Ever felt like you have lost yourself in the daily hustle and bustle of city life, and felt a dire need for a vacation in the lap of nature with a hint of adventure? Well, the rocky pastures of Wales surrounded by the Irish waters could be just what you are looking for. From world-famous artworks to the eye-catching landscape– it all comes with a legendary and heartfelt warm welcome. It is a country formed by its people, inspired by its places, ready and radiating an aura of adventure.
Wales is a country of highlands and history, castles and countryside and hills that are alive with the sound of music. Makes you wish to pack your backpacks and go hiking already? However, mountaineering in Wales is not at all a happy go lucky kind of an affair and requires well thought out planning to be ready for any kind of surprises that the mountains have in store for us. So here are the essentials you need to know before you go backpacking across Wales.
Best Time To Go For Mountaineering In Wales
Even though the scenic beauty of the country appeals to our eyes any time of the year, there are times when you would get the most out of the trip.
The best time for taking a tour around the place would be the time between June to September. However, for a less dense crowd and a reasonable time for mountaineering in Wales, the months of April, May, September, and October will be the best.
Top 7 Spots For Mountaineering In Wales
Wales is the best-suited example of how good things come in small packages. Mountains, valleys, hills – you name it, the place has it. Here mentioned are some of the mountaineering spots that will make you ask life to halt for a while as you exhale your most heartfelt “wow”-s of all time.
2. Carnedd Llewelyn
3. Glyder Fawr
4. Y Garn
5. Elidir Fawr
7. Aran Fawddwy
Undoubtedly the king of Welsh mountains, this peak is a part of the Snowdon range and 1085 meters in height above the sea level. Located in the Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd Snowdon is the highest point outside the Scottish Highlands in the British Isles. There, of course, are more than one route to reach the summit It all depends on which of the routes you take but it should take somewhere between 5-7 hours to reach the summit and walk back down.
How to reach: Snowdon Horseshoe Route
2. Carnedd Llewelyn
Named after Prince Llywelyn, this peak is indeed the prince of the peaks with a height of 1064 meters above the sea level. Its a mountain massif in the Carneddau range, Snowdonia, north-west Wales. It’s the highest peak of the range and lies on the border between Gwynedd and Conwy. It is a sprawling, grassy hulk at the confluence of four ridges. By virtue of being the third-highest summit in Wales Llewelyn, it gets the touch of bad weather sometimes, but the views are worth it if you reach the top on a clear day.
How to reach: High Carrendau from Ogwen
3. Glyder Fawr
The highest peak of the Glyderau range with a height of about 1000 meters above the sea level and the fifth highest mountain in Wales is Glyder Fawr. It has an extensive number of walking routes to the summit. Apart from the immense scenic beauty of the place, there are some things that you should keep your focus on. There are steep slopes, loose stones on the ascent of Glyder Fawr. And also the way that comes back via the Miner’s Track has some loose sections and has seen some landslides in recent years making sections of the path difficult going.
How to reach: Y Garn, Glyderau and Tryfan from Ogwen
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4. Y Garn
The best place to enjoy views of Nant Ffrancon from some angles, and also a very impressive lump of a mountain, it is about 947 meters above the sea level. Also situated in the Glyderau range, it’s the tenth highest peak in Wales. Moderate snow formation is found on the western slope of the mountain around October-may. Being about 900 meters above sea level, needless to say, that this mountain is characterized by steep ground.
How to reach: Ogwen Cottage via the NE Ridge
5. Elidir Fawr
Cloudy sky, green pastures and a nearby waterbody – the best of a day at Elidir Fawr, the northernmost peak in the Glyderau, 924 meters above sea level. Its specialty is to the north of the summit there is a lake named Marchlyn Mawr, which is also the uppermost reservoir for a pump storage power station almost hidden in the mountains. It takes about four hours to reach the summit but finding the route in mist, especially over Elidir Summit and while descending from Carnedd y Finalist.
How to reach: Traverse of Glyderau range from Dinorwic to Capel Curig
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This place too can be reached via many roads. Its a mountain in the Ogwen Valley, Snowdonia, Wales; 917 meters above sea level. It forms a part of the famous Glyderau and is one of the most popular peaks in Britain that has a classic pointed shape with rugged crags. It is called Tri Faen which is Welsh for three rocks, a reference to the three rocky summits that are clear from some angles. It takes about 4 to 5 hours to reach the summit but there are no easy routes for this one, the south ridge being the comparatively easier one and the north ridge being the best one.
