Will and I had been looking forward to climbing Snowdon for ages! We had such a good time hiking round the Brecon Beacons last year and couldn’t wait to go back to Wales and take on a new challenge.We arrived at Pen-y-Pass car park to begin the Miners Track up to the summit of Snowdon at about 11am. From this car park you can walk the Miners Track or Pyg Track. We chose the Miners Track after checking the Visit Snowdonia website and watching a couple of YouTube videos to get an idea of what it would be like. Basically we wanted a challenge but as this was the first time we had climbed a mountain we weren’t sure how hard it would feel. It definitely was a challenge and took us about 6 hours in total. Here’s a quick overview!
The first half of the walk was pretty easy and the scenery was so incredible. We took a lot of photos at the start – I could do this part of the walk over and over – it was amazing.
As we moved beyond the lakes things got quite a lot harder and there was a lot of scrambling up the mountain and a constant incline. The views were incredible and it was so cool being able to look down and see how far we had come.
About 3/4 of the way up it got really, really tough – it was a sunny day but as we were so high up it was very windy and cold. This part took a long time, we had to stop a lot to let people coming down pass us and be careful with our footing as it was narrow and snowy. Quite a lot of me wanted to give up at this point because it was hard and visibility was so bad – I couldn’t see anything. I kept going as I really wanted to be able to say I had done it and I’m really really glad I did! It was so great to finally reach the Summit.
We read up on what to bring with us and there are lots of good guides online. Here are a few things I think are important to know or would do differently next time:
Eat lunch at the lake – this is the best place to stop and have lunch because it’s beautiful and it’ll be warmer here. We didn’t do this as we wanted to keep on going but as we got higher up it was too windy and cold to stop. We had been walking for about four hours before we had lunch so were pretty hungry.
Hiking poles – I bought a hiking pole with me – I’m still on the fence over whether this was a good idea or not. I felt a little unbalanced having just one and sometimes I felt that it got in the way more than it helped. I hadn’t used one before and definitely think it would have been a good idea to practice walking with it a bit first.
Layer and wear waterproof clothing – We kind of did this. I wore jeans which were ok (although probably not the best thing to wear if it had rained), a thermal long sleeve shirt, t-shirt and sweater and packed my Uniqlo down jacket (this is great as it packs up really small and is so light to carry). I bought gloves with me and ended up stealing Will’s hat which has tassels to tie it on, it is so windy so hoods won’t cut it. We had to use our hands a lot so our gloves got wet – waterproof gloves would have been better.
Spare shoes – We both have proper hiking boots but Will bought his trainers along as spares and I didn’t. I had 100% faith that my boots would be fine as I had used them so much before and they were fine until about 4 hours in. Walking downhill for so long is really tough on your toes (tip: remember to trim your toenails really short so they don’t press into your boots). I was so grateful to switch to Will’s trainers even if they are a few sizes too big.
Don’t wear trainers – We saw quite a few people slip over, it’s really important to wear shoes with proper grip and that provide enough support for your ankles.
Toilets – There is a cafe and toilets at the Summit but these weren’t open when we went. I think these are open in the summer.
Map – We actually got a little lost on our way back down and I think we might have picked up the Pyg track before getting back on the Miners. There are stone markers at certain points in the journey but they are easily missed if you don’t know to look for them. A map would definitely have been useful!
We had such a great time climbing Snowdon and I can’t wait to come back some day! :)
Love Becca x