Preparing to walk up Snowden
Back in April this year we decided to have a go at walking up Snowden. As you do. So what can you expect? Well, some amazing views that’s for sure. You will also experience some extremely changeable weather. I think my favourite quote from a friend that had been several times was “the clue is in the name…” Trouble was, down on the bottom the weather seemed fairly pleasant (for North Wales anyway) – yet people were walking past us with gloves, snoods, walking sticks, technical jackets. Had we prepared enough!?
Here is our list of essential kit for walking up Snowden:
You will definitely need some sturdy boots (especially if walking in early Spring when the snow is still around). If you don’t already own a pair, try to buy them at least 6 weeks before your trip to allow time to break them in. I ordered mine online from Blacks, and luckily they didn’t need too much breaking in. If you get blisters from your new boots, it’s better to get them out the way whilst walking to your local shops, instead of limping down a mountain.
For me, this was a big step for some reason. I was looking at buying walking trousers. What was I thinking? Am I a Pro now? Why can’t I just wear jeans? The reason, as I soon learned was that cotton Jeans will absorb any rainfall. After that, they become cold and heavy. Two things you don’t need to be experiencing halfway up a mountain is less heat and more weight.
A no-brainer. We took just enough bottles as to not be too heavy. Consider a Camel-Back rucksack with an internal water reservoir.
No, we didn’t develop a sudden sweet tooth. Forget expensive energy bars and gels. The trusty Jelly Babies are packed with carbs and sugar for an instant and very affordable hit of glucose. We nibbled on ours on the way, so we weren’t over-reliant on the midway café. If it’s not open for some reason you will be glad you have your own supply of snacks and drinks.
Layers & Gloves
You will need to layer up in the colder months. The further you get from the bottom, the colder it gets. Bring kit you can put on or take off depending on how the weather is. We started the ascent in sunshine, and after half an hour were in misty rain before watching snow falling before us. Which is quite surreal in April.
If you can afford the likes of Goretex, it’s a great investment. Cheaper alternatives will tend to make you quite hot as you start to walk further.
Bring some cash for the halfway cafe (a cup of tea and a KitKat will never taste this good again!) – if you’re tired after reaching the summit you may fancy taking the mountain train back down. It’s £22 pounds each to get back down. Yes, £22 pounds. You pay at the bottom if you don’t have a ticket already. We did this, and it was worth every penny.
A sense of adventure
Go and enjoy!