3am my alarm went off on a cold January morning, the temperature barely above zero and the temptation to turn over and go back to sleep way above that – luckily I didn’t and joined with some friends (ah those sweet pre-pandemic times) to drive down from Leeds to Snowdonia.
The tiredness and cold soon turned to excitement and well, cold, as we arrived just before sunrise. Before climbing Snowdon, you should think carefully about which route to take up – we decided with the conditions that the Ranger path was the most sensible whilst also providing a bit of a challenge for us.
We stopped after a short way to appreciate our spectacular and peaceful surroundings: I realised that this time would be a lot different to my previous visit to the popular Welsh mountain. A combination of the time of day and time of year putting the huge crowds off joining us this time – making the experience all that more memorable. Especially when the well-worn dirt tracks turned into soft, untrodden snow.
A last push to the top, only beaten there by half a dozen people or so. Snowdon won’t be the hardest of climbs you’ll ever do but the view that awaits you is sure to be one of the more rewarding ones, with panoramic views for miles and miles around.
The surrounding parts of Snowdonia you overlook are gorgeous and, if you have the chance, definitely think about renting a campervan or jeep and spending a few days there exploring the area properly. There are plenty of other things to do besides climbing Snowdon, but once you’re at the summit, it’s clear to see why conquering one of the UK’s highest peaks is normally at the top of peoples to do lists when visiting North Wales.
So whilst you have a bit more time on your hands at the moment, dig out those hiking boots, think about which route will suit you best and get stocked up on your favourite treats to reward yourself with at the summit.
By Alex Mulvey