Newest Review: ... piece of advice, time on the internet states 2.5 hours for this route, personally I'd add a little extra on as the daunting shock of the s... more
A picturesque view ...if you get any breaks in weather
Member Name: Jadey-Jade
Date: 06/07/12, updated on 28/09/12 (42 review reads)
Advantages: Tranquill - Beautiful scenary - A nice climb
Disadvantages: Deffinitely a scramble to the top
*** Updated 28/9/12 ***
Climbing this was part of my 3 peak challenge. It was the last one we did, and despite us climbing to the very top, we couldn't see anything, all my photos are just of me and friends with a pure white background behind us, but trust me we got to the top.
Snowdon is the tallest mountain in Wales set in the area of Snowdonia, I had never been before and so didn't know what to expect, I heard it was 'moderate' climb and after Ben Nevis I was under the illusion this was going to be a breeze. We parked at base, were there was toilets (I think there may have been a shop or cafe, but I can't comment here too well as we never stopped by) The toilets we used was the disabled as at the time they was cleaning the separate ladies loo. The disabled toilet was nothing to be desired, it was cold, damp, and toilet roll on the floor (but we much rather use this than squat mid climb, so it was fine) At the end of the day you need to remember your climbing a mountain in a rural area and it's good that toilets of any sort are provided, and they had cleaners as we witnessed this in progress which is great.
It started off very flat and smooth, it was just long paths, after what only felt like 30 minutes began a little more of a stepping stone path. Still on the fairly flat path, but you felt it a little more with your knees now, once you clear of these you then reach a peak with a beautiful waterfall and the purest looking lake ever. It was here that the true climb begins. I believe it is at the lake section were we then took the 'miners' path which is believed to be a relatively easy route; this is a little daunting as at this point the accent became more rock climbing than mountain walking ... it was a scramble to say the least. At some points going up, there is a very small (what some may call path) between you and the edge, which was a little off putting for myself who wasn't looking forward to these sections. Just as a piece of advice, time on the internet states 2.5 hours for this route, personally I'd add a little extra on as the daunting shock of the scramble, really does cause you to take extra care. This 'scramble' route goes on for some climb, however you definitely feel as though you are progressing, ever so steadily. At the top of the scramble you then have to take a left towards the top summit, this part is very smooth and it really does give you that indication that you are nearly there. On our way up I was a little concerned about the route down as the drops would be in front of us then, but fortunately it didn't seem that tough on route down.
To go into some more detail the 'scramble' climb up was definitely not what I was expecting, so please prepare yourself for this, there was a group of us and this was great as we all helped each other out. We had 2 boys in front who took lead and helped find a good route for us, myself and another female was dotted further down the line with a boy always behind us, just for support really. A word of warning, do not look down, try your best to just stay focus of what's in front of you. I found that looking down as was on our way up was not good at all, I felt quite dis-orientated and it was very off putting; however I found coming down wasn't that bad at all, I think this was due to the fact that it's wasn't as obvious as on the way up; coming down just felt a little more natural.
The scenery is just beautiful, we didn't manage to get the true benefit of it, as we had our eye on the clock and also the weather was extremely poor. Rain and even fog and mist was what put most of our vision out. We managed to catch a few 'very quick' snaps when the clouds moved away, but you had to be quick. We also caught the most beautiful photo on the way down; which was a cloud of just pure orange, I think the sun had just set and we was catching the remaining air surrounding it. If you manage to go up here on a clear day I imagine it would be a beautiful sight. At the very very top you are met with another monument type feature (again a similar one was at Ben Nevis, and seems to be a trend of things to plant at the top of mountains) it was pretty much a sun dial again which tried to explain were and how far you could see 'obviously' on clear days, and therefore it meant nothing to us on the day we climbed.
You get a certificate ?
I've been told that there is a functioning cafe at the top were you can not only buy something to eat and something warm to drink but also a certificate to say you have climbed to the top. I can only presume it was closed when we went up there, however I couldn't even see were this building was due to the weather. There is a also a working train which takes you up to the top if you are finding the walk tough or just want to take a easy route up and down. So therefore I suppose you could cheat and go up on the train, buy the certificate and pretend you truly climbed to the top;; however you will only be cheating your self if you do this :). We only saw the train track when we got to the very top, so I can only think that the track follows a different route on the way up to the top of the mountain. Personally I wouldn't fancy using a train to climb a mountain.
My Overall view is that it was a lovely walk, I really enjoyed this one. The views were beautiful what we saw of them and the walk was pretty simple. Although we did see people with children and dogs up there, personally I wouldn't' recommend it, due to the 'scramble climb' which we faced. Also if you haven't done it before I would familiarise yourself with this first maybe on some forum websites or ask others who have climbed it, as if it wasn't for fellow members of our group doing this mountain before, we would have never believed nor guessed that the 'scramble' was in fact the actual route. As I have said, the reason for our climb was part of our 3 peak challenge, however I would definitely climb this again if I went away to Wales for a trip for example. Another pointer I'll make is that the route we took showed no obvious break spots. Yes you can stop anywhere for a minute, however if you was looking for somewhere pretty to take an hour picnic stop for example I can't really think you would find anywhere on the route we took. The only 'quiet' space would be at the bottom of the scramble near the lake (this would be beautiful, to take rest here, overlooking the crisp clear lake) however it may be busy or nosey depending what time you take your stop. Other routes of the climb, may have more quieter spots, so this could be an idea to research on. Another quick pointer, turn left when you get to the top of the scramble!
Apologies I can't report back on some of the base camp features, such as top and bottom cafe, gift shop, parking ect, as this was out of my hands. But as a mountain and general climb it was amazing, and something I would love to do again.
* Over 3,500ft
* Highest mountain in Wales
* 1 of 3 mountains as part of the popular 3 peak challange
* Gorgeous views, but hard work too
* Lots of various routes to take...even a train
* Be careful AND be prepared
I won't go into too much detail here as I did with my Ben Nevis climb, but as with any form of challenge or walk planned like this you need to take care. Be prepared and over prepared if needs be, it's pointless getting all the way there and realising "I should have packed them gloves or that extra bottle of water", it's better to take more than less in case you need it (yes your bag may be a tiny bit heaver, but it's better to be prepared) Research online of what previous weather has been like, what it's estimated to be like on your climb day. Take warm clothes, spare clothes (even if you leave your spare dry set in the car for when you have finished), plenty of food. Most of all be careful and enjoy yourself, take a camera if you can as it's beautiful up there and you can get some cracking 'screen saver' photos.
Summary: A great walk, with some beautiful views