if you've climbed Snowdon with children please come and tell me about it

(27 Posts)
apatchylass Mon 13-May-13 19:32:01

Which route did you take?
What did your DC wear on their feet? Did they get blisters?
If you go up one route and another down, or take the train down, is it possible to get from one car park to another? (I read about a shuttle bus but didn't really understand how it worked.)

OP’s posts: |
mummymeister Mon 13-May-13 23:42:46

depends on the age and overall fitness of your kids. be prepared though as the weather really can turn very quickly. need proper walking boots, compass etc. whether they can go up and down depends whether we are talking teenagers or toddlers doesn't it ! The train is really expensive £100+ for family of 4 I seem to recall. we took the well trod tourist path up, stopped by a stream for paddle and picnic and then strolled down again but it was an all dayer as mine weren't that old. Lots of lovely walks in this area. would suggest you go to tourist info and pick up some of the walks packs and books. the walk from Porthmadog to Portmeirion along the railway track is great.

eatmydust Mon 13-May-13 23:59:35

Up the Pyg Track from Pen y Pass and down the Llanberis Path into Llanberis (the path that follows the railway). The Sherpa buses run from Llanberis into Pen y Pass. The Pen y Pass carpark fills up very very early, so you can park in Llanberis, go up the Pyg (or Miners) Track, and walk down the Llanberis path back to your car. Depending on fitness and experience it is a full day. Wouldn't attempt any of the other paths unless you are experienced walkers. Depending on the age of your kids, and weather conditions, you might be better just walking up the Llanberis path, there is a cafe stop half way as well as the cafe at the top. It is a gravel path all the way.

My daughter has done the Llanberis Path is summer in trainers, but walking boots are needed for the other paths. (Have seen people wearing flipflops thoughshock ).

Check on the train, but I think you can now only buy a return ticket from Llanberis and it is for timed departures. You can't buy a ticket at the summit for the descent.

namechangingishard Tue 14-May-13 00:05:00

2 families, 1 kid each, ages 9 and 8. Parked early in Llanberis, took the (very delayed) early bus to Pen y Pass, up the Miners' track, a couple of nasty moments on some steep bits for ds, made it all the way up; back down the llanberis path which is relatively easy and paved but sooooooooooo long and boring.

Comfortable accommodation with hot water and plenty of room to sprawl is required afterwards IMO.

TeaMakesItAllPossible Tue 14-May-13 00:45:45

walked up with our 4 DS in 2011. Up and down the Pyg route. Parked in Pen-y-pas. They were aged 10, 9, 7 and 1. Sturdy shoes are required - broken in. They didn't get blisters but they are used to walking and didn't have new shoes. They managed up and down.

Strongly recommend you've done other walks with your DC as it is a long slog - they need the stamina to be able to get up and down if the weather turns.

Waterproofs, layers, maps, compass etc all required. Plus carry enough food to get up and down.

We had a failed attempt to get up the year before - the weather turned quickly and unexpectedly when we were 200 feet from the summit. We were lucky because DH is an experienced mountain dude so he knew what we needed to do to get off safely. Our DC were fit enough to be able to keep going for the six hours we were moving - the last 2 in very difficult conditions. I struggled but was six months pregnant at the time. When we got down we found out that there were people stranded up there and mountain rescue was very busy.

Have a change of clothes in the car. That first time we all travelled home in our pants because we were so wet through. I still laugh at the thought of my DH having to buy petrol wearing just a pair of boxers in Llandudno in the worst day of weather in July.

Finishing at PYP is good because they have a great cafe with fecking lovely cakes - if you've been walking for hours.

apatchylass Tue 14-May-13 12:19:04

Thank you. These are really helpful comments.

DC are boys aged 10 and 11. They don't walk lots, it's true. The last big walk we did was an eight mile coastal walk in Cornwall in pouring rain about two years ago when they were 8 and 9 years old, and they found it very easy. They come for a 2-3 mile walk with me two or three times a week though, which is no problem at all for them, and we have a couple of hills near us which they are used to trundling up.

They have workman's boots - leather, with steel caps. They are very strong and DC love to wear them and swear they're comfortable, but I worried that they might be a bit heavy. Should I get them real hiking boots instead?

Our plan was to do Pyg path on the way there and then either the same or the Miners on the way back or Llanberis, which I thought looked a bit dull.

