By Jo Reynolds (SUP & Summit)
If watching the sunrise from Snowdon is on your bucket list, why not join SUP & Summit on our popular ‘Snowdon sunrise guided walk’, and be part of a supportive, friendly and small group. To give you an idea of what to expect on our Snowdon Sunrise guided walk, here is a brief overview of how our first event of 2022 unfolded....and my, was it magical!
There are 6 main routes to the summit of Snowdon, each with different starting points, lengths and gradients. At SUP & Summit, we opt for the Llanberis path for ascent and descent. Although this is the longest of routes, it is the most gradual and therefore suits most abilities. On this occasion, our eldest client is due to turn 70 in July! Additionally, parking in Llanberis is plentiful and reasonably priced, unlike other areas located at the start of Snowdon ascent routes.
This Snowdon sunrise event was planned to coincide with the start of British Summer Time and therefore, required an extra early start as we lost an hour with the clocks going forward. We met in Llanberis at 4am and after a round of intros (our groups are limited to 6) and a safety briefing (in essence, we stick together and look out for each other), we switched on our head torches and headed quietly through the village to the start of the Llanberis path.
Timing is critical for sunrise events and SUP & Summit have this calculated to a tee! We generally start 3-3.5 hours before sunrise so that we can ascend at a steady pace that suits the group and also, so we don’t get cold waiting for the sun to do its thing.
The Llanberis path has key landmarks which help to determine how fast we are moving and also where to stop for a breather and refueling - the Halfway House (the clue is in the title!) and Clogwyn Station (3/4 of the way to the summit).
The photo above was taken at Clogwyn Station, the views drawing a lot of wows and even a ‘I think I’m gonna cry’ (happy tears I might add!), re-energising us and providing a taste of what else we could look forward to.
Once we reach Clogwyn Station, we know we have approximately 20 minutes of hard graft before we reach the ridge line, with some steepish and loose terrain to contend with. The views awaiting us on the ridge make the hard work worth it, as you can see in the photo below, the summit of Snowdon seen on the right, basking during ‘golden hour’.
Depending on how we are doing for time, we will decide whether we will stay on the ridge line for the sunrise, offering the views seen in the first photo of this blog (and also some peace and quiet as most will head to the summit) or head to the summit, though this tends to be very busy, particularly in the summer.
Watching sunrise from the ridge and then heading to the summit afterwards usually means that we are actually able to get to the summit without any jostling, the crowds dissipating once the sun is higher in the sky - on this occasion, our clients opted for this plan!