‘Snowdon in the Snow’ has become a bit of a tradition – it’s surprising how quickly things become that. It was my fourth (I think) year (the outing has been going longer than that though) although I’ve walked up Snowdon on other occasions too.
Like last year, we didn’t get to the top this time – very sensibly turning back near the long slope parallel to the Clogwyn Cliffs area (and not on the railway line / near the edge of course!). That was when the gale force wind, slippery compacted snow, stinging wind-blown ice crystals and low visibility all turned it up another notch. Snow Hill (Snow Dun in old english) / Yr Wyddfa (The tumulus / grave) lived up to its name.
We later heard that two other parties (one was a solo walker) had got into difficulties on the same day, due to avalanches above the Pyg Track and also the lone walker straying onto a cornice. Very sobering, as I think they had all the right clothing and gear and I hope they are / will all recover well. Mountain Rescue were involved in both rescues.. we saw the helicopter swing around the back of Snowdon as we were descending. I donated to LLanberis MRT whilst writing this post, seeing them in action (albeit from a distance) remind me what an essential, great service this is.
We were right to stop when we did and to use the Llanberis path but even walking up that path becomes risky in poor conditions, pretty much from the point you go through the railway tunnel and emerge out into the Cwm Glas Bach (cliffs) area.