Friday, 23 May 2014

Up and Down Snowdon: A Weekend in Wales Part Three. . .

On Sunday the weather stayed clear and I was so happy because we'd designated that day to climb Snowdon, the highest point in Wales.  The Liverpud has done it several times but it was a first for me and I was pleasantly surprised by how pretty it was, given that walkers are often a bit sniffy about it as Snowdon is also one of the busiest mountains in the U.K. with a train that takes tourists up and a cafe at the top.  I was expecting a rather grim up and down path, similar to Ben Nevis (the highest peak in Scotland which I climbed nearly four years ago.).   We went up the Llanberis path which is the longest route but also the least steep. There were a few tough bits but the scenery was worth it. 

Much of the path follows the railway line but the train wasn't running that day.

Halfway up there's a hut which was offering homemade leek and potato soup but though we briefly stopped nearby for a quick snack and drink, it was onwards and up.

Here's where you duck under the railway line but it also offers a gateway to a whole new vista of mountain ranges on the other side.

Magnificent isn't it?

Further up we paused to look back at where we'd come.  Despite the lack of train service, the mountain was still quite busy with climbers.  One guy we passed was carrying a pile of bricks on his shoulder for charity. He was also on his way to conquer the other two great peaks - Scafell and Ben Nevis.

A bit hazy, but the top is finally in sight.

I mentioned the cafe and even though it was out of a machine, the latte tasted pretty darn good. I also had a Welsh "Oggie" which is like a Cornish Pasty but with leeks.  Also fairly tasty. 

On the descent we decided to go down the Miner's Track on the other side of the mountain.  You can see a bit of the path here before it splits into the higher Pyg track with our route the lower one down by the lake.

Again, the views were stunning and the water very, very clear.

Down by the lake, we took a good look back at Snowdon.

Now, you might think that because we are down by the water that all the descent is over, but we're still fairly high up and it's a much longer path than you first give it credit for.  We were in no hurry though and really just enjoyed being in the sunshine, surrounded by all this beauty. I felt as relaxed as if I'd been on holiday for two weeks, a reminder of just how much I love the physical and mental well-being that comes with walking.

The sheep are very much at peace in this landscape too.

The path leads to a car park at Pen-y-Pass where you can catch a bus ( a red double-decker no less)  back to Llanberis where we'd left the car.  But there was time for just one more farewell glance back to Snowdon and a really fabulous weekend in Wales.

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