HILL, DALES AND MOUNTAIN HIKING

16th November 2008: Watkin Path to Snowdon    Web page by Bryan Benn

Start/Finish: Bethania

Highest Point: Snowdon Summit, 1085m

Distance: circa 13 kms

Weather: Cloud clearing to mainly sun

Vertical altitude gain: circa 1230 m

Time: 6 hrs 20 mins

 With varying weather forecasts four of us set out on the Watkin path to Snowdon Summit. Starting not much above sea level meant we were to climb most of the mountain!

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Watkin Path to Snowdon Watkin Path to Snowdon Watkin Path to Snowdon Watkin Path to Snowdon

We started on easy going paths, with, as has been usual for this year, plenty of flowing water around us. As well as the usual dry stone walls and of course lovely Snowdonian scenery.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued continued Watkin Path to Snowdon

The flowing water was particularly apparent as we headed out into the open from some trees. And walked up a wide valley down which a fast flowing mountain stream was running.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Watkin Path to Snowdon Watkin Path to Snowdon Watkin Path to Snowdon Watkin Path to Snowdon

With still cloudy weather we walked past the famous Gladstone Stone and into an area where slate started to form part of the still very obvious path.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Watkin Path to Snowdon

Further on, and the path was still obvious. By now a lot steeper, but conveniently stepped as we made good progress.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Watkin Path to Snowdon Watkin Path to Snowdon

We went into the cloudbase as our ascent continued. And not long after that the path became less distinct as we headed over lose rocks and scree.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Watkin Path to Snowdon

As usual in any small group I took up the rear position. Putting the other walkers in view of my camera!

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Watkin Path to Snowdon

Up and up we went, with the track pasing through more rockier terrain.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued continued Watkin Path to Snowdon Watkin Path to Snowdon

The last part of the climb before reaching the top of the South Ridge Route is over a very steep scree slope, the start of which was not far away from here!

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Watkin Path to Snowdon

Stopping to take photos on much of the scree slope was not easily possible as I picked my way along a route set by my guide. Some photos were possible on the "easier" sections!

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued  Scree slope on Watkin Path Scree slope on Watkin Path

It is the steep climb up over the scree slope that is the distinguishing feature of the Watkin Path.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Walkers at top of Watkin path scree slope

And then we were at the top of the scree! Marked by a small rocky monolith, next to which my patient fellow walkers took a short break.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued View from near Snowdon Summit to Rhyd Ddu path and South Ridge

As if by magic we reached the summit area just as the cloud stated to clear. Gicving this wonderful view back down along the South Ridge Route, which the Rhyd Ddu path ridge heading across the centre of the photo.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued View from near Snowdon Summit to Rhyd Ddu path and South Ridge

Looking slightly further to the West from ther previous photo. Covering parts of the Rhyd Ddu route up: one I had done a few weeks earlier.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued View from near Snowdon Summit to Rhyd Ddu path and South Ridge

Start of the South Ridge route with a cloud topped Moel Hebog in the distance and in the direct line of the Snowdon ridge.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued View from near Snowdon Summit to Rhyd Ddu path and South Ridge

A close up of the start of the South Ridge route. Also shared at this point by the Rhyd Ddu path.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Yr Aran from Snowdon South Ridge

We headed down the South Ridge. Steep and rocky in places: steep enough for me to resort to sliding down some of the gullies! Here with Yr Aran in front of us.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Y Lliwedd from Snowdon South Ridge

We had a good view of Y Lliwedd as we headed on down the South Ridge route. Lower down the Watkin Path is just visible in places.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Snowdon from South Ridge showing Watkin Path scree field route to summit

We also had a good view back up to Snowdon. Here showing the very steep nature of the Watkin Path scree slope that we had climbed not that long before.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Yr Aran from Snowdon South Ridge route

South Ridge path continues down, with Yr Aran becoming the main feature in front of us.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Mynydd Mawr and other local mountains seen from Snowdon South Ridge

The view to the West showed us Mynydd Mawr and other local mountains.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued View down to Watkin Path from Snowdon South Ridge route

As our descent continued we reached a point where the lower, and easier stretches of the Watkin Path was very clear beneath us.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Steep section on Snowdon South Ridge Looking back up to Snowdon summit form South Ridge

That last view may have been of an easy stretch of path, but parts of the South Ridge route were not, (left), compensated in the nice weather by continuing views of Snowdon summit.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued South Ridge Route down from Snowdon

Another rockier and slower downhill stretch where care was needed.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued South Ridge Route down from Snowdon

A look back at that last part of the descent. If I was ascending this route I'd be scrambling that bit!

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued South Ridge and Watkin Path down from Snowdon South Ridge and Watkin Path down from Snowdon South Ridge and Watkin Path down from Snowdon South Ridge and Watkin Path down from Snowdon

Approaching Yr Aran we dropped steeply to the left. Then headed across some boggy terrain before joining a path that was parallel with, but a little way above the Watkin Path.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Waterfall near to Snowdon Watkin Path Waterfall near to Snowdon Watkin Path

Our path down passed a smal waterfall that was feeding the much larger one we had passed close by on the Watkin Path a few hours earlier that day.

16th November 2008: Watkin Path Continued Lower end of Watkin path down from Snowdon

Soon we rejoined the main Watkin Path. And enjoyed it's gentle grade back down the pleasant valley to our starting point at the end of a superb route to walk to and from Snowdon on.