On our third day in Snowdonia we finally got to climb Mt. Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales at 1,085 m and one of the National Three Peaks Challenge.
We made sure that we woke up bright and early, went into the village for a big breakfast at Café Glandwr. I had a bowl of porridge with honey and fresh fruit while Josh had a full Welsh breakfast and together we shared a pot of tea. The breakfast was just what we needed before our big hike and pretty cheap.
After our breakfast we got the bus to the start of the Watkins Path up Snowdon. We had originally planned to do the Rhyd-Ddu path up the mountain and descend down the Watkins path, but the bus timetable had other ideas, leaving us to do one of the steepest routes first time. However, we were incredibly glad that it turned out this way. The amazing weather the first half of the day made the views spectacular and the Watkins Path is known for its astounding beauty and plentiful viewpoints. Read Jordan’s post on his climb up Mount Snowdon to read about the Ranger Path and its equally lovely views and challenges.
The path started out in the woods, passing through the thick leafy trees, the ground carpeted in bluebells and moss covered rocks. We noted how, despite the path and very few signs pointing the way, the woods had an ambiance of natural wildness. After a while we twisted round out of the woodland in to a large valley between two mountains, boasting spectacular views of the lush greenery covering the landscape.
At this point around midday, the sun was high in the sky and we were feeling very hot so we were happy and relieved to come across a waterfall. Walking off the path a little way down the mountain, we reached the water, with large turquoise blue swimming holes joined together by mini waterfalls. There was a bridge made out of a large stone slab across the pools balancing on some rocks. It didn’t take long for Josh to strip off to his underwear and dive in the water for a swim. We stayed there for a long time whilst I took photos and then had a paddle to cool down in the heat. It was a perfect spot.
After a long swim in the sun, we continued on our way and eventually the gradient became extremely noticeable. The clouds began to cover up the blue sky, with a dark grey spot hovering permanently above the summit and creating an ominous ambiance. My relative lack of fitness became clear at this spot as I kept having to stop and catch my breath, my legs aching from the climb. However, we eventually reached a ridge close to the summit, upon which you can see down the other side of the mountain. The spectacular view gave me the energy boost I needed to carry on; the surface of the blue lakes was completely untouched and still, like a stretch of silk. In between this point and the summit of Snowdon is an extremely steep scramble, which was fun yet tiring. Once we finally reached the summit I wasn’t sure if I was excited or relieved.
The views from the summit were somewhat disappointing due to being completely submerged in white mist, however it was also awesome being above the clouds as they floated around us. Despite the peacefulness of the Watkins path, the summit of Snowdon is extremely busy as of course all the routes join up there and there’s also the option to get the steam train up to the top of the mountain. The crowds somewhat cheapened our sense of success at defeating the climb. Overhearing an old lady complain that the 10 steps up to the café were “too steep” made us want to scream try climbing the whole mountain… After a lunch of a makeshift tuna baguette and getting our well-earned snap on the summit, we started to descend down the Rhyd-Ddu path, picking up our pace in order to catch the last bus from the end point back to Beddgelert village.
Views on the descent were equally fantastic. The misty white skies gave a softness to our surroundings and walking through the faded blue mountains over meadows of fluffy white dandelions felt like a daydream. To top off the day’s success, we made the last bus back from Rhyd-Ddu to Beddgelert and sitting on the bus after day’s wondrous and spectacular climb, en route to a big pub dinner in the village was just lovely.
Back in the village, being our last night in Wales we treated ourselves to a full course meal in Tanronnen Inn and a couple of drinks, topping off a perfect few days.
Words can’t express your beauty, Snowdonia, I will be back <3