A walk up Snowdon with the kids has been on the “to-do” list for the last couple of years. Finding a weekend when all five of us are available and with suitable weather has been difficult. So when an unexpected free weekend with a good forecast came along, we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to walk up Snowdon.
It wasn’t going to be all five of us, due to the older two kids having prior commitments, but you have to grab opportunities when they come along. So taking on the adventure was Gav, our youngest Tom, who is eight, and me. Oh, and not forgetting the dog! None of us experienced mountain climbers just a family who likes to get outside.
To get an early start (well that was the plan!) we headed over to Snowdonia on a Friday night staying at Beddgelert ‘Camping in the Forest’ site. Now the early start didn’t go to plan, and we ended up reaching the car park a little later than expected, and it was already full!
We carried on further down the winding roads until we reached the Park and Ride car park and thankfully snuck into the last space! The Park and Ride service hadn’t started yet, so we squeezed into a taxi that was loitering around and headed back to Pen-y-Pass, the starting point of our adventure.
We had done some research on routes and decided to take the Pyg Track up, and the Miner’s track down. And so with backpacks full and big smiles, we began the exciting adventure of climbing a mountain.
The Pyg Track starts a gentle ascent straight away. It’s not a smooth path, there are rock steps to walk up, and with the sun beating down on us we quickly worked up a sweat and was soon taking off the layers!
Some climbers rushed by us, but we took it at a gentle pace as we were in no hurry and wanted Tom to enjoy the experience, so pacing and when to rest were his call.
On reaching the top part of the track from the car park, we crossed over a ladder on to much easier and less steep terrain. The views along this section of the track were simply breathtaking: an indulgence of mountain scenery and magical lakes.
Below we could see the Miner’s track, and in the distance, the mighty peak of Snowdon beckoned.
We always take lots of pictures of our adventures and this adventure was no exception. We wanted to capture every moment on camera, both the joys and difficulties of our climb.
As we walked, we set ourselves small goals ‘to the next big rock’. Then time for a chocolate treat and rest. This helped to keep Tom focused and motivated when his little legs began to tire. We found a lovely spot for a picnic. It was the most impressive scenery we’ve had for a picnic and could have stayed at this place for a while, but we were on a mission so onwards and upwards!
Towards the end of the Pyg Track it joins up with the Miner’s path, and this was the most tricky part of the climb, where you need to do a bit of scrambling over rocks on a steep ascent. It was very busy along this zig zag section of the route, and we had to let people pass by coming in the opposite direction.
This was the most challenging part of the climb, but we were so close to reaching the summit, nothing was going to stop us. Tom coped well with this section of the climb, scrambling up and over the rocks was a distraction from the steep ascent, and in the end, we had trouble keeping up with him!
The adrenaline kicked in, and we began the final ascent where the paths of other routes meet. To touch the Trig point at the summit there was a long queue, but there was no way we were going to miss this opportunity, so we queued for our big brief moment. We had made it and climbed the highest mountain in Wales, and what an incredible feeling. We were on top of the world.
The Snowdon Mountain Railway was not in operation, so we walked back down beside the rail tracks, then started the tricky descent down to join the Miners track.
It was loose underfoot, so concentration was required, and we could certainly feel it on our knees on reaching the end of the descent.
With hot feet and in need of a little rest we stopped at Llyn Glaslyn, for a quick paddle and boy the water was cold! After a few attempts at stone skimming, it was time to press on along the Miner’s Track.
The Miner’s Track is well defined with the path made up of large stones and was easy to walk along. Taking it nice and steady, the time soon passed as we enjoyed views of Llyn Llydaw and Snowdon.
We were so lucky with the weather, not a cloud in sight to hide the vistas. The remains of a disused copper mine can be seen on the route, and on crossing over the Causeway, we had nearly made it back.
The aching feet were soon forgotten as we approached the end of the track: Pen-Y-Pass was in sight! We had completed our adventure as a family and what an incredible experience it had been.
We were so proud of Tom’s achievement. There were moments when he wanted to give up, but like a true adventurer he didn’t give up! It taught him to face a challenge and how to achieve. And for us, a walk up Snowdon delivered more than we expected. The thrill of climbing a mountain, views and accomplishment was worth every step. Thank you, Snowdon, you made us all very happy.
A few tips and information that might help your walk up Snowdon with kids go to plan.
– The Pen-y-Pass Car park gets full very early. You need an early start to get a spot! It’s also quite expensive.
– Alternative parking is available at the Park and Ride car park further down the hill. The ticket machine only takes coins here, but it was £5 all day – much cheaper than Pen-y-Pass car park.
– The bus service Costs £1.50 adult £1.00 child (one way). However, it only runs at certain times and only every hour. Taxis are quicker and often available in the car park. A Taxi from this car park was £8 for all of us.
– Toilets available at both car parks.
– Follow mountain safety guidelines.
– Be prepared for all weathers. Sensible footwear is essential.
– Look out for the stone markers to help your navigation.
– Enjoy the adventure, and allow yourself plenty of time to summit and get back down. It took us around seven hours to complete. You can do it quicker of course, but there’s a lot of steps so you might need a bit longer to pace yourself.
Our FitBit recorded the day as the equivalent of climbing 257 floors!
Trip report was bought to you by Shell from Get Out with the Kids