Sounds like it'll all be possible, especially if we make an early start.
If we're on the mountain by 9am and take it easy, with breaks, we should still be back down by around 4pm, in time for cakes at PYP - does that sound about right?

OP’s posts: |
TeaMakesItAllPossible Tue 14-May-13 12:35:51

Sounds just perfect. We found the promise of cake was a big help as were sweets for those flagging moments. We did the Ben Nevis and Scarfell Pike the same week. I was fecking knackered by the end wink

Enjoy grin

ChozRa Tue 14-May-13 12:58:26

I like going up the pyg and down the miners. Pyg is a fairly steady climb and miners is a shortish steep descent but when you get to the bottom of that bit it's pretty much flat. The miners track takes you round the lakes and there are the old cottages so I think it's a really nice route. Pen y pass does get v busy so park up early! Last time I went we were a bit late so didn't even try there but did the park and ride thing - the car park was full there too but there is a sort of lay by further up the road which you can walk to the bus stop from. Sorry I can't remember exactly where this was, I'm hoping someone else will know where I mean and give you better info! Can't wait to take DD, she's only 2 though!

eatmydust Tue 14-May-13 18:14:05

From memory there are a few parking spaces on the road side towards Capel Curig from pen y pass -think they fill up before the carpark though as they are free. 9am start should be fine to get a space at pen y pass.

If they've got workmens type boots that should be fine in good weather- if they've got a good grip - you don't want anything slippy.

Agree with up the pyg and down the miners for DCs at that age who are used to walking. The Pyg is a gradual ascent all the way (well gradual for a mountain iyswim) Miners is flat around the lake with one very steep bit. Don't take the path over Crib Goch on the way up.

Even if its warm and sunny at pen y pass, conditions can be very different on the summit - take full waterproofs and spare fleeces and plenty of water.

Pen y pass cafe is lovely. The cafe at the summit is OK, but the coffee is crap, however you can get a certificate from there to say you have walked up the mountain-they sell them in the little gift shop. The pinnacle cafe at the road junction in Capel Curig is good if you are really early and want breakfast. Nice places to stop off for munchies on the way up and down and some nice pubs in the area for food if you don't want to cook that night.

Setting off at 9am, you should easily be down by 4pm even with plenty of stops. Hope you get a good day for it- the views are amazing on a clear day. The Pyg and Miners are the shortest routes up Snowdon as they start at a higher altitude.

apatchylass Tue 14-May-13 20:00:50

Ooh I'm really excited now. Can't wait. Thanks for all the tips. Definitely won't want to cook that night so will look out for a good pub.

Tea you did all three peaks in a week? Not sure if I'm jealous or just in awe. How fantastic. Already googling Ben Nevis and Scafell, trying to decide which one to go for next.

Hope the DC love mountains as much as I do. Dragged DH up one on our honeymoon but it's not his thing, and so I'm hoping they get hooked and want to do at least one a year from now on.

OP’s posts: |
joanofarchitrave Tue 14-May-13 21:54:18

I think you need cash to pay to park at PenyPass - might be £5? Best to check, we didn't park there. I personally wouldn't rely on getting a space there after 8am on a sunny summer's day but I might be unduly pessimistic.

devilinside Tue 14-May-13 22:19:54

DD did it at 6, the path adjacent to the train (not sure of the name) She just had cheapo boots from Decathalon. We took the train back down.

TeaMakesItAllPossible Tue 14-May-13 22:53:35

We did grin it was brilliant. DH, baby and 7YO got up to flat bit of BN before having to come down because we realised that carrying the 1YO up would have risked the ability to descend IYSWIM. Me,DS1 and DS2 did the three.

We do a week of mountain stuff every other year - love it smile

apatchylass Wed 15-May-13 13:18:38

Sounds brilliant. Are there any you recommend, Tea, as really fantastic family climbs without ropes or crampons? Here or abroad...

OP’s posts: |
TeaMakesItAllPossible Wed 15-May-13 16:56:06

We have tended to stay in the UK. We've done it three times now and, mostly, picked a location and done stuff around that location.

I liked the Cairngorms as there were relatively easy munros, no ropes required, that were long and felt satisfying, there were cafes with cake and coffee, low walks with waterfalls to ease off aching muscles and climbing centres to do a bit of organised indoor climbs on wet days.

