At 1085m, Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa in Welsh) is the highest peak in Wales and the highest peak south of Scotland. It has become known as the world’s most popular mountain, with around 700,000 visitors a year. Don’t let the numbers put you off climbing this special mountain, time it right and you can have the summit all to yourself. On a clear day you can see England, Scotland and Ireland, the different views from the different aspects of the mountain can be some of the best the UK has to offer.
Surrounded in myth, legend and history and with so many different ways to reach the summit, I challenge you to find a mountain that has so much to offer.
There are 7 main routes to reach the summit, some easier than others. Below is a brief description of each.
Distance – 9 Miles. Total Climb – 980m. Time – 6+ hours. One of the easier, but also one of the longest routes.
Staring in Llanberis, the path basically follows the same route as the Snowdon Mountain Railway. A great route for families, as there is the Halfway House (a cafe to stop for a quick refuel and a break.) There are plenty of places to park in town and lots of B&B’s and hotels to stop in if you want to make a weekend of it.
The path is a long walk with a steady incline all the way to the summit, there is a slightly steeper section just after Clogwyn Station, but nothing too bad. Its very easy to follow and I doubt that you will be alone.
Some great views of the cliffs of Clogwyn Coch which hosts some classic climbing routes and is one of the few places that the rare Snowdon Lily grows.
Look down into Cwm Hetiau (the Valley of the Hats). So called because Victorian Tourists on the railway frequently had their hats blown off by the wind. These hats were found by local shepherds who named the spot Cwm Hetiau.
It is possible to walk up and then catch the train down, but please check with the railway before hand. People who have come up on the train do come down on it, so there might not be any spaces.
A quick word of warning, although one of the easiest routes, it can be a bit of a black spot in winter.
Distance – 7 miles. Total Climb – 730m. Time – 5-6 hours. The quickest route to the summit.
Starting a Pen y Pass, this is one of the more popular routes to the summit. Nice and flat for the first few hundred metres, but then steepens up quite a bit. Easy to follow and plenty of people about. Arrive at Bwlch y Moch (pass of pigs) and get some amazing views of Llyn Llydaw and Y Llewedd. Cross over the double stile and the path now flattens out a bit, giving you plenty of time to take in the amazing views. Look down to the left at the Miners Track or up to your right to the infamous Crib Goch. ( dont make the mistake of going up Crib Goch from Bwlch y Moch, some mistake Crib Goch for Snowdon, as it is the mountain that is visible from the car park.)
Turn the corner and Snowdons’ Trinity Face comes into view and you will get views of Glaslyn, the lake where King Arthurs body was cast off to Avalon and his sword, Excalibur, was thrown to ‘The Lady Of The Lake’.
Soon you will reach the ‘Zig Zags’ and the path steepens up considerably. You will soon reach the ‘Finger Stone’ where the path meets the railway and the Llanberis Path. Turn left here and you are only a short walk from the summit.
The path is easy to follow in daylight, but can be lost quite easily if you are thinking of a night ascent.
Distance – 8 miles. Total Climb – 730m. Time – 5-6 hours. Same start point as Pyg Track but an easier start.
Also starting at Pen y Pass, the Miners Path has a very easy start and takes you on a route which passes the three lakes on the way to the top.
Distance – 8.5 miles. Total Climb – 900m. Time – 6 hours. Some great views, and a nice little pub at the bottom.
Distance – 8 miles. Total Climb – 940m. Time – 6 hours. The oldest route to the summit.
Distance – 8 miles. Total Climb – 1015m. Time – 6 hours. One of the hardest routes as you near enough climb the full height of the mountain, but maybe also the most scenic.
Distance – 7 miles. Total Climb – 1050m. Time – 7 hours. The most thrilling and exhilarating climb to the roof of Wales.
There are many, many other ways to reach the summit. The South Ridge, Y Llewedd, Cribau, Cwm Glas, and Moel Eilio to name a few.