A quick guide to Snowdon – with a postcode for your satnav
Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) is the highest mountain in Wales and can be found in Snowdonia National Park. It also ranks as the highest mountain in England and Wales. However, in terms of its height by prominence, it ranks as number 76 in the list of Simms (a Six-hundred Metre Mountain or higher) in the British Isles. That said, only the mountains of Scotland reach higher than Snowdon.
How high is Snowdon?
It stands an impressive 3,560 feet tall. For those working in metric, that’s 1,085 metres high.
Where is Snowdon?
Snowdon is in Snowdonia National Park. If travelling by car, head for Betws Garmon at LL55 4UL.
How can you get to the top of Snowdon?
The good news is there are several routes you can take if you strap on your sturdy walking boots to give it a try:
• The Llanberis Path (often touted as the ‘easiest’, although nothing about summitting Snowdon is easy!)
• Watkin Path
• Pyg Track
• Miners’ Track
• Rhyd-Ddu Path
• Snowdon Ranger Path
There are a couple of other potential routes you could take, such as Crib Goch, but since this involves some dangerous scrambling, it is not recommended for anyone but the most experienced and prepared mountain climber.
Who got there first?
If you do manage to summit Snowdon, it is quite an achievement … but many have been there before you. The first person we know of who summited the mountain was a man called Thomas Johnson. That was back in 1639. A certain Edmund Hillary also used Snowdon for practice ahead of visiting Mount Everest (which he successfully summited).
Which path is easiest?
No path is easy, but while the Llanberis Path typically takes this title, it is also the longest way to do it. It covers a nine-mile journey out and back and should take around six hours for a reasonably fit person to complete it.
Plan first – choose your route and starting point
Since some of the routes start from different places, it is vital to do your research and choose the best route to take. The Llanberis Path begins at the end of Victoria Terrace in Llanberis, and there is plenty of parking available in Llanberis itself. Other routes start at the Pen y Pass Car Park, the Pont Bethania Car Park, and the Rhyd Ddu Car Park.
Nothing short of walking boots will do. Take protective and waterproof clothing, plenty of food and drink, and essentials such as a first aid kit and a compass and map. Don’t leave anything to chance and always follow the route you intended to take. Don’t be afraid to turn back if conditions deteriorate either – things can quickly change on a mountain.
Is there a quicker way up?
Yes, you can take the Snowdon Railway if you want to experience the views without putting in the legwork. You can catch the mountain train from Llanberis Station and enjoy a relaxing and spectacular journey to the summit.
The railway is not open in the winter months. It partially re-opens during March depending on weather conditions. The journey to the summit does not typically occur until around May (again, this is weather dependent). It’s best to check the official website to find out more about opening times and dates.
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