All You Need to Know About Snowdon - Adventurous Ewe

 

With Chief Ewe, Jim Young, being born and breed in Snowdonia and Adventurous Ewe’s HQ residing in this spectacular region, we’re only too happy to share our local knowledge and experience with you. Soaring, sharp and magnificent peaks rising high above the deep valleys, Snowdonia National Park is an ancient land of contrasts and jaw-dropping views. The National Park has 15 mountains that sit over 3000 feet and the most famous of them all, Snowdon or Yr Wyddfa, is the highest at 1085m. Making it the highest mountain in England and Wales.

Located in North Wales, Snowdon is a hugely popular peak; thousands of walkers flock to the mountain every year and are rewarded with amazing views that stretch for miles! The outlooks of the surrounding peaks, jagged ridges, stunning valleys, glistening lakes and picturesque villages really are breath-taking. On a clear day its possible to see as far as Ireland and even the Isle of Man! Plus, it is designated as a national nature reserve for its rare flora and fauna.

The culture and identity of the Snowdonia region has been significantly influenced by the myths, legends, folklore, giants, monsters and magic that are associated with almost every lake, hill, mountain and village. The Welsh tradition of storytelling has ensured that these rich and varied tales are still as vibrant today as they were in their early beginnings in the mists of time. The Welsh name ‘Yr Wyddfa’ translates to ‘Burial Place’, which may refer to the fact that Snowdon is said to be the mythical resting place of Rhitta Gawr – the giant killed by King Arthur.

 

Why climb 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; you’re doing it for charity; a corporate team challenge; with a bunch of pals or on your own and you just fancy pushing yourself and seeing the views from the top. Whatever your reason, it’s one of the best mountains in the UK to experience, though you must be well prepared and that’s where we can help. Read on for some top tips or join us on one of our exciting Snowdon events. We’ll provide you with everything you need to know including a training plan, kit list and plenty of local knowledge plus you’ll be accompanied by local Mountain Leaders who will ensure your safety and a great day out.

 

How long does it take to climb?

Despite the busy nature of Snowdon, all paths and routes on Snowdon vary in time and have their risks and hazards. These timings and risks are increased during poor conditions such as wet weather or poor visibility.

As a guideline it should take you between 4 – 7 hours to ascend and descend Snowdon (or just 1 hour if you take the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the top!). Check out the route summaries below for further info.

Routes

There are six popular routes up to the summit of Snowdon; varying in difficulty, distance and duration – they are all fantastic routes in their own right and display stunning views of Snowdonia National Park.

The Llanberis Path

Is the longest and most gradual of the six main paths to the summit of Snowdon. It offers fantastic views of Cwm Brwynog, Llanberis and over the Menai Strait towards Anglesey. This is the most popular path amongst leisurely walkers as it is thought to be the easiest to walk in mild weather. This is the route we on our Snowdon by Night Challenge, where we witness the incredible mountain sunrise across Snowdonia National Park. It is also our descent route for the Snowdon Triple Challenge which allows you to the chance experience two different routes on the mountain during one event (the ascent is via either the Snowdon Ranger or Rhyd Ddu Paths).

Distance: 9 miles (there and back)
Total ascent: 975m (3,199 ft)
Time: Approx. 6 hours (there and back)
Start and Finish: Snowdonia Mountain Railway Station
Map: OS Explorer OL17
Parking: Numerous car parks in Llanberis (LL55 4TD)
Sherpa Bus Stop: Llanberis Interchange

The Pyg Track

This is the most rugged and one of the most challenging of the six paths up Snowdon. The route offers an array of fantastic views of the mountain range and shimmering lakes. The path leads along the foothills of Crib Goch, a ‘knife-edged’ arête which is one of the most famous ridges in the UK. Route finding up Crib Goch and along the ridge isn’t straightforward and the exposure is serious, therefore we strongly recommend that you only tackle this thrilling scramble accompanied by a qualified Mountain Leader. For those who have hill walking experience and keen to take on Crib Goch, check out our Welsh 15 Peaks Challenge during which you will be accompanied by skilled Mountain Leaders. It’s an awe-inspiring mountain trekking adventure spread over 3-days.

The Pyg Track is used to ascend Snowdon on our Snowdon Trek, as well as on our National Three Peaks Challenge.

