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
Pen y Pass car park before dawn on a very cold and snowy 20th February.
It looked like I was going to have a good day with fresh snow on the ground right from my first steps onto Snowdon!
Dawn was breaking behind me close to Moel Siabod. So I spent a lot of time looking over my shoulder.
And sometime looking down to my right in front, at the lovely Llanberis Pass.
The first rays of sun touch the summit of Crib Goch, way above me on this bitingly cold winter morning.
But the best view of dawn is behind me.
Moel Siabod behind a snow drift!
The start of an inversion layer.
Straight on here for me. Others can turn right up to Crib Goch.
Just a few tracks in the fesh snow.
Inversion layer building nicely, with the NE end of a part frozen Llyn Llydaw below me.
The rest of Llyn Llydaw, under the brooding cliffs of Y Lliwedd.
The real hard work is yet to come for me as the path is gently graded here.
With time to enjoy that wonderful view behind me to the SE.
The sun glints off the SW end of Llyn Llydaw.
Blue skies to come all day? Maybe not, as Moel Siabod's summit takes cover.
Views like this made the very early start from Beddgelert really worthwhile.
Ahead it looks like I'm going to walk into the cloud base before too long.
With cloud ahead I'd better enjoy that wonderful view behind me one last time today.
With a frozen Glaslyn covered in snow.
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.
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.
Two guys on the steepest part of the climb below me.
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.
Into the cloud base and the final very steep climb up to the summit ridge. With a cornice to my left.
And a cornice to my right!
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.
Ice covered rocks on the summit ridge.
And an ice covered Yeti, (myself), on the 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.
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.
Well under the cloud base now, and even some blue skies again! With the ridge heading to the left from Moel Eilio.
A final, wonderful view to the West as I near Llanberis towards the end of a superb day on Snowdon.