Snowdon – Yr Wyddfa

Choose from six different paths to conquer this 1,085 metre (3,560 feet) giant which are the Llanberis path, Pyg Track, Miners’ Track, Watkin Path, Rhyd-Ddu Path or the Snowdon Ranger Path

This was my 1st walk! up Snowdon, in the summer of 2010.

I chose the Watkin Path  because I had read that it was the most scenic route. I was very unprepared for the ‘walk’ ahead. I should explain, I was then 59 and have a mild heart condition and was not completely fit!

I arrived early at Nantgwynant car park, put on my boots and rucksack and set off.

In effect you are starting at almost sea level and the walk is 6 km.  After crossing the road you enter straight in a wooded area. The walk is pleasant and rising gently. If you turn and look back there are very pleasant views of the surrounding area.

For normal people allow 6 to 8 hours for the round trip if not more.

As you exit the woods the path turns left, once around the corner ahead an up are a sequence of waterfalls. By this time the climb is beginning to steepen and I am sweating, so stop to take some photographs (a great excuse). At this point you can clearly see the route ahead, which at this stage does not look difficult. Already, fitter walkers are passing me some even running (respect).  Heading onwards the walk is a mix of flat and some uphill, the views are fantastic. The top of Snowdon was under cloud, but every thing else was visible.

After passing Gladstone Rock the climb begins to get a little steeper and you are on the Watkin Path proper.  Climbing on you pass Craig-ddu to your right. As you proceed along the side of the valley you climb from 399m to 608m, ‘the going has got tough’ I am needing to make regular stops to let the leg muscles recover, and take some photographs.

Next is a twisting climb up steps. At the top the walk levels somewhat and as you walk along the ridge you can look down over  Llyn Llydaw, way out towards Betws-Y-Coed or back down the route and out towards Barmouth. The views are fantastic and you should linger here, perhaps stop for lunch even.

Ahead the path is not obvious, especially if no other walkers are near bye. On this day the summit was under cloud and half the shale climb was covered.  I ventured on, cautiously. This part of the ‘walk’ is steep, ir’s not rock climbing but is a scramble and not a walk.  I needed to stop frequently now, and at one point thought I would not make it. Some very kind people stopped to chat to me and gave me encouragement, they staid with me to the top (my thanks to them).

It was a shame the summit was in cloud but I can return!.

Once at the top it is quite surreal. Inside the café are hundreds of other climbers, walkers, runners, and people who come up on the train. On the way up I had seen very few people (which was quite nice) this was a shock. Because of the cloud cover (lack of views) I recuperated and set off back down. I returned the way I had come up. By the time I was half way down there were lots of people heading up, some in totally unsuitable clothing to be up there amazingly.

I had a fantastic day.

Below are some of the images from the day in more or less sequential order

Then there’s Yr Wyddfa – Snowdon. Wales’ highest mountain dominates the skyline of North West Wales. Perhaps something is calling you to conquer this 1,085 metre (3,560 feet) peak. Maybe it’s on your bucket list, or you’re doing it for charity. Or you just fancy seeing the views from the top.