Climbing Snowdon is no easy task. Many people assume that because Snowdon is located in Wales it can’t be that hard of a climb. Well, that’s simply not the case.
Wales may not evoke images of Everest or K2, but hiking Snowdon is difficult in its own right. At 1,085 metres (3,560 feet) above sea level, Snowdon is no hill and when the Wesh weather takes a turn for the worst, it can be dangerous!
Despite this, hiking Snowdon is something that most people should be able to accomplish.
Getting to Snowdon
Snowdon is located in the Snowdonia National Park in North West Wales. The nearest town to the base of the climb is Llanberis and depending on where you are coming from it can take a while to get there.
The main road you will have to get on is the A55, which starts from Chester and snakes through the North West of Wales to Holyhead. So getting to Chester first and then onto the A55 is the way to go. Once on the A55, just keep on going until you see signs for Llanberis and then follow them through to the town.
By road is really the only way to access Snowdon, so if you don’t own a car then it might be best to hire one. No trains go into the town and buses are few and far between.
What to take
Climbing Snowdon takes a while, approximately 2 hours to the top for the average person, add or subtract a few minutes depending on your fitness level. Regardless of your fitness level, it is best to pack a few essentials when hiking Snowdon.
Food and water are essential items for anyone going up Snowdon. Although there is a cafe at the top, it’s not wise to go at least an hour and a half before you get there without any water, so definitely pack these.
This being Wales and Snowdon being a mountain, the weather conditions can be considerably different at the top than they are at the bottom. So I would definitely bring a jacket or hooded top, as it will most likely be cold at the top.
Once you get to the top, you’ll most probably want to get a drink and something to eat from the cafe. Therefore, I’d advise taking some money with you. There is also a cable car that goes to the top, so if you don’t fancy the walk back down, you can pay to go back down on this.
It should be noted that the cable car and cafe are not always open, so do bear this in mind when you set out on your hike.
There are many tracks you can take to get to the top of Snowdon. The most commonly used routes start at the Pen-y-pass car park opposite the YHA hostel in Llanberis. These include the Miner’s Track, Pyg Track and Crib Goch.
Of these, the Miner’s track and Pyg track are the easiest for climbers of all abilities and also offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Crib Goch is a tougher prospect and is certainly for inexperienced mountaineers, as it has claimed the lives of even experienced climbers. With exposed precipices on either side, it is a dangerous, yet stunning track to take to the summit of Snowdon.
On a good day, the views from the summit are exceptional and offer the most extensive views of the British Isles. Ireland, Scotland, England and the Isle of Man are all visible.
A common method of hiking Snowdon as part of the Three Peaks challenge, which encompasses climbing the highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland in 24 hours. As well as Snowdon, participants climb Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis.
Hiking Snowdon is a great way to spend a summer’s afternoon and with the views that are offered on the way up the hike and from the top, it is certainly worth doing if you are in North West England or Wales!
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