A view of the Mawddach Estuary on a clear spring day with woodland lining the shores.
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Climbing Eryri's most popular summit

Yr Wyddfa is Eryri’s highest peak, and although there are several mountains over 3,000 feet in the National Park, the popularity of this famous mountain is far and above the rest.

What to expect when climbing Yr Wyddfa

Yr Wyddfa is a challenging mountain to climb. Venturing to the summit should not be taken lightly. Factors such as the seasons, your fitness level, your mountaineering skills, your preparations beforehand, and the mountain’s popularity can all affect your experience of Yr Wyddfa.

Climbing up Yr Wyddfa requires a high level of fitness. Anyone venturing to the summit should be comfortable walking long distances and climbing on steep and rocky slopes.
The weather can play a huge part in your experience of climbing up Yr Wyddfa. It is much colder, wetter and windier at the summit of Yr Wyddfa. Preparing for these conditions is essential.
Varied conditions
It is impossible to reach the summit in winter conditions without specialised equipment such as crampons or ice axes and knowing how to use them.
Wearing inappropriate footwear and lack of research and preparation are some of the main reasons why climbs to the summit of Yr Wyddfa go wrong.
During spring and summer, car parks at Llanberis, Pen y Pass, Nant Peris and Pont Bethania are very busy.
Skills and knowledge
You should be able to use a map and compass confidently before attempting to climb up Yr Wyddfa.
Over 600,000 people climb up Yr Wyddfa every year, and the summit can get very busy during the summer season.
Yr Wyddfa: Choosing the right path

A guide on choosing the right path to Yr Wyddfa’s summit.

Choosing the right path

Sherpa'r Wyddfa bus at Pen y Pass on a bright, sunny day.
Getting to Yr Wyddfa

The best and most efficent way of getting to Yr Wyddfa.

Getting to Yr Wyddfa

Llyn Llydaw causeway streches over the lake on a srping day.
Yr Wyddfa: The name's meaning and how to pronounce it

The meaning of and how to pronounce the name of Wales’ highest summit.

Pronouncing Yr Wyddfa

Ground Conditions Reports
Regular reports on Yr Wyddfa’s winter ground conditions.
Ground Conditions Reports
Six routes to the summit of Yr Wyddfa
There are six routes that lead to the summit of Yr Wyddfa. Always research the route before you start, making sure that you have adequate fitness levels for the climb ahead.
Preparing to climb Yr Wyddfa

Lack of preparation or using unsuitable equipment is one of the main reasons why climbs to the summit of Yr Wyddfa go wrong. Remember that you are climbing a mountain over 3,000 feet tall and that you need to dress appropriately and bring the correct equipment to reach the summit safely.

Hiking boots
Uneven terrain can lead to injury. Wear suitable hiking boots with a thick sole and high sides.
Waterproof layers
Weather conditions can change within minutes on Yr Wyddfa. Getting caught in a rain shower without no waterproof layers can be very dangerous.
Thermal layers
The temperature on the summit of Yr Wyddfa can be much colder than the start of the path. Always carry extra layers with you.
Map and Compass
Carry a map and compass with you, even if you think you're familiar with the route. You should also have the right skills to use them.
Food and Drink
Make sure you carry enough food and drink, especially in warmer weather.
Fully charged phone
Make sure your phone is fully charged before starting you journey and avoid using it unless it's and emergency.
Carry a torch in case you get caught on the mountain after dark.
Small first aid kit
A first aid kit can be useful to cover up any scrapes or small wounds and help treat blisters.
Climbing Yr Wyddfa FAQs

There are six main routes that lead to the summit of Yr Wyddfa. These range from between 11km and 14.5km (round trip) and can take anywhere between 4 to 7 hours to complete depending on fitness level, experience and weather conditions. Always research the route before you start, making sure that you have adequate fitness levels for the climb ahead.

Climbing up Yr Wyddfa is certainly challenging and requires a high level of fitness. Venturing to the summit should not be taken lightly. Anyone venturing to the summit should be comfortable walking long distances and climbing on steep, uneven and rocky slopes. Careful planning and preparation of your walk, deciding on the best route to suit your ability and making sure you take the essential kit and equipment with you can all contribute to your experience of Yr Wyddfa.

Remember that coming back down from the summit can be more challenging than reaching the summit itself.

It can be a good idea to try an easier route before climbing up Yr Wyddfa. This website lists many suitable routes where you can test your fitness level.

It depends on which of the six routes you want to use to reach the summit. There is a suitable car park at the beginning of each path. However, car parks for the popular routes fill up quickly during the busy spring and summer periods.

Parking for Yr Wyddfa

There are signs at points where paths to the summit cross, but you should not rely on these to reach the summit. You will need to familiarise yourself with the route before starting your journey. There are directions on this site that you can follow. You should also know how to use a map and compass to navigate the mountain.

No. Trainers are not suitable for climbing up Yr Wyddfa. You should wear appropriate hiking boots. These types of boots have thick soles to protect the heels of your feet and provide a good grip. The high edges of hiking boots support your ankles, which reduces the risk of twisting your ankle.

Climbing Yr Wyddfa can be dangerous, and everyone needs to take responsibility for their own safety. Even with the appropriate equipment, there are many dangers that you need to be aware of. One of the main dangers is the weather. Weather on the mountain can change within minutes. Remember to check the weather before you begin and keep a close eye on any changes during your journey. If the weather conditions start to get too much for your ability, you should turn back immediately.

During the winter, snow can cover much of the summit. As the snow gets compacted, it becomes extremely slippery. In these circumstances, it is impossible to reach the summit without specialist mountaineering equipment.

In the winter, Eryri National Park Authority publishes a daily Ground Conditions Report. This report provides information on factors such as the weather on Yr Wyddfa and hazards such as snow and ice.

Snowdon Summit Forecast (Met Office)
Adventure Smart website

You should call 999 and ask for the police and the Mountain Rescue service. They will ask for your:

  • Location
  • Name, sex and age
  • Nature of your emergency or injuries
  • Number of people in your group (if applicable)
  • Mobile phone number

If you have hearing or speech needs, you can text the emergency services, but you will need to register in advance. Text the word ‘register’ to 999 and follow the instructions.

More information on what to do in an emergency on the mountain can be found on the Adventure Smart website.
Adventure Smart website