What to expect when you’re climbing Snowdon

Having never climbed a mountain before, I didn’t know what to expect climbing Mount Snowdon… Heck, I’d never even visited Wales before. Little did I know there’d be Sheep everywhere and signs warning you of rockfall. It’s safe to say that being a Norwich girl I’ve been living the sheltered life. Here’s a joke for you; some areas don’t even have service… That nearly put you off visiting didn’t it? I’m not joking though, you don’t visit a place like Snowdon with the hope of facetiming your buddies, If you do then boyyyy you have way too much energy and you aren’t appreciating the beauty around you.

what to expect when climbing snowdon

Being someone who considers themselves ‘fairly physically fit’ backed up with the fact that I regualrly go to the gym. I can definitely say that climbing Snowdon was a challenge without the added distraction of beautiful scenery, mobile phones or people who take drones to the top of the mountain, yep seriously someone did that.

Fun fact: Snowdon is 1,085 m high

After feeling unwell for most of the week leading up to our trip to Snowdon with Andy’s family I didn’t think I was going to be able to go and so when I broke out with the sweats and some weird illness I was determined not to move from my bed and to drink as much Orange juice as possible. Vitamin C is the answer to all our problems isn’t it? No weird bug was going to defeat me I was going reach that peak…

We stayed in a lovely cottage in Llanrug Wales which was only about ten minutes drive from the car park (this cost about £8 and varied in cost depending on where you parked) and five minutes from the walk from Snowdon itself.

what to expect when climbing snowdon

The six of us; Andy, his parents, Aunt, Uncle and I were well equipped for the day ahead which started bright and early around 9am with a full English breakfast and a cuppa. On went our walking boots, fluffy socks and comfy clothes and the fully stocked backpacks containing all the necessities; sun cream, snacks, packed lunches, water, money for the cafe and halfway house (where you can pee), camera’s, phone’s, sunglasses, map a jumper and some other bits and bobs.

It was an early start on a bright, beautiful and clear day because we knew we had a long challenge ahead and although we took the ‘easy’ route anyone who’s ever climbed a mountain knows that it would be a challenge regardless. The day was only to get warmer  and busier (it was Bank holiday weekend) so we discovered, leaving as early as possible was the best decision. So many people were on their way up Snowdon as we were on the way down. (Tip: make sure to pack for the weather and keep your scalp covered as mine got burnt even though it was windy and not that hot).

Fun fact: Over 350,000 people take on Snowdon each year

At the first start of the walk I wondered what on earth I’d let myself in for as it was really steep and a real effort for my calves but we all felt the same and kept each other going so that was positive. I was half tempted to stop at the pub and wait for everyone to come back and use the excuse of ‘I’m ill’. The further up Snowdon we got the more beautiful the views were and the more I wanted to whip out my phone and get a quick panorama… the views were one thing that urged us to continue as they were truly something else. At one point a girl overtook us in a pair of denim short shorts and we just knew that she wouldn’t have a comfortable rest of her walk, no-one wants to chafe on such a trip especially one that took us about 6 hours to complete ouchhhhhie.

what to expect when climbing snowdon

After a few minor stops, admiring the scenery and wishing we’d caught the train up we reached the Halfway house which was stocked with Tea’s, Coffees and snacks of all varieties for anyone who needed refreshing. Of course there was a loo too which after a few hours I really had to use, I almost didn’t want to drink incase I couldn’t make it back in time at any point! Helen (Andy’s mum) was excited to get halfway to eat her well-deserved Mars bar when she couldn’t find it, I’ve never seen her look so disappointed before… Julie saved the day though by surprising Helen with one which cheered her up until she found her own on the way down.

We were all layered with jumpers, tees and more and found that the higher we got the more layers we wanted to remove. There came a point where it was super steep and our bodies were saying ‘how about we stop here?’ well mine was, I’m going to put it down to feeling unwell and would love to climb Mount Snowdon again to see if next time I wouldn’t be so tired.

Fun fact: Snowdon along with Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, makes up the National Three Peaks Challenge.

