HILL, DALES AND MOUNTAIN HIKING

5th January 2009: Llanberis - Snowdon - Garnedd Ugain - Llanberis Web page by Bryan Benn

Start and Finish in Llanberis 105m

Highest Point: Snowdon Summit 1085m

Distance: circa 16 kms

Weather: V cold, cloud then sun and icy.

Vertical altitude gain: circa 1070m

Time: circa 7 hrs 50 mins

Llanberis route to Snowdon Came the morning of January 5th I was very tired and my leg muscles were screaming at me to rest. I had walked most days since I had arrived on December 24th. But I still had one of the 7 main walking routes to Snowdon to "tick off". And I had saved my last, the easiest route, the Llanberis, "tourist" path until the wintry conditions made it just a small challenge.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

So with a light layer of new snow higher up, and the promise of an iced up path I decided to force my aching legs up one more mountain before I packed up and went home.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

The worst conditions were on the steep tarmac road out of Llanberis! Totally covered in smooth black ice. Making the slow trudge up the icy path past Half Way House relatively easy by comparison.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

The path is generally well laid and obvious and climbs at a steady pace until past Clogwyn station on the Snowdon Railway: the path broadly follows the railway track all the way up.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

Earlier low cloud started to clear as I gained height. Starting to give the views that Snowdon is justly famous for.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

Above Clogwyn station and climbing at a steady pace on ice and a very light layer of new snow, surrounded by snow capped mountains. Wonderful winter walking.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

The steepest section of the Llanberis Path is around the 800-900m level, where the route climbs much steeper than the more steady grade of the Snowdon Mountain Railway.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

The steeper grade continues.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

Rounding a gentle corner revealed the summit of the highest mountain in England and Wales. And despite my aching legs it looked like I was going to tick off the seventh and last normal walking route to the top.

9thDecember 2008:Beddgelert - Moel y Dyniewyd cont. continued Llanberis route to Snowdon

Onto the broad ridge at around 1000m and the ice and snow covered summit looked as wonderful as ever.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Lliwedd and Snowdon's East  Ridge from near Snowdon Summit

And wonderful was the only way to describe the view East to Y Lliwedd, the East Ridge and down to Llyn Llydaw.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Lliwedd and Snowdon's East  Ridge from near Snowdon Summit

A closer view of Y Lliwedd and the final section of the East Ridge of Snowdon.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

Not far to the summit now!

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

But still time to stop and enjoy the wintry scene towards Crib Goch.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

And a view of Crib Goch, (left), and the East Ridge, (right).

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

I soon reached the summit and was pleased to have now done all seven normal walking routes. But I had other plans so didn't stay on top for long, firstly heading on over the top and briefly down towards the South Ridge

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

Then quickly back past the summit, stopping to look down on Llyn Llydaw.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

And then looking up at Garnedd Ugain, the mountain adjacent to Snowdon whose summit I also wanted to reach in wintry conditions!

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

A slow trudge up Garnedd Ugain with my aching legs, and a short stop to get a great view of Y Lliwedd and Snowdon's East Ridge.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

The view South from the summit of Garnedd Ugain was worth the effort of adding that summit to the day's hill walking in superb winter conditions./

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

I didnt't linger on the summit. I was very tired after an exhausting trip: over 7,100m of ascent in the ten days walking I had done in my twelve days in Snowdonia over Christmas and the New Year. So back down I went.

5Jan January: Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain Llanberis route to Snowdon

I'd planned to get down to the valley before dark, and I was right on schedule as the sun set on Snowdonia, and on my latest trip to this wonderful hill and mountain walking area.