I’m a Brit, it’s ingrained in me to talk about the weather; I smile when the sun shines and roll my eyes when it rains. When the sunshine’s in Snowdonia, people are overjoyed, when it rains, they reach into their rucksacks and slip into something a little more comfortable and by ‘comfortable‘ I mean waterproof.
The mountains were calling me so I bounced out of bed and loaded up my little car, ticking off my checklist as I went, ensuring I had equipment and clothing for every eventuality. I felt like the Mary Poppins of walking with everything crammed in. I swapped my handbag for a rucksack, I had received a crash course in how to work a Go-Pro. Rather than a natty little blazer, I opted for a fetching waterproof jacket and trouser combo. What was most exciting is that I had a partner in crime to collect en route, a friend to share the adventure with and someone who would understand the need for selfies #socialmedia.
From my understanding, there are two key points that put people off visiting Snowdonia. The biggest factor being the unpredictable weather, you must understand though, it doesn’t rain all the time. Secondly, people are often under the impression that they cannot possibly walk/climb the mountain and there’s nothing else to do.
Whilst I’d love to promise you sunshine, the power to control the weather eludes me. I can assure you with a little hard work, persistence, and planning, you can reach the summit, and there are several routes to take and one will be the ideal route for you. If you have a family or want the challenge of running, then perhaps taking the steady Llanberis pass would be most suitable. Are you an adventure seeker? Well, my friend you should scramble along the breathtaking ridge of Crib Goch, with the added option of completing the whole Horseshoe and tagging all 4 summits along the way.
If you want to dip your toe into walking/scrambling then the Pyg or Miners track would be perfect, a steady incline with a few scrambly moves towards the top. On a lighter note, if you visit during peak time you can enjoy a pit stop at the café. Here you can take a moment to enjoy the view (if you are not surrounded by the low lying clouds) warm yourself up with a hot drink and dive into the selection of cream cakes. However, I must warn you it can get extremely busy.
I’m going to be honest, cake is a key motivation for me to walk and run, I have enough cake eating experience to assure you that the Teashops in Snowdonia know good cake. To paint a picture for you, think chocolate box towns with dainty tea shops, retailers of fudge and my personal favourite, welsh cakes. The local folk are friendly, meals are hearty and with the recent opening of ‘Bounce Below’ and ‘Zip World’ there’s plenty to do and see.
Whilst the 30th July may have marked my 5th time on the Summit of Snowdon, for many people it was the first time and a huge personal achievement. Shelley, who is a keen Obstacle Course Racer, managed the impressive feat of gathering a group of over 60 women aiming to summit. I was delighted that I got to meet and pass some of these wonderful women during the journey to the top.
After the event, I caught up with a few of the attendees and asked how they felt about the event:
“After tears, panic and saying I cannot go on, I did it! I got to the summit and it was the best feeling ever. Just goes to show you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it”
“Loved the views, Loved the climb, hated my boots”
“After an ankle op in January, no training for four months ( in fact no weight bearing for 6 weeks!) I nearly cancelled as I didn’t want to hold people up being so unfit and slow. I was persuaded to come by many ladies and really don’t regret it”
“I was told by a friend it would be really hard and to prepare in case I got stranded up there – instead I found it was a really enjoyable trek, absolutely stunning views and not too difficult”
Of course, if you go up, you have to come back down and during our adventure walking Snowdon, Lorraine and I may have veered off the right track once or twice. After all, it would have been rude not to introduce Lorraine to scrambling? and I’m sure she loved the fact we took the wrong and considerably longer route down, only to have to hop into a taxi back to the car? Life is what you make it and we took that view that It was great to explore more of the area.
What did we do whilst waiting for our taxi back to our car? We drank tea and ate cake, obviously…
To see some of the action check out my VLOG
Have you ever visited Snowdonia before? If you’ve climbed Snowdon what was your route of choice?