This week we were on an adventure! We decided to use our annual leave to explore Snowdonia (and for me this was the first time in Wales) and climb up Snowdon. As everyone had already told me, North Wales is beautiful and there was lots of amazing scenery to take in, especially whilst we climbed Snowdon.
We took the Llanberis path up to Snowdon which is known as the easier (if not the easiest) of the routes up. We aren’t hill walkers, infact it’s hard enough to find a hill to walk up in Suffolk, so this was plenty of exercise for our little legs! The Llanberis path is easy to navigate (the pathway is always easy to see) and relatively easy to climb. It does have its steep parts, but it’s not so steep that you’ll need to be on your hands and knees at any point.
We started at 9.30am which I think was probably a little ahead of everyone else, as they all seemed to catch us up when we stopped for a break at Halfway House.
One of the steepest points in the route is probably the road leading the Llanberis path, but at least it’s tarmac, so it’s easy on the feet. Eventually, after a steady steep climb you reach the official signpost and start of the Llanberis path route.
From here on it’s mainly slate and stony paths. It was along this first part of the path that we met some runners. And wow are there a lot of people running up Snowdon! And in the most part we saw them running up whilst we were walking up and then whilst we were still walking up, they came sprinting down.
Everyone walking up and down was very friendly, and those that had walked it before told you what to expect next and when you could see the peak etc, which was nice and added to a good atmosphere.
The track is fairly samey for the first half of the walk, and reasonably flat. You cross under a small railway bridge (the photo at the top of this post is from that point) and even though it’s only halfway you still feel fairly high up, and views are incredible.
Continue along this easy path for a little way and you come to Halfway House. I didn’t know what to expect here, but turns out it’s a nice little stop off. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, snacks and a slush puppie machine. There’s also a toilet which is very important for someone like me who has such a small bladder. We refuelled here with a bottle of Lucozade Sport. At this point we were both hot and sweaty. Turns out we’d picked the best day to go up during our stay, and there was even a hint of sunshine as we made our way up.
Halfway House is halfway between sea level and the peak of Snowdon and over halfway in terms of distance. However, because it gets steeper time-wise it’s not quite halfway. Just past leaving Halfway House you come across this:
I’m not sure what it is, or why people leave money in it, but it seems interesting!
Continuing along this path for a little way it quickly steepens into a natural looking staircase made up of stoney chalky rock. And it is hard work for the unfit folk of Suffolk to get up. But at the top you are rewarded with crossing under the railway bridge once more, which sort of marks the beginning of the end of the climb in my eyes. After this it’s one more very steep climb and then it’s relatively easy walk to the top.
On our last little bit of climb the cloud really came in very quickly and we quickly lost visibility. Which isn’t unusual and was quite amazing to see how fast you can lose sight where you are. It was also at this point where the peak finally came into view and we realised that we were almost there!
It felt quite an achivement to finally get to the top (even if loads of people do it every year!) although we were both a hot and sweaty mess. When you get to the top there’s a cafe and visitors centre (so if you need a souvenir, go for your life) there’s also some hot food and of course the all important toilets. We’d brought some good up with us so we sat and had a little picnic, with accompanying seagull at the top with this view:
I think you’ll agree that as picnic views go it’s unrivalled. We also got very lucky with the weather when we got to the top with a lot of the cloud clearing and leaving us with amazing views.
Sadly, what goes up must come down and physically coming down is really hard on your joints (knees and ankles especially) but it did take us about half the time of going up in total. We opted to come down the same route as we went up purely for convenience sake (it saved catching a bus at the other end – I know, we’re lazy) and we’re not quite adventurous enough yet to have tried a different route.
I hope you kept up with all that and feel like you’ve climbed Snowdon with us. If you want a real experience of climbing with us we did some very amateur filming (or I did) which you can see by clicking below: