We walked up a mountain! :D
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales (1,085 metres above sea level), and the highest point in the British Isle outside of the Scottish highlands. It is also the busiest mountain in the UK with hundreds of thousands of people visiting every year.
There is a small train service which runs up and down the mountain, and you can even walk up and then get the train back down (or vice versa)…..but you can’t take dogs on the train, so we had no choice but to walk it both ways ^_^;;
There are 6 main routes on the mountain, with some being harder than others, and we chose one of the “easier” ones; the Snowdon Ranger Path…..this is a 13km / 8 mile there and back walk with an ascension of 936 metres / 3,071 feet.
The walk starts off fairly gentle, with a good gravel path to follow as you slowly start up towards the mountain from the car park, and pretty soon you start to get some nice views out to one side of the path.
When this section ends though you’ll spend the majority of the walk on more uneven, rocky trails, which get quite steep in places as you get ever higher up the mountain.
It can be hard going in a few places, so we really had to keep our goal in mind; of reaching the summit, and eating a pasty from the cafe up there :P
As we kept going though the views just became more and more spectacular; you can really see for miles when the weather is clear.
As we got higher we could sometimes see the train travelling up and down on the horizon above us, other times clouds rolled in and when you pass through them the view all around is just a wall of white nothingness…..at one point a pair of chinook helicopters suddenly came flying over the top of the mountain. You never know what you’ll see when you’re on the side of a mountain ;P
Closer to the top the ranger path joins the Llanberis Path which follows the train tracks, and is supposed to be the easiest path to walk, but also the longest.
A little further along the path is also joined by the top of a path that 2 of the other main routes take; which is the top of a massive amount of steps….that looked like hard going ^_^;
Around there is a tall stone marker that Y’ mistook for the summit marker, so she celebrated a bit prematurely before I pointed out that the path goes onwards as the mountain gets higher just around the corner….we were still another 20-30 minutes from the cafe and the actual summit ^_^;;
From here though we could see over the other side of the mountain from where we had come up, and the view was awesome……the side we ascended was now all cloudy in contrast, and people who had come up by train and gone straight into the cafe only have viewing windows facing out that side of the building, so they could only see a wall of white.
Once we finally reached the cafe we got our pasties and sat outside (no dogs inside) for a much needed / earned rest with spectacular views ahead of us ^^
After a break we climbed the steps to the true summit point, which was a great feeling to have reached it, and then we started our return walk back down the mountain.
Coming down was a bit quicker, although in some spots I had to carry our pup over the rocky terrain in some spots; as these were harder for her going down. Overall she did amazingly walking all the way up a mountain with us; very proud of her ^-^
It was bliss when we finally got back on to the proper gravel track, and we knew we were on the home stretch from that point.
We took our time walking up and down the mountain, with plenty of stops for a brief rest (especially on the way up)….some people (maybe more experienced at this sort of walk compared to us) passed us on our way up, and passed us again on their way back down again whilst we were still going up ^_^;
The average time for walking the ranger path is supposed to be 6 hours there and back….it took us just over 5 to get up, and just over 4 to get back down again, and we spent about 45 minutes at the top. It was not easy for us and our little shiba, but we made it, enjoyed the views, enjoyed the pasties, and it really felt like a great achievement for us :)
Luckily we had already planned that we would be spending the next day just relaxing and hanging out at the tent back at the campsite ;P