I spent the weekend in Snowdonia with my Brother in Law, Steve. It was fabulous. We were there primarily to climb Mount Snowdon and had originally planned to head West and walk up the Rhydd-Ddu Path and down the Snowdon Ranger Path, but the weather on Saturday was murky and damp so we decided against Rhydd-Ddu which has some ridges we figured might be a little too demanding in the wet given our inexperience. Instead we were advised and decided to climb the Pyg Track – a much busier climb on the Eastern side of the mountain. We were rewarded with two very different experiences.
Ups – The Pyg Track
The Pyg Track is an 11km walk that ascends 723 metres. It is mainly rocky and at times, we had to scramble up a few short sections. On our ascent the weather rolled constantly through light rain, drizzle, fog and sun.
You arrive at a wide ridge shortly before the summit of the mountain, and here things changed. We could see two different weather systems fighting along the ridge. To the East where we had climbed, the mists swirled, and to the West, the wind blew and the sun shone. We were treated to some spectacular views – enhanced by the ever changing weather.
Downs – The Snowdon Ranger Path
As we began to descend it became clear things were going to be very different. At 13 kilometres this path is longer than the Pyg Track and it descends further too – a total of 936 metres. It is a much wider path and is less rocky, but still very steep in parts. The biggest difference is the view of the mountain itself. This path is much quieter than the Pyg Track and on our way down we kept stopping to look back at the spectacular view of the mountain.
Once we reached the foot of the trail we thankfully had to stagger just a few metres to the bus stop and wait briefly to get picked up and dropped back in Beddgelert where we were staying at the excellent Plas Tan y Graig Guest House. That evening we enjoyed a lovely meal in the village bistro before a very deep sleep.
A fantastic weekend in great company and thanks to a twist in the weather, we enjoyed very different perspectives of a truly beautiful place.