Let's Venture Up a Mountain!

Mon, 30th October 2017

"Let's take the Venture up a mountain!" So begins the saga that leads us to this photo:

 

We made it...yeeehhhaaaa #stopatnothing #fjcruiser #hpiracing #sorefeet

A post shared by Monsieur Le Coq (@hpi_alan) on Oct 27, 2017 at 11:21am PDT

But let's not jump ahead! 

This all started with wondering what we could do to really get the Venture out there and in front of people. Something big we could do that would get lots of attention... "how about we drive it up a mountain!" 

Of course, one truck became two because there are two Venture RTR trucks available: the #116558 gunmetal version and the #117165 sandstorm version. 

The closest mountain to HPI's European HQ is in Wales, which is part of the United Kingdom. It just so happens that Snowdonia National Park in North Wales includes Mount Snowdon, which is the tallest mountain in England and Wales. At 1,085m or 3,560 feet, it makes up one of the 3 tallest peaks in the UK, together known as the National Three Peaks.

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Mt Snowdon sits near the northern reach of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales

The other two peaks are Ben Nevis in Scotland at 1,345m/4,411 ft, the tallest mountain in the UK, and Scafell Pike in England at 948m/3,209 ft. For very adventurous types, there's something called the National Three Peaks Challenge, which is to complete summiting each of these mountains in the least possible time. This includes driving to each mountain path trailhead, summiting, descending then rushing off to the next mountain! Maybe that's something for our next challenge...

With a couple of box-stock Venture trucks ready to go (as in, literally lifted out of the box!), several battery packs were charged up for each truck, and in our rucksacks we had a handful of spares, bottles of water and some lunch...it couldn't be that hard, could it? Just...walking up a mountain? We'll soon see! 

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Mt Snowdon in the morning! A cloudy summit already...

It was an early start for each member of the Snowdon team, then a 3-hour drive to North Wales and trying to find a place to park. Typical of popular rural walking path spots in Britain, parking was hard to find, but we were able to find a spot along one of the main roads and then take a bus to the main starting point of what is known as the "Miner's Track" - the most popular path to take. 

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Could there be a more picturesque place to do some RC crawling? 

The path started easily enough, with a gravel thoroughfare wide enough for several people to walk across in a line - in fact, there were many off-roaders parked along the path for trail maintenance! Once we cross a flooded causeway (aka a land bridge) and passed an abandoned copper mine, though, the trail got plenty hard - at least for the Ventures! 

 

After passing the abandoned Britannia Copper Mine at Llyn (or Lake) Llydaw, the path turned from relatively smooth gravel to huge flagstone blocks which were easier to walk on but became much rougher for the Venture trucks! The well-worn flagstones were alternately wet and dry, grippy and slippy, usually with huge, wheel-sucking gaps between each stone. 

Driving on the flagstone sections was exhausting, and not just for the Ventures - because every flagstone was a different shape and height to the flagstone next to it, maximum concentration had to be maintained just to drive from one stone to another, all while dodging walkers coming down the mountain path and letting people (and dogs!) continue past as they did their own ascents...and that's with a drop to the left of hundreds of feet in many places! 

 

Once the trucks reached Llyn Glaslyn, a beautiful yet small mountain lake fed by several waterfalls, the team met the headwall! This was what is called a "hard climb" or "scramble" - meaning using your hands to get up as well as your feet! - to get up the wet scree and rocks where the Miner's Track meets the Pyg Track, which is one of 5 other tracks or paths that lead to the summit of Mt Snowdon.

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Looking ahead at the climb from Llyn (or Lake) Glaslyn - the tiny dots of color at the bottom are people!

Because this climb was so steep and we were racing to beat the sunset, trying to drive up this climb wasn't an option - not when we needed both hands to get up the headwall!

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Yeah - big drops!

We had to pick up the trucks in several places, especially since we hadn't equipped them with winches so they can maintain their "out of the box" stock form! 

 

After the climb from Llyn Glaslyn, the path continued in a very steep manner, sometimes with flagstones but often without, all the while with people coming down the path, passing our small crew and peppering us with questions like "WHAT are you doing?!" Of course, the answer was "Oh, these? We're driving to the summit. As you do."

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Looking back at Llyn Glaslyn at the top of the scrambling section...waaaaay down there is the Miner's Track we came in on!

Reaching the summit part of the path, the number of people increased as the path joined the famous Crib Goch trail, which comes to the Snowdon summit over a knife-edge ridge walk that is well-known for being windy and dangerous! The path is mostly level, at least, so no more climbing, and there even dirt and gravel sections as the widening path runs along the railway that takes some less intrepid folks to the small cafe at the top of the mountain. Yes - we could have ridden in a rail car up the mountain! But this was much more fulfilling. 

 

We made it...yeeehhhaaaa #stopatnothing #fjcruiser #hpiracing #sorefeet

A post shared by Monsieur Le Coq (@hpi_alan) on Oct 27, 2017 at 11:21am PDT

At the top, we planted an HPI flag and turned around to head back down the mountain - just managing to beat total darkness by the time we made it to parking lot! 

Claiming the mountain - before it claimed us!

So now that we've climbed a mountain...what HPI Challenge do you think we should do next? 

...and what HPI Challenge do YOU want to do with YOUR HPI? 


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