JORDAN WYLIE’S 15x15x15: DAY THIRTEEN – SNOWDONIA
Day 12 took me to Snowdonia National Park in Wales, the last of the Welsh 3! Situated on the west coast of Britain covering 823 square miles of diverse landscapes, Snowdonia National Park is a living working area, home to over 26,000 people.
As well as being the largest National Park in Wales, Snowdonia boasts the highest mountain in England and Wales, and the largest natural lake in Wales, as well as a wealth of picturesque villages like Betws y Coed and Beddgelert. Snowdonia is an area steeped in culture and local history, where more than half its population speak Welsh. This was to date the busiest national park I had visited in the last 2 weeks, it trumped Northumberland by a long way. It took me plenty of time to find a parking spot but when I did, it was perfect for me to set up my base camp. My camper van “Sherpa” has served me well over the last 2 weeks and she deserves some credit in my blog so here it is!
The route I took today was a very popular one and is also the route of the official marathon in Snowdonia which takes place annually in October. I started just outside Llanberis. The route follows the A4086 and climbs to the top of the Llanberis Pass (Pen y Pass 1.100ft). Dropping down to the Pen Y Cwyryd junction, the route then follows the old road along to the campsite until it joins the A498. This 2km section is farm track, downhill, then the surface returns to the tarmac. There is a short, sharp uphill back up to the main road at the campsite. The route then continues to the Beddgelert (200ft) and then continues along the A4085 to Waunfawr. From here it is a rapid climb to about 1,200ft at Bwlch y Groes (a short length is unmetalled) and then downhill to the finish in Llanberis.
All in all it’s a taxing route to say the least and even more when you are running alone but as with all these runs, the views are simply majestic and the solitude is tranquil. It seems my body is becoming accustomed to the mileage now and although my speed is not improving my recovery seems to be which is always a bonus! 3 more to go and morale is high!