- n/a days
About the challenge
Snowdonia National Park in North Wales is synonymous with beautiful, rugged landscapes and wonderful trekking and outdoor pursuits. The highest mountain in England and Wales at 1085m, its Welsh name is Yr Wyddfa, reputedly the burial place of a mythical giant. A popular summit trek by day-time, it forms a real challenge by night. Standing at the summit by moonlight will be an unforgettable experience, as will seeing the sunrise from the mountain slopes. As we descend, we will be able to see the spectacular landscapes open up before us as the day grows lighter. We celebrate our huge achievement with a slap-up breakfast!
Arrive Llanberis (Day 1)
Ascent approx 5-7 hours
In the evening we meet in Llanberis, the popular village at the foot of Snowdon, and get ready for our trek. We’ll have a full briefing and as it starts to get dark set off on our exciting night challenge!
We follow the Llanberis Path, which roughly shadows the route of the famous Snowdon Mountain Railway. It’s the most gradual route up Snowdon with good conditions underfoot, and therefore best suited to our ascent in the dark! There is an initial steep section which will afford some good views in the fading light; after this our route continues quite gradually. As it gets darker we’ll get out our head-torches, and our path up the mountain will show up quite easily most of the time. Trekking up at night is a very different experience than during the day; our senses grow used to the darkness and we can enjoy the silence and the remoteness of this mountain, and the views of the night sky. After the Halfway House the gradient becomes steeper in places, but we know we’re not far off the summit! We pass through a narrow railway bridge, and it’s not long before we get to a standing stone, marking where other trails meet ours. A little further on we come to the summit at 1085m. We have gained approx 900m in height since we set off – quite an achievement!
Descend and depart (Day 2)
Descent approx 2-3 hours
After some time to experience the summit – though it will probably be quite cold at the top, so you may not want to linger too long! – we leave the summit and return to Llanberis the same way. The sky will start to lighten on our way down, and we may be able to enjoy the wonderful views over the Menai Strait towards Anglesey while we are still high enough to enjoy them. As the sun rises and lights up our surroundings, we’ll be amazed by what we climbed in the dark! The descent will be much quicker and less arduous, but still tiring and can be hard on the knees. We return to Llanberis for a big celebration breakfast! After saying our farewells to our fellow trekkers, we head home, tired but very elated!
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The tour cost includes breakfast at the end and snacks, and experienced Discover Adventure leaders and back-up support.
It does not include personal travel insurance (optional), extra food, drinks, souvenirs or personal items, or any transport or parking costs. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
A big breakfast is provided at the end of the trek. Snacks to carry with you will also be provided. The food is good and there is plenty of it!
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first-aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. The number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but the team will be looking after every aspect of your trip whether that’s leading the trek or making your breakfast! At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: trekker ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Vehicles take the group to the start of the trek and pick us up at the end. You should bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening. Bags should be waterproofed or lined with plastic bags to protect the contents.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and mobile phones, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
The paths we use are generally well-maintained and vary from steps, steep inclines or gradual slopes, to more rocky ground. In wet weather it can be slippery in places, and in some areas it can be easy to lose the path. In the dark it’s easier to lose your footing or become disoriented, so we take it easy. There will be marshals or lit markers on any sections of the route which are not clear.
You will trek approximately 9 miles on the night, though it would be a mistake to base your training on this! It’s vital when training to think about the hours you need to walk for and the terrain you are walking on – ie purely uphill, followed by purely downhill. We are always happy to talk through the trip in more detail with you if you are worried about your fitness at any stage.
The mountains that make up Snowdonia National Park are stunning and beautiful on a good day but this can lead to a false sense of security; mountain environments must always be respected. The summit is considerably cooler than at the base, more likely to get rain, and can be exposed to high winds. Weather conditions can change rapidly during the course of a day. This can make a big difference to your safety, particularly if you are ill-equipped. In bad weather, keep close together as a group and watch the weather! Walking in the dark can confuse your sense of direction, and mist, rain or wind will make it worse. If you are poorly dressed for bad weather, exposure can rapidly deplete your concentration and energy. Keep a regular check on your location.
Clothing & Equipment
We are trekking in a hazardous mountain environment where we could be exposed to extremes of weather at any time so be prepared for all weathers and temperatures. Weather conditions can change quickly. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice. Our tour leaders may decide to change the route for safety reasons should local conditions dictate. They have the knowledge and experience to make these decisions. Snowdon is very popular with walkers and this environment needs the respect of all its users to be preserved. Please walk on the path surface rather than on the vegetation growing beside it, don’t remove stones from the paths and don’t take short-cuts. Please follow the Countryside Code.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front walkers will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
Worlwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s project in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up. Please see our website for more details.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with The Conversation Volunteers and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org.uk or call 01302 388883.
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The human story
Sara Walked the Great Wall
I completed The Great Wall of China in April 2010. My target to raise was £3,600 but I actually raised a staggering £9210.51 for the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity.