Snowdon by the less popular, and more beautiful, Rhyd Ddu route (6-7 hours)
Snowdon is a fantastic mountain for beginners, looking to get into hiking. It's physically challenging and rewarding, and it's possible to do in a weekend from almost anywhere in the UK.
What kit do you need?
- Warm clothing including a few layers on the top. Regardless of the time of year it can get to freezing (or below) at the top!
- Hiking boots
- A small rucksack
- Water - 1L to 2L depending on how warm it is.
- Map - OS Map 17 (get a physical copy) and a compass
- The safety stuff - waterproof jacket, waterproof trousers, head tourch, sun cream, hat and gloves. You should always have these when out on a day-hike!
How to get here
You'll need a car to drive to Rhyd Ddu - https://goo.gl/maps/HZmhL8ESE342 - where there is plenty of on-street parking as long as you arrive fairly early in the morning. Otherwise there are a few nearby car-parks.
The route is already marked on your OS map as the Rhyd Ddu path, and you start by the town train station. To make things easier, why not highlight the route or mark it with a pencil?
1. Start at the train station
You'll start from the train station car-park, where you cross the line (carefully - look for trains) from the far corner. After the crossing you'll continue on the path for about 15 minutes before hitting a cross in the path with a large stone marking the way. Turn left here (you're in the second blue grid square now above).
2. Continue up the stone path
Continue up to a ruined cottage called Rhos Boeth - you're now 1/2 of the way there. After this point the path can become a little boggy as it goes up the steep grass and onto the ridge.
3. Join the ridge and stay on it
Join the ridge and follow the generally well-worn path. It can feel a little narrow in places so take your time and take some rests along the way to take in the views.
4. Enjoy the summit views
Head up to the top of the mountain and look down at Snowdonia National Park. With clear skies, you can see all the way to the sea! Have some food and water and then head down the same way that you came for an afternoon meal in the pub.
Hints and Tips
Here's a few top tips to help you on your first ascent:
- Don't head up if the forecast is bad or there is a lot of snow on the mountian. Wales' mountains can become very wild very suddenly. Don't head out in conditions that you're not experienced in.
- Accomodation nearby is plentyful, from youth hostels up to four-star hotels. You can also camp.
- Have an amazing time and don't forget to take a camera!