Author Topic: How hard is Snowdon?  (Read 69046 times)

alfredtehbutler

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How hard is Snowdon?
« on: 21:58:15, 15/01/12 »
I've done some long distance walks before but never really done any hilly ones and was considering taking on Snowdon.
I never really do anything in half terms in school so it always seems like a waste of a week and I thought I'd change that this year, I'm thinking of going in February although I'm a bit worried about the weather, like I said I've never really climbed any mountains before so I have literally no clue how hard it would be, what the weather's like in February or how long it would take.

I was hoping seeing that this is the Wales section that some of you guys (or girls) might know what it's like.

Thanks in advance :)

Requiem

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #1 on: 22:22:52, 15/01/12 »
Snowdons an absolute sweetheart for a first mountain as it has a couple of good, wide, well travelled paths. The downsides of it are its a bit high for some peoples comfort, its quite usually topped with cloud obscuring the stunning views and its sufficiently easy that the umprepared are caught out by its foibles
In winter, I've climbed it plenty of times. but even on the mildest days I've always taken extra food, my best waterproof, a little stove and provision for far worse weather than is forecast. One time in March I was snowbound and ended up kipping in the lee of Blofelds Eyrie in a bivvy bag.
Thanks for asking the question btw, the route discussions will prove to be both interesting and informatve when some of the other folks get going ;-)
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alanstarkie2001

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #2 on: 22:37:30, 15/01/12 »
I'd love to see the view from up there! First time I went was 1970 I think!!!  :D
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alfredtehbutler

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #3 on: 22:52:34, 15/01/12 »
Snowdons an absolute sweetheart for a first mountain as it has a couple of good, wide, well travelled paths. The downsides of it are its a bit high for some peoples comfort, its quite usually topped with cloud obscuring the stunning views and its sufficiently easy that the umprepared are caught out by its foibles
In winter, I've climbed it plenty of times. but even on the mildest days I've always taken extra food, my best waterproof, a little stove and provision for far worse weather than is forecast. One time in March I was snowbound and ended up kipping in the lee of Blofelds Eyrie in a bivvy bag.
Thanks for asking the question btw, the route discussions will prove to be both interesting and informatve when some of the other folks get going ;-)

 What routes have you done and which would you recommend to a first-timer?
 
 Llanberis Path is apparently the easiest, shallowest but longest so I'm not entirely sure if that's the best option.
 
 Also, how long did it take you?
 

iiswoz

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #4 on: 23:40:14, 15/01/12 »

 What routes have you done and which would you recommend to a first-timer?
 
 Llanberis Path is apparently the easiest, shallowest but longest so I'm not entirely sure if that's the best option.
 
 Also, how long did it take you?
hi alfredthebutler.
I'm new to mountain treks too but i've done snowden 3 times this year.
i found the LLanberis path on the boring side but it was very foggy.
2nd and 3rd hikes went up the PYG track and down the miners track. Much much more interesting walking.
i can make it up n down in 4hrs but i'm a pretty fast walker. Though i took nearer 6hrs today because of all the photographic opportunities in the clear conditions.






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alfredtehbutler

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #5 on: 23:50:03, 15/01/12 »
hi alfredthebutler.
I'm new to mountain treks too but i've done snowden 3 times this year.
i found the LLanberis path on the boring side but it was very foggy.
2nd and 3rd hikes went up the PYG track and down the miners track. Much much more interesting walking.
i can make it up n down in 4hrs but i'm a pretty fast walker. Though i took nearer 6hrs today because of all the photographic opportunities in the clear conditions.


Well I'm not too worried about it being boring to be honest, I'll be taking my iPod and a camera, the main reason I want to go up there is to get a small taste of what it would be like to climb Ben Nevis, but that's a different story :P

Arenig

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #6 on: 00:53:40, 16/01/12 »
I've done some long distance walks before but never really done any hilly ones and was considering taking on Snowdon.
I never really do anything in half terms in school so it always seems like a waste of a week and I thought I'd change that this year, I'm thinking of going in February although I'm a bit worried about the weather, like I said I've never really climbed any mountains before so I have literally no clue how hard it would be, what the weather's like in February or how long it would take.

I was hoping seeing that this is the Wales section that some of you guys (or girls) might know what it's like.

Thanks in advance :)

Hi alfredtehbutler, Please don't take this post of mine the wrong way, but you have been quite vague with reference to your levels of ability, fitness, navigational skills, etc and I'm also curious as to what standard of clothing, boots and additional gear you are in the possession of. You mention that you have done some long distance walks but you have never done any quote “hilly ones” un quote.
 
I have to say that people like yourself worry me something awful when I hear that you intend to venture into the mountains, especially in February where you are still very much likely to encounter full on winter conditions.
 
The question you should be asking yourself here is, am I qualified to take on such a challenge (and you didn't mention whether you would have any company for this trip) not how hard is Snowdon?
 
I hope you receive many more posts on the thread, giving you a good insight into what exactly you might be letting yourself in for.
 
In the interest of safety, please don't take on the walk until you have all the answers to the questions listed above (and probably many more). I would hate to read about yet another death in North Wales.
 
 
Best of luck with it, Oh!  and welcome to the forum.
 
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iiswoz

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #7 on: 01:27:52, 16/01/12 »

Hi alfredtehbutler, Please don't take this post of mine the wrong way, but you have been quite vague with reference to your levels of ability, fitness, navigational skills, etc and I'm also curious as to what standard of clothing, boots and additional gear you are in the possession of. You mention that you have done some long distance walks but you have never done any quote “hilly ones” un quote.
 
