The week of the 19th November 18 saw members of both the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment partake in some adventurous training in Snowdonia National Park. The aim of the exercise was to climb three of the Welsh 3000s - there are fifteen mountains in Wales that have a height of 3000 feet/ 914.4m - and thanks to the organisational skills of Senior Aircraftman Ollie Brooks, the expedition became christened Op Brooks3000.
Under the direction of Mountain Leaders, Corporals Matt Edwardson and Jono Read, Tuesday saw the group change their original plan of climbing Carnedd Llywelyn. Instead, they went on to tackle the smaller but more challenging Moel Hebog (welsh for bare hill of the hawk) due to the unpredictable late-November weather.
"Given how testing the conditions were during this expedition we were lucky to see as much of the mountains as we did. The drive and motivation of the team has made this week a success."
Mountain Leader, Corporal Jono Read
Upon awakening on Wednesday, it was obvious from the Joint Service Mountain Training Centre on Anglesey that the Welsh mountaintops now had a festive, light dusting of snow. Undeterred, the group set out on their second day of hill-walking and, with visibility far from ideal, sought to summit their first Welsh 3000 - Carnedd Gwenllian at 3035ft / 925m. However, just past the smaller peak of Bera Bach, with both visibility and weather rapidly deteriorating, the decision was made to turn back. The height of 3000ft was still elusive.
On the third and final day, the weather looked more promising and the group set out once again with the clear intention of finally making 3000 feet. Despite the icy conditions, the expedition party successfully summited Wales' highest peak, Snowdon just after midday. Making the best of the clear weather, and enjoying stunning views, they finally put the 3000 into Brooks3000!
Article written by Senior Aircraftman Ollie Brooks.