London 2012 – Olympic Torch Relay – On Top of Mountain

Mountaineer  during day 11 of the relay.

The flame travelled in a lantern on the Snowdon Mountain Railway before Sir Chris took the torch to the summit.

“The honour of carrying this torch, and joining other torchbearers around the United Kingdom, the whole thing is wonderful,” he said afterwards.

Earlier the flame crossed the Menai Strait and travelled on a lifeboat.

Sir Chris, 77, began his climbing career on Snowdon 61 years ago. It is the highest mountain in Wales but a sizeable crowd had gathered around the trig point at the summit, 1,085m (3,650 feet) above sea level, to watch him hold the flame aloft.

And although he has spent many hours climbing it over the years, travelling on the narrow gauge, rack and pinion railway, which was constructed in the 1890s, ensured the occasion was a still a notable first for him.

“I find it quite emotional as this is to do with so much of my climbing heritage,” said Sir Chris.

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

Since then, the relay has visited another of north Wales great sites, the Great Orme limestone headland in Llandudno – and travelled by cable car.

The torch was greeted by 3,000 cheering schoolchildren at Parc Eirias in nearby Colwyn Bay.

Also carrying the flame during the day will be gymnast Beth Tweddle and jockey Jason Maguire, who will ride the final leg in Chester.

Maguire’s entrance into The Roodee Racecourse on 2011 Chester Cup winner Overturn will signal the end of Tuesday’s 79-mile journey, with the flame having been passed on by 125 torchbearers.

The day began at Beaumaris Castle, with the first torchbearer Lorna Price handing it to rugby player Elen Evans who carried the torch on a lifeboat for a 15-minute trip across the Menai Strait.

After the flame’s journey on RNLI Annette Mary Liddington it left the Isle of Anglesey along Telford’s Menai Suspension Bridge – which was the first of its kind in the world when it was completed in 1826.

On a day which sees the torch utilise various forms of transport, it was taken by cable car up the Great Orme, the limestone headland on the Creuddyn Peninsula in Llandudno, after returning from the top of Snowdon.

Later, at about 17:45 BST, the flame will reach the Welsh border at Saltney, where Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle will carry it.

On leaving Saltney, it will be escorted by actors playing Roman soldiers, who will join the convoy at the Old Dee Bridge to welcome it to Chester.

The escort is a tribute to the heritage of the city, which was founded as Deva Victrix in the year 79 by the Romans, who stayed until the 5th Century.

“Gladiators” will stand at the Amphitheatre to greet the torch as it enters the city streets, and Canon Jane Brooke from Chester Cathedral is expected to meet torchbearers at its West Door.

Also among the day’s torchbearers is 16-year-old Alex Staniforth, who is the youngest person to complete the Three Peaks Challenge solo, and Ian Powell, a 26-year-old wheelchair sports coach.

And in Hawarden, Vladimir Tolstoy, the great-great-grandson of Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, will carry the flame.

The evening celebration at Chester includes performances from rock band Kids In Glass Houses and dance act Twist & Pulse, while world champion and Olympic rowing medallist Rebecca Romero will also be welcomed on stage.

A total of 8,000 people will carry the flame on its 8,000 mile, 70-day journey around the UK to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on 27 July.

Source BBC Wales


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