Hiking up Mount Snowdon
As a family we have hiked up Mount Snowdon a handful of times. The first time we did it was about 9 years ago with our two children. We took the Miners Track back then and have since done the Pyg Track and Llanberis Path.
Hiking up the mountain with three young children, I would definitely recommend doing the Llanberis path.
Llanberis path is the longest route to take up to Snowdon’s summit. The distance is 9 miles there and back, with an ascent of 975 mtrs and offers some amazing views of the surrounding mountains. As it is thought to be the easiest path to take it can be popular with families and leisure walkers and can get quite busy at times.
The path climbs along the Llanberis – Snowdon railtrack and is simple to navigate. It starts just behind the Snowdon Mountain railway station, at the end of a road you reach a cattle grid and the information boards.
As you head along a steep road you reach a cafe and just beyond that you will take a left through a gate, this is where the terrain begins to change and you clearly note that you are at the foot of the mountain.
The track becomes a little more rocky and can be unstable under the foot causing you to trip. It can be quite slippy when wet too.
The hike up can be very tiring and you will work up a sweat so I would advise you to carry extra clothing so you can layer up later on when you are closer to the summit.
It was quite a cloudy day, not so cold and the rain stayed away for us. It was ideal hiking conditions but not so great for the camera. We managed to get some clear photos on the ascend to the mountain, but it was too misty up at the summit to see anything clearly.
The Llanberis path leads along the railway and it’s a beautiful sight to see the steam train run along side you
The boys were particularly happy to see that the sheep were all around, not just on the low level ground but also over half way up the mountain you will spot sheep grazing behind the rocks
Just before half way the train line runs along to the right of the pathway but you will need to walk under the track. It’s not long after that you see a building far in the distance. This is the halfway house, where you can buy some refreshments. On previous visits, there has always been a toilet here to use but it seems that they may have closed it as it is no longer available for customers to use.
The path steepens
Once you have had a well earned break at the cafe, the ascend becomes a little more trickier and the path steepens. Is it as this point where you begin to feel the legs become a little tighter and start to ache. It was here when the visibility began to get pretty poor and we just knew it was going to get worse.
The pathway runs under the Snowdon railtrack again and as you come out from under the bridge on the other side, you may well notice a few hikers coming along from the left hand side. These are the braver few that have just walked along the Crib Goch ( I did wonder why someone was asking the way to the summit, i thought that maybe they had gone to find a toilet somewhere but my son corrected me)
The Summit is nigh
You know you are near when you notice a huge rock in the middle of the path. This is where five pathways meet – Pyg Track, Llanberis, Miners Track, Snowdon ranger and Crib Goch.
We didn’t get much of a view at the top as it was so cloudy. I believe we were within a cloud as the air was very wet.
Visibility was poor and it was much colder at the top.
It was also very busy. We decided against battling with the other hikers to the Summit, as you can see from the photos it was too busy to take the children to.
Once we had visited the toilet in the cafe at the top, it was time to get our legs working again and take the path back down.
Obviously the descent is much easier than the ascent but you still have to be careful especially when the visibility is poor. The stones under the foot are wet making them slippery. We did notice someone had a fall and was nursing a bloody face and a sore foot.
It took us a total of 5 and a quarter hours from top to bottom, including a few little breaks. Not bad going! That was 3 and a quarter hours up and 2 down.
Before venturing on the Mountain You will need
- Strong ankle supporting shoes/boots
- Waterproof clothes
- Gloves and hat ( sunglasses- the snow can be blinding with the sun)
- Extra layers of clothing in a rucksack
- Mobile charger
- Food and drink
- Check the weather conditions
- Maps are available
The more active side of the family
Before we set of the two oldest and Dad had decided that they were going to run up the mountain. We had agreed that they would go ahead and the youngest and I would meet them on our way up. We saw them coming from behind the fog just over half way up, just as the path was steepening.
Dad and the middle boy decided to carry on running down and would wait for as the bottom, the eldest stopped his run and wanted to go to the top again with his brother and me.
I think they suffered a little as they couldn’t wait to get into a hot bath with some salts to soothe their aching legs. In fact, I think we all needed it!