HILL, DALES AND MOUNTAIN HIKING

20th February 2010: Snowdon via PYG track

Start: Pen y Pass, Finish: Llanberis

Highest point: Snowdon Summit, 1085m

Distance: circa 12 kms

Weather: Cold, very poor visibility above 950m

Vertical altitude gain: circa 750m

Time: 7hrs 40 mins

Photo of view from Pen y Pass car park
Pen y Pass car park before dawn on a very cold and snowy 20th February.

Photo of start of icy PYG track
It looked like I was going to have a good day with fresh snow on the ground right from my first steps onto Snowdon!

Photo of view from PYG track down to Pen-y-pass
Dawn was breaking behind me close to Moel Siabod. So I spent a lot of time looking over my shoulder.

Photo of Llanberis Pass from PYG track
And sometime looking down to my right in front, at the lovely Llanberis Pass.

Photo of fisrt rays of sun on a snowy Crib Goch
The first rays of sun touch the summit of Crib Goch, way above me on this bitingly cold winter morning.

Photo of dawn comes up behind Moel Siabod, seen from the PYG track to Snowdon
But the best view of dawn is behind me.

Photo of dawn comes up behind Moel Siabod, seen from the PYG track to Snowdon
Moel Siabod behind a snow drift!

Photo of dawn comes up behind Moel Siabod, seen from the PYG track to Snowdon

Photo of dawn comes up behind Moel Siabod, seen from the PYG track to Snowdon
The start of an inversion layer.

Photo of Y Lliwedd and Lyn Llydaw seen from the Snowodn PYG track
Straight on here for me. Others can turn right up to Crib Goch.

Photo of Y Lliwedd and Lyn Llydaw seen from the Snowodn PYG track
Just a few tracks in the fesh snow.

Photo of Inversion layer building over Llyn Llydaw, seen from the PYG track to Snowdon
Inversion layer building nicely, with the NE end of a part frozen Llyn Llydaw below me.

Photo of Llyn Llydaw and Y Lliwedd seen from the PYG track to Snowdon
The rest of Llyn Llydaw, under the brooding cliffs of Y Lliwedd.

Photo of PYG track to Snowdon in snowy conditions
The real hard work is yet to come for me as the path is gently graded here.

Photo of partial inversion layer over Llyn Llydaw from PYG track to Snowdon
With time to enjoy that wonderful view behind me to the SE.

Photo of PYG track to Snowodon in snowy conditions

Photo of Llyn Lydaw glitters in the winter sinshine
The sun glints off the SW end of Llyn Llydaw.

Photo of Moel Siabod seen from the PYG track to Snowdon

Photo of snow drofts and Moel Siabod seen form the PYG track to Snowdon
Blue skies to come all day? Maybe not, as Moel Siabod's summit takes cover.

Photo of Llyn Llydaw seen from the PYG track to Snowdon
Views like this made the very early start from Beddgelert really worthwhile.

Photo of Moel Siabod, Llyn Llydaw and a building inversion layer from PYG track to Snowdon.
Ahead it looks like I'm going to walk into the cloud base before too long.

Photo of PYG track to Snowdon

Photo of Glaslyn frozen and covered in snow
With cloud ahead I'd better enjoy that wonderful view behind me one last time today.
With a frozen Glaslyn covered in snow.

Photo of PYG track to Snowdon
It was very hard work on the climb up to the summit ridge. Deep underlying ice and fresh snow had
obliterated the man made zig zags, so a new and steeper route had been made recently, and had just
a few footprints on it.

Photo of PYG track to Snowdon
I had made full use of crampons and my 90 cm ice axe to make my slow way up the track that
cut across the very steep slope.

Photo of steep top end of PYG track to Snowdon in deep snow
Two guys on the steepest part of the climb below me.

Photo of climbers ascending steep top end of PYG track to Snowdon in deep snow
I reckoned that was close to a 40 degree slope. But thankfully there was sufficient underlying ice for me to use
the front points of my crampons when I'd come up it.

Photo of Cornice overhanging Snowdon summit ridge by PYG track
Into the cloud base and the final very steep climb up to the summit ridge. With a cornice to my left.

Photo of Cornice overhanging Snowdon summit ridge by PYG track
And a cornice to my right!

Photo of top end of PYG track climbing up to Snowdon sumnmit ridge through a cornice.
And the steep climb up through the middle of both cornices. I wonder if someone had kicked
the cornice down to open the track after the previous nights heavy snowfall.

Photo of iced up rock on summit riodge of Snowdon.
Ice covered rocks on the summit ridge.

Photo of Kent Yeti on Snowdon summit
And an ice covered Yeti, (myself), on the summit!

Photo of frozen head and eyebrows of Kent Yeti on Snowodn summit
Well, ice on my eyebrows and all over my head where sweat had frozen solid.
A fairly common occurence for me in very cold conditions after a steep climb.

Photo of Clogwyn Du'r Arddu taken from Llanberis path down Snowdon
I wouldn't be as secure as I would like descending the hardest part of the PYG track with my ice axe in my
left arm being used to support/belay me. So headed to Llanberis, passing Clogwyn Du'r Arddu on the way.

Photo of Moel Eilio taken from Llanberis path down Snowdon
Well under the cloud base now, and even some blue skies again! With the ridge heading to the left from Moel Eilio.

Photo of mountains and clouds taken from Llanberis Path down Snowdon
A final, wonderful view to the West as I near Llanberis towards the end of a superb day on Snowdon.