Snowdon via Pyg Track: A weekend to remember

Snowdon via Pyg Track: A weekend to remember



5.19 km

Snowdon via Pyg Track

In 2018 our walking group decided to do our first weekend trip to Snowdon.

Reading the previous posts you will be aware none of us are exactly Mountain Leaders. However Snowdon was walk number five, therefore we felt confident we would get this one right.

For this one we decided to make a weekend of it and plan it correctly. We all agreed on Snowdon Pyg Track as the route to take and booked accommodation in Nant Peris.

Banging the co-ordinates into our sat nav’s we jumped into the cars early doors and headed for Wales.

The night before

The afternoon before we had met in the local pub. Obviously needing to discuss important walking matters for the weekend ahead. A few beers in and everyone agrees to call it a day and get an early night. Only that did not happen for me.

Fast forward to the next morning at 5am as i’m rushing to get my bag packed and get to the meeting point. Waiting for everyone to arrive a few of us chat about the night before. Everyone else managed an early night whereas this idiot was still up drinking at 2am.

Finding the start to Snowdon Pyg Track

Arriving in Wales a few hours later we parked up, got out and got our gear on. The day was already turning out to be a scorcher.

We plotted the co-ordinates for close to the bunk house so we didn’t have far to go once we had completed the walk.

Snowdon via Pyg Track

Having crossed over into the car park we looked around for a starting point even consulting a map declaring ‘You are here’.

One of the group pointed through a nearby gate and stated this looked like the way to go. We set off along a narrow grassy path for about ten minutes before concluding this was definitely not the way.

As a result we headed back to the car park to regain our bearings. Several laps of said car park later we admitted defeat. Stood with an air of experience were a couple of ladies just finishing putting their boots on. So we asked for some direction.

It turns out these ladies were about to ask us the same question so we were all stuck. We re-grouped and tried to think logically – enter pack leader Pete.

“It’s got to be that there look at the size of it that’s definitely the mountain”.

Pointing out to him that Snowdon is a huge tourist attraction and the considerable lack of visible paths, people or even wildlife was a concern.

Returning to the main road and trying to establish which direction we should go in we were confronted with a taxi driver. Having asked if we were heading to Snowdon, we asked which way it was and how far. His reply of 13 miles made our mind up for us. Taxi it is.

Snowdon via Pyg Track

Walking in the Summer heat

Starting out early to avoid the crowds by now was a complete failure and we were eager to make up some time.

The start was slow going too, given the weather conditions the mountain was packed with walkers. We broke through and got into a great pace and things were certainly looking good.

About an hour in and I had realised I’d left my cap in the car (not good for a bald head) and none of us had sun block. Now add in that genius idea of mine to stay up drinking until the early hours and things quickly unravelled.

Shortly afterwards I was in a bad way and started vomiting. The lads rallied round me offering various drinks and food for my energy levels. It wasn’t looking good at all.

I quickly decided I wasn’t making the summit at this rate and told the rest to go ahead. The majority of the group cracked on but a few remained back trying to convince me to continue.

“If you go back now you’ll kick yourself for not getting to the summit” came Andy’s words of encouragement – “It’s Wales not Canada i’ll just come back and fucking do it another day” was my response which resulted in more wasted energy as we all laughed.

I urged them to crack on and i’d either see them at the top or at the bottom – most likely in a pub trying out the old ‘what makes you bad makes you better’ theory.

Mind over matter

To my own surprise I did crack on – and was sick only once or twice more. I told myself it was a case of mind over matter and i’d come this far I might as well go all the way.

At this point I was a lone hiker for the last stretch of the climb and was comforted by the kindness of passing strangers. All of whom stopped to offer help, refreshments or just words of encouragement.

“Ahhh in that pub last night were you – haha you’ll be ok lad not far to go now see you at the top”.

What seemed like an eternity later I reached the summit. I was also feeling nearly human again as I met up with the rest of the group I checked my watch. It had taken 2hrs 15mins for me to make it up which I was quite proud of considering the circumstances.

Snowdon via Pyg Track

“You’ve come down the wrong side”

Now ready for our descent we decided some of us were going to go down a different way. Mainly because it looked an easier route so we split up and went our separate ways.

Four of us took ‘the easy’ route down and enjoyed a rather pleasant descent in all fairness. At the bottom things didn’t seem quite right. Approaching a main road with the option of left or right and no signs indicating which way was which. We came across a farmer and asked him which way to Nant Peris? Worryingly he didn’t know, so we took a guess.

Having decided to get a taxi to get back we looked around for local firms. Struggling for reception and several attempts later we got enough signal on one of the phones and got through. It didn’t take long for us to understand we had gone very wrong indeed.

Laughing at us down the phone he said “You’ve come down the wrong side of the mountain haven’t you? You aren’t the first and wont be the last but it will cost you £60. You will also have to pay via card up front”. Send it please.

A twenty-five minute taxi ride brought and we arrived back at the car and the rest of the group.

Snowdon via Pyg Track

A weekend to remember

The plan of action now was to drop our stuff at the bunkhouse and get cleaned up. The World Cup was on and England were kicking off shortly so we food and beers were on the agenda. Jumping back in the cars we proceeded to drive around for a good 30 minutes. Stopping at a variety of addresses we believed to be the bunkhouse – alas none of them were.

Over an hour and several conversations with locals later we found our accommodation – right where we had parked up.

Having checked in finally, a couple of us went to find somewhere showing the England match and the rest just relaxed at the bunkhouse. After the football we ventured to a local pub The Vaynol Arms for some food and a couple of pints.

We spent the rest of the evening with a few crates of beer, some whiskey around a camp fire enjoying the craic and reminiscing on the days events.  


  • Mike Richardson

    Mike is a Mancunian who is usually found hiking the Mountains in the Lake District. He has a passion for the outdoors and loves a pint after a day in the Mountains.

    View all posts

Mike Richardson

Mike is a Mancunian who is usually found hiking the Mountains in the Lake District. He has a passion for the outdoors and loves a pint after a day in the Mountains.

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