- Sunday 10th – Monday 11th March 2019
- Snowdon Mountain
We arrived late Sunday evening in Llanberis and this is where we will base ourselves until Wednesday before returning home.
Llanberis is a village in Gwynedd, northwest Wales at the foot of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. It is a popular destination for outdoor activities including walking, mountaineering, mountain biking, kayaking etc. It is packed with enough activities to keep you busy for weeks.
Our hotel is situated in a great spot surrounded by Snowdonia National Park, 100m from Padarn Lake and 500m from Snowdon Mountain Railway.
The reason we’ve came here is, yip you’ve guessed it, we are here to climb Snowdon, a peak of 3,560ft (1085m).
We are actually also here to do several other hikes such as Tryfan North Ridge but things are not looking good weatherwise.
So we had booked our accommodation weeks ago and as luck would have it picked not the greatest few days to visit Wales or even more so to climb mountains! The next few days are showing high winds (45-65mph) and tomorrow, Monday is the only day showing no rain until late afternoon…so tomorrow is our one and only opportunity to attempt to climb Snowdon!
I’ve been wanting to do this mountain for a while so if I’m being honest I would be gutted if we have to go home without achieving this….but as they say….the mountain will always be there for another day….so what will be will be.
So after dropping off our stuff at the hotel we wondered briefly through the village which looks like an amazing spot and I can only imagine this would be heaving in the summer months.
Thousands of people are drawn each year to this majestic mountain and ascend to it’s summit either by train, yes I said train…it’s got its very own railway line/train up and down, by foot or by mountain bike.
Mt. Snowdon, out of the three highest peaks in the UK probably has to be the friendliest for the novice walker.
Firstly there’s a cafe at the top and as mentioned before if your feeling tired after a strenuous climb you can always catch the train down (I believe from May-Oct)…or better still catch it up and down if it suits you.
In 1896 the Snowdon Mountain Railway Company started carrying visitors to the summit by train contributing significantly to the economy of the area
There has also been a building of some sort on the summit of Snowdon since 1820 offering shelter and refreshments.
Ascending by foot is our chosen method.
I read that this mountain was used by Edmund Hillary when he was training for his Mount Everest expedition and I can see why. There are more than six routes up Snowdon so plenty opportunities to be had with lots of different terrain.
Snowdon means ‘snow hill’, and today she sure is that!
So yes we have decided to go for it. Weather predicts by 2pm conditions are to deteriorate so we start of earlyish so that we can be off the most treacherous part of the mountain before the bad weather hits.
Snowdon Ranger Report
From the summit when conditions are right they say it’s possible to see Scotland, Ireland, England and the Isle of Man! Now that would be quite spectacular.
Today just to reach the summit would be even more spectacular!!
So we had originally planned to head up Snowdon via Crib Goch which is one of the classic British Ridge walks. However with snow and ice under foot and with high winds forecast we decided to ‘play safe’ and chose to head up via the Pyg Track.
There is some uncertainty about the origin of the word Pyg. It is believed that the path was named after Pen y Gwryd Hostel by climbers who stayed there. Another possible origin is that the path was named after Bwich y Moch (the pass of pigs) since the path crosses it, as it is sometimes spelled as Pig in English. Or it could have been named Pyg due to the fact that this was a path used to carry pyg (black tar) from Britannia Copper Works in Cwm Glaslyn. The guessing continues!
So the Pyg Track is quite a rugged and challenging path up Snowdon which leads along the foothills of Crib Goch. It meets the Miners’ Track above Llyn Glaslyn, zigzags up to Bwlch Glas and joins Llanberis Path before continuing to the summit.
It was actually a stunning walk up.
We eventually hit snow and ice just before the infamous zig zags, but all things considering we were setting a steady pace and keeping ahead of the weather.
As we hit the zig zags the snow and ice became more prominent and we toyed with the idea of sticking our crampons on but continued to walk on without them.
We eventually made the summit ridge with relative ease.
On getting to the top we had amazing views with very little cloud…I actually saw the railway line which I could not believe! I could only imagine a different summit view here in summer!!!
