Walking Snowdon in February

Q. Hi

My husband, myself and a friend are planning to walk up Snowdon on Sunday 24th Feb. My husband and I have very little experience. Which walk would you recommend for us as I am a bit worried but the my husband told me that there is easy walk to the top that elderly people can do.

Am I right to be worried? and what equipment would we need?

Rebecca Harding, Warrington Cheshire


A. You are quite right to be worried. Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and higher than anything in England. In February there can be arctic temperatures with deep lying snow on the summit of Snowdon obliterating the path and forming very dangerous icy conditions underfoot.

You will need full winter kit including Ice Axe and crampons (plus experience using both). Snowdon in February is a serious undertaking and - forgive me for saying so - but it does not sound like you or your husband have sufficient experience to tackle this kind of walk in the middle of winter.

My advice is don't go in February at all. Snowdon - see Walks

gw100 Mount Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) from Pen y Pass

gw105 Snowdon via The Watkin Path from Nantgwynant

gw107 Snowdon and Yr Aran from Rhyd Ddu

gw110 Snowdon via The Snowdon Ranger Path

gw117 Snowdon and Yr Aran via The Watkin Path from Nantgwynant

gw126 Snowdon via The Llanberis Path

gw134 Mount Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) avoiding Crib Goch from Pen y Pass

gw136 The Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) Horseshoe from Pen y Pass

gw140 Snowdon via The Rhyd Ddu Path

gw158 Snowdon, Moel Cynghorion, Foel Gron and Moel Eilio from Llanberis

gw186 Snowdon and Moel Cynghorion from Llanberis

gw198 The Welsh 3000's (Snowdon Area) from Pen y Pass

- will still be there in July and August (hopefully!) so why not go then? The conditions are likely to be far more favourable and you will have a much greater chance of having clear weather on the top so you can enjoy the views - which are truly magnificent.

The shortest route is gw100 Mount Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) from Pen y Pass

- but even this involves over 2,500ft of climbing on rough stony paths which can be a daunting task if you are not used to it. Furthermore, the final push up to the summit ridge is very, very steep.

A less steep but longer route follows the railway track from Llanberis. This is probably the path your husband refers to. But even this is over 4.5 miles long (one way) and involves over 3200 feet of steady climbing. -Walk gw186 Snowdon and Moel Cynghorion from Llanberis

includes the route details.

There are plenty of hills much closer to Warrington that you can tackle and build up your experience, fitness and stamina levels before tackling Snowdon.

Why not try Shining Tor - walks

ch131 Shining Tor and Yearns Low from Lamaload Reservoir

ch146 Kettleshulme and Shining Tor from Lamaload Reservoir

ch157 Shining Tor and Cats Tor from Lamaload Reservoir

- or Shutlingsloe - walks

ch101 Shutlingsloe and Wildboarclough from Ridgegate Reservoir

ch226 Shutlingsloe from Wildboarclough

- near Macclesfield?

How about Winter Hill walks

l142 Winter Hill (Rivington Moor) and Rivington Pike from Rivington Upper Barn

l217 Lever Park, Winter Hill (Rivington Moor) and Rivington Pike from Rivington Lane

) near Bolton or Pendle Hill - walks

l100 Pendle Hill from Barley

l112 Pendle Hill via Boar Clough from Barley

l127 Pendle Hill and Stang Top Moor from Barley

- near Burnley?

Or even Moel Famau - walks

fl155 Moel Famau and Cilcain

dn112 Moel Famau and Moel Dywyll from Moel Famau Country Park

dn136 Moel Famau and Moel Dywyll from Bwlch Penbarras

dn142 Moel Famau from Moel Famau Country Park

dn174 Moel Famau from Bwlch Penbarras

- near Mold in Flintshire?

If you really cannot wait until the summer and want to taste that 'real' mountain experience to see if you like it - why not start with c210 The Old Man of Coniston from the Walna Scar Road, Coniston

in the southern Lake District? Mind you, February is still a bit early for walkers with your level of experience.

Do let us know how you get on - and we look forward to seeing photographs of you and your party looking triumphant on the summit of Snowdon. Just leave it until the weather improves.

Hope this helps

Mike (Editor)



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