Snowdon 1840s

Index to all Snowdon pages   Index to all references to Snowdon

References to Snowdon 1840-1849

Edward Stanley, (1779–1849) Bishop of Norwich (1837 -1849) climbed Snowdon in 1842 at the age of 63, to visit his son, one of the Ordnance Surveyors. He wrote a long letter to his wife describing his experiences in freezing weather on Snowdon and another to Michael Faraday about lightening on the summit.









Summary in chronological order (details below)
1840     Elizabeth-Mary Danks wrote an account on an ascent by herself with Mary and Benjamin (presumably brother and sister).
1840     C.E. Napier found snow on the summit on the 24th April
1840     James Hews Bransby thought that  all tourists should be thrilled with ecstatic wonder on the summit
1840     William Maymott and party climbed at night and saw the sun rise
1840     Elizabeth Sarney (probably) was prevented from an ascent by bad weather
1840     A climber was much disappointed by the lack of views at the summit, which prompted a sonnet
1841     William Buckland, the geologist, observed evidence of glaciers in Snowdonia
1841     A newspaper published a partial account of an ascent
1841     A local newspaper reported that army engineers were building a cairn on the summit
1841     A newspaper published a brief account of an ascent in bad weather but the clouds cleared revealing spectacular views
1841     A journal published a poem about Snowdon
1841     S.S. wrote articles about a tour of Wales which were published in a journal and Welsh newspaper
1841     An anonymous tourist and a Scotsman drank a pint of raw whisky and a soda water bottle of sherry on their way down
1842     Advert for the Royal Victoria Hotel which had ponied for the ascent of Snowdon
1842     Poem describing a night-time ascent of Snowdon
1842     Hannah Wood described an ascent of Snowdon in a sketch book
1842     A newspaper reported on the overnight loss of the daughter of a couple who climbed Snowdon
1842     A newspaper published a long account of an ascent
1842     Charles James Fox Bunbury arrived at the summit in thick mist but had good views later
1842     The Bishop of Norwich climbed Snowdon to spend a night there when visiting his son, an Officer with the Ordnance Survey
1842     The Ordnance Survey made 4 observations of Slieve Donard, 108 miles away in Ireland and surveyors at Slieve Donard made 21 observations of Snowdon. Many trigonometrical points in England, Ireland and Wales were also measured from Snowdon
1842     The German, Johan Georg Kohl climbed to the summit and met the Ordnance Surveyors
1843     Edward Parry published a long account in ‘The Cambrian Mirror’ with long quotations from Pennant and others
1843     Thomas Carlyle climbed to the summit but had little to say about it
1843     Duke of Newcastle climbed Snowdon with his four daughters and son William
1844  (about)   Thomas Roscoe published a new edition of his ‘Wanderings in North Wales’ with a different account of an ascent of Snowdon
1844     An anonymous tourist found ‘Williams, a second Robinson Crusoe’ providing coffee in a hut on the summit
1844     Joseph Sidebotham published accounts of two botanical ascents of Snowdon
1844     At least nine newspapers briefly reported that there were two huts on the summit
