Mount Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, at an elevation of 1,085 metres above sea level, and the highest point in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands. It’s been 2 years I started talking about Snowdonia and the possibility of hiking up Snowdon so when I finally did it I was so happy albeit it was a bittersweet experience- I will get into this later! This post is all about my experience in Climbing Mount Snowdon via the Pyg and Miner’s Track
Where to start
Yass & I chose the Pyg and Miners Track. After much research, we decided to go with these paths as it was the closest to we were staying in Llanberis. It starts off as Pyg Track but then joins with the Miner’s track after a few hours in. These paths are considered as medium difficulty, less scrambling and an ascent I think of 800m. We set off early, around 10.20am
The Pyg track starts from the Pen y Pass car park which is a 30 mins bus ride from Llanberis ( get the s2 towards Betws y Coed) The buses are hourly so it’s better to start off early and ask the driver when the last bus from Pen y Pass is. The start of the track is clearly labelled and soon we were off!
A rocky but easy start with that gale force winds, it meant we had to pause a couple of times. After about 20 mins of walking, the path starts to be very rocky with some scrambling for the next 30 mins or so, you are then rewarded at the top of this with beautiful scenery. After this, you follow the foot made path up. it’s pretty straightforward however in some areas it’s easy to get off track. Luckily for us, there were a few people climbing up so we followed them when it got confusing.
After 1.30hr into the hike, we got to the snowy path of the hike up! This is the bitter part of the experience. We had wind and light snow plus the snow and ice that was already there. It started getting slippery really quickly. The most experienced (and prepared) ones started to change into their snow boots with the ice spikes but Yass & I didn’t have these. We still carried on tho, going much slower and treading carefully. We went all the way to the top very close to the summit but decided we couldn’t go any further because we didn’t have the right shoes and equipment. Apparently from where we were it was about another 1hr hike, we met a fellow climber who told us this as he’s been up before, and advised us it wasn’t worth it if we didn’t have the right shoes and equipment as its really slippery and hard to climb up, he and his buddy were turning back as well as they didn’t have their ice shoes. At this point, it was windy, extremely cold, and lightly snowing. My hands were frozen! I actually thought I would get frostbite because we had been scrambling in the snow/ice for the last 30-45 mins and my gloves were wet and frozen. Given how slippery and hard it was up until this point, I didn’t want to go any further fearing injury so we decided to go back down.
In my opinion, the climb down was slightly harder than going up at least in the snow/ice. I became really fearful because all I could think off was slipping and falling. I had to fight to push that out of my mind, PRAY and tread slowly down. People were really nice too, at some points where I didn’t know where to go to next, they offered to go ahead of me showing me where I could step. Slowly, we made it out of the icy part, back into the ‘sunshine’. The wind had picked up even more so this meant a lot of pauses. After a long time, we could get the small café in the Pen y Pass car park and we knew it wasn’t too long to go. After 3.30 hrs (more/less) we finally made it back in one piece in the café and it was then we saw this!
Even though we didn’t get to the summit, we were pretty close and I would say it felt something like -10 or -15. The whole hike up and down is supposed to be about 6 hours but I’m guessing because we didn’t make it all the way to the summit, we did this in half the time. We headed to Betws y Coed for lunch ( we got the same s2 bus) The snow picked up again and we were so glad we didn’t go all the way because that meant it would have been even tougher and dangerous climb. We went to the Waterloo Hotel in Betws y Coed for lunch and the food and service were good. I really wanted a steak which I ordered but I am not sure if they mistook well done for extremely tough because man that steak was hard to bite! lol
Climbing Mount Snowdon was definitely an experience! Something I am so happy I did! I wish we made it to the summit but I can’t be disappointed that we didn’t as the conditions were just too dangerous. In hindsight, Yass thinks we could have made it in our normal walking boots if we went really slowly but I think not. We are inexperienced at mountain climbing let alone to climb in snowy/ice conditions! I layered well so I kept warm most of the time up there, however, my hands were frozen, I had ordinary gloves which were fine but after scrambling on the ice they became wet and frozen too.
I will definitely go back in warmer weather to make it all the way to the summit! I would recommend the Pyg / Miner’s track as you are rewarded with beautiful scenery after some scrambling but I will choose a different route up. There are about 6 paths up Snowdon, it would be a shame to do the same route twice!
Here’s a list of some equipment you need and those I found helpful
[amazon_textlink asin=’B007IFPCLW’ text=’Walking boots’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahfynn-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’28c084ef-3037-11e8-8833-afa76c444bc8′]
[amazon_textlink asin=’B01H1RHUSY’ text=’A small back pack’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahfynn-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’50d0b67e-3037-11e8-b6f2-7d78669f4dea’]. I had in mine water, juice and some cereal bars
[amazon_textlink asin=’B076LXD5WZ’ text=’Gloves’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahfynn-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’68248b25-3037-11e8-bb14-dfad44a5877d’]
[amazon_textlink asin=’B01MXJBPGQ’ text=’Thermal layers’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahfynn-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’5f53c58d-3037-11e8-b41e-ab1aec1c144c’]
[amazon_textlink asin=’B07779CTK7′ text=’Ice spikes/crampons’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahfynn-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’78cfaac5-3037-11e8-9425-451418feff6f’] if climbing in winter
If you are thinking of Snowdonia just go you won’t regret it! A post on Llanberis will be up shortly! In fact it was supposed to be up before this one but I started writing that on my work computer and I forgot to send it to myself!
Planning my next hiking challenge for the summer! Will let you know all about that soon!
I have reached my yearly goal of travelling! Each year I challenged myself to visit 3 new places and I have done this! I still have some travel plans for later in the year though! BUT my travel this year will be mostly local in the UK as I am trying to save. I will also do Europe if I come across a really good deal!
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