A stormy summit
Llanberis Travel Blog› entry 6 of 32 › view all entries
I made it to Mt. Snowdon (the highest peak in England and Wales) yesterday, checking into my hostel at the trailhead at 10am. I took a look at the weather forecast and things looked very grim. Well, it's not raining now, I thought, so I might as well head out right away and make the best of the clear weather. I hiked up the miner's track and, although things were a bit windy at times, I had a pleasant walk. Then I reached the area below the summit, where you actually have to start climbing vertically. I took a look up and saw that the weather was a lot worse up there. I couldn't actually see the summit through the clouds pushing over the cliffside. Undaunted, I began the climb, and I was soon glad I had brought my rain jacket and some warm gloves. Conditions near the top were pretty bad. The wind whipped at me relentlessly, trying to pull me off the mountainside, and the fog (that is, the clouds) prevented me from seeing more than a dozen feet in any direction.
Two hours after setting off, I managed to reach the summit. Up there you are exposed to the wind from both sides and there were times where you just had to duck down and hold on to something because the wind was strong enough to push you over. Considering the terrible weather, there were still quite a lot of people at the summit who looked like they had also climbed (if you feel like cheating, there's a train up the mountain too). After a brief photo shoot at the peak, everyone headed into the cafe perched just below to hide from the wind.
Today the weather looked even worse and I cancelled the climb up the Glyders I was planning on taking. Instead I continued on to the small town of Llanberis, home base for many climbers in Snowdonia. I spent the day walking around the town, exploring the sights. I had lunch beside a waterfall that looked like a waterslide and explored a castle ruin that was full of welsh lads climbing all over it. They were much braver (or stupider) than me because they were climbing around the precarious remains about 20 feet above the ground!