The Snowdon Push is a tough and exhilarating fundraising event that challenges teams of 10 to 16 people to conquer Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales.
Watch footage of Penny and her team conquering the challenging terrain in the Extreme X8.
Wheelchair users Sam and Penny both accepted the Snowdon Push challenge this year, working with their teams to summit the mountain over 8 miles of steep, mixed surface terrain in Extreme X8 powerchairs.
Sam’s team was made up of family and friends, accompanied by one of the Magic Mobility extended family to help with the battery change. Sam first tried the Magic Mobility Extreme X8 and Frontier V6 at the BackUp Fest in September 2017. His participation in the Snowdon Push was sponsored through fundraising from the BackUp Ball in November 2017. Sam completed The Push in a demonstrator Extreme X8.
Penny’s team was a mixture of her family and friends of Magic Mobility in the UK. Penny and her husband George had been to Snowdonia to support the Push in 2012. Following her generous support of the BackUp Ball in November 2017, Penny was given the opportunity to trial the Magic Mobility Extreme X8.
“I used it when our grandchildren were visiting and we went for a trek in the woods near our new fully accessible home. It was amazing and I really liked the opportunities it gave me. George and I decided that we should get me my own all-terrain wheelchair. I was told that it would arrive just in time for the Push so when a friend said he’d put together a team to go with me, I found myself saying yes!”
Although the climb is only 8 miles, the steep and uneven terrain meant that a battery change was required to ensure Penny and Sam made it safely up the Mountain. This meant that the teams had to carry spare batteries to and from the halfway point on the mountain.
A team effort is required to conquer a mountain like Snowdon in a wheelchair.
Sam’s team set off first, and safely made their way to the chosen battery change point with no major issues. This was Sam’s first experience of driving an X8 over very rough terrain, so we used ramps for some of the big steps and had straps attached to the chair for safety reasons. Experience has shown us that with an experienced driver the chair will do almost all of the climbing itself, as long as there is someone on the back to brace it when climbing or descending at very steep angles.
Penny’s team set off mid-morning, and again made it successfully to the battery change point. Above the halfway point the terrain is very rough and involves long flights of very steep steps constructed from large rocks. The X8 took them all in its stride and both chairs made it to the top with plenty of battery life remaining. The two teams met near Finger Rock, just below the last very demanding run to the summit.
Both teams has a short break at the top to recover their breath and take in some much-needed water and nutrients. The teams then made their way down again – the regeneration feature of the chairs ensuring that battery life was not an issue.
The Snowdon Push is an annual event run by spinal chord injury charity Back Up.
The Extreme X8 is said to be the only powerchair to reach the Snowdon summit using only the path.
While other power wheelchairs have completed the ascent, they have relied on the railway bed to complete the topmost section of the climb.