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Snowdon in October

Colchester, England
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Snowdon in October

We are two females looking to go up Snowdon in October 2010 (either 16 or 23 Oct). I am a complete beginner to mountain climbing while my friend has climbed Mount Kinabalu in Borneo.

I (naturally) have a few questions and welcome any hints / tips from more seasoned climbers.

a) We are thinking of taking one of the two 'easier' routes up and are currently considering the YHA Hostel in Caernarfon. Would this be a suitable base? We'd also welcome suggestions for accommodation if it is circa £20-£25 per person per night.

b) Would we have time to go up and come down by foot, or would it be more advisable to walk up and take the train down?

c) At the moment we are only a party of two - would you suggest that we find a larger group to join? Are there 'organised tours' or expeditions at the foot of the mountains that we can join?

There's probably more from where that came from, but at the moment, those are my initial queries. Any response is much appreciated.


Scunthorpe, United...
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1. Re: Snowdon in October

As a complete beginner to mountain climbing, can I give a few words of warning.

Snowdon is a serious mountain and it can and does kill people.

Any chance of getting a bit of practice in before tackling Snowdon?

Weather is a serious consideration in October. You may be lucky and get glorious weather but it can also be cold and wet. Mountains attract the cloud and rain.

First and most important -CHECK the weather forecast before you set out. If it is raining or a mist do not go up.It is better to be safe than sorry. If there is wind make allowance for the wind chill factor. Know and be able to recognise symptoms of hypothermia. Carry and extra sweater. It may be warm at Llanberis but will feel cooler the higher you climb. Carry some high energy food with you.

Do NOT wear jeans. If they get wet the material acts as a radiator and takes heat away from your legs and you will get chilled very quickly. Even once it has stopped raining the wet jeans will continue to cool you down. Hypothermia is a real risk. Wear cotton or some of the modern synthetic walking trousers.

Make sure you have proper water proofs (and that they are waterproof against the Snowdonia rain). That may sound a silly thing to say but rain on Snowdon is no joke and has a nasty way of getting in.

Footwear - ideally boots or at the very least a pair of sturdy trainers which fit well and are COMFORTABLE. (Blisters are no fun). Wear a thick pair of socks to cushion your feet.

Take the path up from Llanberis - this is the 'easiest' route. It is a wide and well marked, well used path. You can't get lost. There will be plenty of other people walking up so you don't need to join a group.

If you find you are getting tired, don't be afraid to admit defeat and give up.

Start early and allow plenty of time for the climb. Times vary depending on fitness but you are talking probably 4+ hours.

How used are you to walking for several hours? This could determine whether you want to get the train back down. You will need to check how easy it will be to get a single fare back down. It may depend on whether they have space on the train (and if a couple of passengers have ridden up and are walking down) as the trains do run full and there is no standing room for extra passengers.

I hope this doesn't sound too negative - it isn't meant to be. Knowledge can help prevent problems arising.

Have you thought about stopping at the Youth Hostel in Llanberis rather than Caernarfon? It would save on driving time.



Cardiff, Wales
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2. Re: Snowdon in October

One thing I wondered is whether the mountain railway is fully operational in October. Out of "season" it runs only to Clogwyn, which is about an hour's walk from the summit.

One thing you might want to think of doing is actually getting the train up (as far as it goes) and then walking down. You will have the assurance that the conditions can only improve as you descend and the views are just as breathtaking!

Colchester, England
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3. Re: Snowdon in October

Thank you for the replies.

Yes, the fact that Snowdon is a mountain is what concerns me most. I have done hills before but not a proper mountain, and knowing that it can and has killed, as has other mountains, has made me quite wary of making it up in October. As Jim has pointed out, trains may not run fully out of normal season.

I am quite okay with walking - I do quite long cycle rides but am aware that mountain climbing is a completely different kettle of fish altogether.

Taking everything into consideration it may be worthwhile for us to try something 'lighter' like the Brecon Beacons first this autumn and try Snowdon when the weather is likely to be less inclement, say May next year.

Southport UK
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4. Re: Snowdon in October

Why not go to the Snowdononia area this year and get the feel for it? There are plenty of mid and lower level walks to give you an idea.

In the past I have climbed Snowdon on the different paths in April, May, August and October and only once was it clear on the summit! Personally I think there are far nicer and less crowded mountains than Snowdon in the area.

The Snowdon Railway shpould run to the end of october dependant on weather conditions. Single tickets for the descent are done on a standby system from the summit.

Edited: 08 August 2010, 23:18
Southport UK
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5. Re: Snowdon in October

Sorry about my spelling of Snowdonia in the post above typing is not my strong point!

6. Re: Snowdon in October

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