So after taking it all in, getting the photos it was time to head back down…we were pretty lucky with the weather so far.
On heading down it was crampons on and ice axes out as things were steep and slippy and slow going for a bit.
Views were still amazing.
We decided that once we hit the point where our path met the Miners’ Path we would take that route for various reasons.
One being that I always like to try do a loop when out walking, the other being I was intrigued at what the Miners’ Path had to offer and being from an old mining village and also including family heritage I thought I’d check it out.
So on hitting this track it was pretty slippy, zig zagging steeply down the mountain for quite a bit. Things were slow going for a while.
Eventually we hit a man made boulder type path. Once this ran out we were on to a gravel type path.
We passed ruins of what was an old copper mine.
This area in the 19th and 20th Century saw the bustle of mining activity on Snowdon. As well as the Britannia Copper Mine on the shores of Llyn Llydaw which was the most renowned, other minerals were also mined such as Manganese, Ochre and Calamine.Eventually the path widened and we were almost back at the car. Our time on Snowdon almost over.
We had managed the whole day with good views and best of all NO WATERPROOFS what-so-ever….total result all things considered!
It had been a good effort but if being honest we were slightly disappointed at not being able to do the Ridge Walk…however…excellent excuse to come back again!
6 Comments Add yours
I can only imagine how you both feel now you have succeeded in climbing Mount Snowden. So glad there was a break in the weather. Well done so very pleased you made it. Where your hotel was looks interesting I have never been to Wales makes me want to visit. The pictures are great looks a bit treacherous in places. How did it compare to Ben Nevis apart from Ben Nevis being higher. Hope you are feeling a bit healthier than when you started this journey. Lots of love Theresa xx
LikeLiked by 1 person
What we have saw of Wales so far is lovely even in the weather we have had which is not too great…today we are being hit with Storm Gareth! There’s loads of things to do outdoors here and lots of walking routes high and low, long and short, we will come back for sure in better weather however better weather will draw in the crowds here I can only assume. Snowdon was lovely to walk up and down and at this time of year quieter so that was nice. Like Ben Nevis it draws in the crowds. I would say Snowdon was an easier hill to hike than Ben Nevis as the terrain was less steep. Still not feeling so great and have a slight chest infection which is a bummer 😕 x
You may end up with 2 comments as my original one seemed to disappear into the great blue yonder. Glad you achievedid your goal and that weather kept fine for you. What’s the next project? Have you climbed in the Lake District. Beautiful area but can get very crowded . How are your plans for Russia proceeding? That should be really interesting. Enjoy yourselves while your young but take care on these mountains. 😩 Love /God Bless. Aunty Alice xx
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi there…We’ve been to the Lake District which we love but have not climbed there yet. We were hoping to do Scafell Pike sometime soon though 😁 but not at a weekend as like you say very crowded…but taking all these weekdays to stay away from the crowds is eating into my annual leave 😕 if we get this done though it means we will have ticked off the three highest peaks in the UK…..Next projects before Russia will be close to home I think and will involve hiking as I need to get in as much practice for that one if I want to get anywhere close to the top! Looking forward to Russia…think it will be very interesting indeed 😁 X
Well you did it….once again another achievement. We’re having a slightly different experience from you..in London for a couple of days. The most climbing we did was climb the steps to the the top of the Albert Hall….(inside mind you!!)We were on a tour then completed it with an afternoon tea there. Other than that the only other climbing was to the top of the bus!! London is really busy even at this time of year and poor weather. Off to the National theatre tonight so we have been getting a lot of city walking in to. Lovely photos of Snowdon. Be nice for you to go somewhere sunny one of these days😂😂. Enjoy the rest of your stay in Wales.xx
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yes..great we got there eventually and things held up for us! Lol…I’m loving the sound of your few days in London…mind those knees now with all those ups and downs! Sounds like a nice treat for both of you! Hope yous had a nice time. Yes I’m not sure how my body would cope with heat/sunshine…it would certainly get a fright…although I do actually like the cold in particular when your all wrapped up in your layers! So Wales has came to an end ..we are on our way back to Scotland…who knows, there may be sunshine waiting for us there!!! 😎 X