A stormy summit

Llanberis Travel Blog

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On the summit of Mt. Snowdon

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.

The Miner's Path to the summit.
It's an unreal experience to look down beside the narrow path you're clambouring up and only see mist. For all I knew, there was a steep cliff dropoff hidden in that mist. Needless to say, I held on as tightly as I could to the wet rocks as I climbed up.

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.

The view from the cloud line.
I joined them, blatantly ignoring the 'Only food purchased from the cafe can be eaten on these premises' sign. Refueled, I headed back down and reached my hostel at about 3pm, 5 hours after setting out. All told, it wasn't a difficult climb, but the weather made things a lot worse. I can't imagine how busy it must get up there on a nice day.

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!

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On the summit of Mt. Snowdon
On the summit of Mt. Snowdon
The Miners Path to the summit.
The Miner's Path to the summit.
The view from the cloud line.
The view from the cloud line.
Care for a swim?
Care for a swim?
A very Welsh landscape.
A very Welsh landscape.
Llanberis
photo by: pyrrho