthew, eight, from Rowen in Conwy. Anwen’s husband and Matthew’s father, Stan, passed away in April after a battle with cancer.
She said: “Stan and I had always said we’d love to take Matthew up Snowdon on the train. But the last holiday we had in April before he died it wasn’t possible as the trains weren’t running to the the top. It’s so nice we’ve been able to do it today as a lovely tribute to him.”
Among those who braved the elements to walk to the Snowdon summit was our Wales Express marketing executive and videographer, Snowdon summit first timer Jose Nunes and Dafydd Thomas, from Trearddur Bay. He walked up alongside family members and staff from the Alaw Unit in Ysbyty Gwynedd who he says gave him “brilliant care” throughout his battle with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. Mr Thomas was given the “all clear” last year after a successful stem cell transplant.
He said: “I’m taking part today with my family to celebrate my good health, and also to give my thanks to the brilliant team on the Alaw Unit. It’s such a special occasion and something I’m really proud to be a part of.”
The walkers were joined on the day by a number of celebrity supporters, including BBC Weather presenters Derek Brockway and Sue Charles, ex Wales and Everton footballer Barry Horne, and Sky Sports pundit Bryn Law.
As well as the walk itself, there was live music played throughout the day in Llanberis’ Electric Mountain Centre, The Heights Hotel, and Penceunant Isaf café.
Mike Peters said: “I’m incredibly grateful to all the singers and groups that are taking part on the day and I’m so thankful that groups like the Rotary and local companies have come on board to help us to create a more inclusive event.”
An estimated £40,000 was raised through this year’s festival which will support new facilities in Ysbyty Gwynedd’s Alaw Unit and new equipment for both the North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre at Ysbyty Glan Clwydand the Shooting Star Unit in Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
Last November Mike Peters launched the By Your Side cancer care campaign for Awyr Las, the North Wales NHS Charity. Mike set a target to raise £351,120 through the campaign; that’s £1 for every step between Wrexham Maelor Hospital and Ysbyty Gwynedd.
In 2017 Mike will walk this distance with other supporters and friends, visiting other hospitals and schools along the way.
As stated previously, our own Jose Nunes from Wales Express braved the trek up Snowdon as well, as his photos and the videos which are coming soon will show. He’s still in pain three days later, but full of admiration for Mike and all the others who made it to the summit and back.