There are currently no toilets on Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). For the last three summer seasons Hafod Eryri, the summit building, has been closed, which means that from the moment you start up the mountain until the moment you get down, you’ll not be able to use any proper toilets.
Hopefully when Hafod Eryri re-opens in May 2023 the toilet problem will ease, but it won’t fully go away; after all, it’s still a long walk from the bottom to the top and back down again.
Of course, we all get caught out at times, but Yr Wyddfa isn’t great at providing trees and bushes to hide behind, and even large rocks and the like aren’t too common.
Nevertheless, a quick wild wee can usually be had somewhere (the more time you spend in the mountains the better you get at spotting opportunities) but needing a poo can present a larger problem.
Again, we understand that these things happen, so it’s advisable to take preventative action, such as going to the toilet immediately before you start up. There are toilets at the bottom of all the main paths, and yet if you watch a full bus arriving at Pen y Pass, for instance, very few take a detour to the toilets before heading up the path.
Throughout the season, the National Park and the Snowdonia Society have frequently posted their various “go before you go” posters on social media.
A poster. More tasteful than a photo of a pile of poo.
Further precautionary action would include things like not having a curry and ten pints the night before. That sort of thing really is asking for trouble.
OK, so you’re on the mountain and you get taken short, and you really have to have a poo. It happens. But why do some people feel the need to do it IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PATH? I really don’t get it.
(Earlier in the season Yr Wyddfa made the news when an ML reported encountering poo on the path. It got blown up out of all proportion – the story, that is, not the poo – but the authorities turned it into useful publicity.)
Despite the fact that there are signs at the bottom of all the main paths pointing out that there are no facilities at the top whatsoever, Hafod Eryri has a constant stream of people heading to its doors, hoping to find it open. Usually because they need the toilet!
Again, we get it. You’ve been out for hours. But if you must go, then choose your place, well away from the path. Even use a poo bag, as you would with your dog’s poo, and take it away with you. Don’t be like the total arseholes who this season have done massive dumps in the front doorway of Hafod Eryri (to match an earlier one in the platform doorway). I could include pictures, but I won’t. Now then, we regularly clear the doorway of litter, but we don’t clear that! (It takes a couple of weeks to totally dry out and largely disappear, such that people will sit there, obliviously eating their sandwiches!)
When litter-picking on the mountain, experience has taught us to be wary of certain items. A discarded pair of pants by a rock will likely have been left there for a reason, and it’s probably full of poo, as is a discarded flannel, hanky or towel. Tissues are frequently dumped as litter, and although most contain little in the way of bodily fluids, that’s not always the case.
But as wary as we are, I was still caught out recently by the empty crisp packet near the summit which someone had used to wipe their bum.
And before you ask – yes, we do wear gloves to litter pick. And we also use hand gel before we stop to eat our sandwiches.