There are seven different routes that you can take up Snowdon: Llanberis, Miner’s, Pyg, Watkin, Rhyd Ddu, Snowdon Ranger and (only for the experienced mountain walker!) Crib Goch. As we live in Bangor, the easiest one to access would be the Llanberis path – you can take the 85 bus outside Ffridd (or from the bus station) and it’ll take you directly into Llanberis – past Pete’s Eats (a favourite haunt of walkers and climbers) and right opposite the train station that can take you up to the summit if you don’t fancy the walk! The bus ride takes about an hour and costs £4.50 for a return. Finding the path is pretty simple – you’ll either see the signs or you can follow the others who are embarking on their journey. There’s a little shop just before you get to the bottom too, so don’t worry if you’ve forgotten your emergency rations! Setting off, the path is quite steep, but after a while it gets easier – I promise! There’s a halfway café (which doesn’t open until 10, which we found out the hard way) where you can sit and have a cuppa and enjoy the views if you’re really in need of a break. The path can get quite steep, but the views are so rewarding, so don’t be put off.
Miner’s and Pyg both start from the same place – get the 85 from Bangor to Llanberis – the last stop (£4.50 return, about 1hr), then take the S1 or S2 from the same bus stop to Pen-y-Pass (won’t take long and costs less than a return to Bangor). Be sure to check the time of the last bus before you set off though, so you know that you won’t be stranded!
One of the most important things to remember is to be prepared. It can be quite dangerous if you’re not well-equipped, so make sure to pack the following things in your bag:
- Plenty of water – there’s nowhere to fill up your bottle
- Money – if you need to buy an extra bottle, or a postcard from the shop at the top
- Lunch and snacks
- Suncream and sunnies – if it’s nice!
- Raincoat – even if it’s sunny – you never know!
- A change of socks
- Small first aid kit
- A camera!
Most importantly, it is essential that you have appropriate footwear. Thankfully I didn’t see many people that weren’t in walking boots (the best option), but quite a few were wearing trainers – or even plain daps (the South Wales way to say plimsolls) – I hate to think of the pain they were in! Snowdon is quite steep, so having the right support on your ankles is really important.
Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) is the tallest mountain in Wales, and is part of the three-peaks challenge. The views from the top are, as expected, breathtaking, and I would highly recommend that you reach the summit at least once during your time in Bangor! Personally, I’m aiming to climb it at least once a year… so we’ll see how that goes!