If you had asked me a year ago if I enjoyed walking then I would have said ‘Yes……as long as it’s not raining!’
Of course in North Wales you really don’t know what the weather will be like, it can start sunny and then it will rain and sometimes you can experience all four seasons in one day as happened when I went on a guided walk of the Carneddau with Snowdon Walks.
I am under no illusions that when it comes to walking I am a novice and although I went up Snowdon in 2016 as a part of Snowdon Rocks then most of my walking has been limited to the hills around Penmaenmawr and Llanferfechain with my local Meetup group.
This year I had decided that I wanted to get out and discover Snowdonia and when I saw the Discover the Carneddau walk I saw it as the perfect opportunity to discover a part of the area I wouldn’t normally get to see on my own.
The day started out raining but part way up Pen yr Ole Wen the sun was out and the views were magnificent. unfortunately that was about it as then the clouds descended and although on the walk we summited not only Pen yr Ole Wen but also Carnedd Dafydd, Yr Elen, Carnedd Llewelyn and Pen yr Helgi Du (833m) we sadly got to see just a small amount of the amazing scenery but what we did was incredible!
On their site Snowdon Walks do say that it will take you away from the busy touristy areas and show you one of the quieter sides of Snowdonia and without a doubt that is true as we probably saw less than twenty other people. In comparison when I went up Snowdon via the Llanberis path it seemed more like Oxford Street at Christmas time.
Without a doubt I am no longer a fair weather walker although I would have liked to have been up there on a sunny day, which means I am going to have to book on another walk in the summer and hope that it isn’t raining but if it is it will still be worth it!
I certainly learnt a lot on the walk, not least that if you have poles you can determine if the spot you are about to put your foot is firm and if not how deep it is!
I consider myself reasonably fit(for my age) and I don’t have a problem walking 10 – 12 miles but ascending 1000m is totally different and at times my legs and lungs were definitely saying WTF. Also in comparison going up Snowdon, certainly via the Llanberis path, was a lot easier.
I wasn’t expecting to be scrambling and at one point as we had to go down in reverse it was comforting to know we were with experienced guides, although being first was without doubt a challenge and just a little bit scary.
Without a doubt you have to be respectful of nature and at one point some us got separated from our guides in the mist but sensibly we stayed put until they found us. We experienced rain, sun and sleet all in one day and when there is still snow on the ground you realise how cold it actually is.
Overall we walked about 12 miles and climbed around 1000 metres and consumed 3000 calories and that’s the other think I learnt….you don’t realise quite how much energy you use up and I should definitely had more food with me.
It is also important to know what your body is capable of and I chose not to do the last peak as did a number of others but it was a fantastic experience that I would not have missed and maybe next time I will get to do it.
That’s right there will be a next time and hopefully it will be sunnier and I hope that the group I am with is as good as the one I was on this occasion. They were a great bunch and it must be a challenge for the guides as they don’t know the ability of the group until it starts out.
If you want to discover more than just Snowdon then I would without reservation recommend this walk with Snowdon Walks. I definitely found going up Snowdon easier but if you don’t challenge yourself you don’t know what you can do and it was a great day all round.
If you want to see more photos from the day then go to my Facebook page.