Today is International Mountain Day so it seems the ideal day to share with you some of our favourite mountains of Snowdonia. (See the bottom of the page for more about International Mountain Day)
We are lucky enough to be based and live in Betws-y-Coed, the gateway to Snowdonia. Surrounded by beautiful mountains attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
We’d like to introduce you to some of our favourites, coincidentally you will have views of all of these during Snowdonia Challenge.
We want you to be able to recognise them while you are walking and enjoying the stunning views. Fingers crossed Snowdonia Challenge 2019 will have the blue skies of last year (although maybe without the heatwave!).
We also thought you might like to know some interesting facts about each mountain, and be able to properly appreciate their beauty.
Of course, when we are introducing you to the mountains of Snowdonia we have to start with the beauty that is Snowdon…
Snowdon, or Yr Wyddfa to use its Welsh name (err withva) is part of the Snowdon massif mountain range located in the North of Snowdonia National Park. At 1085 metres it’s the highest mountain in Wales (and is higher than any in England).
Yr Wyddfa means tomb or monument. Legend says the mountain is the tomb of the ogre Rhita Gawr who used to kill kings and make cloaks out of their beards.
It’s English name ‘Snowdon’ means snow hill, which kind of speaks for itself!
You will also hear reference to the Snowdon horseshoe and it’s not difficult to see the horseshoe shape and make out the other peaks, from right to left – Crib Goch, Garnedd Ugain, Snowdon and Y Llewedd.
There are 6 main paths to the summit of Snowdon and you can find out more about each one of those paths here – https://www.breeseadventures.co.uk/what-we-do/snowdon/
There’s also a train for those who prefer to reach the summit in a more leisurely way! You could always extend your stay and book a ticket for the Monday!
You will see Snowdon clearly on days one and two of Snowdonia Challenge.
Tryfan is the fifteenth highest mountain in Snowdonia and stands at 917.5m above sea level. It’s located in the Ogwen Valley and forms part of the Glyderau range.
Tryfan’s ruggedness makes it instantly recognisable and if you look closely you’ll see 2 pillars on the summit known as ‘Adam and Eve’ in English.
Tryfan is one of the most famous mountains in Snowdonia with links to Everest. British climber and explorer George Mallory made his first two British rock climbs on Tryfan in 1907 and Sir Edmund Hilary and his team carried out training for their Everest attempt in 1953.
It’s also one of the most dangerous with over 500 mountain rescue call outs in the last 30 years.
On day 2 of Snowdonia Challenge you’ll get stunning views of Tryfan and your water station will be located at the base of the mountain.
Moel Siabod is probably the nearest mountain to Betws-y-Coed where Snowdonia Challenge starts each morning. It’s the first mountain you’ll catch sight of while you’re walking on day one and you’ll enjoy views of Moel Siabod each day, skirting round the base of it on day 2.
Moel Siabod is part of the Moelwynion range and sits at 872m. From the summit on a clear day you can easily see 13 of the 14 highest mountains in Snowdonia. Getting to the summit is a lovely route starting in Capel Curig and around 2 lakes with a final scramble to the summit.
International Mountain Day
Each year on 11th December we celebrate International Mountain Day. Started by United Nations in 1992 to help raise awareness of the effect of climate change on mountainous areas and the people that live amongst them.
“The United Nations General Assembly designated 11 December “International Mountain Day”. As of 2003, it has been observed every year to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build alliances that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and environments around the world.”
Images by Jayne Moyle Photography – See more here
The Mountains of England and Wales – Volume 1: Wales by John and Anne Nuttall