Had I not have worn walking boots I really don’t know how my feet and ankles would have coped with the different terrains we were walking on. Some bits were muddy, grassy, rocky and some were almost like shingle or lots of steps. The walking boots kept us from turning our ankles too a many times to admit (We’re clumsy humans sometimes) and stopped that ‘I can feel the ground through my shoes’ feeling you can get with cheap shoes sometimes.

what to expect when climbing snowdon

Lunch was eaten on the side of Snowdon, almost at the top with the most breathtaking view which made the sweaty calf burning walk at one point totally worth it! I was chicken and didn’t want to sit too close to the edge with the fear of ‘falling off the side’ whereas Andy just laid there watching the world go by with no care in the world. There were some sites, such as people pushing mountain bikes up the side… crazy fools and newborn babies in nappy looking things and even the odd motorbike too.

Once we’d refueled it was time to reach the peak of Snowdon, this bit was the busiest of the trip as there were people (us included) queuing up to stand on the very peak and have their photos taken. After all why go all that way if you’re not going to stand on the very top? From afar we probably looked like silly Ants climbing on a Molehill but really we were just happy we’d reached the very top, that’s one thing to tick off the bucket list!

what to expect when climbing snowdon

We tried to have a Coffee in the cafe on the peak, ‘try’ being the main word… There was such a queue that we decided against it and started our much more pleasant decent. Although the trip down Snowdon was a little heavy on the knees it was much faster and easier than the way up, It almost felt like we were gliding.

Having a group of six was the perfect amount in my eyes, it meant that you could chop and change between who you chatted to throughout the day whilst going at your own pace… Some of which meant chasing Andy up the mountain because his legs are longer than mine, anything to get out of cardio when I get home eh? Anywaaaay I think any more would have been too many people to try to chat to and anything less would mean that certain people would stick together.

Obviously a day full of exercise had to end with a trip to the pub to er replenish the lost liquids and er calories right? One thing I forgot to mention is don’t try to walk up on one route I.e. the easy one and then down another I.e. the medium one because they start on different sides of the mountain and you could find yourself a very long long walk away from your car!

what to expect when climbing snowdon

Thank you for reading,

Love Saff x

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If you loved this you may also like: https://saffydixon.com/2017/09/07/travel-where-am-i-now-rhodes-greece/



  1. foundationsandfairytales
    May 9, 2018 / 6:42 pm

    Well done on reaching the summit in such hot weather lovely I don’t know how you coped! I really enjoyed reading your experience as we did it about a month ago when there was still snow all over the mountain so it was pretty difficult at some points, it’s crazy how quick the weather can change! You look like you had way better views than us, you literally couldn’t see a thing when we got to the peak & because we went before main season the cafe/train wasn’t open which meant no toilet break for us (I honestly don’t know how I lasted so long!) We also had the problem of walking up one path and down the other so it was a long walk back to the car but with all the snow I’d never have made it back down the first path so I didn’t mind too much! Great post hun!

    Jess // foundationsandfairytales.wordpress.com

    • saffydixon
      June 30, 2018 / 10:13 am

      Thank you so much! OMG that must have been so difficult, I can’t believe the loo wasn’t open either, what a nightmare! We made sure to avoid the path situation, that must have taken you ages… Thank you lovely x

  2. June 14, 2018 / 9:29 am

    Awesome!! Looks amazing, thanks for sharing

    I’m in a group of 16 planning on attempting the 3 peaks challenge in July!! Any top tips for Snowdon not mentioned in here?

    • saffydixon
      June 30, 2018 / 10:11 am

      Thank you so much, I would say definitely do a lot of incline walking and just make sure to be really hydrated, take snacks and get a good sleep. It sounds obvious but it does make a difference I wasn’t very well when we did it but I think as long as you’ve eaten etc than you should be fine. Sunscreen is also good as we got very burnt!!

  3. Kim
    September 9, 2018 / 8:02 am

    I went up Mount Snowdon as a child (we took the train up) and would love to hike up it. I’ve done two moutai n hikes – Sugar Loaf Moutain in Wales which we completed and Ben Nevis which we had to abandon due to rain. The ground was becoming slippy and unsafe to hike up.

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