Tuesday, May 15, 2012

On the variety of choices for ascent and descent of Snowdon

The in-laws are over!  A holiday in Snowdonia was booked and a walk up and down Snowdon was on my list of things to do.  I thought that the train would provide the perfect opportunity to combine a family day with some quality alone time walking up a mountain.  The plan was to walk up an interesting way, meet the family at the top as they ascend by train and then walk down the pedestrian Llanberis path with selected family members.

Looking back to Pen y Pass.  I made a decision early on based on the weather and the time limits not to go over Crib Goch and to stick to the easy Miner's Track.  I was dropped off at Pen y Pass and estimated to my family that I would be at the top in two hours.  They drove around to Llanberis where they got on the train.

Very easy walking for approximately the first 3 miles.  This would be a good route to run up.  Looking over Llyn Teyrn towards Y Lliwedd and the Snowdon Horseshoe route.  Oh, if only I had a bit more time (and better weather).

Helicopter over the tops, hmm...

old mineworks

path getting steeper now up the side of Glaslyn the blue lake of Snowdon.  I'm glad to be climbing now, is there something wrong with that?

climbing further

at meeting point with the Llanberis path and the end of the steep climb.  The railway track directly in front and the ridge in front is the path of the Snowdon Ranger path.

people coming up the busy Llanberis path

looking back down over the winding path of the Miner's Track

up to the summit station, some weather coming in now

train on the way

top of Wales

the family arrive at the plush summit station

I'm sure there are mixed views of the summit station (and the train) on Snowdon.  I enjoyed a civilised toilet! but it was a bit hard to get going again once I had warmed up.

quick run up to the top with Hannah

Hannah and Nana heading for the return train

So off we set on the descent down the Llanberis path

Athel and Fiona heading into the mist

this is the post that marks the junction of the Llanberis path and the Miner's Track

Having fun?

looking down the Llanberis path

At this point, Athel was struggling.  The steep descent was hurting his knees and he was needed to take regular breaks which eventually meant that he was getting cold.  We got to the Halfway House Cafe (which was closed) and I made the call for help.  We kept him as warm as we could until help arrived in the form of the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team.

Fiona making herself useful propping up the emergency shelter

wrapped up and taking some details, "yes, A-T-H-E-L..."

the plan, put him on a stretcher and carry down the mountain

I think they decided it was going to take too long so they called for help

from the RAF

very windy conditions so another point on the track was identified as a better pick up point

the helicopter was able to get much lower at this point

Winched away and off to Bangor Hospital for a check over, he was given the all clear with just an injury to his pride.  A donation was made to the Llanberis Mountain Rescue team who were absolutely wonderful and must get really fed up of picking up unprepared walkers on this path.

the black line shows the Llanberis path which follows more or less the line of the railway

from the east is the path I took up from Pen-y-Pass and then heading north halfway along the Llanberis path where Athel completed the journey by helicopter.

view along the Miner's Track, my route of ascent


  1. very interesting,i wish i could have been there.panorad.

  2. I don't think your knees are up to it ;)

  3. Oh my goodness!!! I love reading your blog but wasn't prepared for this. Poor Athel!!!!!!! I blame you entirely...... :-) liz b xxx

    1. Thank you Liz. I don't think I can accept the blame but it was a reminder that you need to consider the group, not just yourself. Even if one of the group refused to buy gloves because they wouldn't get any use out of them back in Australia.