I have to say that people like yourself worry me something awful when I hear that you intend to venture into the mountains, especially in February where you are still very much likely to encounter full on winter conditions.
 
The question you should be asking yourself here is, am I qualified to take on such a challenge (and you didn't mention whether you would have any company for this trip) not how hard is Snowdon?
 
I hope you receive many more posts on the thread, giving you a good insight into what exactly you might be letting yourself in for.
 
In the interest of safety, please don't take on the walk until you have all the answers to the questions listed above (and probably many more). I would hate to read about yet another death in North Wales.
 
 
Best of luck with it, Oh!  and welcome to the forum.
 
Robbo.
that really is something to concider. on my snowden accent yesterday i took  1 pair of decent boots, 1 decent base layer 2 fleeces, waterproof jacket n pants, good walking socks, torch, phone, 2ltr water, whistle, hat, gloves and more food than my dog and i could possibly eat in one day.
At the point where the PYG track meets the crib goch i met 2 americans asking if "this is the way to go" pointing up to the crib. i strongly advised them that they shouldn't go "up there" unless they had ropes (small lie but i felt it justified) these guys went equipped with jeans and trainers and well, nothing else.
EDIT
Map n compass too.

« Last Edit: 01:32:40, 16/01/12 by iiswoz »
Honi soit qui mal y pense

gary m

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #8 on: 12:01:11, 16/01/12 »
i would go up the pyg track it can be a bit of a slog though, first time up snowdon, i would stay away from crib goch or the watkin path to be honest
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alfredtehbutler

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #9 on: 18:20:04, 16/01/12 »

Hi alfredtehbutler, Please don't take this post of mine the wrong way, but you have been quite vague with reference to your levels of ability, fitness, navigational skills, etc and I'm also curious as to what standard of clothing, boots and additional gear you are in the possession of. You mention that you have done some long distance walks but you have never done any quote “hilly ones” un quote.
 
I have to say that people like yourself worry me something awful when I hear that you intend to venture into the mountains, especially in February where you are still very much likely to encounter full on winter conditions.
 
The question you should be asking yourself here is, am I qualified to take on such a challenge (and you didn't mention whether you would have any company for this trip) not how hard is Snowdon?
 
I hope you receive many more posts on the thread, giving you a good insight into what exactly you might be letting yourself in for.
 
In the interest of safety, please don't take on the walk until you have all the answers to the questions listed above (and probably many more). I would hate to read about yet another death in North Wales.
 
 
Best of luck with it, Oh!  and welcome to the forum.
 
Robbo.

Well I'm competent with a map and compass but I figured because there's a lot of well-travelled paths up there I wouldn't really need one that much, although I'm starting to think differently.

I have combat trousers which have never failed me before, a normal sports thermal long sleeve top, a military fleece long sleeve thermal type thing, then I was going to wear a hoodie over that and I have a thick waterproof jacket to go on top.

I honestly didn't think it would be this much of a big deal, being the highest mountain in the UK outside of Scotland I imagined it would be fairly busy and didn't think I'd run into any problems.

gary m

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #10 on: 18:55:33, 16/01/12 »
going up the pyg track will be busy and a path all the way, where will you be parking
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Achiles74

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #11 on: 19:18:28, 16/01/12 »
As long as you have a decent pair of walking boots you should be ok.
I would also invest in a decent base layer/mid layer (To aid wicking of sweat). The clothes you have describe sound to me to be very high at retaining moisture (sweat etc). You may feel quite uncomfy once you get half way up the Pyg Track.
 
 

joester

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #12 on: 19:34:32, 16/01/12 »

I have combat trousers which have never failed me before, a normal sports thermal long sleeve top, a military fleece long sleeve thermal type thing, then I was going to wear a hoodie over that and I have a thick waterproof jacket to go on top.


Take some waterproof overtrousers too.
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Ruthr

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #13 on: 20:10:40, 16/01/12 »
Depends entirely on the weather. In good weather a piece of cake if your used to walking, in bad weather I wouldn't fancy it myself. It's worth bearing in mind stories like these when thinking about tackling it:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/5507828/Two-brothers-died-together-after-falling-660ft-from-Snowdon-inquest-hears.html
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poppiesrara

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Re: How hard is Snowdon?
« Reply #14 on: 20:10:59, 16/01/12 »
Pick the right day and it might not be too hard, but my main advice would be to study the Met Office mountain forecasts with devotion up until the morning of the day you go - and simply not go if there are any doubts at all, especially at this time of year.  Ice or snow underfoot on the upper slopes would make even the easy paths on Snowdon quite dangerous, any hill fog or much rain makes it miserable (and always take a map and compass - the prospect of the shame if someone has to rescue you for whatever reason and you haven't bothered to take a couple of ounces of basic kit should be enough to convince you!), and if you're inexperienced on the hills you might find anything over about 35mph on the tops uncomfortable.

It's no fun anyway if conditions are horrible, and you can't rely on seeing too many other people either if you pick the wrong day - we got three-quarters of the way up the PYG Track in horrendous weather last year and barely saw another soul even on a July Sunday afternoon.

Given all that, if you get and wear in some walking boots and you're reasonably fit (the rule of thumb I've heard, which doesn't seem too bad, is to be able to run a brisk non-stop two miles comfortably) and it's a good day, Snowdon isn't the hardest mountain to climb.  I think most people would send a first-timer up the PYG track (and perhaps back down the Miner's), which is pretty short - 3-4 hours up and down isn't unreasonable, very clear and has some fantastic rock and lake scenery.  You'll then feel like going back and trying something else!; it's a great mountain...

To reiterate though, don't even think about it in bad weather in winter...