Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The Great Trek up Snowdon

To walk up Snowdon is a great trek. Especially from your back door, and I don’t mean from Llanberis or Beddgelert, I mean from the Vale of Ffestiniog.

We set off from Campbell’s Kingdom on a fine summer’s day; estimating one hour to Stwlan Dam, another to Llyn Adar and a further hour to the start of the Watkin Path. Each leg was under-estimated and it took almost 3 ½ hours to cover those first 9 miles.

Despite it being a sunny Sunday the path was quiet. A few bathers were splashing in the alpine turquoise pools above Hafod y Llan and the view across Llyn Llydaw was superb. For the first time in several years I approached the top of Snowdon free of cloud – on previous occasions it had been a steep scramble through the mist, but this time I was able to follow the more gentle angle of the ridge, then turn right to the summit.

There were French, Welsh, English and German walkers and train passengers of all shapes, sizes and ages ... it was really cosmopolitan, and busy, busy. By the time I squeezed my way onto the compass at the top, it had been just under 6 hours since leaving home and an estimated 1,600m of altitude gain.

We had a drink and some jelly babies before descending the ridge overlooking the Watkin Path towards Y Garn and then stopped at Caffi Gwynant, a brilliant community café, for ice lolly and ‘Powerade’. Our heavy legs plodded up the narrow lane, then through meadows alongside streams to Llyn Llagi, and up to the plateau between Snowdon and home.

At Rhosydd quarry we turned down into Cwmorthin, adding an extra mile, but avoiding the steep descent from Stwlan Dam. Our weary legs finally reached home 27 ½ miles and 12 ¼ hours since setting off. That’s what I call a great trek!

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