Climbing Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) is a rewarding experience in and of itself. Climbing Yr Wyddfa for charity, even more so. Every year thousands of people set themselves the personal challenge of scaling Wales’s highest peak to benefit causes that are close to their hearts. For many, reaching the top is a remarkable achievement, made even more special by the fact that they’ve raised money for a charity that makes a difference to the people, animals or environment around them.
If you’re considering setting yourself the challenge of reaching the summit and raising money for a charity in the process, there are a few things you should consider before doing so. In this guide, we’ll take a look at what you need to think about when picking a charity, the steps involved in organising the event and how you can ensure your climb is a positive experience.
There are plenty of reasons why climbing Yr Wyddfa for charity is a great thing to do. Most importantly, you’ll be helping a good cause by raising both money and awareness. But there’s also something in it for you. Hiking up Yr Wyddfa is a real personal achievement and a beautiful and enjoyable experience.
It’s important to remember that raising money for an important cause and having a good time are not incompatible or mutually exclusive. You can do something positive for others and yourself at the same time. In fact, we recommend it!
Whichever way you approach climbing Yr Wyddfa for charity, we recommend taking a bit of time to consider which organisation you would most like to support. To help you do so, we’ve put together a list of five key questions every fundraiser should ask themselves.
One of the first considerations you should make when choosing a charity is whether you want to back a big, established and well-known organisation or something a little smaller. While the larger charities have that name-recognition that can often help you raise more, the amount you manage to fundraise will often have a more visible impact when it’s given to a smaller, more local charity. Though the issue they’re focused on may be smaller, the fact that your money has a real and tangible effect is appealing to many people. At the end of the day, it’s a case of weighing up your priorities and working out what type of support you want to give.
Similarly, the question of whether to raise for a local or global charity is all about establishing what kind of impact you want to have and how you feel about the relative anonymity of donating to global causes. It is important to note that international and global charities operate on a significantly larger scale and that this scale allows them to make your pound go much further than it would with a smaller, local charity.
Additionally, global charities often operate in parts of the world where even the smallest donations can be lifesaving. However, it does vary from charity to charity. So, rather than thinking in sweeping generalisations, take a look at a few charities in greater depth and work out how they spend their money. If you like what you see, you can go from there.
The most important consideration when choosing a charity to support is whether the organisation’s values align with your own. The easiest way to do this is to look at your own passions and interests and consider what causes are close to your heart. What cause would motivate you to go above and beyond and put in the additional effort to send out one more fundraising email, write another social media post and, ultimately, raise that extra pound?
It may be that you lost a loved one to a disease or illness and want to fundraise for a charity that specialises in that particular area. Falling in love with cycling may have changed your life and now you want to improve access to bicycles for those people who typically aren’t able to ride. Your local youth centre may play a pivotal role in the community and require financial support to keep on providing its services. You may be a keen birdwatcher who wants to support the great work performed by the RSPB. Whatever it is, make sure your charity reflects your personal outlook and beliefs.
While cold, hard cash may be the resource that’s most useful to a charity, many also require help in other ways. A lot of charities would love for people to donate their time and skills and volunteer, for instance.
In the build-up to your Snowdon climb, you won’t just be raising money, you’ll also be raising awareness. As a result, it’s a good idea to ask the charity whether there are other ways people can lend their support. If people can’t donate money, can they donate their time or other resources? If so, include these options in your fundraising marketing materials.
Finally, you should always vet your charity before committing to them. Unfortunately, not all charities are as transparent as we would like and a very small minority use the funds they raise in questionable ways or refuse to say how they put the donations they receive to use.
To ensure that your money is spent in the way you would like it to be and that it has the most positive impact possible, we recommend using a respected charity vetting service. In the UK, Charity Clarity is an excellent option, while international organisations Global Giving and Give Well are worth considering.
So, you’ve chosen your charity and you’re ready to start organising your Snowdon climb. How do you prepare? What do you need to think about? Who can help?
In this section, we’ll take a look at five areas that you’ll have to focus on if you’re to organise a successful fundraising event.
The first thing to get clear in your mind is the who, what and when. Who is going to take part in the climb? Will it be a solo hike or will you be making your way to the summit with a small group of friends? Or will you try to attract a substantial number of people to the event in an effort to maximise the amount of money raised for your chosen charity?
The ‘what’ refers to the route you’ll take to the top. Will it be the simpler Llanberis Path or one of the tougher routes? For a comprehensive introduction to each of the main routes to the summit, take a look at our Climbing Yr Wyddfa Guide.
