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The view from the summit is very extensive. From this point the eye is able to trace, on a clear day, part of the coast with the hills of Scotland; the high mountains of Ingleborough and Penygent in Yorkshire ; beyond these the mountains of Westmoreland and Cumberland ; and, on this side, some of the hills of Lancashire. When the atmosphere is very transparent, even part of the county of Wicklow, and the whole of the isle of Man, become visible. The immediately surrounding mountains of Caernarvonshire and Merionethshire all seem directly under the eye, and the highest of the whole appear from this station much lower than Snowdon.

Many of the vales are exposed to the view, which, by their verdure, relieve the eye from the dreary scene of barren rocks. The numerous pools visible from hence, in number from thirty to forty, lend also a varied character to the prospect. The mountain itself, from the summit, seems as it were propped by five immense ,rocks as buttresses. These are Crib-y Ddistil, and Crib Coch, between Llanberis and Capel Curig; Lliewedd towards Nant Hwynan : Clawdd Coch towards Beddgelert; and Llechog, the mountain which forms the south side of the vale of Llanberis, towards Dôlbadarn. *

The summit of Snowdon is so frequently enveloped in clouds and mist, that, except when the weather is perfectly fine and settled, the traveller may wait some time without meeting with a day sufficiently clear to permit him to ascend the mountain with any degree of pleasure. When the wind blows from the west the summit is almost always completely covered with clouds; and at other times, even when the state of the weather seems favorable, it will often become suddenly enveloped, and will remain in that state for hours. Most persons, however, agree that the prospects are the more interesting, as they are the more varied, when the clouds just cover the summit. The following description of the scenery from Snowdon, when the mountain is in this state, is perfectly accurate.

* For a further description of Snowdon see the ensuing Chapter.

Now high and swift flits the thin rack along
Skirted with rainbow dies, now deep below
(While the fierce sun strikes the illumin’d top)
Slow sails the gloomy storm, and all beneath,
By vaporous exhalation hid, lies lost
In darkness ; save at once where drifted mists,
Cut by strong gusts of eddying winds, expose
The transitory scenes.
Now swift on either side the gather'd clouds,
As by a sudden touch of magic, wide
Recede, and the fair face of heaven and earth
Appears. Amid the vast horizon's stretch,
In restless gaze the eye of wonder darts
O'er the expanse; mountains on mountains piled,
And winding bays, and promontories huge,
Lakes and meandering rivers, from their source
Traced to the distant ocean.

The name of Snowdon was first given to this mountain by the Saxons; its signification is, a hill covered with snow. The Welsh call all this cluster of mountains that lie in the county of Caernarvon, Creigiau yr Eryri, the Snowy Cliffs. The highest point of Snowdon is called Yr Wyddfa, the Conspicuous. Most of the old writers who have mentioned this mountain, assert that it is covered with snow through the whole year. Such, however, is by no means the case, for this, as well as all the other Welsh mountains, has in general no snow whatever upon it from the months of June to November.

Snowdon was formerly a royal forest that abounded with deer ; but the last of these were destroyed early in the 17th century.

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The parts of this mountain on which the uncommon alpine plants are chiefly to be found are the east and northeast sides. These form a range of rocks called Clogwyn y Garnedd, which abound in the most dangerous steeps. There is at all times some difficulty in searching them, but when the rocks are rendered slippery from heavy mists or rain, this becomes, from the insecurity of the footing, greatly increased. A list of the plants that have been found here may not be unacceptable at least to a young botanist, though but few of them are now to be met with.

Poa alpina.

Arenaria verna. glauca.

var. 1, laricifolia. Festuca cambrica.

var. 2, juniperina. Rumer digynus.

Cerastium alpinum. Chrysosplenium oppositifolium.

latifolium. Saxifraga stellaris.

Geum rivale. nivalis.

Serratula alpina. oppositifolia.

Salix herbacea. hypnoides.

Rhodiola rosea. Lycopodium alpinum. Lycopodium selago.

selaginoides. Polypodium lonchitis. Pteris crispa.

ilvense. Asplenium viride.

arvonicum. Cyathea fragile.

It is a singular fact that nearly at the top of Snowdon there is a fine spring of water, which is seldom increased or diminished in quantity either in winter or summer. From its very elevated situation, this water is extremely cold.

A considerable vein of copper ore was discovered some years ago in Cwm Glâs Llyn, the Hollow of the Blue Pool, near the foot of Clogwyn y Garnedd.


Welsh tourists have been much in the habit of overrating the difficulties that are to be encountered in the journey to the summit of this mountain. To provide against these, one of them recommends a strong stick with a spike in the end, as a thing absolutely necessary; another advises that the soles of the shoes be set round with large nails ;

and a third inveighs against attempting so arduous and difficult an undertaking in boots. To have nails in the shoes, and to take a stick in one's hand, may both be useful in their way, but the tourist will find that good health and spirits are more essential than either of the other auxiliaries. He should allow himself sufficient time, and be upon the journey early in the morning, before the sun attains much power, and when the air is cool and refreshing. The chief thing required is a little labour, and this, by progressing gently, will be rendered much lighter. There is also another advantage in having sufficient time; by stopping frequently to rest himself, he will be enabled to enjoy the different distant prospects as he rises above the mountains, and to observe how the objects around him gradually change their appearance as he ascends. It will always be necessary to take a guide, for otherwise a sudden change in the weather might render the attempt exceedingly perilous to a stranger. But these changes are of no consequence to men who are in the habit of frequently ascending the mountain, as they have marks by which they would know the paths in the most cloudy weather. A sufficient supply of eatables is also absolutely necessary; the traveller will find the utility of them long before he returns.



(14 Miles.)

The Pass of Llanberis The CromlechCaddy of Cwm Glás~Gorphwysfa - Nant Hwyn

or Gwynant - Rhaiadr Cwn Dyli— Cwm LlanLlyn y Dinas Dinas Emrys - Beddgelert-Llewellyn and his DngPoem founded on this Story-Priory.



THE PASS OF LLANBERIS, A part of which is called Cwm Glâs, The Blue Vale, is hemmed in on each side by high rocks. In this pass there are no characters of softened beauty, none of the delicate features of a cultivated vale, not even a single tree, but rocks towering over rocks till their summits reach the clouds. In some places there appear three or four ranges one above another, with the most fantastic outlines imaginable, and receding in distance as in height. The foreground is overspread with masses of rock, and a mountain stream forces its way along the middle of the narrow vale. Such is this tremendous hollow, whose grandeur continues undiminished for almost four miles.

About three miles from Llanberis there is an immense stone that has once been precipitated from above, called


This stone is of some thousand tons weight, and many

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