Snow­don Rocks an­other suc­cess

Caernarfon Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Eryl Crump & Jez Hem­ming

THREE-TIME can­cer sur­vivor and rock star Mike Peters led a pro­ces­sion of fans on an an­nual spon­sored walk to the sum­mit of Snow­don.

The Dy­serth-born Alarm front­man was joined by his wife Jules, her­self fight­ing can­cer, and their sons Evan and Dy­lan for the five mile walk from Llan­beris to the sum­mit.

It was the eleventh Snow­don Rocks Fes­ti­val that also saw more than 2,000 peo­ple de­scend on The Heights in Llan­beris over two days.

On reach­ing Wales’ high­est point on Satur­day, Mike per­formed a very special acous­tic set – cli­max­ing in The Alarm an­them, Love, Hope and Strength.

Mike has been or­gan­is­ing the Snow­don Rocks event for more than a decade but the week­end hike saw the cul­mi­na­tion of a 10-day epic 130+ mile ‘By Your Side’ walk across North Wales.

He be­gan walk­ing at Wrex­ham Maelor Hospi­tal and ended the walk on Fri­day when he vis­ited Ys­byty Gwynedd, Bangor.

Snow­don Rocks started with a song from Mike at the Pence­u­nant cafe at the foot of the Llan­beris path be­fore they set off for the sum­mit with a mu­si­cal stop along the way at the Half­way cafe.

Mike told our sis­ter paper the Daily Post he felt quite emo­tional as he reached the sum­mit.

“After the 12 months we’ve had, Jules’ jour­ney through breast can­cer started here on Snow­don a year ago so to be able to climb back again is an in­cred­i­ble tes­ta­ment to Jules’ courage and the health care sys­tem across North Wales,” he said.

“We’re very grate­ful for the life we have.”

Mike said the walk from Wrex­ham across North Wales had been a “chal­lenge”.

Jules added: “I’m feel­ing great. This has been a very emo­tional day for me with fam­ily, friends and Alarm fans all to­gether on the walk.”

Mike was di­ag­nosed and suc­cess­fully treated for chronic lym­pho­cytic leukaemia in 2005/06. But just days after the 2015 Snow­don Rocks he went to Ys­byty Gwynedd, Bangor for a rou­tine check-up, and doc­tors found the dis­ease had re­turned for a third time.

Last year’s event fea­tured in a tele­vi­sion doc­u­men­tary and dur­ing the walk a con­ver­sa­tion took place be­tween Jules Peters and TV pro­ducer Emyr Afan.

Mike said: “Emyr im­pressed on Jules the im­por­tance of test­ing your­self and Jules said, ‘of course I test my­self’. But Emyr in­sisted and said no, re­ally go deep – re­ally test your­self deeply. It was the next morn­ing that Jules found the lump on her breast.

“If Emyr hadn’t made the film – if he hadn’t given Jules that ad­vice that day – it might have been un­de­tected for an­other year, I might not have a wife now, and our sons Dy­lan and Evan might not have a mother.”

The Chris­tians and Mike him­self head­lined at The Heights on Satur­day while Bri­tain’s Got Ta­lent fi­nal- ists Cor Glanaethwy stole the show on Sun­day.

Fam­i­lies min­gled with celebri­ties as Gaz ‘Top’ Jones com­pered a var­ied bill which even in­cluded Mike and Jules’ sons Dy­lan and Evan with their band OCD.

“It’s been a won­der­ful week­end,” said Jules. “The re­sponse from the public has been ab­so­lutely amaz­ing and it’s been such a lovely at­mos­phere.”

She also re­vealed there will be lit­tle respite for the fam­ily over the com­ing months.

“We’ve got a 45-gig tour of The States after this, so there won’t be much rest, but we’ve raised lots of money for the char­i­ties and just as im­por­tantly raised vi­tal aware­ness about can­cer.

“We would just like to thank The Heights, ev­ery­one who vol­un­teered and the acts for mak­ing it such an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The Chris­tians took to the main stage to play an acous­tic set, with clas­sics like Hooverville and For­got­ten Town pro­duc­ing some mem­o­rable au­di­ence moments.

Garry Chris­tian, the only re­main­ing mem­ber of the orig­i­nal line-up, said he couldn’t re­sist mak­ing his first Snow­don Rocks ap­pear­ance.

“As you know I lost my brother Roger to a brain tu­mour in 1998, so when Mike gave us the call we jumped at it,” he said.

“Can­cer is some­thing that touches ev­ery­one in some way, so yeah it’s great to be here and sup­port the event.”

The money raised will help buy new equip­ment for the hos­pi­tals.

● Mike Peters, his wife Jules and son Evan at the sum­mit of Snow­don

● Crowds watch Mike Peters (above) per­form at Snow­don’s sum­mit on Satur­day

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