A Really Simple Walking Guide Up SnowdonPublished on 18 Aug 2014 by Gwion Llwyd
A lot of our guests here at Dioni ask for help on getting up Snowdon. They’re not especially keen walkers or experienced hikers but have set themselves the goal of ascending the highest peak in England and Wales. If that’s you, here’s my Really Simple Walking Guide Up Snowdon.
- Are you fit enough? Go for a long walk in your neighbourhood first. It’s 4 miles up the mountain and 4 miles down so a 10 mile walk somewhere relatively flat would be a good training run.
- Check the weather forecast the night before. The Met Office have a very useful one specific to Snowdonia. I find the printable version easier to read. Snowdonia Mountain Area Forecast
- Take suitable clothing. It might be a lovely hot day at the bottom of the mountain but things can be very different at the top. Make a note of the ‘Temperature at 900m’ figure on the forecast linked above. Wear good walking shoes.
- Take some water. Dehydration isn’t a big problem in North Wales but a bit of water when exercising is always welcome. 500ml and a chocolate bar should be enough.
- Buy an OS map. The miners track suggested below is very well marked and you’re unlikely to get lost but maps are interesting so buy one anyway. Map of Snowdon, Ordnance Survey ‐ Explorer OL17
- Take a mobile phone with you.
- Get to the mountain early and give yourself plenty of time. Most walkers should be able to get up and down Snowdon in six hours but allow yourself 8 to 10 hours of daylight just in case.
Pen Y Pass car park is on the A4086, 5 miles southeast of Llanberis. (That’s to the right and down a bit when you’re looking at the map.) If you’re not a keen walker, Pen Y Pass is definitely the place to set off from. The car park here gets you closer to the summit than most places and the routes setting off from this spot are well marked.
Enter the postcode for the nearby Youth Hostel into your Sat Nav. LL55 4NY. It costs £10 to park for the day. Get there early as it fills up quick at peak times. If you arrive too late to get a space, drive down to Llanberis and park there. A sherpa shuttle bus will bring you back up to the Youth Hostel.
There are numerous paths up Snowdon but the one I would recommend for beginners would be the Miners Track. As you stand with your back to the road in Pen Y Pass car park, this route sets off from the left hand corner of the parking area.
This route is nice and easy to begin with. Even surface and only a slight gradient with some nice views over the lake. This path gets gradually steeper as you go along. Dont be too proud to turn around and go back if things get a little tough. Eventually you’ll enter the ‘zig zags’. Quite a steep stretch that snake back and forth up the last bit of the mountain. It can get a little slippy here especially in icy conditions so take care. But once completed the final stretch to the top is only a couple of hundred meters further on to your left.
On your return journey, make sure you turn right and head back down the ‘zig zag’ section. And, don’t forget, walking down is just as tough as walking up.