Over the Easter Holidays we went to Mid Wales, It’s such a gorgeous Country with stunning views around every corner, It has everything from country parks, Forests, Waterfalls, Mountains to long wide beaches and steam railways.
As a family we love to go hiking and every year we try to hike up Mount Snowdon, the first time we went Jak was 6 years old and Joseph was 1. Joseph was carried by Daddy in a child rucksack but Jak had to make do with his strong little legs. We didn’t really do much research on what sort of clothes to wear and what was the best route to take to the summit, so we made big mistakes but with the experience from our first trip we now know what the best route is for the children and what the right type of shoes and clothes we should be wearing. Our first hike up the mountain was done in May 2009 and we did the Miners Track, It was very scenic and took us past the lakes along the route that the miners took years ago, it was a nice and comfortable walk until the path stopped and you look upwards and we saw the rocks that we had to climb. Jak loved it but i thought that it was very dangerous, it was very busy with other hikers and at certain parts of the route there was only enough room for one person. Once at the top of the mountain we was hit by the icy wind and sleet that was coming down, you work up such a sweat from all the climbing and walking for hours that when you reach the summit the coldness is a big shock to the body.
The Miners track starts at Pen Y Pass, where there is a car park and cafe cabin. The Miners track used to be used by miners during their day of work in the hills. The walk is very clear and almost road like as the path is wide and not very rocky, as you walk along you will pass disused remains of houses that were used by the miners. First you will cross the Llyn Llydaw reservoir of which has a cause way which has been raised due to the rain causing it to flood, carry on walking and you will pass the blue lake of Glaslyn, it is surprisingly blue because of the copper content in to due to the mining, at the end of the lake you will have to make your way up a steep slope which is easier to manoeuver your way up by zig zagging, on certain parts of the slope you will need to make room for others to pass by as it is quite thin. Follow the path up to the finger stone (a large standing rock shaped like a finger), which is used as a marker for the beginning of the descent to the Pyg and Miners tracks, at this point you will join the Llanberis path which runs along the railway track. This point can get quite icy and dangerous to climb over so be carefull. Once at this point take a left and carry on up to the summit.
As you can see from the photos below, it is a very stunning place to be with views at every angle that are amazing and breathtaking. The bottom right photo is taken of the summit that we were making our way to, it was in a cloud so you can not see the top of the mountain. On the descent we missed the marker to take the slope back down to the miners track and we took the Pyg trail back down to the car park. The walk took us from set off to return, a total of 6 hours.
On our next trip up we decided to take the Llanberis path which runs along side the railway, we quickly realised that this was the easiest track of them all, especially for the children.
This easter holidays we went back to Mount Snowdon for our yearly hike as we missed doing it last year as i was pregnant (instead Daddy hiked up a mountain in the Lakes by himself) and i didnt want to put muself and the baby at risk incase of trip or fall. This year though we had three boys to take up and it was Joseph’s first time at tackling it by himself as Oliver had to be in the rucksack. This year i was prepared for the cold weather though, i bought the children and myself the right sort of clothes making sure that they were waterproof and windproof and replaced our walking shoes to boots as they give more protection to your ankles as there is many small little rocks that you walk over and they can be very slippy causing in you to lose your footing.
When we arrived at Llanberis it was already lunchtime as it took us 2 hours from our campsite to drive there. The path begins at the end of Victoria terrace where you walk through a gate next to a cattle grid. We packed up our bags with snacks, drinks, gloves, scarves and extra clothing, not forgetting hot water and a bottle for Oliver’s milk. Dressed up warmly, Hiking poles in hand we were ready to set off. After 5 minutes of walking we came across the first sighting of snow on the hills, the boys wanted to go off and play in it but we had to be strict with them and say no as we didnt want there gloves to get cold and wet. The sun was shining and it was a glorious day, even with the snow on the floor it was not chilly. After an hour of walking I was working up a sweat, i took off my sunglasses only to be blinded by how bright the snow was, every where i looked there was a white sheet of snow and the sun was gleaming off of it. The track may not be quickest but it is the easiest in terms of steepness and terrain. Jak was going too fast for us, as we had to wait for little legs Joseph to keep up with us so i told him that he could go off ahead and meet us at the half way house, so off he went my future mountaineer. We could see the Halfway house up ahead, this is where you can stop off for a bite to eat or a hot/cold drink, by the time we reached it we had been walking for 2 hours, Joseph was tired and really needed a break, not only had he been battling the rocky terrain with his short legs but also he had the snow and slush to deal with too. We stopped to admire the views and for a quick pit stop in the one toilet that they have. Once you pass the halfway house the path starts to become more steep, at this point it is called the Allt Moses and as you climb to the right you will see Llyn Du’r Arddu lake, and a large boulder known as Maen Du’r Arddu on its shore. Legend has it that anybody who spends a night under the rock, will be either a poet or insane by the morning! Once you have passed this point you will walk under the railway bridge, it can get very windy at this point. You are now roughly about half hour away from the summit, it begins to get more colder and the terrain more rockier.
We didnt make it to the summit this year as Joseph was really tired and it wasnt fair to take him any further, we did make it to Allt Moses though just before the railway bridge, this is where we stopped and I made up a bottle for the baby and the boys enjoyed a play about in the snow. Jak went sliding down the mountain in the snow on his belly and Joseph threw snowballs at his brother. I am glad to say that the boys only fell in the snow three times because the terrain had become slippy from the snow melting in the sun but we did see a lot of adults falling over so i think they did really well and at times you wasn’t sure where to put your feet as you couldn’t see the path.
Hopefully next year we will make it to the summit again, the views on this mountain range never seems to amaze me, every year I look forward to seeing the stunning mountains and lakes and every year they look different. I personally feel at peace when i am there and even Jak at 9 years old appreciates the outdoors and loves to sit and stare in amazement at the views.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my post on our day trip to the mountain and hopefully i have inspired you to buy some waterproofs and hiking boots so that you can tackle the mountain yourselves.