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1,085 metres. That’s 3,560 feet. It’s also a steep climb.
Snowdon is the highest mountain in England and Wales, and
for reasons known only to him, Rob Mills decided to climb it.

For fun. words: ROB MILLS pics: CROWN COPYRIGHT
WE arrived on Saturday evening and were greeted The temperature had dropped, the climb was getting
by Mother Nature with dark clouds, heavy rain, and steeper and the visibility continued to worsen. We had
cool temperatures. We couldn’t even see the mountain been climbing for well over an hour when we made the
we hoped to scale. Sunday brought with it less than decision that if the conditions didn’t improve within 20
summery weather too, but the rain held off and our minutes we’d turn back.
adventure could go ahead as planned. But 15 minutes later we saw the railway line stretching
Snowdon, or Yr Wyddfa (The Tomb) as it is known in out of the clouds, and beyond that a sign, and people!
Welsh, is a well trafficked mountain both by climbers Suddenly the adrenalin kicked in…we were almost
on foot and passengers by train. In fact there are at the summit. Our pace quickened and two people
six main walking routes to the summit and we opted became a dozen as we were soon part of a small crowd
for the Snowdon Ranger track. We did so because making the final climb to the top. My legs felt like lead
a) our accommodation started right beside the start and I could barely lift them but somehow, after a final
of the trail, b) because it is meant to be one of the steep 10-minute climb, we were officially on top of
quieter routes, and c) perhaps most influential in our Wales! SNOWDON FACT FILE
decision, it’s one of the easiest ways to the top. There were no soaring views from the top thanks to • The summit of Snowdon is approximately 3,560
The first part of the walk was relatively smooth the weather, nor could we get a sense of how far we feet high.
(of course I would have disagreed at the time). We had come but that didn’t make it feel like any less of • You can reach the summit of Snowdon via one of
meandered through farmland, over streams, and an achievement. We had lunch at the summit and then seven routes.
across the flat plains towards Snowdon. There were a took the 100-minute walk to the bottom. Of course, • In Welsh, Snowdon is referred to as “Yr Wyddfa”.
few walkers on the path but as we started at 9am we on the way down the weather picked up and we were • Snow has been known to cover the mountain
seemed to be ahead of the crowds. rewarded with some stunning views. range as early as October and as late as June.
An hour in and we glanced back in the direction we We couldn’t summon the energy to do much that • The average group of walkers take six hours to
had come from. With a resigned farewell to the past evening but simply talking about the day’s climb climb up and down the mountainside.
distance we made our first steps of the climb. There was enough. Incredibly proud of ourselves, we were • Amazingly, it takes over six hours to get from
was loose rock underfoot and the cloud was closing buzzing for days afterwards – so much so that we’ve Cardiff to the foot of Snowdon by bus, with two
in on us restricting our view to around 15 feet in all already planned to go back next year to tackle one of changes on the way.
directions. Even if there were other walkers it would the harder routes. Maybe. • Geologists will be intrigued to learn that the
have been impossible to see them through the mist. mountain consists of mostly rhyolite and dolerite
My climbing partner and I were soaking wet from the Visit for info on walks, rock. If you’re not a geologist, forget we said
precipitation in the clouds we were moving through. accommodation and other activities in the area. anything.
OCTOBER2008.indd 28 25/9/08 3:20:38 pm
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