Day 5: 3 Peaks Bike Tour – Snowdon Hike

We slept in a little longer than the last few mornings as all we had to do today was hike up Snowdon. At 9:00am we crawled out of our tents to views of the surrounding mountains in the Nant Peris valley. We had spoken to a couple staying in an army surplus tent a few yards down from us the day before and they had kindly offered the use of their stove to us. John and Elena were from Reading but were looking to buy in the area and were staying on the campsite with their dog – a small terrier that gave Adam a nip on the finger. We had planned to take the Miners Track up Snowdon the night before when talking to a local woman in the pub. However, after talking with John and Elena, we were convinced that the Pyg Track sounded more appealing.

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The bus up to the Pen-y-Pass halfway point was rammed to the rafters and there was barely space to turn you head. When the bus finally stopped everyone tumbled out and we found our start point.

The walk was more interesting than the Llanberis route (this isn’t difficult) and we hurried up working up a sweat as we hopped from rock to rock. The one thing I did notice about this route was that the majority of people using it were your more outdoors-y types, well prepared and appropriately dressed. It was good ascending from this side, passing above the lakes and treading through shallow streams that ran down off the rock-walls. Both of us felt fresh, or as fresh as you can after 4 days of cycling. Our legs were a little weary but on the whole we travelled up the mountain without any problem, stopping now and then to take in the views of the sharp ridge of Crib Goch or down to the Miners Track as it passed through the silver lakes.

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As we reached the point where the Miners Track reconnected with the Pyg Track the views began to lessen as we slipped into the cloud layer. The cloud-mist was wet to walk through and was being carried on the wind on the more exposed areas of the track – we donned our rain jackets and walked on with our heads down.

Stepping up onto the Llanberis path brought us face to face, for the first time, with the infamous Snowdon train. It crawled by sluggishly, the lazy and elderly cramped up inside together like cattle. When it disappeared into the cloud we turned our attention back to the summit, it was just within reach.

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The Cairn was a joke. Everyone and their dogs tiptoed atop it like penguins huddling for warmth, one hand planted on the brass the second outstretched above their heads to take a selfie. We snapped a few photos as evidence of reaching the top and then sought out a more isolated place to sit and enjoy our first cigar of the trip. On a quiet slope at the summit we smoked and watched the seagulls hover above those eating their lunches. The top of Snowdon is a strange place now, not in a good way either. The restaurant is an eyesore and the shear number of people makes it a very hectic and restless place to be. It wasn’t long before we took the Llanberis path down to go and visit the town.

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1 down. 2 to go.

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