Summary: Quiet route up Snowdon
Distance: 7.5 miles
Duration: 5 hours
Map: OS Explorer OL17
Essential Gear: Good pair of walking boots, waterproofs, water, map.
If going outside the main season bring some lunch as the facilities at the summit station will be closed.
Always make sure you check the weather forecast.
When Ellis mentioned he had never been up Mt Snowdon I was like: “What? We need to change that!” The thing with Snowdon is though it can be really crowded, especially coming up from Llanberis and during high season. That’s probably why I try to avoid this and ascend from the other side via Rhyd Ddu.
The Rhyd Ddu Path offers a more quiet but still fun alternative and is my favourite so far. It was once called Bethgeleret path and was used for the first ascent of Snowdon in 1639. It offers stunning mountain views, less people, is not too taxing but then the ridge at Bwlch Main is just narrow enough to be proper fun; so everything you need for a good day’s hike. So what better way to spend a day outdoors than getting some friends together and take Ellis for his first conquer of Snowdon.
To say it was a bit blustery that day is an understatement.
By the way, if you wonder why the weather looks different on the images, they are from two separate tours up there. The sunny ones from a hike in November, the grey ones from our recent ascent in April.
What’s not to admire about this view? Llyn Gwynant on the way
Starting point is the WHR car park (pay & display) in Rhyd Ddu, a small village close to Bedgeleret. The path meanders quite gently along an old quarry track until the path branches off to the left (stone way marker) and continues to the South Ridge.
After you reach a flat area called Rhos Boeth with a couple of old ruins, the route becomes rougher and steeper leading up to the top to of Llechog. Following along the top you can already spot Bwlch Main, the gem of this route. The narrow ridge doesn’t necessarily make your heart beat faster but definitely makes you pay attention where you put your feet as it weaves its way through the rocks and offers breathtaking views. The wind was really blustery on the ridge and we even had some snow patches later on.
The fun part
Finally the ridge widens out and you come the the Watking/Rhyd Ddu junction. One last steep-ish climb will take you to Hafod Eryri and the summit.
And the crowds if it’s busy.
The summit offers stunning views
We decided to keep our stay at the summit quite short and find a quieter and sheltered spot for our lunch break further down. And take some more pics of the views of course.