Sadly not every day out on Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa is a beautiful, blue sky adventure. Sometimes, it rains! If you’re from the UK then this shouldn’t be breaking news. We’re very used to dealing with changing weather conditions but forgetting your umbrella when you’re heading into town is a very different proposition to climbing Wales’ highest mountain.
We climb Snowdon in all weather conditions and if you’re joining us on the mountain on one of our group hikes it might be that there’s rain forecast for your day out. This isn’t unusual and with the right gear you can manage this just fine.
Unfortunately, day after day we see people on Snowdon with inappropriate clothing. If you forget your brolly running into Tesco you might get a bit wet but it’s probably not a big deal. If you get wet half way up a mountain you’re going to get cold very quickly. If you were to have an injury, you’d be in real trouble.
So what do you need to have with you if you’re planning to climb Snowdon on a rainy day? Here’s our useful tips:
- Bring waterproofs (top AND bottoms!) You’re going to need a waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers. And no, the cheap poncho you got last year from Alton Towers will not do the job (we see this regularly). Make sure you have a proper raincoat with a hood and check it’s in good condition – you don’t want to find out the zip’s broken on the mountain. Also essential are waterproof over trousers. These are worn over your normal walking trousers and will do a great job of keeping your bottom half dry. You can pick these up from retailers like Go Outdoors for around a tenner. On a rainy day, these are just as important as a waterproof jacket.
- Avoid jeans and tracksuit bottoms. These are made of materials that just get heavy when they’re wet and will provide little or no protection. If you absolutely have to wear them then it’s essential you have a pair of waterproof over trousers on top.
- Use bags to keep things in your rucksack dry. Your rucksack is unlikely to be waterproof so after a few hours of rain, things inside are going to get wet. Use a couple of carrier bags or a bin liner rolled over at the top to keep things dry.
- Have extra ‘spares’. If you have a big mountain day planned, it’s common practice to carry some spare bits with you like an extra pair of gloves and a spare hat. If you know it’s going to be a wet day, then you’ll probably want even more spare bits. Gloves are rarely waterproof and once they’re wet they’ll stay wet so bring a couple (or more) of extra pairs along to help keep your hands warms and dry. Plus a spare wooly hat. Pack a spare pair of socks to change halfway through your day.
- Leave the brolly at home. Your umbrella is going to be of little use on Snowdon. If it’s raining it’s likely to be windy too and strong winds will destroy it.
- Remember your comfort food! Even experienced mountaineers need cheering up on a rainy day so be sure to pack something that’s going to spur you on when you need it. Jelly Babies usually do the trick.
We can’t stress how important this advice is. It’s the difference between having an awesome mountain experience or a miserable day out. If you know it’s going to rain then be prepared.