My second of the three peaks was Snowdon, following Scafell Pike back in May. I did Snowdon in early June, ages ago now, so this is a shamefully late write up. Snowdon has been a cursed dream for me. I’ve had many a family holiday to North Wales (growing up with Snowdonia as our closest and easiest to get to National Park) however hadn’t made it up Snowdon. Usually trips have been sidelined by the weather.
Well the weather wasn’t going to stop me this time.
Our base for the trip was Caernarfon which is perfectly located for Snowdonia adventures with the bonus of affordable accomodation and a couple of great pubs. It is also well connected to Snowdonia by public transport, essential to my trips as I can’t drive. The original plan was to go up Snowdon via the Rangers Path and back down the Llanberis however things didn’t go to plan.
We woke up to a grey, wet and thoroughly miserable day. The Sherpa bus which goes via the Rangers Path would have meant waiting around town with nothing to do in the rain, so we decided to do the Llanberis path instead, simply because the bus times were better. My thinking was that it really wouldn’t matter which path we took if the weather stayed disgusting.
So to Llanberis on the 88 bus and then up Snowdon we marched. The weather could have been worse but it wasn’t particularly pleasant so we powered our way up to the summit.
I found the Llanberis path to be was a nice easy walk, steep in places but a decent pace was maintained. (*disclaimer here to say it is still a dangerous mountain and people should be prepared for the worst even when following a well made path!!). In fact I started to wish I was in my running gear rather than my walking gear. Then I probably could have attempted to run bits of it.
I very much enjoyed watching all the trains going up and down the mountain. What a marvellous piece of engineering that is, although it has it’s downsides. I wasn’t impressed with having to queue up to climb the final bit to the summit, with all the people who had just popped up on the train.
At the top we couldn’t see a thing and it felt like a luxury to have a sit down indoors and use a toilet. A luxury but also the most bizzare mountain experience. Mountains should not have burger bars, gift shops and toilets at the top of them. I now have a little more understanding of how Bill Bryson felt when doing his Appalachian Trail walks (as written about in Walk in the Woods), where he keeps finding car parks and gift shops up mountains that he has broken himself walking up.
I’ll definitely be back to tackle some of the more interesting and challenging routes up Snowdon.