Distance: 7 miles (there and back)
Total ascent: 723m (2,372 ft)
Time: Approx. 6 hours (there and back)
Start and Finish: Pen y Pass Car Park (SH 647 557 / LL55 4NY)
Map: OS Explorer OL17
Parking: Pay & Display car park at Pen-y-Pass. If the car park is full, you can park in Nant Peris (SH 607582 / LL55 4UF) and catch the Sherpa bus back up to Pen y Pass.
Sherpa Bus Stop: Pen y Pass Car Park

The Miners Path

The path starts off wide from Pen-y-Pass, climbing gradually passed Llyn Teyrn to Llyn Llydaw, where the ruins of the old copper mine can be seen. From here, the path climbs steeply to Llyn Glaslyn, where it becomes more challenging to ascend over scree towards the intersection of the Miners’ and the Pyg Tracks. The path then zigzags up to Bwlch Glas, and then on to the summit.

Distance: 8 miles (there and back)
Total ascent: 723m (2,372 ft)
Time: Approx. 6 hours (there and back)
Start and Finish: Pen y Pass Car Park (SH 647 557 / LL55 4NY)
Map: OS Explorer OL17
Parking: Pay & Display car park at Pen-y-Pass. If the car park is full, you can park in Nant Peris (SH 607582 / LL55 4UF) and catch the Sherpa bus back up to Pen y Pass.
Sherpa Bus Stop: Pen y Pass Car Park

Rhyd Ddu Path

This path up Snowdon is the quietest of the six main routes to the summit, and the one that offers the most striking mountain scenery, especially towards Moel Hebog and the hills of Nantlle. It was used as the first official ascent of Snowdon in 1639. We use this route, or the Snowdon Ranger Path, on the ascent of our Snowdon Triple Challenge. 

Distance: 8.5 miles (there and back) 
Total ascent: 895m (2,936 ft)
Time: Approx. 6 hours (there and back) 
Start and Finish: Rhyd Ddu Car Park (SH 571 526 / LL54 6TN)
Map: OS Explorer OL17
Parking: Pay and Display Rhyd Ddu Car Park (SH 571 526 / LL54 6TN)
Sherpa Bus Stop: End of Rhyd Ddu Car Park

Snowdon Ranger Path

The Snowdon Ranger Path is also one of the quieter routes on Snowdon which follows a rocky path up the eastern slopes before joining the shoulder over Clogwyn Du’r Arddu and merges with the Llanberis Path for the final stretch to the summit. The Ranger Path offers stunning views over vast valleys, mountain lakes and steep rocky ridges. We use this route, or the Rhyd Ddu Path, on the ascent of our Snowdon Triple Challenge which gives you the chance to experience two different routes on Snowdon during the same event (we descend via the Llanberis Path).

Distance: 8 miles (there and back)
Total ascent: 936m (3,071 ft)
Time: Approx. 6 hours (there and back) 
Start and Finish: Llyn Cwellyn Car Park, off the A4085 (SH 564 551 / LL54 7YT) 
Map: OS Explorer OL17
Parking: Pay and Display Llyn Cwellyn Car Park (SH 564 551 / LL54 7YT)
Sherpa Bus Stop: Llyn Cwellyn Car Park

The Watkin Path

Named after Sir Edward Watkin, this is thought to be one of the toughest of the six routes to the summit as it starts just above sea level and has the largest vertical ascent. The path starts off wide and quite even, but becomes rocky towards the second half, and then crosses loose scree before leading up to the summit.

Distance: 8 miles (there and back)
Total ascent: 1,015m (3,330 ft)
Time: Approx. 6 hours (there and back) 
Start and Finish: Pont Bethania Bridge Car Park, Nant Gwynant, off the A498 (SH 627 507/ LL55 4NL) 
Map: OS Explorer OL17
Parking: Pay and Display Pont Bethania Bridge Car Park (SH 627 507/ LL55 4NL)
Sherpa Bus Stop: Nant Gwynant Car Park

 

