We have just come back from an awesome weekend where we climbed Mount Snowdon. It was brilliant and we were so glad we decided to go ahead with it. It was a bit of a whim and decided on the last weekend my husband and I were kid-free. We stayed at home and were chilling watching the film Everest on Netflix. After watching it, I thought perhaps we could climb our own mountain too! Obviously, nothing like Mount Everest(!) but something a little closer to home. So climbing Mount Snowdon was decided upon.
My family were going to take the kids and we were going to stay 2 nights in Oswestry, which is around a 90 minute drive to Snowdonia. I’m going to be honest, we weren’t the most prepared for this trip and my hubby did more research than I did. He originally thought we were only an hour away. Also the more popular walks up Snowdon, a lot of the pre-paid parking was all booked up. We had very good weather on our climb and of course this meant it was going to be busier.
We arrived in Oswestry on the Friday night, planning on climbing Snowdon on the Saturday. We didn’t leave for Snowdonia until around 8.30, due to the hotel serving breakfast at 7.30am, at the earliest. If we had been going to one of the more popular routes, I’m not sure we would have made it, in terms of being able to park the car.
On our limited first time climbing Mount Snowdon, I felt we did learn a few tips and tricks and if we ever go again, we will be more prepared.
Tips When Climbing Mount Snowdon
Choose Your Route up Mount Snowdon Carefully
My husband and I don’t like crowds and things being busy. This was definitely something pre-Covid too. I think less people and more nature is a lot more appealing. There are various routes up Mount Snowdon, ranging in difficulty and how popular. My husband printed out some maps and instructions of the various routes from here.
We chose the The Rhyd Ddu Path for various reasons. One being it isn’t too difficult (we are not seasoned hikers and hadn’t trained for this) and it was meant to be one of the quietest. I wasn’t really that nervous about the hike but I did feel anxious about parking the car on a busy June weekend. We arrived just after 10am and had no issues parking. It is estimated to take 3 hours each way. We did the whole hike in around 4 hours and 40 minutes, which actually surprised us.
If you like quiet and a steady hike, this was perfect.
Parking for Mount Snowdon – Prepare!
As I mentioned in my previous point, this all depends on what route you decide to take. We had no issues with parking in the car park on the Rhyd Ddu Path at 10am but my husband tried to book the Pen y Pass and it was fully booked. This reserves you a space, stress-free! There are of course other places to park but make sure you know what you are doing and organise this before you leave!
We felt quite stressed on the drive over from Oswestry, as wasn’t sure we would get a space on even one of the quieter routes.
Check The Weather
We were lucky, as got a very lovely June day to climb but it was colder and cloudier on the summit, so I can imagine on a cold and wet day, the conditions can be pretty scary! This will vary on whatever route you take but personally I would want a dry day. Some aspects of the climb were slippy and wet, from water naturally trickling down the mountain, so any excess rain could make some of the walk quite treacherous.
Wear the Most Suitable Attire
Some of these tips will seem pointless for seasoned hikers but even me, who used to go out a lot with my Dad as a child, needed some prompting and research!
- Wear proper shoes. I do have some walking boots but we saw many people wearing trainers which I know would have go wrecked or not been supportive enough on my ankles. Some of the climb is rocky and my ankle did feel weak on a couple of occasions.
- Take warm clothes. The temperature drops by a good few degrees as you climb to the summit. It was also very cloudy and visibility was poor. I went up in a tee and shorts, as I get hot very quickly when I work out. But as soon, as I stopped to eat, I needed my hoody. I also needed a bandana the whole time over my ears, as I suffer with pain. It was windy. Coming down I switched to a cap, as it was very sunny! Think warm clothes, waterproofs and even a hat and gloves. Cap and sunglasses may be needed, depending on the day.
Take The Right Supplies
- Take enough food and drink. You are walking solidly for anything up to 6-8 hours, depending on what walk you do. I sweat a lot and didn’t wee for the whole, almost 5 hours we walked!! I was drinking too. Also it’s hard to get enough calories in. We took peanut butter bagels, bananas, cereal bars, protein bars and nuts and dried fruit. This kept us going! My cup of tea in a cafe on the way back was delicious too!
- Consider walking poles. I felt like a bit of an old fart taking a pole and I didn’t use it on the way up but I did on the way down, to protect my knees. I didn’t have any pain on the walk but have since had some where I have torn knee cartilage.
- Suncream. I did suncream up my face, arm and legs but missed a patch on my thigh, so had a small burn. You forget about the wind, sun and exposure, so remember it!
Take Your Time and Have Suitable Rests
To be honest I’m a bit of a go go go girl and this drives me husband mental. He was a bit slower than me climbing up and I did go ahead but he asked for a few stops for a drink and food. This is probably more sensible, unless you are a seasoned hiker or fell runner. It also gives you chance to admire the scenery and take some photos! Or you will just miss it all!
Be Prepared To Queue for the Summit
There was quite a winding queue to get to the actual summit of Snowdon. If you want to get a photo or touch the monument, be prepared to queue for a while. This emphasises some of my earlier points about having the correct attire and wearing sun cream, depending on the weather.
Climbing Mount Snowdon was such a fun achievement. It’s made us think about visiting some other peaks over the next few months; possibly Scafell Pike as the autumn starts to hit. I feel like I’ve got the hiking bug, so looking forward to some more climbs!