So this Easter Holiday, we decided to climb up Snowdon which is the tallest mountain in Wales and the highest point in the British Isles outside the Scottish highlands. Situated in Snowdonia National Park that boast 90 different mountain peaks with Snowdon being the tallest @1085m above sea level. Believe it or not, it’s actually our first time climbing up a mountain !! We thought it was all worth the aches and pains we got afterwards.
We managed to convince our squash coach, Rod to come along 🙂 which was good because he drives!!! Also with him having experience with mountaineering, we felt more confidence of the climb if he was with us. Thankfully he came prepared with extra gloves and a pair of mountain climbing sticks because it was absolutely freezing at the summit with strong winds battering against you. Well the mountain climbing sticks was mainly for Angelina because of a dodgy knee (Takes some time to get used to using it though but it helps take 25% off the pressure from your knees). Definitely won’t recommend anyone who has problems with their knees to attempt climbing a mountain. By the time we got back down, our knees hurt so much such that whenever we come across a downward road, we would walk backwards. Other tourists were staring at us but walking backwards down a slope actually helped us relieve the pressure felt of our knees. Fret not for those who can’t climb up, there is a steam railway that goes up the mountain!!! The Snowdon Mountain Railway !!!
There are 6 mains routes of different difficulty up to Snowdon with Llanberis Path being the steadiest of the 6. We decided that we should try different routes going up and down Snowdon; took the Miner’s Track up and the Llanberis Path down. The route up and down was roughly 9 miles which took us about 5hours to finish. Both paths start from Llanberis Village.
Get to the start of Miner’s Track (Pen y Pass) from Llanberis, catch the S1 / S2 bus. Cost £1 per ride.
Section 2 brings you around the circumference of Lake Llyn Llydaw and then comes section 3 that’s when the real climb begins. The route gets steeper as you go higher at some points even using your hands to assist (Scrambling).
We knew when we were reaching the top when we crossed a ridge to the north facing side of Snowdon because there was a sudden change in weather conditions. Winds were battering against us, threatening to make us lose our balance with every step we took. At this point we were decked out in our winter gear and gloves(thankful to Rod for bringing extras for us) wrapped from head to toe to continue our ascent up to the summit. There was even patches of snow up there!! Didn’t manage to take much pictures at the summit because it was just too cloudy on the day of our climb. Visibility was so poor we could only see a few feet ahead of us.
Ashley and Rod at the summit of Snowdon
It is best to check the summit weather condition before attempting the climb up to Snowdon. Temperatures can be about 5ºC to 10ºC colder than ground level. The best period we feel for inexperience climbers is in summer. Still do check the summit weather before embarking on your climb.
The weather was extremely cloudy on the day of our climb but we still went ahead. It is said on a clear day, you can see up to the lake district and Isle of Man from the summit. Here’s 2 pictures just 1 day apart comparing a clear and cloudy day.
Thurday : 17 April 2014
Friday : 18 April 2014
Getting to Llanberis:
Since the path we chose starts from Llanberis Village, we stayed there for 2 nights.
By Car – From York, it was a 3.5 hrs drive to Llanberis Village.
By Train and Bus – take the national rail to Bangor Station and catch the 39/40 bus from Bangor to Llanberis. The bus ride is about 1hr.
We stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast guest house called Glyn Afon operated by a lovely couple. All rooms are ensuite and breakfast was scrumptious !!
Blue house : Pete’s place. Food was average.
Lastly, what’s travelling without meeting new friends??? We met a pair of sisters from London Parul and Deval who stayed in the same B&B !!! And the best way to know each other is over drinks at the pub. See you ladies in London soon!!!
We wish you an awesome climb to Snowdon!!!