We couldn’t visit Snowdonia without attempting to climb to the summit of Snowdon – the highest point in England and Wales. We packed a picnic and waterproofs and set off early for Llanberis. We parked the car there and squeezed on to the Snowdon Sherpa bus which connects all the walking routes up the mountain with the local towns and parking. It took us to Pen y Pass where we set off on the Pyg Track up Snowdon.
This route has the smallest amount of ascent of the Snowdon paths as the pass where it starts is quite high – but it still feels quite steep as it starts with a lot of steps and scrambling! It was quite drizzly, but the children didn’t seem to mind.
There were quite a few groups walking on the track, but most of the time we found ourselves alone.
Despite the heavy cloud, the rain soon stopped and we enjoyed the stunning views across the national park and the lakes of Llyn Peris and Llyn Padarn.
We could see the track stretching out ahead of us gradually creeping up the mountain. Can you spot me and the kids further along the path here (my bright pink mac is helpful!)?
We particularly loved the views of the small mountain lake, Glaslyn – a heart-shaped lake below the track. You can see the low cloud here obscuring the Snowdon summit.
As we scrambled higher, we started to enter the clouds – but we didn’t mind too much. It was quite nice not seeing how much further we had to climb! The children really loved climbing up the rocks.
The final hour of the climb was mostly in the cloud and mist but the path was clear and wide and easy to follow. Eventually, we heard the tell-tale whistle of the Snowdon mountain railway revealing that we were nearing the peak. It was a bit of a shock when we reached the main ridge where the Pyg Track joined other routes in the final ascent to the summit. There were so many walkers, we ended up in quite a slow moving queue! Not quite what we had in mind – and when we saw there was a long stationary line of people waiting to actually stand at the summit cairn, we decided we didn’t really fancy that and instead found a quieter spot to enjoy some celebratory sweets!
Here’s Alex and Sophie just below the summit cairn not looking particularly impressed!
We turned round quite quickly and headed off down the Llanberis Path back down to the car. This route follows the railway back down and is popular with families as it’s supposed to be easier. The top section was surprisingly steep and slippery as we negotiated the scree path down from the top. Alex fell down quite a few times and wasn’t enjoying the walk nearly so much, so we stopped for our big picnic and regained some energy before continuing!
I did find it quite surreal seeing a train chugging up and down the mountain – and I must confess, I kind of wished that the Victorians hadn’t built a railway somewhere so beautiful as it rather spoiled the peace!! But the kids loved waving at the passengers!
I’m so proud that Alex and Sophie climbed Snowdon (and enjoyed doing it!) – and I think they were really proud of themselves!