Climbing Mount Snowdon
Climbing Mount Snowdon is an adventure that’s been on my wish list for a long time However trips abroad, surfing and visiting family have always been a priority. Finally I took the time out to visit Snowdon and I couldn’t believe I had left it so long. It’s really hard to believe that I grew up with this beautiful part of the world just on my doorstep. Snowdonia almost reminds me of being in New Zealand, where natures pure beauty can leave you feeling overwhelmed. If you are like me and you enjoy being outdoors, then it is the perfect place to visit for a long weekend. If you are planning on climbing Mount Snowdon soon, see my guide below to an alternative route to the summit.
Mount Snowdon is located in the heart of Snowdonia’s breathtaking national park in Northwest Wales. Location wise it’s about an hours drive South West of Chester and about 2 hours North West of Birmingham. It’s hugely popular with tourists, especially in the summer months between May and August, however this is definitely the best time to visit. Snowdon is the largest mountain in England and Wales at approx 3,560 ft high. Many people choose to climb Mount Snowdon however if you’re not an avid walker, then there is also the option to get the train with Snowdon’s Mountain Railway from Llanberis which takes you right to the top of the summit! Personally I think this is cheating unless you are unwell, elderly or have really small children. It’s such a beautiful day walk and you would miss so many amazing views if you took the easy route.
Which track to take
There is a couple of different options to choose from when hiking up Snowdon. The most popular routes to the summit are the pyg or minors track. However we decided to take a quieter route called the Rhydd Ddu track. This starts just outside the village at Rhydd Ddu and it takes about 1:30hrs to get to the top. The views as you climb are incredible and as you start to get closer to the summit you walk along the ridge of the mountain. I wouldn’t say it is an extremely difficult track, however there are a few sections where the path gets a little steep or narrow, so if you haven’t got a head for heights it may feel a little sketchy. I would say that the benefit to taking this track is that it is much quieter, there were times when it was just the two of us in sight.
I have to admit we were extremely lucky with the weather on this particular trip, it was fairly mild and only a little cloudy which meant we got to see some special views at the top. We managed to see a large part of the Welsh coastline from Barmouth to Anglesey, and looking south you could see mountain after mountain across Snowdonia’s national park. It was unbelievably stunning. Despite it being a sunny day, due to the altitude it was still pretty chilly at the top. However there is a nice cafe where you can enjoy a warm drink and / or food.
We stayed at Snowdon’s base camp campsite which is located at the bottom of the Rhydd Ddu track. It was a pretty basic campsite that was conveniently located next to a beautiful lake. A perfect spot to relax after such a big walk. I took the opportunity and practiced yoga to stretch out the legs. It was stunning and so peaceful.
There is a pub serving food all day next to the campsite, however we took a five minute drive to a pretty town called Beddgelert for dinner. We popped into a pub called the Tanronnen Inn and despite the interior being quite dated the menu was perfect, serving home cooked food and great beer. We both had a huge fish pie and chips…which I felt was well deserved after our long day.
If like me climbing Snowdon is something you have often thought about but never got round to, then I highly recommend you plan a trip there soon. I couldn’t believe that I have been to all these places around the world and missed out on this beauty so close to home. Snowdonia really is an area of outstanding beauty and I would love to go back for longer to explore more of it.