Walks And Walking in Wales – Mount Snowdon
Mount Snowdon is situated in the Snowdonia National Park of North Wales and is certainly a mountain that is accessible but can also be very demanding. It offers truly entertaining and enjoyable walks and walking routes for the family and the adventurer.
Perhaps the best approach to see Mount Snowdon is from the Telford old road from Shrewsbury to Holyhead where it turns at Capel Curig. On a clear day you can celebrate the serrated line of beautiful peaks coming in to view along the skyline with Mount Snowdon sat in the centre as the king of them all.
From Llanberis, one of the most traditional and steady walking routes to the top of Mount Snowdon, its peak rises behind the mountain range, almost hidden by the Crib y Ddysgle. Llanberis is also where you can find the famous Mount Snowdon Railway.
There are five main rocky ridges that radiate from Mount Snowdon and between them five deep cwms, Welsh valleys, which add a formidable aspect to each approach to the summit. Once the lush green valley’s are left behind the ascent of Mount Snowdon can be unforgiving if you do not follow the traditional walks and walking routes as you climb steadily upwards.
Although barren, the wildness and silence offers a breathtaking experience with the many lakes and small streams running through the heather and down through the mountains to the cwms below. From the summit the views are spectacular, as you would expect, and it does not let you down in terms of the time spent planning the trip, mapping the walking routes, purchasing the correct equipment, breaking in your walking boots and buying those extra thermal layers.
Mount Snowdon won’t let you down but can be your downfall so make sure you are prepared for any eventuality as there are many grim ridges and hollows for the inexperienced hiker to get caught out.
The legend began when there were only two kings in Britain; Nynniaw and Peibiaw who declared war on each other. When the king of Wales, one Rhita Fawr, heard of this war he decided to end it promptly by attacking them both. Such was the outrage from the rest of Britain that they declared war on Rhita Fawr but emerged victorious cutting off all of their beards to make a cloak reaching down from his shoulders to the floor. Rhita Fawr was eager to add King Arthur’s beard to his cloak but was defeated and subsequently buried under a cairn of stones on the summit of Mount Snowdon marking the end of his legend.
Mount Snowdon has seven main and well marked walking routes up to its summit. The Snowdon Mountain Railway offers the easier way to the top, the Llanberis Path offering the most gradual ascent and the Horseshoe Walk is perhaps the most famous. The Snowdon Ranger Path is an easy and pleasant walk being slightly shorter than the Llanberis Path. The Beddgelert-Rhyd-Ddu Path has two starting points with very steep walks, sheer drops and corkscrewing pathways. The Watkins Path takes you through one of the great cwms before rising to a rough scramble to the top. The PIG Track, or PYG Track, offers a varied walking route with less climbing than the others.
There are other walking routes and traverses available for the more experienced walker, trekkers, ramblers, hikers and climbers which broadens the overall appeal and popularity of the Snowdonia National Park.