Snowdon - sort of a rest day, 9.8 miles
It rained heavily overnight - no wonder we don't get very much rain in Kent, Wales seems to have cornered the market. I mean, this is July, and still it rains most days. I packed up as best I could and set off. Having finished up miles off route, my plan was to make my way to Pen-Y-Pass, where tomorrow's route began from. It was only about five miles up the road, so i could walk there if need be. but it seemed better to get a bus, so i could check in to the youth hostel there and do a bit of washing, have a shower, and maybe walk round a bit if the rain stopped. The weather forecast for today was poor but for tomorrow, much better. So i would be rested, and poised to climb Snowdon, and in clean socks too..
I found out when the bus was due and waited hopefully, but nothing came. I stuck my thumb out, and was pleased to pick up a lift in no time at all, from a very nice man who was part of the North Wales Mountain Rescue. Understandably he was pleased I had decided to cut yesterday's walk short because of the conditions. He said they had been called out 87 times, so far this year... So I got to Pen-Y-Pass before 10am, checked in, had a nice coffee, did a little washing - they have a great drying room here - and had a look outside.
To my surprise the weather had picked up, the rain had stopped and um, golly, what was that round yellow thing in the sky? So I thought I would go for a wander, nothing strenuous of course. From Pen-Y-Pass there are three main routes up Snowdon, the miners' trail, the Pyg trail, and Crib Goch. The miners trail is the easiest, a broad gravelled path that crosses the llyn llydaw reservoir on a causeway. I could go as far as the lake and see how things were.
Two hours later, I was standing on the summit of Snowdon. For once it was free of cloud, the climb didn't look difficult (you should see some of those attempting it, though!) and I thought I shouldn't miss the opportunity. Snowdon without any cloud is a rare thing. There were a lot of people about, but on a sunny July Sunday that is only to be expected. I hung about at the summit for an hour, took some photos, had the most expensive bottle of lager ever, and set off back via the Pyg track. Still a very popular route, but not quite so busy.
Snowdon is the highest point in England and Wales, 1085m (3560ft) so i suppose if i have to climb something twice in two days, it might as well be that. Tomorrow I plan to go up via Crib Goch, and down the far side to near Beddgelert.
Pen-Y-Pass is a fine youth hostel, newly renovated and very comfortable. Nice people too, Greg was very welcoming and helpful. Apparently the fire alarm had gone off, and steel shutters had come down that they could not get back up again. And although the hostel is state of the art, their computer was running Windows 95 and very very slow. He dealt with these difficulties patiently and I did get to my room eventually!
|The Miner's Trail .. wide enough for a car|
|The Miner's Trail crosses the reservoir on a causeway|
|Snowdon, with Llyn Glaslyn in front|
|Snowdon. Can you see all the people on top?|
|Now you can!|
|View from the summit. . You can see the sea, much of the coast of Wales in fact|
|Anglesey is also visible|
|Surprising amount of military activity around Snowdon. This is one of several very noisy Apache helicopters|
|Cheats' route to the top! The little steam locomotives are rather sweet.|
|Returning to the newly renovated YHA hostel at Pen-y-Pass|