HILL, DALES AND MOUNTAIN HIKING

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path    Web page by Bryan Benn

Start/Finish: Snowdon Rangers Station

Highest Point: Snowdon Summit, 1085m

Distance: circa

Weather: Hill fog, cold on top

Vertical altitude gain: circa 980m

Time: circa 6 hrs 35 mins

Snowdon via the Rangers Path

Since discovering Snowdon in August 2008 I had walked all 7 of the main walking routes to it's summit. Four of them in wintry conditions. So I was now trying to walk all those routes in wintry conditions, and today's choice was the Rangers Path!

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path Snowdon via the Rangers Path

The weather was milder in the valley, but I fully expected winter conditions once I got nearer to the summit. And I was not to be disappointed!

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path Snowdon via the Rangers Path

What I hadn't really planned for was a race with the hill fog as I ascended! It was only when I looked behind me as I trudged slowly up the Rangers Path with a very heavy cold slowing me a great deal, that I noticed the gathering fog.

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path Snowdon via the Rangers Path

But for the present the route ahead of me was relatively clear. With the actual path marked by snow still lying in the depression caused by constant use of the path, and by the trodden down snow.

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path Snowdon via the Rangers Path

A closer look at the steep zig zag section of the Rangers Path. Looking right to the left background and the thin white line of snow shows the Llanberis Path as it climbs to Clogwyn station.

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path Snowdon via the Rangers Path

One of the steeper parts of the Rangers Path, and the snow still filling the slightly depressed path.

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path Snowdon via the Rangers Path

I was making very slow progress, courtesy of my very heavy cold, so I had plenty of time to notice that the hill fog was catching me up as it to headed for the summit of Snowdon!

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path Snowdon via the Rangers Path

I was on the final steep section, and visibility was still OK.

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path Snowdon via the Rangers Path

Clear enough to see the summit of Snowdon, even though there was still way to trudge!

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path Snowdon via the Rangers Path

A look behind me and I realised I was not going to win the race to the summit.

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path

Snowdon via the Rangers Path Snowdon via the Rangers Path

Onto the snow field as the hill fog rose up from the valley and started to envelop me. Dragging the temperature down at the same time.

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path Snowdon via the Rangers Path

Onto crampons and onto the summit ridge. Most people I saw were using crampons and ice axe in very tricky conditions. Responding to requests from the mountain rescue teams who had so sadly dealt with a number of tragedies over the preceeding ten days.

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path Snowdon via the Rangers Path

Finally after a very long slog up from the valley, the icy summit came into view.

14th February 2009: Snowdon via the Rangers Path Snowdon via the Rangers Path

I didn't stay long on the summit. But turned and soon headed back the way I had come.