Climbing on top of Snowdon ? Challenged accepted !
I went to Wales for the first time about a year ago for a long weekend, as I really wanted to climb up on top of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. The views from the top seem stunning and I have been envious of all the photographs I have seen on the blogosphere. We drove from Leeds to Wales, and visited Penrhyn Castle on the first day, had a good night of sleep and on the second day, we decided to climb up the mountain.
There are different tracks that lead to the summit, of different length and difficulty, and we chose to take the Miner’s track, the one that is supposed to be the easiest (but longest) with the most gradual incline.
We started at the Snowdon Mountain Railway in Llanberis where we parked our car. The weather was not fabulous, but at least it was not raining for the first part of the hike.
The path, which was originally used to bring copper down from the mines, was quite flat at the beginning but climbed gradually when we passed the ruins of the old copper mine.
After a while, it became a steep ascent and I wish I had brought my walking sticks with me (first mistake). On our right, we could see the steam train that was going straight to the top and I must admit that my lazy self wished she had bought a ticket straight up to the top (second mistake — we should have bought that one way trip to the top and walk our way down).
As we were walking, the weather got a bit worse and it started raining. There was fog everywhere. It was really horrible but I was still hoping that the sky would clear up once we reached the top. People say that on a really clear day you can see as far as the Isle of Man and even Ireland. At that point, we should have gone back to the car and realise the weather wouldn’t allow us to see anything up there anyway (third mistake). My coat and my trousers were supposed to be waterproof but I was completely soaked and cold to the bones…the water was dripping into my shoes. It’s a bad idea to hike up Snowdon without proper gear and I have learnt it the hard way. We didn’t go back to the car despite being so cold because I had an awesome plan in mind. Once we would have reached the top, we would take the train back down.
Once we reached the summit, we couldn’t even see the cairn, it did not clear up it was even worse than before.
We were so drenched and cold. I tried to dry my shoes in the toilet of the cafe, had a hot beverage but I was just too cold, it was an horrible feeling. We tried to buy a train ticket to go down but all the tickets were sold out. My awesome plan was a big failure. There was no other option. We had to go down the way we climbed up and it was still raining. Thankfully, the way down was quicker than the way up, and being able to walk faster warmed me up a bit and at one point the rain stopped.
Neither to say that after that trip we decided to invest into proper waterproof pants and shoes. Despite the horrible situation, I’m still kind of happy I did it. I climbed on top of Snowdon !