Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales
Everyone knows that Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales but, did you know that, outside of Scotland, it is also the highest peak in the British Isles. At 3,560 feet tall (1,085 metres), Snowdon is one of the most popular attractions in the UK and is attracts nearly 1,000,000 visitors a year. On a clear day, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man are all visible from the summit.
Sir Edmund Hillary
Before Sir Edmund Hillary successfully conquered mount Everest, he, and his team used Snowdon as a training ground for winter and snow climbing. Based at the local Pen Y Gwryd hotel, they tested their skills and equipment on the slopes of Snowdon before setting off on their historic challenge. Legend has it that, when news reached the Pen Y Gwryd hotel of the successful ascent of Everest, the owner of the hotel woke all residents up and led them all on a candlelit walk to the summit of Snowdon in celebration.
Is Snowdon the top of a mountain or the bottom of an ocean?
Although Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, it hasn’t always been the case. Millions of years ago, the summit of Snowdon (and most of Wales for that matter) was submerged beneath an ancient ocean. As you’re walking, if you’re lucky, you can still see evidence of this in the form of Ammonite fossil shapes in the rocks.
Over time, the tectonic plates that formed Snowdon have moved turning this now extinct volcano into one of the UK’s most popular natural attractions.
The fastest time up and down Snowdon
The official fastest time set for ascending and descending Snowdon was set during the Snowdon race in 1985. This gruelling, 10 mile endurance race sees competitors from all around the world descend on Llanberis every year take on the challenge of running up and down Wales’ tallest mountain.
The 10 mile race route to the top and back is along the Llanberis Path although for competitors there is no time to stop for a cup of tea or for views from the summit. A fit and healthy walker can expect this route to take between 5 and 7 hours but the record for getting to the summit and back is just over 1 hour and 2 minutes set by Kenny Stuart in 1985.