How to reach: The north ridge, close to A5 road, 1.5 km east of Ogwen Cottage
7. Aran Fawddwy
Mountain of about 905 meters elevation above sea level, it is located in southern Snowdonia, Wales. It is the highest summit outside the Eryri area. It has a difficult path however with wet patches and sometimes the route not being visible. However, that is a good thing as this one will attract fewer tourists and more travelers. A walk up Aran Fawddwy is a much wilder and quieter proposition with no particularly simple way up. This one will get you to have to get your socks wet and your compass out.
How to reach: Llanuwchlyn to Aran Fawddwy
What To Pack For Mountaineering In Wales
Mountaineering trips are different than usual trips to the plains. The main difference being that on plains we mostly get our essentials for daily lives while the mountains challenge us at a whole different level. So here are some essentials you need to check before you embark on the trek routes:
Outfit: Mountaineering pants, Long sleeve shirts, Jackets, Boots, Socks, Mountaineering footwear
Equipment: Head Lamp, ropes, slings, camping equipment, rescuing equipment, A map with the base camps marked out, compass, GPS, mountaineering tent, sleeping backs, routes marked out previously for ascend and descend
Miscellaneous: Enough supply of food and water (carry canned and dry food items), Insulated mugs, Medical kit
Permits For Mountaineering In Wales
The passes and valleys of the Welsh mountains can easily give you goosebumps and if you are a beginner it would be recommended to take a guide or Sherpa with you who is already rigorously trained and can help and guide you in times of crisis. However, apart from general instructions, you will be requiring other specific information about the Welsh mountains.
The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is your go-to. It is the national representative body for Wales that exists to look after the freedom and interests of climbers and mountaineers including ski-mountaineers. For further information visit their official website.
Tips For Mountaineering In Wales
For people who have not been in this business before, some of the following tips will help them get a good start in their hiking plans:
- Plan properly about the routes to be taken while ascending and descending and keep a keen knowledge about nearby base camps.
- Check or buy proper shoes that are meant for mountaineering purposes only.
- Hiking with the company is the best way to do it especially if it’s someplace with hilliest of places and you are not that accustomed to hiking in the first place.
- Check your food and water supplies for the hike.
- Pack wisely as to what you really need and what you don’t as treks are strenuous and carrying unnecessary weight will only make it more difficult for you.
- Choose a suitable rucksack for the trip as you don’t want your stuff falling into the valleys while you are trying to enjoy the beauty of the scenes.
- Lastly double-check all the essential commodities on your list before setting off.
Now you are ready to grab your rucksack, pack your belongings and essentials and go off to the lovely peaceful mountains of Wales. They await you with open arms and open skies in which your happiness would know no limit, with hints of adventure here and there in every corner of every mountain that Wales has. Pack your bags and give the adventurer in yourself a boost on your trip to the United Kingdom!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Mountaineering In Wales
A. Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It’s bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south.
A. For people residing in and near London, it is approximately a two-hour drive. For international visitors, they are suggested to check the UK government’s guidance to visit the UK after Brexit.
A. The best peak would be the one called the king of the peaks, Snowdon. It has multiple routes by which one might reach there and is thus one of the most convenient choices.
A. Snowdon is the highest peak of the region in the Snowdon range and can be ascended via many possible routes.
A. If you have gone mountaineering before and are a professional then you know what to do and what not to. However, if it’s your first time or even one of your first times, then it’s recommended for you to not take your types of equipment as your lack of knowledge in the field may lead you to opt for faulty equipment. However, carrying a few bundles of a rope won’t do any harm.
A. The best months to go mountaineering would be April, May, September, October.
A. Yes. Mountaineering is a rigorous activity and it’s always better to take precautions than cure so it’s better if you go through a health check-up before you opt for any hiking activity.
A. That’s completely up to you as to what kind of dresses make you feel comfortable. However, some of the conventions to be followed would be to take enough warm clothes (but not excess as it would decrease your pace by increasing the weight that you need to carry) and shoes with good soles and grip over the rocky roads.
A. There are no such procedures for you to get permission from authorities before you go climbing, but the British Mountaineering Council is a good place to contact if you want further information about ranges and hills to climb and not to climb.
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