Hellooo all! It feels like forever since my last post. I’ve been super busy catching up with family in Sicily and friends in Spain. All of which I am very keen to post about but just thought I would post a quick afternoon update of my latest trip up Mt Snowdon over bank holiday. Although I have already visited and climbed Snowdon, taking the Llanberis and Pyg Track last time, the great thing about this beautiful Mountain is it has several different paths, varying in difficulty and fear factor. We decided our route last minute in the car on the way there, and after researching each path, chose the Rhyd Ddu track on the way up and the Ranger Track on the way down (the latter being a nice simple route). With the bottom of these routes being 1.5Km from each other, it is very easy to park by one, and walk back from the other.
So, without going on, here is a detailed description of each of the two routes from difficulty, to scare factor, to popularity.
Rhyd Ddu Track
5/10 Difficulty, 6/10 Fear Factor, 1/10 Crowds.
This track starts in the very small village Rhyd-Ddu, which is the West side of Mt Snowdon. Parking is available at the base of the track, and is situated East as you exit the village. If you come across a large sign behind the railway track with the wording “RHYD-DDU”, then you have made a good start, as this signifies that you are in the right place to begin your journey.
There will be several people around the car park, and depending on what time you leave, you may or may not bump in to many, if any people at all on the way up. We decided to leave around 13:30 after the mid-day heat, and just in time to make it back before sunset. The journey UP takes around 2.5-3 hours depending on pace. If you are fit and eager, you should be able to reach the summit in 2 hours 15 minutes. We absolutely stormed up! I’m a keen believer in pushing myself (not to the limit but just to know I’ve worked hard for what I wanted to achieve), so keeping at your own good pace, will ensure you feel energised and accomplished when you look back at your trek.
The journey goes through three main stages on the way up. I’ve tried to detail this the best that I can and in the photos below, and goes as follows:
The first part of the track is a slight incline, with fields and gravel pathways. You will follow the footpath until you reach the actual start of the Rhyd-Ddu path, which will continue for about 1/3 of the journey. Looking back, the incline will allow you to see the villages and lakes below. I start to get excited here and begin thinking I’m about half way (do not fool yourself into thinking this! – you definitely not half way up!)
The second part of the path starts when you begin a steep include to the East, away from the sea. If you are agile enough, it is easy to climb quickly up the rocky terrain, but may require some crawling/climbing, so ensure you wear decent and stable footwear. Once at the top of this scramble, you will continue to take a slow incline to the West where you’ll be able to see the summit, and also look back and feel as though you are around half way to the top. There is an impending feeling of fear as you start to see over the other side of the walk way, down to the lakes below. Following a gate, you begin to climb closer and closer along the ridge. The best thing to do here, is simply not look directly down, but enjoy the AMAZING views. It’s like 180 degrees of dotted lake landscape!
The third and final part of the journey is where the fear-factor really kicks in, and it gets much cooler. I would usually need about three layers of warm clothing in this temperature, but after pretty much launching myself up the mountain, I probably looked more like a out of breath strawberry! If you’re not too good with heights, this is definitely not something to bail out on, but something to prepare yourself for. Many people walk this route every day and reach the top, and as someone who is not too fond of heights, the feeling of reaching the top IS worth the feeling you may experience during the last part of the journey. Now, when I say there you walk along a ridge with either side sloping away to ground level, this does really happen. This is by far one of the most incredible and breath-taking paths you could walk on in the UK….and if you can’t walk it. Crawl it!. Seriously, hold on to the edge, hold on to your partner, child, even your dog if you have one, just make sure you make it up that path to the summit one way or another!! This little section takes around 5-10 minutes and once through to the other side, you’ll feel safe once again reaching a wide track with very large boulders to scramble up to the summit.
The Ranger Track
2/10 Difficulty, 1/10 Fear Factor, 3/10 Crowds
So, we chose this track on the way down as it is simple, kind to your legs and relatively quiet for descending the mountain. It starts by heading away from the summit East, towards the Llanberis track, and splitting off to the North and across the flat terrain. The beginning of the track is fairly simple, and begins to decline quickly when you are about half way down. You can loose your grip or even slip on the way down (if you take short-cuts over the grass), so just make sure you’re prepared and don’t go down too fast, as you may find yourself down the path before you know it!!
Towards the end of the track you can either head straight down the path to the bottom of the Ranger track, or you can take a detour towards Rhyd-Ddu where you can meet the base of the Rhyd-Ddu path. We chose the latter, and took the signed footpath through the fields. It will help finding this map online or having a map with you so you know which direct to go in. Luckily we followed a couple who actually knew which way they were heading, but the best way is to head towards the river and before you get to the river find your way to the main road and walk the rest of the way to Rhyd-ddu. The footpath is non-existent, and is very unpredictable, so if you aren’t to stable on your feet or have any injuries, I would advise walking to the bottom of the Ranger track and back to Rhyd-ddu via the road.
Overall, these two routes are PERFECT for a trek up to the summit of Snowdon. There is lots to see, and I mean breath taking sights, so try to go on a nice day. Pack a jumper for the summit, definitely a coat during non-summer months! Snowdon is absolutely stunning, so I’m sure which ever path you take, you will enjoy it!!!
I hope this helps you if you aren’t too sure on the routes up to the top of Snowdon. If you need any more info or would like to share any of your trips/tips for these routes, please feel free to drop me a message or write in the comments box below. I love sharing experiences, so it would be such a pleasure to hear from you 🙂