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7th June 2024

How long does it take to climb Snowdon

We investigate what a journey to the summit of Wales’ highest peak might be like, and how long it would take.

Snowdon, or Yr Wyddfa in Welsh, stands as a symbol of natural beauty and challenge in the United Kingdom. At 1,085 metres or 3,560 feet, it is the highest mountain in Wales. It’s long been a beacon for adventurers seeking to test their limits against the rugged landscape of Snowdonia National Park.

This article delves into the experience of climbing Snowdon, exploring the factors that influence the journey’s duration and offering insights into what climbers can expect from this majestic peak.


The paths to the summit

Snowdon boasts a variety of routes, each with its own character and challenges. The most popular and beginner-friendly is the Llanberis Path, offering a steady ascent that typically takes 4-6 hours to complete round trip. For those seeking a more strenuous experience, the Watkin Path and Crib Goch present advanced trails with precarious scrambling, potentially extending the hike by several hours.


Timeframes and other factors

The time it takes to climb Snowdon varies greatly, with most people completing the round trip in 5-8 hours. This timeframe is influenced by several factors:

Fitness Level: Cardiovascular fitness, leg strength, and endurance play crucial roles in determining pace and the need for breaks.

Route Choice: The six main walking routes differ in length, elevation, and footpath quality, impacting overall time.

Weather Conditions: Strong winds, ice, or heat can slow progress and increase the need for caution. In extreme cases, poor weather conditions can prevent you completing the ascent.

Experience: Familiarity with mountain terrain can lead to more efficient movement and confidence.

Group Size: Larger groups often move at the pace of the slowest member, affecting overall time.


Preparing for the climb

Climbing Snowdon requires preparation and respect for the mountain’s demands. Adequate training, proper gear, and an understanding of the route are essential. It’s also important to check weather forecasts and plan for contingencies. Remember, the mountain will always be there; safety should be the top priority.

When preparing to climb Snowdon, it’s important to be well-equipped for the varying conditions you might encounter.

Here’s a list of recommended gear to bring:

  • Base layer/T-shirt: Opt for moisture-wicking materials to keep you dry.
  • Walking trousers: Non-cotton, quick-drying fabrics are best.
  • Fleece or down jacket: For warmth, especially at higher altitudes or during breaks.
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers: Essential for unpredictable weather.
  • Warm hat and gloves: Even in summer, it can get chilly at the summit.
  • Proper hiking boots: Ensure they’re well-fitted and broken in to prevent blisters.
  • Hiking socks: Specific socks designed to reduce friction and provide comfort.
  • Rucksack: A 20-35 litre capacity should suffice for carrying your gear.
  • Hydration bladder or water bottles: Staying hydrated is crucial.
  • Sunglasses and sun hat: To protect against sun exposure.
  • Walking pole: Can aid balance and reduce strain on knees during descent.
  • Map and compass: Even if the path is well-marked, these are important for navigation.
  • Sunscreen: To protect your skin from UV rays.
  • Hypothermia Prevention Poncho or Emergency Blanket: In case one of the group has an accident, preventing hypothermia can be life-saving.

Quickly applying a THERMARMOUR blanket or poncho will prevent the rapid loss of heat from the body and keep the casualty safe from the effects of hypothermia, while you wait for assistance to arrive.

Remembering that conditions can change rapidly in the mountains, experts advise that it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.

Download checklist: What to pack before you climb Snowdon


The reward

Reaching the summit of Snowdon is an accomplishment that rewards climbers with breath-taking views and a sense of achievement. It’s a journey that tests physical and mental strength, offering a unique connection to the natural world.



Climbing Snowdon is an adventure that calls to the heart of those who love the outdoors. Whether it takes 4 hours or 8, the experience is a personal triumph and a story to be shared for years to come.

This article has provided a glimpse into what it takes to climb Snowdon, but the true measure of the journey is found in the steps taken by each individual who rises to the challenge.



Categories: Emergency

Tags: climbing, emergency, emergency kit, hypothermia blanket, hypothermia prevention, mountain climbing

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