With an elevation of 1,085 metres above sea level, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales. Not only is it the biggest mountain in Wales, it’s the third most visited attraction, having been visited by 558,000 walkers in 2018. As with climbing any mountain, you need to be prepared both mentally and physically, so, we have put together some top tips for hiking Snowdon to ensure your ascent up the mountain is one to remember for all the right reasons!
Preparation is key. Preparing to climb Snowdon through training is usually not necessary for anyone who is relatively fit, and the majority of hikers are able to walk up and down the mountain in under 8 hours. However, if you consider yourself unfit, you might want to prepare yourself mentally and physically by practising some uphill walking beforehand. Being prepared to climb Snowdon also means knowing what equipment to pack, what type of clothes to wear and what foods will fuel your energy.
Equipment and clothing
With steep gradients and rocky paths, you’ll need the correct equipment and clothing not only to make your hike that little bit easier, but safe too. Firstly, you’ll need a reasonably sized backpack for equipment, spare clothing and food and drink. Remember, you’ll be on the hill for an average of 8 hours, so it would be silly to climb empty-handed. Other types of equipment like hiking sticks are optional. If a hiking stick makes your climb easier then by all means bring one along.
What type of clothing you wear largely depends on the season and weather forecast, so again, don’t forget to check up on the weather prior to your hike. Nonetheless, no matter the season or weather, you’ll need a decent pair of hiking boots and a windbreaker jacket.
Know your route
Snowdon’s summit can be reached via six different routes. Each route has a different level of difficulty and is suited to different levels of abilities too. The six main routes are: Llanberis Path Route, Snowdon Ranger Route, Miners’ Track Route, Rhyd Ddu Path, Watkin Path and PYG track. The Llanberis Path is one of the most hiked routes as it’s straight-forward and best for first time hikers. Measuring 9 miles long, it is the longest of the routes, but the climb to the summit is gradual. The Watkit Path is thought to be the toughest route with loose scree and rocks, steep drops and tricky footing.
As amazing as hiking can be, it comes with some risks too. To ensure safety when climbing Snowdon, firstly, once you have chosen a route, stick to this route otherwise you’re at a greater risk of getting lost and venturing down a dangerous track. Whichever route you choose, always allow plenty of time for the hike. For example, you wouldn’t begin your hike mid-afternoon during the months with less daylight. Finally, don’t be afraid to turn back. If your body feels like it’s struggling with the hike or if it’s beginning to get dark while up the mountain, there’s no need to push yourself to continue.
The team at Best of Scotland Holidays have put together the ideal Walking in Wales holiday package, perfect for walkers and hikers of all levels of abilities. This 4-night package takes visitors to some of the best walking routes in Wales.
You can contact a member of our team to find out more about our Walking in Wales package here.