Rewind to 17th April 2021 when me and some crazy friends decided that we we’re going to climb Snowdon for sunrise. We had done nothing but stare at the weather forecast for the entire week, which constantly changed. Full cloud cover, clear, slightly cloudy. It became very obvious, it just didn’t have a clue what the weather was going to do. Never the less, we decided it would be good to see each, a good hike, and whatever happens weather wise, happens.
The organisation freak in me came alive! I worked out all the pick up times for everyone and locations and this meant leaving my house at 12.30am for a 6.15am sunrise. We left the car park about 3.15am as some were concerned about their fitness levels, this gave us plenty of time walking up the Llanberis route (this was our first time walking in the dark so we chose this path). There was something incredible about walking in the dark. Not being able to see the full route actually made it feel not as daunting as it can be. The zero light pollution meant we could see the stars perfectly and every now and again, we turned our head torches off and just enjoyed the peaceful night sky.
As soon as we came underneath the railway bridge to the side the sunrise was, we were given our first glimpse of the colours of the sunrise, and my god, was it worth it. It suddenly gave us all a lift since we had been walking in the dark, with minimal views for about 2 hours. The temperature had significantly dropped, although there was absolutely no wind which made it much more pleasant. There was still snow on some parts of the path and because of the slower speed of us by this point, I chose to carry Winston a little as I was concerned about the cold on his paws and him not having shoes on.
We got a bit further up and we could start to see the colourful display the sunrise teased us with. We took all our photos and then organised ourselves with our tea, prosecco, breakfast, I wrapped Winston in a blanket whilst he ate his breakfast and had a well deserved nap, whilst we all enjoyed the peaceful sunrise (with about 100 other people) but we were all there for the same reason. The appreciation of the hike we had just completed, the effort we had all made and the views in front of us.
We weren’t disappointed. The sunrise was incredible. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, not the slightest bit of wind and the colours were just amazing! We started to head back down and it was a surprise to see the views because we had got so used to walking in the dark. Safe to say when we all returned home, we had a nap but the rest of the day was difficult – definitely something to bare in mind when organising a morning hike!
Things we took with us
One of the most asked questions we get, is what we take for a sunrise hike on this scale, and you do really need to be prepared. I would always advise to go with other people and not on your own. Ensure someone else knows your route plan, estimated times etc. Do take your phone, power bank, enough food (more than enough actually) water, head torches, warm clothing and layers, first aid kit, camera and a flask of tea! For me, because Winston comes with me, I have to take into consideration what he needs. Because this was our first Snowdon Sunrise, and it was April, I was concerned about the temperature. So I borrowed a dog carrier rucksack, in case I decided to carry Winston. In this bag, I also had a blanket, his food, a light for him, his coats and fleeces, additional lead, bowl, more water for him. When I carried him in there for a short time, I redistributed the rest of the items into other bags.
My advice would be to take everything you think you would need, and the more hikes you do, the more you realise what you need and what you don’t. Check out our ‘Snowdon’ Highlights on our instagram for the full live story! And my final piece of advice…..GO DO IT!