Sir Chris carried the Olympic torch to the summit of Snowdon

Sir Chris carried the Olympic torch to the summit of Snowdon

He has made memorable ascents of some of the world’s most difficult mountain climbs, but today Sir Chris Bonington chose one of the easier routes up Wales’s highest peak with the Olympic torch.

Sir Chris, veteran of Everest and scores of other major mountaineering achievements chose to make the ascent of Snowdon from Llanberis – by train.

Accompanied by London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games minders, PR people and media representatives, the elder statesman of British Mountaineering left the train and carried the torch up the last few metres from the Hafod Eryri building to hoist it aloft on the 1,085m (3,560ft) summit.

The flame made the journey up the Snowdon Mountain Railway in a miner’s Davy lamp.

Clad in white tracksuit top and bottoms, the grey-haired, bearded, 77-year-old climber struck a pose on the summit cairn that many observers described as God-like, while a strategically hoisted Welsh flag on a walking pole formed a backdrop in clear conditions watched by hundreds on the mountain.

Sir Chris told the BBC: “I find it quite emotional as this is to do with so much of my climbing heritage.

“I started my climbing here 61 years ago. This is huge and I’m very, very proud.”

The Cumbria-based mountaineer admitted it was the first time he had made the ascent of Snowdon by train. He did manage one short climb: the clamber on to the top of the summit trig pillar to pose for photographs.

In May 2008 an Olympic torch was carried to the summit of Everest by Chinese climbers.

Tibetan Tsering Wangmo, a student from Lhasa, held the torch aloft after being aided by a team of 19 climbers.

The Olympic torch relay is on its 11th day touring the UK.

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