1844     John Matthews and his wife Hannah Maria Matthews climbed Snowdon twice in one week, once at night
1844     Ellen Hall, one of two sisters, both of whom kept diaries, climbed Snowdon in poor weather
1844     Elizabeth Rolls and relatives found snow near the summit in April
1844     Carl Gustav Carus wrote an account of the King of Saxony’s tour of Wales, which included a detailed account of an ascent of Snowdon.
1844     An anonymous tourist was taken up Snowdon by an 11 year old boy whom they gave whisky to keep off the extreme cold
1844    Lord Alfred Tennyson is said to have climbed Snowdon three times, and a storm he experienced was described in his poem ‘The Princess’ (published 1847)
1845     The earliest surviving visitors’ book for the summit of Snowdon records the names of hundreds of tourists who visited the summit huts
1845     The Rev Wellington Starr made his first ascent of Snowdon, and wrote a poem on his experiences
1845     Thomas Cook’s first commercial railway excursion was supposed to include Snowdon, but bad weather prevented the ascent.
1845     Thomas Jones, the Snowdon guide, provided hat pins for lady tourists to stop their hats blowing off
1846     The Rev Wellington Starr made his second ascent of Snowdon but died on his descent
1846     Mr and Mrs Hamer spent their honeymoon on the summit
1846     Miss S Dovaston climbed Snowdon before sunrise
1847     Prince Constantine of Russia was on the summit
1847     R.W. Long wrote a long account of his ascent
1847     The geologists Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay and Sir Henry de la Becke climbed Snowdon as part of their geological researches
1847      John Hicklin published a book of excursions in North Wales including Snowdon
1848     The geologists Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay and Sir Henry de la Becke climbed Snowdon as part of their geological researches
1848     The Liverpool Mail announced the prices of travel to and availability of refreshments on Snowdon
1848     Roberts and Williams advertised their hut on Snowdon
1848     William Bennett climbed Snowdon in search of rare ferns
1848     Robert Temple and others climbed Snowdon at night but were enveloped in cloud
1848     Talhaiarn (John Jones, a Welsh poet and architect 1810-1869) climbed Snowdon and wrote two poems in the visitors’ book
1848     J Ballance ascended Snowdon on horseback but it was cloudy at the top.
1848     S. S.S. had an unsatisfactory ascent, but quoted at length from others
1848     Josiah Goodall met four gentlemen and two ladies who failed to climb Snowdon
1849     Edwin Lees found twenty or thirty gentlemen all hard at work breaking stone upon the top of Snowdon searching for fossils
1849     Mary Ann Hibbert, climbed Snowdon when she was about 59, with two female companions
1849     The geologist, Andrey Ramsay spent most of five months in Snowdonia (see also 1847, 1848, 1850)
1849     Andrew Ramsey published an important book on glaciers in 1859 based on his experience in Snowdon and elsewhere.
1849     A book included an account of an ascent in poor weather
1849     Several newspapers published a long account of an ascent
1849     A tourist on a trip to Ireland stopped off en route to climb Snowdon at night


