A blog post reflecting on a camping trip we made over the summer.
After spending a few nights camping at the foot of Tryfan we headed towards Snowdon with the idea of finding a campsite and making our way to the summit the following morning.
We settled on the National Trust campsite at Hafod y Llan which is a cracking campsite. A little expensive (if you buy wood – £22 in total), but beautifully situated in the valley at the foot of Snowdon. It’s surrounded by picturesque streams and green fields. Facilities are basic but well maintained and clean. Firewood is available with communal fire pits and benches dotted around the site. We spent our afternoon enjoying our surroundings and reading. We followed this with a short walk to the nearest village and it’s little cafe/pub. Which had an excellent local lime and coriander beer.
Conveniently the campsite is positioned at the start of the Watkin Path. After a quick google, it seems the Watkin Path was opened in 1892 and was one of the first footpath in Great Britain.
The following morning we woke at sunrise to get an early start on Snowdon (and beat the first train and the cafe opening!), after an efficient breakfast and cup of tea (the Te Araroa training paying off!) we were walking by 6.15am.
The Watkin Path is cracking. It’s a fairly easy stroll up to the old quarry buildings with the path tracking the stream up the middle of the valley. The climb up to Bwlch Ciliau (or so it says on my map, I’m not good with Welsh words!) is again relatively straightforward. At this stage of the walk we were greeted by the sun rising above the surrounding peaks, which was spectacular but what awaited us was even more impressive.
Upon gaining the ridge the views over Llyn Llydaw Reservoir and surrounding mountains were jaw dropping. The golden sunlight that comes just after dawn, flooded the views in front of us. Further down the valley there was a small cloud inversion which is always a joy to see. The pictures do it justice!
The path to the summit from here is a little tougher with steeper sections and some loose rock. At this point we’d only seen walkers much lower down on the Pyg Track, so we overly ambitiously thought we might have the summit to ourselves. When we reached the top there were a few other groups but you certainly wouldn’t call it crowded! After soaking in the views and having a snack we started the descent.
We followed the Rhyd-Ddu Path off the summit. It’s a nice ridge walk which affords great views across both sides of Snowdon. Upon reaching the col just above the West Snowdon Quarry we took the path back down into our valley to rejoin the Watkin Path back to camp. By this time the sun had fully risen and because we had time we took a quick dip in the stream to cool off. Even though it was mid summer the water was still freezing!