Our Top 6 Tips to Make the Most of Your Snowdon Adventure

  1. Plan your route carefully – Before you set off choose a route that suits the fitness level of everybody in your group, not just your own. We recommend the Llanberis Path if this is your first time climbing Snowdon. Reaching the summit is only half the battle so be vigilant as you descend the mountain, as you will become tired and are more likely to slip or trip at this point. To be on the safe side and to enjoy the challenge, especially if this is your first mountain adventure, join us on one of our Snowdon events – Snowdon Trek, Snowdon Triple Challenge, Snowdon Triple Challenge at Sunrise or a Snowdon by Night Trek.
  2. Wear comfortable, ankle-supporting walking boots and suitable clothing – The terrain can be uneven and the weather unpredictable. You’ll need a waterproof and windproof jacket and over trousers. We strongly advise to take extra clothing such as a thermal base layer, fleece jacket, gloves and a hat and pack all your kit inside a waterproof bag. Being prepared is key as the weather can change very quickly on the mountain.
  3. Check the weather forecast – Make sure you check the local weather forecast before starting your trek, you don’t want to be caught out in a sudden change of conditions! We recommend using http://www.mwis.org.uk/english-welsh-forecast/SD/. If the weather does deteriorate during your walk, then turn back. You can always return another day and the mountain isn’t going anywhere.
  4. Start your trek early – The car parks fill up quickly on the busier routes, with spaces sometimes filling up by 9am on summer weekends! This also gives you plenty of daylight hours to ascend and descend the mountain, especially if it is your first time.
  5. Carry a rucksack with all your important supplies – Make sure you carry plenty of water and snacks for your journey, in order to keep hydrated and to keep your energy levels high! Emergency equipment such as a map, compass, torch, map, whistle, any personal medication and first aid kit should also be carried with you at all times.
  1. Tell someone reliable about your plans – Which route you’re taking and what time you expect to return, so they can raise the alarm if you don’t make it back by your given time. Remember to let them know if your plans change at all. Another top tip is to share your live location through WhatsApp or other similar apps so your designated friend or family member can track your progress. 

 

Join the flock – exciting adventures in Snowdonia

We absolutely love living in Snowdonia and we really enjoy sharing our backyard and all it has to offer with you. If you’re new to hill walking or an experienced trekker or you’re a solo traveller, with a group of pals, fundraising for a charity or wanting a team challenge for your company, we have a broad range of events for you to join. For more info, please get in touch. We’d love to hear more about you and from there we can recommend an adventure in Snowdonia which suits you perfectly. From classic Snowdon challenges to events which are unique to Adventurous Ewe, feel free to have a browse of the exciting adventures below. 

Starting with the classic Snowdon by Night Trek. Experience ascending Snowdon under a blanket of the night sky with the moon as your back drop and reach the summit as the sun rises across the mountainous landscape.

 

 

Below are some unique adventures created by Chief Ewe, Jim, for you to experience more than just the mountain. These events take you to other beautiful parts of Snowdonia so you can explore and experience more of this beautiful region whilst having a great day out.

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  • Or take on the unique Snowdon Sea to Summit adventure where you cycle from the historic coastal town of Conwy (where Chief Ewe Jim was born) to the base of Snowdon. Then swap your bike for boots and hike to the summit of Snowdon. A great day out with bikes included.

 

 

Or for those who wish to take on a hard core mountain challenge, join us for the Welsh 15 Peaks Challenge. Here you will conquer all 15 peaks over 3000 feet in Wales in just 3 days. It’s an epic challenge which also gives you the chance to experience the thrilling grade 1 scramble over Crib Goch.

 

Snowdon also features in several of our other mountain challenges as highlighted below:

  • Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge – Conquer three mighty peaks in Wales in just one weekend – Snowdon in North Wales, Cadair Idris in Mid Wales and Pen-y-Fan in South Wales;
  • National 3 Peaks Challenge – Tackle the three highest peaks in the UK over 24 hours, 48 hours or 3 days – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales or the
  • National & Ireland 5 Peaks Challenge – The ultimate mountain adventure with taking on the five highest peaks in the UK & Ireland – Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in England, Ben Nevis in Scotland, Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland and finish on the summit of Carrauntoohil in Ireland

 

We hope you found this helpful and a big thank-ewe for popping by and reading about Snowdon.

For any more info on any of these exciting adventures or Snowdon itself, please feel free to get in touch with Jim or Sue at info@adventurousewe.co.uk or call 01492 588 069. We love chatting all things Snowdon and can’t wait to welcome you to this very special part of North Wales.

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