So over the Easter holidays we packed up Bean the campervan and set off to Snowdonia National Park.
It was Easter weekend and the hottest weekend we’d had for some time in the UK. What a lovely treat.
It put us in with a good chance of reaching the summit of Snowdon and actually being able to see once we reached the top.
The weather forecast was perfect if not a little hot for the majority of the weekend but we didn’t take any chances and made sure our first full day in Snowdonia was an early start to commence our trip to the top.
Lunches made the night before and bags packed. We all had an early night and up and on our way just before 7. The first mistake I made was thinking we were closer to the path we were taking. I’m blaming google maps for that one….
We had decided on the Llanberis path as it’s the path recommended for first timers although it’s actually the longest route it has a gradual incline compared to the other more challenging routes. There was a cafe about half way up which does not have a toilet in case you are wondering….
We took plenty of our own food and drink so we didn’t need to stop here which was lucky as we arrived shortly before it opened and the cafe at the top of Snowdon was not open at all.
The path is very obvious so it would be hard to get lost on a clear day but obviously things can change rapidly when climbing mountains as we discovered when we climbed Scafell and it could be very easy to come back down along the wrong path if you are not prepared with a compass!!!
The Llanberis path follows the train route so it does help to know this if visibility is unclear.
There were some very steep points along the way but it also had some nice gradual inclines to balance it out with fantastic views.
We made it to the top before midday but the sun was already playing it’s part at over heating us all. It was a case of pick a point in the distance to aim for a short break and then off we would go again. The girls were brilliant. It was challenging for me as someone fairly active.
The views were breathtaking. It doesn’t really feel like you are on a mountain until the very last bit and then it hits you where you are.
Once we could see the Summit we discovered just how busy it was going to be because in the distance it looked like hundreds of ants climbing a mound. It did spoil the experience a little bit. We were prepared it would be busy but didn’t anticipate it would be quite as bad. We had to queue for 30 minutes to have a picture taken that we rushed and everyone was scrambling about for their pictures which meant the moment was shared with others in the background.
We enjoyed our very earned lunch with views across Snowdonia. Niamh got her brownies I’d promised her if she reached the top and then it was time for the decent.
This of course was a lot quicker and far easier on the way up. We flew down the mountain eager to get back to Bean and have a well earned rest. We were a little naughty and followed the crowds of people that seemed to be walking back down along the track. I was filled with anxiety over this but actually there were no signs to say you couldn’t and the crowds of people still coming up made going down the right way almost a little dangerous as its very steep and one slip or squeeze too much past other walkers would have had a disastrous domino effect…. ok this is a little dramatic but it makes me feel better about the route we took if in fact it was not a route prohibited!!!
The practical bits!!
There is one cafe at the bottom of the mountain that has a working toilet. Apparently the only working toilet on the moment as I was informed by the owner. Unfortunately because of this I feel they may have become a little fed up with people abusing this so if you plan to use there toilet please please follow the rules and purchase something.
We were desperate for cold drinks and ice cream so we did not struggle to oblige to this.
We parked in a little carpark a very short walk from the Llanberis path start. At £6 for 8hrs (we took the risk) I thought this was fairly reasonable. I know many parked all over the place to avoid any charges but it didn’t seem that unreasonable to us. FYI 8hrs was plenty of time. We had an hour to spare.
After we climbed Scafell the girls had been left a little nervous about this challenge but I knew they would enjoy it because I’d promised them we would never attempt to reach the summit in the conditions we did at Scafell. It was a scary experience not being able to see what was around us not to mention extremely cold.
As I hoped they loved it. Of course at the time it was tough but they did not moan once. We had a few are we nearly there moments but we all just kept focusing on little goals and it went perfectly.
They now have no fear about our last mountain we are attempting to climb in the summer. And if the weather is as good to us as it was for Snowdon we will be a happy family.
Hopefully some more adventures to share again soon.