Last week I travelled to Wales for a short hillwalking holiday in Snowdonia. On Friday I walked up Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales at a height of 1085m (and the highest mountain in the British Isles outside Scotland) with a couple of friends, Kate and Martin.
It is possible to take a train all the way to the summit of Snowdon, but we wanted to do a proper mountain walk so we chose to walk up the Watkin Path on the south side of the mountain, away from the crowds. This meant a long ascent but the walk was exhilarating, through the rugged amphitheatre of the Cwm Llan. The weather was amazing, with perfectly blue skies, and just a little breeze.
On the way through the Cwm we explored some of the old Hafod y Llan mine workings and also found the site of the remains of a Mosquito bomber that crashed in 1948.
The last couple of hundred of meters of ascent before the summit were a slight scramble through scree and boulders with a steep drop on one side meaning that some care was required to pick a safe route.
In contrast to the walk up, the summit was extremely busy, but the views were fantastic. We descended by a different route along the south ridge which was pretty narrow in places. It was a long, fairly tough walk but a great day.
On Saturday Kate and I had a slightly more leisurely walk to the 893m summit of Cadair Idris, with more blue skies and great views but unfortunately also with more crowds. The sky to the north of the mountain was brown with haze which might have been volcanic ash from the recent eruption in Iceland, although it was difficult to tell.
You can see all the photos from the walks on my website here.