Walking up Scafell Pike and Snowdon

Q. Hi, Me and a friend were interested in hiking to the peaks of Scafell Pike and Snowdon over a weekend (Snowdon on the Saturday and Scafell Pike on the Sunday), but there were a few questions that we were hoping someone could help with:

(editor's responses in italics)

1. The only dates we would be able to do it are 18th/19th or 25th/26th of February 2006. Being Winter, would we be able to do the trek?

- given your almost total lack of experience - I seriously doubt it.

a. Are the footpaths ever closed off, given weather conditions/daylight hours?

- Not usually closed by the authorities but often impassible in extreme weather conditions

b. Would we be able to reach the peak safely?

- given your almost total lack of experience - I seriously doubt it.

2. Where could we locate maps to get to the base/start of the footpath of each mountain? is there a nearby address we could use to look up?

- For Scafell Pike, Cumbria, England you'll need Ordnance Survey OL6

and

For Snowdon in Gwynedd, Wales you'll need Ordnance Survey OL17

3. Are there maps available for the walk itself or is the path clearly laid out? If maps are available, where can we get these from? Are there alternative routes, in which case which would be best for the conditions we could be facing?

You'll need route instructions to help stop you from getting lost

For Scafell Pike - see Scafell Pike

and Snowdon - see Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa)

Which you choose depends on your capabilities and level of fitness.

4. Are there any other key bits of advice someone could offer for our plan?

I hope this is not too much to ask and we would much appreciate any advice/help anyone could offer us.

Start with something less ambitious - particularly at this time of year.

Many thanks

Sam Kotecha, Edgware/London


A. I have climbed Snowdon 5 times - 4 in terrible weather. If it is icy like the one climb I made in February, you really need help with climbing in the fog, a safe route and plenty of warm and sensible well thought out equipment. The weather might be lovely on the Pen y Pass - Miners' Track route, but even scrambling up to the PYG Track route [can be] finger numbingly cold.

I actually arrived at the top [of Snowdon] with my altitude watch barometer showing freezing, with minus 3 wind chill. It can be a little bit off putting to say the least.

Gareth Stevens, Newport


A. The safest way up Snowdon in winter is the Llanberis track (Walk gw126 Snowdon via The Llanberis Path).

You have the best chance of completing your ascent but I still advise using [an] ice axe and crampons and don't underestimate conditions - they can change fast.

Hope this helps

Tony Matheson, Flint


A. I am thinking of hiking Scafell Pike, i have done some walks but not a hard one would i be able to hike this if i took my time.

Samanatha Cook, Gloucester


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