We didn’t take the train
It’s been a few years since I have been anywhere near a mountain, never mind go up one, but my friend Kaori really wanted to attempt climbing Mount Snowdon, situated in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, it’s the highest and one of the most beautiful mountains in Wales.
Meeting beforehand in the quaint village of Betws-Y-Coed, we grabbed the last-minute supplies and I fed my addiction for postcards by grabbing a few to send out next week (it’s best to bear in mind that there are no major supermarkets around the area, your best bet is either Llandudno or Wrexham if you require anything major).
After sorting ourselves out, we set about driving the final 20 minutes to the small but busy Pen-y-Pass car-park, which is the starting point of both the Miners and Pyg paths and has toilets and changing facilities available for walkers to use before setting off up the mountain.
We decided to opt for the Miners track, a 3 3/4 mile track that starts off along a gentle track, working its way up the east face of the mountain, where you will find yourself walking past some beautiful mountain lakes and up to the long abandoned and truly beautiful ruins of the Britannia Copper Mines, this is a perfect place to relax if you don’t fancy going all the way up to the summit, as there is a small beach on the side of the lake and is still high up enough to provide some stunning views over the North Welsh landscape.
After this point, the path gets steeper and slightly more of a scramble, but still not overly tough for a novice climbers, zig zaging up the mountain, going past a couple of penny tree’s and eventually we intercepted the final leg of the walk, joining the Llanberis and Ranger paths as they ran parallel with the train tracks of the Snowdon Mountain Railway, eventually leading up to Hafod Eryri, the highest cafe in the UK and the perfect place to relax before making the quick minute walk to the summit.
After relaxing near the summit for roughly half an hour, we started out decent, where we followed the same track down till the halfway point and then rather than using the Miners track, we opted for the Pyg track instead, which is a more rugged and challenging walk, which provides some beautiful views over the lakes and Pen-Y-Pass, leading up and over the side of the mountain, before taking us sharply down to the car park, where we began.
Overall it took us roughly 7 hours to get up and back down, which wasn’t bad as we had plenty of breaks, weren’t overly concerned with time and were blessed with good weather, however next time we go we plan to tackle one of the more difficult paths to the summit and seeing what wonderful views await us