About Yr Wyddfa

History and Environment

North Wales is a land of mountains, rivers, lakes and crags and within it the old kingdom of Gwynedd is the jewel in the crown, known in Welsh as ‘Eryri’ and in English as ‘Snowdonia’.

The Snowdonia National Park has 15 mountains that sit over 3000 feet and Snowdon or ‘Yr Wyddfa’, meaning burial mound in Welsh, sits as the chieftain of them all.

The mountain was originally formed over 450 million years ago through tectonic plate collision, and then underwater, and then formed into the shape that we recognise today through a series of folding, uplifts and ice ages, the most recent one being just 10,000 years ago.

Mountaineering has been a fairly recent pursuit but Snowdon has been at the heart of many people’s way of life since the Bronze Ages.

Climb Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa

There are also many remains of Victorian copper and slate mines on the mountain, as well as older settlements and farms.

The Snowdon Mountain Railway was first opened in 1896 but the first stone shelters were built at the summit in 1820. Now, there is a unique visitor centre at the summit, Hafod Eyri (Summerhouse in Snowdonia) re-designed and opened in 2009.

Climb Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa

As well as providing a wealth of interest to Victorian scientists and botanists, the mountain has long been a training ground for expeditions to the Alps and the Himalayas and the Pen y Gwryd Hotel at the foot of the mountain was the base for the 1953 Everest expedition, whilst training for their successful summit attempt.

On the mountain you will see local farmers’ sheep grazing high on the crags and slopes, as well as a feral goat community if they are about.

There are plenty of varieties of grasses, mosses, heathers, ferns, alpine flowers and white sparkly quartz veins.

Look out for large black ravens swooping near the summit as well as seagulls who have migrated inland scavenging for food from walkers.

Wyddfa LÂn: Snowdon Tidy

With approximately 500,000 visitors each year, Snowdon is without a doubt a very busy mountain (the busiest in the world if we’re talking about visitors to the summit even maybe?)

What would happen if each person left just a couple of pieces of litter each? That’s over 1 million pieces of litter on the mountain...and that’s not a pretty sight!

At Climb Snowdon we are passionate about helping to spread the word about how we need to help keep this mountain looking beautiful, and we currently give input to The Snowdonia Society’s Snowdon Tidy project.

The project seeks to bring together various stakeholders’ and organisations’ viewpoints on how to promote behavioural change by communicating with mountain users to promote best practice on use of resources, disposal of litter and enjoying the mountain sustainably.

To help us on this journey, please do take ALL of your food, drink, personal items with you off the mountain (including fruit peel and toilet tissue/wipes). If you brought it to the mountain, it’s litter!

Your Leaders will also talk about this with you and other best practice environmental considerations.

Climb Snowdon - Wyddfa Lan - Snowdon Tidy