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Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) Facts

The mountain top stands at 1085m above sea level.

Refreshments were first sold at the summit by an enterprising miner named Morris Williams in 1838.

In the 1950’s Plumber come rock climber Joe Brown and his colleagues slid down the Snowdonia Mountain Railway after their climbs by placing a flat rock on the central rack of the line with a foot on each outside rail for balance and breaking.

The seagull, not normally seen on mountains is the most common bird seen on Yr Wyddfa.


What is the geology of Snowdon like?
Snowdon area geology comprises many different rock types. Mostly Volcanic origin with Rhyolite and Dolerite being the most common. The two types can be clearly seen from Pont y Cromlech in the Llanberis Pass. Looking toward Crib Goch (south west), the crags known as Dinas Mot (due south) have a smoother central 'nose' which is Rhyolite and darker, rougher much more vegetated 'wings'. These are Dolerite. It is also worth noting that the summit of Snowdon itself is the remains of an extinct volcano.

How long does it take to climb Snowdon?
A typical party may take 5 to 6 hours up and down. But some slower parties may take considerably longer. It would always be wise to allow at least three hours to descend before nightfall, also do not start up with only three hours light left !!!.

I've been told that in good weather Snowdon is not that dangerous and I don't need lots of fancy outdoor gear. Is this true?
Settled weather is rare and cannot be relied upon. So it makes sense to be prepared for a change. Many of the people we are called to help have got into difficulties through lack of the basic clothing and equipment advised on our site.

Are the paths on Snowdon easy to follow and which is the easiest?

There are six main paths up Snowdon

- Llanberis Path - Miners Track -
- Pig Track - Rhyd Ddu Path -
- Snowdon Ranger Path - Watkin Path -

All are fairly well defined in clear conditions but people do get lost in mist or darkness.
The Llanberis path is generally considered to be the easiest to follow in Summer.
Extreme caution is needed in winter on descent it can be dangerous, when there is snow on the mountain there are no easy ways up or down.

Does Snowdon have snow on it all the year round?
Snow conditions are common and often persistent from October and can linger up to early June.

Are there organised guided walks up Snowdon
For information about guided walks see our day walks page for more information.

Where can you get a good weather forecast for Snowdon?
Visit our weather page

Will the Snowdon Hotel and café be open and can I stay there?
The summit hotel has no overnight accommodation and is closed throughout the winter. Information about summer opening times can be obtained from
SnowdonMountain Railway on Tel:- 01286 870223 or
www.snowdonrailway.co.uk Do not rely on the Hotel or café being open in summer as it may be closed during high winds or bad weather.

Is it possible to suffer altitude sickness on Snowdon?
No! The British mountains are not high enough to cause altitude sickness. But walking uphill is hard work and people with breathing or chest complaints should take particular care.
If in doubt seek medical advice.

Llanberis, the village at the foot of Snowdon has been
described as ‘The Chamonix of Wales’


The International Snowdon race - link to table of the fastest times up and down since 1976.

Clogwyn du’r Arddu on Snowdon was the first rock climbing cliff to have a whole book devoted to it “The Black Cliff” cost £2.55 when first published in 1971 and if you can find a good copy it is now worth in excess of £250 !


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