June 2013 – Snowdonia Solo Walk – Day 1

The full walk of 43.3km, 2361 mtrs of ascent and 2280 mtrs of descent. Most of the walking took place on day's 1 & 2. Day 3 was a filler day to make sure I arrived at the train station on time!

The full walk of 43.3km, 2361 mtrs of ascent and 2280 mtrs of descent. Most of the walking took place on day’s 1 & 2. Day 3 was a filler day to make sure I arrived at the train station on time!

Before I start this entry I’d like to thank Mandie over at Girly Camping® (http://girlycamping.com/) for mentioning my blog in a top 5 list of blogs on Camping and Hiking! I seem to have gained quite a few additional followers as a result of her post! Thanks once again! 🙂

Day 1 was all about walking from Blaenau Ffestiniog to the base of Mount Snowdon ready for the ascent the following day.

The plan was to ascend Snowdon using the Watkins Path, rather than the more common and easier Miner’s and Pyg track. Part of the reason for this was down to the direction I was approaching the mountain from, the other reason was that I wanted to take up the challenge of hiking the hardest direct route up Snowdon with my full kit load of around 18 kg.

I arrived at Blaenau Ffestiniog at around 1430, which meant that I would have to get my skates on in order to make my planned camp spot for day one.

The photos from day 1 don’t really do the walk much justice as the whole point of day 1 was to position myself for the following day.

Day 2, however, which will be published soon, is a different story. The views from Mount Snowdon and the ascent of it were just stunning. So you will have to tune in for Day 2 of this article to see these photos.

The more astute amongst you may well have noticed that my banner photograph has changed – this is just one of the photos I took on my Ascent of Mount Snowdon whilst on the Watkins trail – hopefully it will whet your appetites to tune in for part 2! 🙂

As usual I’ll let a small selection of photos from my photo-journal tell the story…

Day 1's route. Red is planned, Blue is actual. I walked 17.2km with 860 mtrs ascent and 791 mtrs descent. So overall a pretty hilly journey and I hadn't even started the climb of Mount Snowdon!

Day 1’s route. Red is planned, Blue is actual. I walked 17.2km with 860 mtrs ascent and 791 mtrs descent. So overall a pretty hilly journey and I hadn’t even started the climb of Mount Snowdon!

The overall elevation profile for my walk. The height is in metres so as one can see it was a very hilly journey. The climb to the top of Mount Snowdon - in the middle - marks a new personal best for me of 1085 metres. In addition over the duration of the walk I climbed a total of 2361 mtrs and descended a total of 2280 mtrs over a distance of 43.3km!

The overall elevation profile for my walk. The height is in metres so as one can see it was a very hilly journey. The climb to the top of Mount Snowdon – in the middle – marks a new personal best for me of 1085 metres. In addition over the duration of the walk I climbed a total of 2361 mtrs and descended a total of 2280 mtrs over a distance of 43.3km!

I start in Blaenau Ffestiniog a small slate mining town in North Wales. Once again my Google Street-View practice runs pay off and I know my exact way out of the town. As an aside trying to convey the name of my destination to the Railway Ticket Office proved to be *entertaining*! In fact I ended up getting out my map and showing them!

I start in Blaenau Ffestiniog a small slate mining town in North Wales. Once again my Google Street-View practice runs pay off and I know my exact way out of the town. As an aside trying to convey the name of my destination to the Railway Ticket Office proved to be *entertaining*! In fact I ended up getting out my map and showing them!

I'm now headed North Westerly and up out of Blaenau Ffestiniog. One thing I noticed about this trip is that although it was a trail walk, most of the trails were very ill defined, leading to many cross country walks. For me it was a pleasant surprise, but I could imagine it unhinging people that are used to following trails.

I’m now headed North Westerly and up out of Blaenau Ffestiniog. One thing I noticed about this trip is that although it was a trail walk, most of the trails were very ill defined, leading to many cross country walks. For me it was a pleasant surprise, but I could imagine it unhinging people that are used to following trails.

One thing you can always be guaranteed of on a walk is a change of plan! In this case my way across the stream is blocked off, so I have to re-plan to cross further up stream.

One thing you can always be guaranteed of on a walk is a change of plan! In this case my way across the stream is blocked off, so I have to re-plan to cross further up stream.

Progressing my way upwards through an old slate quarry. In most of the Uk slate is used for roof tiling to keep the rain out. But here, it seems they make everything out of slate including complete buildings!

Progressing my way upwards through an old slate quarry. In most of the Uk slate is used for roof tiling to keep the rain out. But here, it seems they make everything out of slate including complete buildings!

