At 1,085 metres above sea level, Snowdon (or Yr Wyddfa in Welsh) is the highest summit in England and Wales, it’s also one of the busiest. We set off from London at 6pm on Friday and queued on the M1 with others desperate to escape the capital for the weekend. Several hours of uneventful travelling later we found ourselves in the Smithfield Bell, Welshpool where we ate an average meal before concluding our journey to a log cabin near Dolgellau.
Whilst Snowdon may be the tallest point in England and Wales it’s certainly not the most difficult climb. It’s a mountain of the people, accessible to all, there’s even a train that can take you to a cafe at the summit. There are numerous climbs and scrambles up Snowdon but the vast majority take one of the six major trails. We had chosen to ascend using the Snowdon Ranger path. The path was named after the Victorian mountain guide John Morton who was the self proclaimed ‘Snowdon Ranger’.
As we reached the ridge we were rewarded with fantastic views across to the east face and an ant like trail of walkers crawling their way up the steep section from the top of the miners path and the Pyg track. The summit was heaving with walkers and tourist queuing patiently for their turn to be photographed with the trig point. As we admired the views and reflected on our achievements we couldn’t help overhearing several phone conversations “Hello, I’m calling from the top of a mountain” or “You’ll never guess where I’m calling from”.
Having luncheoned on cheese and pickle rolls and scotch eggs we descended via the Rhyd Ddu path. As we descended via the steep slopes we reflected that our path up was an easier climb, a view echoed by the red faces of those we passed. The Rhyd Ddu is a great trail with stunning views to either side of the ridge but arguably one of the best features of the Rhyd Ddu is that it ends at the fabulous Cwellyn Arms with its nine guest ales!