Mount Snowdon is known in its native Welsh as Yr Wyddfa, and it is the highest mountain in Wales. It is known as the busiest mountain in Britain, because it is so popular with hikers and climbers.
Found within the confines of the Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd, North Wales, Snowdon is designated as a national nature reserve, due to its abundance of rare and endangered plants and animals.
Edmund Hillary used the mountain as his training grounds for his 1953 Everest expedition, which lets you know that Snowdon is not the easiest of climbs, but there are a number of different well-known and well-worn paths for you to take.
From the peak of Snowdon – which measures at 1085 metres above sea level – visitors are able to see, on a clear day, out over the Irish Sea to Anglesey and even all the way to the Republic of Ireland.
As noted already, however, it is not a simple uphill walk; some scrambling may be required to reach the summit, and the climb should not be undertaken in adverse weather conditions. Indeed, during the winter months the ground can be somewhat treacherous underfoot, even in good weather. If you are going to attempt the ascent, make sure you are wearing good climbing boots, and keep a close eye out for loose scree.
Because Snowdon is so popular, it can become rather busy during the peak season, which stretches over the summer months. Out of the six main routes to the top, one stands out as being rather less full of visitors when compared with the others; this route is known as the Rhyd Ddu Path.
Fortunately, the Rhyd Ddu Path also offers the most impressive and breath-taking vistas of the surrounding mountains, giving you both solitude and spectacle. The reason that this path is quieter, though, is that the final ascent is rather difficult, although the journey does begin quite easily. If there is frost and ice around, avoid this path unless you have a great deal of experience and ice-appropriate equipment.
If you don’t feel as though you can manage the Rhyd Ddu Path, the other western route, the Snowdon Ranger Path, is also usually quite a quiet one, and is significantly easier a climb. The easiest path of all is more popular – the Llanberis Path offers a gentle incline and wide views across all angles of the mountain.
For a detailed list of routes visit the Snowdonia National Park's website
Lastly, for anyone who feels like they couldn’t manage any climb at all… well, you’re still in luck! You can enjoy the views from the top, with a minimum of effort; the Snowdon Mountain Railway will take you the 5 miles from Llanberis to the summit, comfortably and sedately. This means that everyone can say they made it to the apex! Just be sure to bring a camera.
Feel like conquering Snowdon for yourself? Make a holiday of it and rent out a cottage in North Wales; there’s plenty more to explore. Click here to find out more.
The most popular way to access Snowdon is from the village of Llanberis. You can reach Llanberis from the north coast of Wales along the A55, the A4244 and the A4086. Alternatively you can approach from the East on the A470 and the A4086.
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