A year or so ago, if you would have told me that I was climbing Snowdon I would have laughed (cried). But actually a few Sundays ago I did indeed climb Snowdon and I made it to the top! I can’t tell you how proud I feel of myself.
Originally, we had planned to hike the Pyg path but due to bad cloud coverage we were warned off from doing it so we chose the Llanberis route instead. The rain had been heavy at the start of our 8 am journey but thankfully as we moved through counties it stopped. Still the sky grey, it looked unpredictable and we were hoping that despite packing waterproofs, it would stay dry.
Once we got there, we paid £7.00 to park (all day) and did a last minute loo and drink stop. The Llanberis route has a few cafes and shops in town which is perfect if you need any drinks or food. We headed out of the town and did a right which brought us up to a VERY steep tarmac road.
I later learnt that is not even the start of the path, it’s just the bit leading up to it but boy my calves did not like it!
The actual start of the Llanberis route was OK. It’s a sturdy path with a few steep inclines made up of large rocks. It was nice to stop for a moment or two to take pictures and admire the scenery but with a three hour journey ahead of us, we had to keep a constant pace. It eventually started to level out which was a welcomed feeling on the legs and we stopped off to greet a horse grazing in the vast landscape. He was friendly and looked glad to see us – it must be a very peaceful but a lonely existence on these mountains. I probably should have inserted a picture of me making friends with the horse but I feel you can’t cope with my hiking hair…. ! Or maybe I can’t.
The weather stayed dry and although grey, it was pleasant. It got hotter as the journey progressed with a forecast of 100% humidly yet it was 1 degree on top! I’m super glad that I wore a beanie hat and shades to keep the wind out of my ears and eyes. I’ll be writing a kit list at some point soon for anyone thinking about hiking up Snowdon.
The views were just sensational – grassy mountains with clear running streams and waterfalls. The colours were a feast for the eyes and they got even better the higher we went. The great thing about the Llanberis path is that it has a café over half way up. Stocked full of sweets, chocolate, water and sarnies – it’s a welcomed treat.
Me being me and very thirsty decided to guzzle my water in one go. I was sternly told by the café assistant that they didn’t provide tap water and would have to charge me for a bottle. Of course I didn’t have my purse on me and thankfully had friends to sub me! The moral of the story is don’t expect the natural world resources to be free – someone will always be making a profit out of them.
And actually, when you’re dehydrated you should:
- Never get yourself into that state
- Keep hydrated by drinking small sips constantly
- Drink slowly
After a lovely cheese and pickle sarnie, we all sat outside and fended off the seagulls, tightened up of our boots, put more clothes on as it was getting colder ( I was getting hotter and taking more off!) and we carried on.
Up until this point, the hike was moderate for me. I had no doubt that I could make it to the top until I hit the first proper incline. It was a monster! The top of it was covered in clouds and the black shadows of the mountains cascaded around the lower parts. It looked scary; especially as the sky was getting darker.
Still it stayed dry.
The air now thinner, I took small steps and tried to ignore the dull ache in my legs. I distracted myself by talking to fellow hikers including a group of guys doing the three peaks challenge for charity. They’d done Ben Nevis the night before and I felt very lazy! I watched the trains pass by and waved to waving children and said hello to other red in the face hikers – I was trying to enjoy the surrounding views. It was hard not too – I was in awe but I was tired too.
However this part of the mountain was not kind on my legs at all and I began to suffer with cramp in my thighs. It felt harder to breathe and a one point I considered going back down but I mentally cried ‘I’ve not come this far to go back down’ and so I marched (hobbled) on. The vegan chocolate bar that I was carrying in my packed lunch motivated me to one of the big corners where we’d planned to sit and rest.
It’s amazing what chocolate can get you to do!
I must admit, I did not like that section of Snowdon, it felt like it went on forever and I was so envious of the people coming down. Yet after a sit down, a munch and a bit of rest I was ready to go. Now the cloud had settled around us and it was hard to see what was in front of us – I’m glad that I had my hiking sticks to guide me. The air was cold yet I was still hot and reluctantly put on my windproof jacket to stop it turning into a cold sweat.
I could just make out the edges yet I didn’t feel as though I was 1085 m up because the cloud lulls you into a false sense of security. Sound is a lot denser up here and you can’t hear much except for your own breathing. We continued the climb up large stone steps until we officially made it to the top where the summit was.
I felt marvellous albeit knackered, I was so chuffed!
We took a half hour stop where we visited the café’s toilets, took pictures and I gobbled my pepper, avocado and hummus sandwiches – oh they tasted so good! It was a 9 mile hike which took us 6 hours and 20 minutes (with stops). The hike down was interesting as my feet were rubbing on my socks and you use a whole host of other muscles resulting in sore calves this week!
Can you believe someone got married on top of Snowdon on Sunday? The whole wedding party including bride in her dress walked up to the top!
So there you have it – my first time up Snowdon and I’m doing another route at the end of this month just because I’m a sucker for a good view or a thousand. Which reminds me, I’ve teamed up with Mountain Warehouse to try out some of their outdoor products which I’ll be testing out on my next Snowdon adventure and of course reviewing!
What have you achieved this month so far?