Bob Lauterborn

Summiting Snowdon — 86 Years Young!

The last time my 86-year-old father visited Snowdonia, North Wales, was six decades ago, in 1962, when he was courting my late Welsh-born mother. So this spring he and I traveled back to the region to relive memories and with the ambitious goal of climbing 3,560-foot Mount Snowdon. On Sunday, May 29, we headed up the Llanberis Track, summiting around 3 p.m. in rare clear and sunny conditions. Our leased car was waiting for us at Pen-y-Pass, some 2,300 feet below, so down we went on the scenic Pyg Track. That proved a reality check for my octogenarian father with two unreliable knees, who likened the 3.3-mile route to a week’s worth of stair step workouts. Always determined to finish anything he starts, however, Dad soldiered on with two trekking poles and his 6-foot-7 “baby son” as support. What takes young hikers a few hours to complete took my father five and a half hours, but he made it down again and earned the Snowdon summit patch I had ready in a jacket pocket. I’m so proud of my father — and certain Mom would be, too.