Snowdon

Pistyll Rhaeadr and Wrexham steeple,
Snowdon’s mountain without its people,
Overton yew trees, St Winifred’s Well,
Llangollen’s Bridge and Gresford’s bells.”

At 1085 metres, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and it is also higher than any peak in England. Not surprisingly it attracts many visitors: around ½ million a year.

There’s the promise of extensive views, with Ireland, Scotland, England and the Isle of Man visible on a good day. But you need to time it right. 5100mm of rain falls on Snowdon’s slopes each year, so it is often covered in cloud.

There are many routes to the summit, approaching from all directions.


The lake side Miner’s Track stays low for as long as possible. The ridge walk over Crib Goch does much of its climbing early on. The middle route here is the Pyg Track.


Another route is over Y Lliwedd, here seen from the Pyg Track.

But the easiest route is this one!


The railway to the summit of Snowdon opened in 1896.


The same route, from Llanberis, was previously used to carry tourists to the summit by pony but now you could just catch the train. Visitors increased and as an extra incentive the railway company built a new café on the summit, alongside the existing building, put up by an enterprising miner in 1838. A brand new summit building was opened in 2009.

So you are very unlikely to find Snowdon without people at the top but it is still a wonderful mountain. We will be returning here in a future series to take a closer look at some of its shapely landforms.