Snowdon is a spectacular mountain, Wales highest at 1085 meters and one of the infamous three peaks (link to 3 peaks article).
Snowdon is best climbed when there is no cloud or rain to really appreciate the magnificent setting. It rains in Wales a lot but you tend to get your best weather at first light or into the evening. Which also happens to be the time the mountain is the least busy – It is a popular place, so avoid the crowds and go early.
Normal rules apply in this type of environment – take waterproofs, warm clothing, food, water, a decent pair of shoes, map, compass and the means to communicate. Going up unprepared is a completely selfish act, it not only puts you and your group at risk but the brave volunteers who make up Mountain Rescue.
Here are five routes up, with a difficulty rating out of 10 based on a normal healthy person who exercises a few times a week with limited/no experience.
1) The Train
There is a train up to the summit of Snowdon – which is a monstrosity. If you are physically able, all mountains should be earned in some capacity to get the true rewards of the mountain. But if you are physically unable to walk, the train is a good option which allows you to stand on Wales’ highest.
2) The Miners Track
The easiest and dullest way to get up Snowdon, a long winding disused miners track which slowly winds its way from the car park to the upper lakes. From here a steeper section on a well marked trail takes you to the summit ridge and a further 20 minutes or so to the top. This is a good ‘entry level’ option for anyone who’s first time in the mountains, although expect to meet a lot of people.
3) The Pyg Track
The pyg track runs high above the miners track offering a more interesting route, there is plenty of ‘up and down’ and typically people might take this option and come back down the easier Miners track on tired legs. You have a much better ‘feel’ for being in the mountains and is less well trodden.
4) Crib Goch
Cron Goch known as ‘the red ridge’ is by far the best way to get up Snowdon. Its a grade I scramble which means you will be using all four of your limbs at points and also has some fairly big drops – so having a head for heights is important. This is a spectacular way to approach the mountain and should only be done in dry and clear conditions. Done at sunrise or sunset, the ridge is a reddish hue.
5) Nant Peris (via Llyn Du’r Arddur)
The wildest approach relies on having competent map reading ability, and to be physically robust. This is a true mountainous route and you can expect to lose the path and doesn’t offer the same views as the other routes but if avoiding people is high on your agenda, this is the one for you.
Steep with some scrambling, being able to plot a route through featureless terrrain is key
There are many ways to climb up Snowdon and it comes back to a simple question, what do you want out of the day? For those in the mountains for the first time, you might want to take the Pyg track up and miners back down.
For those looking for adventure, the Crib Goch route up and the miners back is probably the best option and for the hard core, drop down off Crib Goch towards the Nant Peris (via Llyn Du’r Arddur).
This blog was written by good mountain friend, Fred Newton. We climbed Aconcagua at the end of 2018 and he was by far one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I have ever come across on my high altitude adventures. He also happens to be the very talented and inspiring Founder behind "My Adventure Hub" - a fantastic company offering bespoke and wild adventures across the UK. If you are considering an adventure in the UK then I could not recommend Fred and his team more highly. You can reach on firstname.lastname@example.org