Mount Snowden And Why You Should Respect It
While researching the many ways up Mount Snowden I came across an article written by an ex-mountain rescue member of the Dolomites team in North Italy. He made a post about how dangerous Snowden and mountains of similar nature were. Not necessarily due to the nature of the mountains themselves, rather the sheer volume of people who turn up every year expecting an extremely easy meander up a hill with little to no understanding what’s involved. I can personally confirm that this not the case for most people, especially those that don’t partake in hikes regularly and here’s why:
The path decides everything...
The six routes up Snowden all vary in difficulty and without a doubt the most dangerous is Crib Goch pass. After that it is arguable that Watkin or Ranger is next on the difficulty ladder, while Pyg and Llanberry are much more on the gentle side (although the Llanberry trail covers more distance so even then there’s another objective to consider).
Ignore the people making all the noise...
During my research into climbing Snowden a loud majority said that you’d be fine with a litre of water and some snacks, and in total the hike should take around 4 hours. I discovered this information was incorrect for me as my intention wasn’t to march up the mountain then rush back down. My total journey that day was 7.5 hours which included 2 hours for photography. This is still a good amount of physical activity for the average person.
The loud majority of people who go online and share their opinion of Mount Snowden have only done the gentle walks and who, if anything, wish to state that they did in fact climb a mountain. So sure, if you’re going to pick one of the three easier paths up the mountain it will be a bit less difficult but still bring a map, plenty of water and snacks just in case. If you do intend of trekking Watkin or Ranger paths or even Crib Goch I am telling you now, the day will be doable if you want it to be, but by no means easy.
Other people’s opinions can vary so much it’s pointless...
An example of this: roughly 200m from the summit my friend, Nick, and I asked two different parties what the final part of the climb was like. The 2 girls stated it was easy, fine once you get half up the top because you there are stairs etc. We then almost immediately asked a group of lads who explicitly explained how horrendous the last part is because its steep, physically draining and quite easy to slip as you are simply walking up loose gravel and the odd rock. Nick and I definitely agreed with the group of lads more as the man-made steps were not half way up the final stretch and the loose gravel is difficult if your footwear is poor or even worse.... tall. Therefore, whilst it is easy to get caught up with other people’s accounts, remember that all experiences differ.
In the end my opinion? It doesn’t matter, do your own research and be safe. Then you can truly enjoy Snowden for what it has to offer.