Here at MRS Digital, we believe in the power of teamwork and the value of shared experience. We’re a close-knit bunch who all relish a challenge. So, this Mayday Bank Holiday, our Digital team travelled to the wilds of North Wales to tackle all 3,650ft of Snowdon, one of the tallest peaks in Britain.
Located in the heart of picturesque Gwynedd, North West Wales, Snowdon is one of the busiest mountains in Britain. And now, 6 more intrepid climbers have added their names to the list of successful ascents.
There are several paths to take up the mountain, and we decided to take the Watkin Path, one of the most challenging routes. Starting at the lowest elevation of all routes, the former donkey path begins in the woods of Bethania. From there, our path took us past the waterfalls of Afon Llan, to the valley of Cwm Llan.
This part of our journey was easy going. The weather was fine and the path was relatively easy going. We passed a number of old buildings built from the native stone and a large boulder called Gladstone Rock. Beyond the slate quarries at the far end of the valley, things took a turn for the extreme…
The ascent to Bwlch Ciliau is formed of hundreds of steep, stair-like rocks that are immediately taxing to even experienced walkers. Our progress was steady though and after an hour we stood at the cairn that links the path between Snowdon and Y Lliwedd, a neighbouring peak. According to the guide book, this is “shortly below the summit of Snowdon”, which is certainly true. But what it failed to mention is that final ascent is the hardest section anywhere on the mountain.
We were faced by a wall of rock, using our hands as much as our feet to clamber up the final precipitous hundred feet. It was hell, but we made it, barely standing upon pale, shaking thighs on the summit of Mount Snowdon.
After regrouping with cups of tea from the handy cafe at the top of the mountain, we assessed our situation. Watkin’s killer finishing stretch now represented a steep and slippery descent down loose screed. One wrong step would result in a brief, but exciting slide off the side of the mountain to a drop so far you’d have time to call home first.
Yeah… we weren’t going to do that.
We decided to walk back via the Rhyd Ddu path, then cut down a steep path back into Cwm Llan and rejoin Watkin’s back in the valley. The descend involved rock climbing, bum sliding and the fateful crossing of a bog and a river, but we made it!
There and back again, we smashed Snowdon in just under 6 hours, with aching feet but a sense of achievement. Snowdon was one of the hardest walks we’ve collectively done, but it was absolutely worth it. The views are sensational and despite how busy the mountain is, our fellow climbers were friendly and encouraging. Having achieved our mission, we returned to base camp for well earned pizza and beer!