A look back down the way I came as I start to gain elevation. This part of the trip is about climbing around 600 metres to clear the Moel Meirch hill range so that I can head Northwards toward Mount Snowdon itself!

A look back down the way I came as I start to gain elevation. This part of the trip is about climbing around 600 metres to clear the Moel Meirch hill range so that I can head Northwards toward Mount Snowdon itself!

As I gain elevation over the hill range I start to get views of the coastline to the North West! These views give away how much elevation I have already gained!

As I gain elevation over the hill range I start to get views of the coastline to the North West! These views give away how much elevation I have already gained!

I was entranced by this lake (Llyn yr Adar). It was right on the top of this hill/mountain range in a roughly circular depression. It's almost like the last thing you expect to see after climbing so high up. This one even comes with its own island! Next time in Snowdonia, I will probably make this lake a camping location.

I was entranced by this lake (Llyn yr Adar). It was right on the top of this hill/mountain range in a roughly circular depression. It’s almost like the last thing you expect to see after climbing so high up. This one even comes with its own island! Next time in Snowdonia, I will probably make this lake a camping location.

I am now starting my descent Northward. The idea at this point is to get to the reservoir that one can see in the far distance. These still images really fail to convey the depth of the scenery and the elevation that one is at. I spent a good 20 minutes here just snacking and enjoying the view!

I am now starting my descent Northward. The idea at this point is to get to the reservoir that one can see in the far distance. These still images really fail to convey the depth of the scenery and the elevation that one is at. I spent a good 20 minutes here just snacking and enjoying the view!

*Zoom On* Down below, on yet another lake (Llyn Llagi) I spot some people out and about doing a spot of wild camping. It looks like they picked the perfect spot!

*Zoom On* Down below, on yet another lake (Llyn Llagi) I spot some people out and about doing a spot of wild camping. It looks like they picked the perfect spot!

With no real trails to follow, I'm using visual references to take me to where I need to go. Up ahead with its peak shrouded in cloud is Mount Snowdon - my ultimate destination for this trip. Just below it, the Watkins Path can be seen. This is the route I intend to take up the mountain. It is supposed to be one of the hardest and steepest direct routes up the mountain...

With no real trails to follow, I’m using visual references to take me to where I need to go. Up ahead with its peak shrouded in cloud is Mount Snowdon – my ultimate destination for this trip. Just below it, the Watkins Path can be seen. This is the route I intend to take up the mountain. It is supposed to be one of the hardest and steepest direct routes up the mountain…

Eventually I make it to the start of the Watkin path, however it is getting late. I know that in an hour or so I will have to make camp to beat the setting sun.

Eventually I make it to the start of the Watkin path, however it is getting late. I know that in an hour or so I will have to make camp to beat the setting sun.

A photo of the main water falls by the Watkin Path. I decide to head up hill here to look for a water supply and set up camp nearby to it. Mount Snowdon is hidden from view by the hill on the left!

A photo of the main water falls by the Watkin Path. I decide to head up hill here to look for a water supply and set up camp nearby to it. Mount Snowdon is hidden from view by the hill on the left!

I quickly setup the Akto tent and head to the stream to get water supplies for camp. Unbeknownst to me a fellow female hiker had spotted my wild camp from the bottom of the valley - I was to bump into her on day 3 to swap stories!

I quickly setup the Akto tent and head to the stream to get water supplies for camp. Unbeknownst to me a fellow female hiker had spotted my wild camp from the bottom of the valley – I was to bump into her on day 3 to swap stories!

And tonight's main meal is Salmon, Dill and Potatoes - Once again another fine meal from Mountain House!

And tonight’s main meal is Salmon, Dill and Potatoes – Once again another fine meal from Mountain House!

After 17.2 km over some pretty hilly terrain I look a bit knackered! I guess the very early start to the day and the 6 hour train journey didn't help! I would need to get a good night's sleep as tomorrow I would be climbing Mount Snowdon and clearing around 22 km!

After 17.2 km over some pretty hilly terrain I look a bit knackered! I guess the very early start to the day and the 6 hour train journey didn’t help! I would need to get a good night’s sleep as tomorrow I would be climbing Mount Snowdon and clearing around 22 km!

Laters
RobP

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About RobP

Got into backpacking in the spring of 2012. I started as a couch potato then made my way through walker, hiker and now backpacker! As you can see from below I have far too many hobbies! :)
This entry was posted in Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Multi-Day Walk, Rab, Snowdon, Snowdonia, Watkins Path and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to June 2013 – Snowdonia Solo Walk – Day 1

  1. Pingback: 2013 – A Year in Review | Uk Backpacker

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