I was a little obsessed with getting to the the top of Mount Snowdon. If you’re going to North Wales you absolutely have to hike the tallest mountain right? After a comfy nights sleep in the van, we awoke to a reasonable sunny (bar slightly chilly) August morning in Dolgam campsite, Betws-y-Coed.
“What a beautiful day” I declared. “Perfect for Snowdon”.
My partner Daryl (having hiked the mountain before in crappy weather) was a little hesitant. He tried to explain – “Snowdon has its own micro climate and the forecast really isn’t look good today Tay. You’ll hike all that way and probably won’t see a thing from the top. There’ll be a blizzard”.
Being quite the stubborn mule, I insisted that I didn’t care what the weather was like, I just wanted to hike the mountain. So we scoffed some breakfast down at Moel Siabod Cafe (the BEST vegetarian sausages I have ever had the pleasure of eating I must add) and had a chat to the waitress about our quest.
“No point going now” she said. “You won’t be able to get parked. People arrive early on from 6am – 7am”.
Oh. I’ve got it in my head now, so we pursue and drive Snowdon’s carpark by the Miner’s Track. It was full. People were queuing to park. Damn. Snowdon really didn’t want us as visitors today. We pull up at the car-park down the hill and get a taxi back up with some others.
5 minutes later we begin the hike. It’s foggy. Very very foggy and a little voice in my head wonders if it is the right time to tackle this mountain… but we carry on. The mist clears and we’re suddenly passing beautiful lakes and gushing waterfalls. It’s beautiful.
There is a little bit of drizzle here and there but otherwise the weather is pretty good. The path is wide and steady for the first hour or so. We pass the old Britannia Copper Mine crushing mill and 3 stunning lakes, Lyn Teyrn, Llyn Llydaw and Glaslyn. It’s so picturesque and the air is clean and fresh in my lungs – ah nature!
We continued onto the steep section to Llyn Glaslyn and then Bwlch Glas. We passed the tracks of the Snowdon Mountain Railway.
Even on a grey, drizzly day – it’s an impressive sight.
The higher we ascend, the worse the weather becomes. It’s a steep and very scrambly. I’m watching every single step of the way. It begins to pour. We pass the intersection of the Pyg track. We’ve stopped taking in our surroundings now and are totally focused on walking. Just as well, with the weather coming in – there is little to see. I slip and get grumpy. Daz tells me to eat a Naked bar (he knows me so well).
“Where’s the zigzag part then?” I ask. “I’m not sure as I can’t see 10 foot in front me.” He has a point – we are literally walking into the abyss. Time seems to be standing still and this part of the journey seems to be taking forever. It’s hailing now and the rain is coming down sideways. We can just make out a sheep chilling on the side of the rock.
Finally we come to what looks like the summit. We are soaked to our skin but determined. I’m flagging and each step is taking serious effort. The language is getting a little foul. Finally I can make out the very top. The wind has now got up so strong we’re struggling to walk straight. I count the step, “Five, four, three, two…one. We made it!”