Snowdon from Rhyd-Ddu
by poppiesrara » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:32 pm
Hewitts included on this walk: Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa
Date walked: 19/06/2013
Time taken: 3.75
Distance: 14.25 km
Ascent: 955m2 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
There are probably no routes up Snowdon without something to recommend them, but the Rhyd-Ddu Path is one of the best – beautifully pathed over what looks otherwise to be pretty damp terrain, and then rising relatively gently through increasingly dramatic surroundings to finish along a short sharp ridge. The views behind to the Nantlle/Hebog range are fabulous, and – midweek - you can get to within a few feet of the café and the crowds without seeing more than a handful of people. The last mile or so is fantastic along the narrowing Llechog and Bwlch Main ridges, almost like a coward’s Crib Goch – ground falling away steeply on both sides, into the deep bowl of Cwm Clogwyn and across to Y Lliwedd, but without (bar a few exposed yards that you might steer away from in a strong wind) too much sense of danger.
I can’t get upset about the railway station and café on the summit – as long as it stays the only place with these things it almost adds to the character to see the steamer puffing up, and no-one can really hate their first fresh ice-cold beer on a mountaintop! - but they do mean that you’ll probably never get much peace up there. It probably isn’t worth the effort to battle through the crowds sitting with their picnics and accompanying seagulls to actually reach the trig more than once – I did it 25 years ago and may never again – but you haven’t got to step too far down the northern slopes to escape and admire the views over the lake scenery of the classic Horseshoe.
Not far along the railway line before more quiet walking down the Snowdon Ranger Path. This is pretty easy going in descent, good underfoot and zigzagging comfortably enough over the steeper parts, even if it lacks the drama of the way up – it might be quite a dull trudge done the other way, once the lakes of the cwm slip out of view. There is a cross-country way from here back to Rhyd-Ddu (mapped above), but it isn’t really to be recommended – it’s rough going over some very marshy terrain (the only good walking being up and over the spoil-heaps of the old slate-mine) even now, and outside a dry spell several stretches might be completely impassable; head all the way down to the Snowdon Ranger and either catch a train or dodge along the road instead.
Apart from the finish, a terrific walk though. Bar the Watkin Path upper screes, I’ve trodden all the main routes up and down Snowdon now and this is close to the best – perhaps the supreme day, with some transport help, would be up the Pyg Track (or, with guts and the right weather, Crib Goch instead) early morning before the crowds, and then down the Rhyd-Ddu Path with the views in front. Plenty might disagree though, there are a lot of choices...!
by johnkaysleftleg » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:50 am
by Miniowner » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:43 pm
by Phil the Hill » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:25 pm
It's funny how the crowds all go up by the same route. I ran down the Llanberis path last August and the crowds were horrendous, but as soon as I diverted off-piste to bag Llechog I had the mountain to myself.
I still bag the summit trig whenever I go up Snowdon. Force of habit, I suppose!
by poppiesrara » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:33 pm
I'm not too sure why the Llanberis route is so much more busy either really, Phil (more parking?, the chance to take the train down?) - there are several other choices that are a fair bit shorter and not really much more difficult. Can't say I have a great memory of it, but I've also got Llechog (the little northern Nuttall) to 'bag', so will be back trying to find some Llanberis-based circuit with a little more charm one day...
by Phil the Hill » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:26 pm
poppiesrara wrote:I'm not too sure why the Llanberis route is so much more busy either really, Phil (more parking?, the chance to take the train down?) - there are several other choices that are a fair bit shorter and not really much more difficult. Can't say I have a great memory of it, but I've also got Llechog (the little northern Nuttall) to 'bag', so will be back trying to find some Llanberis-based circuit with a little more charm one day...
I think most "normal" people simply take the "tourist path" up the hill rather than poring over maps to find the most interesting route like users of this forum, which is a shame but at least it gives us a bit more solitude. The Llanberis path is also the most gentle ascent, which I assume a lot of people prefer. Personally I always prefer the steepest ascent in order to gain height quickly!
I don't think you can take the train down only. There would probably be a long queue of tired tourists waiting for a vacant seat if they allowed that!
Llechog is a really nice little hill so long as you stay by the cliff edge above the Pass of Llanberis and avoid the tourist path below. Perhaps doing it on a horseshoe route with the Moel Eilio ridge would be a good circuit.
by poppiesrara » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:10 pm
You could definitely just get the train down from Snowdon two or three years ago - a couple of my companions ascending (admittedly via Crib Goch) had had more than enough by then and coughed up the £20+ quid for the easy way out. I guess there are enough people riding up then walking down to balance it out - there have been times when I'd have happily paid just to climb a hill and spare my knees the downward bit though!