TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1 - The Way Up
Climbing Snowdon is certainly not a walk in the park! It’s a mountain, and a high one at that. Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and England at 1,085 metres, 3,560 feet above sea level. It can be a hard slog even for the fittest of walkers. There are several routes up the mountain, with the Llanberis Path (7km/4.3 miles) which passes by the café considered the easiest, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Know your limits. Turn back if you feel unwell or are finding the going tough. You can always try again next year, the mountain isn’t going anywhere. Mountain Rescue services are kept busy all year round, often helping those who underestimated the task of climbing the mountain. An average walker could take 2 or 3 hours to walk up, and the same again to come down. The trains usually go up full, and have no space for extra passengers if you choose to come down that way.
2 - Check the Weather
Always check the weather. The latest forecast from the Met Office is on this website, and a full forecast is usually pinned up outside the café. Conditions at the top differ greatly from those in the village. While it may be warm and sunny at the base of Snowdon, there may be a storm brewing at the top, wit temperatures several degrees lower. See the latest forecast
3 - Wear the right Clothing
Wear the right clothes for the walk. A good pair of walking boots and several layers are essential. If you are uncertain, pop into the café and we’ll give you an opinion. Read more about mountain safety.
4 - Beware of limited Phone Coverage
There is very little phone coverage on the mountain. Check in with loved ones before you set off. Tell them that they may not hear from you until you reach the bottom of the hill, and call them as soon as you are safely down. Let them know your estimated time of return. Be realistic about how long it will take you to climb up and down.
5 - Remember where you parked the car
Make a note of where you parked the car. Maybe take a photo. People often come down the mountain by a different route intentionally or accidentally. We offer a private hire taxi service at the café, or can direct you to alternative services. The bus service from the village can be irregular and at certain times of the year can end early in the evening, so it can be expensive if you need to find alternative transport to the beginning of the Watkin, Ranger or Rhyd Ddu paths.
6 - Toilet FACILITIES ARE VERY LIMITED
Toilet facilities on the mountain are very limited. There can be queues at Hafod Eryri - the café at the summit, and if the train isn’t running due to poor weather then the facilities will be closed. There are limited toilet facilities at half-way, and although toilets are available at Penceunant Café they are STRICTLY for customers only. With thousands upon thousands of people passing by every week, sadly we have to ration access to our toilet facilities. You are welcome to buy something, or make a small donation - either way, any profit ends up with Mountain Rescue charities, so we don’t make any money out of this. It makes sense to use the facilities in the village before you set off. Do contact the Snowdonia National Park directly if you feel more public faciulities should be made available.
7 - PLEASE Respect local people
You may be on holiday for a day, but the mountain is home to a thriving community. Essentially, you are walking through their home. Please respect the lives of local people, their livestock and the environment. Dogs should be kept on a lead. Park in recognised spaces, and not in lay-bys, outside private homes, or on private land. Gateways are in constant use. The roads can be steep and difficult to drive along for those who are used to driving in town. They are mainly single track with few passing places. In the Summer they are also packed with walkers and difficult to navigate safely. Blocking the road could endanger lives if the emergency services or Mountain Rescue are hindered in any way. Out of hours, keep the noise down. Learning a little Welsh opens many doors.
8 - Driving and Parking
You cannot drive to the top of Snowdon. There are no roads. The road up from the village has restrictions and should be used for access only. There are plenty of places to park in the village. There is a voluntary ban on mountain bikes at certain times of the year. Please respect this ban, and refrain from being rude or offensive if you are challenged. Walkers, remember that it is still a road, and make way for vehicles. There is a very pleasant alternative path through Coed Fictoria, from opposite the Victoria Hotel up to Penceunant Café which misses out the steepest start to the Llanberis Path.
9 - TAKE YOUR Litter HOME
Apart from Penceunant Café, Half Way House and the Summit café, there are no litter bins on the mountain. Discarded litter can be dangerous to livestock. Whatever you take onto the mountain, please take away again. If you find any discarded litter, pick it up and find a bin, or hand it in to us at the café.
10 - Share the Mountain
At certain times of the year, the mountain can get very busy indeed. Snowdon is after all, the busiest mountain in the United Kingdom and the third most visited attraction in Wales, with 582,000 people visiting annually. Some are walkers, climbers or runners. At times there are also mountain bikers. Many others are charity walkers who raise millions of pounds a year by climbing Snowdon, or as part of the Three Peaks Challenge. Some visitors are simply seeking tranquillity and the peace of the flora and fauna. The tracks can be narrow and uneven, so respect for fellow mountain users is vital.
It’s important that everyone enjoys the mountain, respects one another’s interests and abilities, and above all cherishes the mountain and its environment.
Enjoy your time on Snowdon!