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Snowdonia Peaks

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Snowdon New Years Day 2017

With Jill working over the New Year period again, I decided to take what is becoming a regular trip up to Snowdon to start off the new year. Three times in the last five years and this was just as good as the others. Weather was a bit mixed with light rain and sleet to begin with and a small light snow shower as I approached the summit. There also quite a lot of ice and compact snow around the zig zags and on the aproach and around the summit area. Not really full on winter conditions as such but as a precaution I did put my microspikes on for extra grip, as I didn't fancy slipping and sliding like some folk were doing. There was a bit of an icy wind but thankfully not that strong on the ascent and around the summit, but it did seem to pick up strength on the descent where the overall weather improved and finished with good clear views. Again, I decided that the Miners Track and Pyg Track would be my way round. I started at 8.30am and got back to the car park about 3pm so a good relaxing six and half hours on this great mountain.
My route for the day
A bit murky to start with
Sleet over Llyn Teryn and old Quarry dwellings
Crib Goch looms above Llyn Lydaw
Old Copper Mine with Crib Goch as the backdrop
Murky view of a snowy Snowdon
The Glaslyn outflow with Snowdon looming large
Glaslyn and Snowdon
It was when I got to Glaslyn when the sleet turned in to snow and from here to the summit there was one or two sharp snow showers that looked like it was going to turn a bit nasty. At one point I was expecting a blizzard would come at any moment as that was in the forecast but thankfully the heavy snow stayed away. I'm never afraid to turn back, done it a few times but it is annoying and you do feel a bit cheated in a way but then the mountain isn't going anywhere and safety comes first. On this occasion though the wind seemed to blow the worst of the weather away and the snow stopped as quickly as it came.
Looking across Glaslyn to the ascent path on to the Pyg Track
A short sharp snow shower
On the Pyg Track
Looking down on a clear Glaslyn
Another snow shower obscures Glaslyn from the money post
Looking down on Glaslyn from the top of the Pyg Track
Pyg Track marker stone
The wind was quite gusty up here as it blows up from all sides but once on the last couple of hundred yards to the summit it seemed to die down but a few gusts came along to remind you just where you were. I got to the summit for about 11.30 so a good three hours wasn't too bad for me as I only had a couple of pit stops along the way. The summit area was fairly quiet with only about a few people milling about and at one point there only seemed to be me and a couple of Ravens which is quite eerie on Snowdon. I found a good place out of any wind to have a sit down and a bite to eat on the south side of the cafe but not much in the way of any views. There was glimpses of the views opening up and as luck would have it the clouds and snow suddenly decided to disappear just as I was leaving the summit. It's always good to have some sort of view from any summit but from up here it's always special and from about midday onwards, anyone who was going up here would of been treated to some great views. 
On the approach to the summit along the train track
Summit cafe
Summit cafe
South side of the cafe where I sheltered from the wind
Quiet summit cafe
Snowdon summit
Empty summit trig point
Very quiet summit approach
Views down towards Rydd Ddu
View down to Glaslyn, Llyn Lydaw and Moel Siabod
Crib Goch
Misty view down the South Ridge
View down Y Lliwedd and Llyn Lydaw
The icy zig zag part of the Pyg Track
View down the south ridge and across to the Nantile Ridge and a distant coastline
Snowdon and Y Lliwedd
Not many going over Crib Goch today
A now clear Glaslyn & Llyn Lydaw
Having microspikes on made the going a lot more easy on the descent path, as the top end and the zig zag part of the Pyg Track is notoriously icy as there is no sun on this area in winter. Today was passable with care and a slow approach but there was one or two slipping and sliding which can result in some damage if you're not careful. I would certainly recommend the use of microspikes at the very least. With the low cloud and any sleet/snow now gone, the descent was much more appealing and fairly quiet, although most people were on their way up at this time.
Snowdon looking over Glaslyn and the Miners Track
Last of the low cloud on Snowdon
Snowdon & Crib Goch

Pano of a now clear Moel Siabod to Y Lliwedd above Llyn Lydaw
 As the weather had improved a lot, although the wind had picked up a fair bit and there was plenty of light left, I decided to take the quiet route back to the car park and head over the horn and keep the views going for the bit longer. Makes for a great descent route if a bit squelchy in places.
The Horns with Moel Siabod in the background

On the Horns with the car park far below
Snow capped Glyderau
Snowdon Horseshoe
The horn on the horn
Snowdon Hoseshoe and Llyn Lydaw
Looking down Pen y Pass towards Llanberis
The horn and Crib Goch with snowdon in the middle
Another great day out in Snowdonia and a fantastic way to start the new year, perfect.
Happy new year and thanks for looking :-)
A short video


  1. superb report and photographs. thanks for sharing