HILL, DALES AND MOUNTAIN HIKING

18th August 2008: Snowdon, via the Snowdon Rangers Path

Start: Snowdon Ranger Station, circa 150m

Highest point: Snowdon Summit, 1085m

Distance: circa 12 kms

Weather: Cool, very windy, very wet at times,

Vertical altitude gain: circa 950m

Time: 7 hrs

Summit Post Expedition to hike up Snowdon gets under way on the Snowdon Rangers Path from near Llwyn Onn The Internet is a very powerful tool with the ability to create friends from people around the world who would otherwise never have met. Such were the three of us who set out on the Snowdon Rangers Path on a wet and windy 18th August 2008.

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Snowdon Rangers Path near Llyn Cwellyn

We three, (myself Bryan Benn, "dadndave" from Australia, and "Lolli" from Sweden), had met online on Summit Post probably the world's best mountain/hill climbing-hiking web site. And had long promised ourselves a meeting somewhere in the UK. With dadndave's ancestory playing it's part we went for a walk up to the summit of Snowdon in Snowdonia, and so, in fairly poor weather, we started up the initially easily graded Rangers Path. Leaving behind Llyn Cwellyn, (reservoir), with it's forboding backdrop of Mynydd Mawr, (698m).

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 continued Snowdon Rangers Path near Foel Goch

The track was to be fairly well defined all the way up: especially so as we slogged through the rain close to Foel Goch and Foel Gron.

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Snowdon Rangers Path looking back to Llyn Cwellyn

The low clouds rolling in from the South West told us that the rain was soon to get somewhat heavier as our gentle ascent continued. Photo by Lolli

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Snowdon rangers Path looking towards Clogwyn Du'r Arddu

And heavy the rain became. Torrential at times, with strong wind and a low cloudbase. Here starting to blot out the distant route as it climbed up near to the edge of Clogwyn Du'r Arddu.

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Snowdon Rangers Path near to Clogwyn Du'r Arddu

After long stretches of either easy grades and even one downhill section, the track became quite steep climbing up towards Clogwyn Du'r Arddu. And still the torrential rain fell on the three of us!

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Snowdon Rangers Path on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu

A very brief respite in both the weather and the steep climb allowed a view back to our starting point near to Llyn Cwellyn and Mynydd Mawr.

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Snowdon Rangers Path on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu

Lush meadows gave way to a mostly rocky surface as we continued our upward slog in ever decreasing visibility: but with the track still very well defined.Photo by Lolli

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 continued Snowdon Rangers Path on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu

Near the top of Clogwyn Du'r Arddu was the only place the route needed some thought as to it's whereabouts: but a plentiful supply of small cairns made sure our efforts were always in the right place! Photo by Lolli

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Snowdon Rangers Path near to Bwlch Glas

We topped the last steep section in a howling gale, (winds gusting to maybe 75 mph), with the lightest member of our party, (Lolli), getting blown a few metres off the track at one point. The heaviest of the three, (myself), suffering no such problem!

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Snowdon Summit

We soon joined the easily graded Llanberis path, and walked on up to the summit. Where, despite the weather, (I just loved it), dadndave and myself found something to have a good laugh about while Lolli captured the moment of the success of the Summit Post Snowdon walk! Photo by Lolli

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Snowdon Railway near to Clogwyn

Our return route was planned to be the Llanberis Path, often called the "Tourist Route", here descending towards Clogwyn station on the Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Rainbow over Pass of Llanberis

For a few minutes on our descent the bad weather eased. Giving me a first time experience of seeing a rainbow from above, as it formed over the Pass of Llanberis.

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Clogwyn Station

And during that easing in the weather it was even possible to see some background to Clogwyn Station!

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Glyder Fawr from Clogwyn

But the cloud was always nearby, here obscuring the summit of Glyder Fawr to the North East. Photo by Lolli

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Cloud over Clogwyn

Not only obscuring Glyder Fawr, but now drifting down over Glogwyn as the rain increased again. Photo by Lolli

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Clogwyn Du'r Arddu from Clogwyn Station

As cloud swirled around the Clogwyn Du'r Arddu ridge we had walked along on the way up, came in and out of view as we continued our descent. Photo by Lolli

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Halfway House

All three of us found the Llanberis Path a little boring, livevened up a little as we passed Halfway House that was, well, approximately halfway down the mountain!

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Llyn Peris

Amost into Llanberis and the large expanse of water that is the Reservoir, "llyn Peris" came into view.

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Cafe Pen Y Ceunant Isaf

There can be no better or more welcoming place to stop after a mountain walk than the Cafe Pen Y Ceunanat Isaf. Located on the Llanberis Path just above Llanberis. Wet, cold and soggy walkers very welcome! The link is worth clicking on to make sure you note the location and services on offer from the friendly "mine host".

Snowdon walk, 18th August 2008 Coffee time at Cafe Pen Y Ceunant Isaf

And so the Summit Post Expedition to hike up Snowdon came to it's successful conclusion inside the Cafe Pen Y Ceunant Isaf. With more rain outside, sandbags outside the cafe at the bottom station of the Snowdon Mountain Railway Station and the main car park virtually empty it didn't seem like a mid August day. But who cared. Myself, Lolli from Sweden and dadndave from Aus, (despite his New Zealand T shirt), had enjoyed a great walk. Followed by some decent food and drink together back at our Llandudno "Base Camp" later that evening.