Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, and the busiest in the UK, with around 600,000 visitors annually. With jaw-dropping views, tricky terrains and a grand sense of achievement for completing this challenge, it’s not difficult to see why it is a firm favourite as a Welsh attraction. If you’re considering venturing up the mount yourself whilst staying in one of our Snowdonia holiday cottages, then you might want to take a few of our tips on board to ensure that the experience is as enjoyable as possible!
1. Check the Weather
It may be difficult to find the optimum weather conditions, but as long as there isn’t anything too extreme, you should be fine. Wintery weather can make the paths up Snowdon impassable or incredibly dangerous, so it is vital that you plan your journey on a day when the weather is ok. Equally, when the sun is at its strongest, you’ll need to weigh up whether taking on such a challenge in the blazing heat is really worthwhile. In this case, it’s often best not to set one single day for your trip, but set aside a cluster of days and pick the best one nearer the time.
2. Stay Hydrated
Regardless of the weather, it’s vital to keep hydrated when taking on a challenge such as Snowdon. Although you may not want to weigh yourself down with liquid, your journey will certainly be more pleasant if you have some H2O in easy reach. One litre of water per person should be enough for the trip ascent and descent. Luckily, there is a Summit Café where refreshments are available from late spring to late October if you want to stop off for a break.
3. Pick a Path
You may already know that there are six different trails, which vary in length, difficulty and steepness. It may be a difficult task picking the best path for you but is necessary to ensure you don’t stray from the track. We have a handy Snowdon infographic describing the routes to help you pick!
4. Dress Appropriately
Dressing for the weather may seem like an obvious one, but it is one of the most essential parts of your trip to ensure safety throughout. You’ll want to wear something comfortable, and it’s recommended to layer your garments so that you can keep to an optimum temperature. Waterproofs will often be an essential too. The item of clothing that you’ll most need to consider, however, is your footwear. There’s no need to go and splash out on the fanciest pair of hiking boots you can find, but a sturdy, comfortable shoe is essential to help you battle the often tricky terrain. Don’t forget thick comfy socks too!
5. Bring a Camera
Although no photograph could ever capture the true beauty of the views from Snowdon, a photograph will help you to relive the memories for many years to come. There is so much to take in, from glistening blue lakes to craggy rock faces, and you’ll want to show everyone what natural beauty you have seen. Just be careful not to get lost behind the camera screen for too long, you’re there to enjoy this experience first-hand.
6. Path Times
Depending on your ability and the path you choose, the paths can take anywhere from 4-hours to 8-hours. The ascent is typically longer as you’re battling against gravity, and takes around 3-5 hours. The descent, on the other hand, is often completed in 2-3 hours. This makes it a full-day activity so it’s best not to try and plan anything else in; besides, you’ll be quite tired after all that exploring!
7. Poor Signal
Unsurprisingly, the mobile signal on Snowdon is patchy at best. Therefore you should be sure not to rely on your phone for navigation. A traditional map and compass is the best way to keep en route, so you might want to brush up on your map reading skills beforehand. If you’re travelling with a large group, just keep in mind that it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to call each other, so pre-arranged meeting points, break stops and other factors of your day are worth considering.
8. Set Off Early
The routes are often very busy, so it’s best to get started earlier in the day. The local car parks often fill up before 9am, so you may want to consider using local bus services to begin your expedition. This will also ensure that you are back down the mount before the sunsets; trekking in hours of daylight is always recommended!
9. There is a Summit Train
If you find yourself injured or unable to make it back down (or up in the first place) there is always the option to take the train back down. You’ll still be able to spot some of the incredible views but from a comfortable seated position. Be warned though, the tickets for the train are not cheap and can often cost upwards of £29 each way and definitely does not offer quite the same experience as one of the walking paths.
10. You Can Do It
Although trekking up Mount Snowdon is certainly a challenge, it is by no means impossible, even for those who have never hiked a mountain before! There have been records of 70-year olds and 5-year olds taking on the path and still smiling as they reached the end of their journey. You just need to remember to pace yourself and take a break where you need it. With the right fuel, willpower and hydrating, you’ll conquer this mammoth mount and be able to tick this feat off your bucket list!
Our final tip is to enjoy the whole process, there is so much beauty waiting to be discovered and we’re sure you’re going to love your trip! We’d love to see any pictures you take whilst visiting Snowdonia, so be sure to share them with us via our social media channels!
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