It was a quick trip to Snowdon this late May bank holiday weekend. We set off from London on Saturday morning, picked up some supplies and headed straight for the Mountain Farm Campsite in Llanberis. After a 6 hour drive, we quickly pitched the tent and got the well deserved BBQ going.
Sunday: The Snowdon day
We woke up to the sound of rain on the tent tarp. After checking the weather forecast for the rest of the day we decided to leave the walk up Snowdon until the afternoon when the weather was meant to improve. By 11 the rain had stopped and we were on board the Snowdon Sherpa to Pen-y-pass.
As by magic the minute we hit the Pyg track it started raining again. The ascent was gradual and the trail easy enough for anyone wearing hiking boots – even if it sometimes resembled a little stream, as heavy rain continued to fall.
By the time we reached the first finger stone where the Miners track joins, our waterproofs have been through some heavy duty testing. At the second finger stone where the Llanberis path joins, wind replaced rain for the final ascent to the summit.
2 hours 8 minutes after we set off from Pen-y-pass, we were standing at the top of Snowdon. On a good day you can see all the way to Ireland from here. So they say. We could barely see each other.
The summit cafe was a great refuge from the cold wind; the queues and competition for seats an experience of their own. After nearly an hour in the packed hall, the cloud lifted and we could enjoy a view down to Llanberis and finally see Snowdon itself on our way back down to Pen-y-pass.
This time, we descended along the Miners track. The path there was good too with no ‘scree’ issues as described on some sites. We lost altitude rapidly, reaching lake Glaslyn quickly. From there on the rest of the route was a leisurely stroll along the Snowdon lakes.
Using the Miners track to descend was a good call as ascending this way would have been a lot more demanding with most altitude gained in the last quarter of the route.
Back at Pen-y-pass (after a 2 hour descent) we hopped on the next Sherpa bus to Llanberis. After one more night in the tent and some more rain on Monday morning, we packed up and drove back to London. Five hours back and plenty of time to dry at home.
Planning your own Snowdon trip
If you are planning your own trip up Snowdon, High Trek Snowdonia and Walk Eryri feature handy route descriptions. There are a number of trails to the summit, ranging from the easy Llanberis path to the difficult Snowdon Horseshoe via Crib Goch. The Pyg and Miners tracks are among the most popular. Both are clearly marked, easy to follow and a nice Sunday walk for anyone moderately fit.
Rain and strong wind can make the walk a lot more demanding though. Check the weather on the Mountain Weather Information Service site to get ready for what mother nature might bring.
Did you get wet on Snowdon too? Leave a comment!
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