If your heart is set on reaching the summit of Snowdon (‘Yr Wyddfa’), having to turn back before the top can be very disappointing.
However, if weather conditions start to deteriorate and get dangerous, it simply isn’t wise to carry on if you’re not happy with the situation, and the mountain will still be there another time for you.
These conditions might include:
- Strong winds where gusts are threatening to blow you over
- Heavy rain when you’re really not dressed for it
- Cold conditions when you’re not dressed for it (it’s not unheard of for people to suffer from the first stages of hypothermia even in mid-summer)
- Ice or snow when you’re not equipped for it
- Thunder or lightning on the mountain (the summit is especially vulnerable)
Snow and ice above Clogwyn Bridge on the Llanberis Path.
Aside from the weather, other reasons could be health related, increasing tiredness or a minor injury.
If you’re in a group, it’s best for you all to agree to do the same thing. However, if only some of you wish to turn back, make sure that no-one is on their own, and decide where and when you’re going to re-group afterwards (bearing in mind that phone reception on the mountain is generally poor).
If, for instance, you’ve been sponsored to walk up Snowdon, you might feel under pressure to reach the summit when conditions on the mountain are poor. In these instances, it really is better to turn round and get down safely – your sponsors will understand, and will still pay up when you explain.
Remember – the safety of you and your group is the most important thing. The mountain will be there another time, but if you carry on regardless, you might not.
You may wish to also have a look at out page on safety on Snowdon.