Fort William was great with the kids ... there is BN and munros in the big beautiful valley (the one that's in Harry Potter and is beautiful enough to make you cry) that I can't remember it's name, climbing centres, Loch Ness and some place I'll be buggered if I can remember what it's called but you can hire mountain bikes and do some damaging your arse coming down hill fast.

We're going to spend a week in the Lake District this year. Will probably do the 10 tors at some point too.

BananaPie Wed 15-May-13 20:31:19

apatchylass I can sympathise with you having a dh who isn't in to hiking - mine's not all that keen, although I did drag him on the 3 peaks challenge (ben Nevis, scafell pike and snowdon in 24 hours). That was almost a decade ago, I'm now waiting for dd to be old enough for snowdon - I remember doing the miner's track myself when I was in primary school. My parents took me and brother over crib goch a few years later which was terrifying. Not a route for kids!

apatchylass Thu 16-May-13 13:18:15

Blimey, Banana I wouldn't do Crib Gich even without the DC.
It's funny, isn't it, how it works. My parents took me hill climbing as a child and I loved it. My sis hated it. So I'm really hoping that my DC get the bug.

OP’s posts: |
Doyouthinktheysaurus Thu 16-May-13 13:32:28

We did the PYG pass with just turned 8 year old ds2 and nearly 10 ds1.

Parked at pen y pass, we did get up at stupid o clock to park about 8:30 am. It was a bit of a slog, steep in places and Ds2 took a lot of coaxing along, he struggled at times but he never gave up and I was so incredibly proud of both boys.

We came down the PYG pass too, coming down was easier than I expected.

We all had walking boots and full waterproofs. It was damp when we set off, the sun shone but the time we were halfway back down. Could see no further than the end of our arms at the top but it was great.

The views from the PYG pass are incredible, it's well worth the effort. We took lots of sweets for snacks on the way up and ate in the cafe at the top.

The boys still talk about it and I'd love to do it again.

We do walk a lot now. Doing Snowdon gave them confidence I think that they can do it and we did a 9 mile walk later in that holiday and have done a number of 6-7 mile walks since.

This years holiday will be very walking based, I'm just hoping they don't grow out of it when they hit the teenage yearshmm

TeaMakesItAllPossible Thu 16-May-13 13:44:55

<runs in>


Glen Coe

apatchylass Thu 16-May-13 16:06:31

Doyouthink that's a lovely tale. Thanks for joining in. Definitely going up the Pyg then.

Off to Google Glen Coe.

OP’s posts: |
newgirl Wed 22-May-13 12:38:50

Bit late to thread but just wanted to say weather is mad - we started at bottom hot, t shirt weather 2 hours later in freezing mist could not see people in front - be prepared!

apatchylass Fri 24-May-13 20:52:14

Hi newgirl, when did you go? I keep looking out of the window (miserable rainy and wind, heating back on!) but then the forecast says Snowdon will be warmer and brighter next weekend.

Also - does anyone know if mountain whistles are better than normal ones. Rangers say take whistles which DC are keen to do. We have sports whistles, but do I need to get mountain ones? What's the difference?

OP’s posts: |
newgirl Sat 25-May-13 17:58:05

I think it was this half term week about two years ago - just take layers. I cant imagine you need whistles - it was very clear path with lots of people on it but im sure sports ones will be ok

50shadesofbrown Sat 25-May-13 18:12:53

Bit of a different perspective, I remember climbing Snowdon aged 5 with parents, my dad carried sister a lot of the way, she was 3 at the time. I had 1 blister on 1 foot as far as I can remember, wore trainers I think. We went up the pyg pass & down the rail track. No idea about parking I'm afraid (obviously).

SmellOfBurntWiggle Fri 16-Aug-13 15:04:49

ooh wonder if I can resurect this thread.
How did you get on apatchylass and other intrepid walkers?
We did Snowdon couple of years ago with 5 and 8 year olds - good walkers - they managed up the Miners track and down the Pyg in trainers but their feet were v pruney and we were good for nothing next day! Def taking walking boots for all this time.
We reached Pen y pass car park at 9am and it was already full.. but kind uncle dropped us and parked at one a mile down. Nice place to return to for ice creams afterwards.

Lake District ne Keswick at Easter was fab - Cat Bells (though 10 year old DD scared by the scramble, esp as still a bit snowy). Skiddaw was fab - easy path just a long slog

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in