Finally, when will you attempt your climb? The weather has a big impact on how challenging the hike is and can stop you from climbing at all, so you need to think carefully about what time of year you want to scale the mountain or if you want the added challenge of a night ascent.
If you’re unsure about when you should climb Yr Wyddfa or what route to take, it’s a good idea to talk to seek out some guidance and assistance from Snowdon experts. In fact, even if you do know what path you’re climbing and when you’re aiming to climb the mountain, it’s still a good idea to do so.
In 2021, Climb Snowdon assisted with 65 charity events, helped more than 800 fundraisers up the mountain and supported 25 charities in the process. Over the course of the year, individuals climbing the mountain with Climb Snowdon raised an average of £155 each. As well as helping you arrange the practical elements of your event, Climb Snowdon provides experienced mountain guides to enhance your safety and wellbeing during the event and offer participants a deeper understanding of what makes Yr Wyddfa such a special and popular mountain.
Another benefit of working with an organisation like Climb Snowdon is that we have plenty of experience helping people to organise charity events and have developed many of the materials you’ll need to publicise your climb. We’ve even partnered with an excellent PR agency – Write on Time – to put together a Marketing Pack that contains email templates, website content, images and press releases for participants. This makes it far easier to prepare for your event and allows you to focus on raising as much as you can in the build-up.
Of course, you’ll also need to prepare physically for the charity climb. Yr Wyddfa is no walk in the park. It’s the highest peak in Wales, higher than any peak in England, and a serious climb. The worst thing you can do is underestimate the challenge and fail to prepare. Though you may be in good physical condition and regularly head out for walks, taking on steeper inclines works different muscles and requires a different type of fitness.
Consequently, we recommend getting some practice in first and, if possible, establishing a bit of a training regime. You don’t have to climb mountains every weekend from now until your Snowdon event, but gaining some experience on hilly terrain will go a long way. If you’re planning on climbing Yr Wyddfa with friends, informal group training sessions can be a lot of fun, too!
You’ll also need to make sure you’ve got all the gear you’ll need to climb Yr Wyddfa safely. For a suggested kit list that you can share with all participants, take a look at our guide to climbing Snowdon responsibly.
You’ve reached the summit and completed your goal – the sense of accomplishment is enormous and you’re rightly proud of both yourself and your fellow fundraisers. So, what now? Well, you’re not quite done yet.
After the climb, you’ll need to publicise your exploits. Why? Because it may help you raise a little extra for your charity and it will certainly raise awareness of their cause. Highlighting the hard work of fundraisers is inspiring and could convince more individuals to get on board and commit to raising money for a charity that’s important to them.
While we’ve covered most of the considerations you need to make in the previous sections, there are a few additional factors that may influence the way you approach your climb.
When organising a charity hike up Yr Wyddfa, it’s important to think about the environmental impact your event will have. Eryri is an area of spectacular natural beauty but it will only remain so if we make sure we protect the natural environments that give us so much joy. This is relevant to your event in two main ways – how you arrive at Yr Wyddfa and how well prepared, equipped and educated the participants are.
Private transportation is more damaging to the environment and it would be fantastic if you could arrive in North Wales via public transport. Particularly if you’re a large group that would otherwise require multiple cars. We understand that this isn’t always feasible but we would urge you to travel by more sustainable means wherever possible. For details on public transportation options, check out our in-depth guide to climbing Yr WYddfa.
At Climb Snowdon, we follow a ‘leave no trace’ policy. That means everything we take onto the mountain, we bring back out. This does require some preparation and foresight. Hikers may need bags for rubbish and toilet paper and may also need to be educated before the trip as to the impact their actions can have on the natural environment.
Every year, around 10 million visitors make their way to Eryri to experience the picture-perfect landscapes of the Snowdonia National Park and walk the slopes of Yr Wyddfa. As you would expect, this has a big impact on the local area. One of the best ways you can practise sustainable tourism is by supporting the local community, its businesses and its residents. That means picking up supplies at local shops, staying at local hotels and eating at local restaurants and maybe trying to use a little Welsh!
Though you may be scaling Yr Wyddfa for a serious cause, it’s still important to have a good time. Climbing this iconic peak is a fantastic opportunity and a truly memorable experience. The area is breathtakingly beautiful and there’s nothing quite like heading out into the mountains for a day of hiking, so make the most of your time in Eyri and enjoy yourself!
If you have any further questions about climbing Snowdon for charity or would like to know more about the ways Climb Snowdon can help you organise a charity event, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you!