I’ve done the Pyg Track already this year so I was quite keen to go up Snowdon by one of its other routes this time. I was with two friends – one who had never been up Snowdon and was therefore not too bothered about the route we chose, and one who had been up several times already and was keen, like me, to not go up the Pyg Track.
We chose the Watkin Path. The Watkin Path is known to be the most difficult route up Snowdon. Although it starts off gently, it starts at the lowest possible point and is therefore further from the summit. There is also a very steep scramble up scree slopes which we knew would be very tough. The guidebooks we had and the advice we read quoted 7-8 hours duration if we took the Watkin Path, depending on our route down. Eventually we decided against it and chose to use the Pyg and Miners’ Tracks. A coin toss decided it for us – up Pyg Track, down Miners’ Track. Ah well.
I’ve already described the ascent of the Pyg Track in an earlier post so I won’t repeat anything, other than to say that again I found the beginning fairly tough going but I at least had the knowledge that it didn’t go on forever like this.
I found myself in good control of my breathing despite the heat, and I was pacing myself well again. Again, one of us wanted to charge ahead and get to the summit in an impressive time, whilst my other friend and I were far happier enjoying the amazing views and photo opportunities (including the Snowdon Mountain Railway from Llanberis).
The view from the summit, like in March, was breathtaking. We could in fact see the Watkin Path and Rhyd Ddu Path which would have been our route had we not been sensible. It is definitely a route we want to do soon though.
After a cup of coffee (!!) in the cafe (!!) and a trip to the toilet (!!) at the visitor centre (!!) we began the walk back down. I paused to get a few photos of the train coming up from Llanberis.
We left the Pyg Track where it joins the Miners’ Track. From here there is a very steep scramble down to a small lake, Glaslyn. The track stays pretty much level all the way back to the Pen y Pass car park.
This was a lovely walk on a lovely day. To my surprise and delight, my knees didn’t feel even a slight twinge on the way back down, so either I had got fitter, my legs and knees had worked out how to do it properly, or I just didn’t find it as hard as Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike. I’m not so sure about that myself, but I do know that it was my favourite mountain and favourite walk of the so-called “three peaks”.
See the walk on Endomondo:
Snowdon – Pyg & Miners’ Track
Date of walk: 24 July 2011.