For conventions (dates, use of brackets, etc.,) see methodology

Elizabeth-Mary Danks wrote an account on an ascent by herself with Mary and Benjamin (presumably brother and sister).
Llanberis (Victoria Inn)
The night was very dark and the wind howled terribly. The morning being fine we determined to climb Snowdon. Benjamin procured two ponies and a guide and set out about ½ past 8 o’clock, the distance from the inn to the top being considered 5 miles. We proceeded onwards, the ponies being very sure footed until we were enveloped in such a fog that we could only see a very little distance before us, unless in the moments when the wind cleared away the fog and presented to our view some terrific mountain or fertile vale.

Having reached within ½ mile of the top, we left the ponies, and proceeded on foot, Mary having the guide’s arm and I Benjamin’s, for it was so steep. The wind blew at intervals very keen. We reached the heap of stones which marks the highest point, but could not see 20 yds before us. Our guide (John Roberts), had so much hope of its clearing, but we were hopeless. We were then at a perpendicular height of about ¾ miles from the level of the sea. In an instant it began to clear, and for a moment shewed us a view which was truly beautiful, the guide was highly pleased, and said it would clear off although the view had disappeared again. The following description was copied from a Book gives some idea of the grandeur of the scene. “A vast mist obscured the whole circuit of the mountain. The prospect down was horrible. The prospect down was horrible. It gave an idea of numbers of abysses, concealed by a thick smoke, furiously circulating around us. Very often a gust of wind formed an opening in the clouds, which gave a fine and distinct view of lake and valley. Sometimes they opened only in one place; at others, in many at once, exhibiting a most strange and perplexing view of water, fields, rocks, or chasms, in fifty different places. [Pennant] In this manner it continued for some time, our view gradually enlarging. The summit at length became quite close and the mist drawn through the openings in the rocks beneath, presented an indescribably scene. The sun at length shone beautifully, so that we were quite warmed again. The guide skipped about the crags like a goat, to find us pieces of fossil shells, and almost frightened us to see him. We were joined by two Gents who requested us to drink Victoria’s health in whiskey and water, we did so but should have done it more heartily in a more agreeable beverage. The view from the summit is like an immense panorama. There are 25 lakes visible to the naked eye. The hills of Yorkshire, Scotland and Ireland, the Isle of Man and that of Anglesey like a map beneath us. We distinctly counted 8 ships in Cardigan by, 23 in Caernarfon Bay and 14 at the north of the Menai, all appearing like specks upon the smooth surface. We were very reluctant to leave such splendid scenery but time pressed, so we commenced our descent, stopping at one place to look back at the point we had just left, and at the lake of quite a blue colour, called by the adjacent copper mines. Here the guide got a Welsh ‘Haalloo’ which echoed through the mountains. In a short time he was answered by the miners. We continued our descent the shadows flitting across the mountains having a pretty effect. The scenery (which we could not see for the fog on our ascent) was truly beautiful, the Lake of Llanberis like a mirror and to describe the varied hues of Mountains, Lakes, Woods and Vales would be impossible. Our ponies soon carried us to the place where tourists dismount to view the Fall of the Ceunnt Mawr, it is sixty feet high and is formed by the mountain torrent. Having reached the inn at about ½ past two we lunched and hired a car for Caernarfon
Danks, Elizabeth-Mary ‘Recollections of a tour in north Wales by Elizabeth Mary and Benjm Dankes, 29.9.1840′, NLW ex 2685

This article was published in The Literary world, A Journal of Popular Information and Entertainment. It was based on a number of other publications.
Of the very interesting tract of North Wales known as Snowdonia, a slight notice has already appeared in our Miscellany. A more detailed description of the nucleus of this mountainous region will, however, we are persuaded, be acceptable to the reader; illustrated as it is with the two engravings upon the preceding page, which have been executed from the sketchbook of an excellent artist and ardent admirer of the sublimities of Nature.

Snowdon, the highest mountain in South Britain, rises from the centre of the chain extending across Caernarvonshire, from Bardsay Island to Penmaen Bach, near Conway Bay. The principal peak is about ten miles south of the Straits of Menai, which separate the island of Anglesea from the Welsh coast.

Quotation of the meaning of the names from Hassell, Robert, Letters on the scenery of Wales, (1821), pp. 155-156

The geological character of the district is very attractive. The greater part of the rocks composing the Snowdonian chain are schistose hornblende, schistose mica, granite, and porphyry, including considerable blocks of quartz. But, the most striking phenomena occur on the western side of Snowdon, where the descent is very precipitous; consisting of hornstone, upon which are placed a number of basaltic columns, more or less regularly pentagonal, standing perpendicularly to the plane of the horizon. The columns are of different lengths, about four feet diameter, with transverse joints, from six to eight feet asunder, and considerable depositions of thin laminated quartz in the joints. (Aikin’s Tour.) In the gradation of strata from the Snowdon chain, the clay-slate formation is likewise very remarkable: “its mountainous aspect is seen to great perfection on the western side of Wales, where Snowdon, Plynlimmon, and Cader Idris, with many of their respectable

associates, present the peaked summits, the dark and narrow valleys, the terrific precipices, and the fragmented slopes that peculiarly belong to this formation.” (Brande’s Outlines of Geology.)

Near the top of the peak is a spring of very cold water, which seldom varies in quantity, either in summer or winter. On the north and north-east side, the botanist finds many uncommon alpine plants. The eagle is stated, in a work published at Chester, to visit the highest crags of the mountain; we cannot readily find any record of its recent occurrence there; but the peregrine falcon is not an uncommon bird on the Welsh coast, rearing its young on shelves of rock overhanging the sea. The air is sharp on the summit of Snowdon, and, like that of other mountain districts, is bracing, salubrious, and conducive to longevity; thus bearing out the churchyard aphorism of 1587:
“The mountayne men live longer many a yeare
Than those in vale, in playne, or marish soyle;
A lustie hart, a clean complexion clere,
They have, on hill that for hard living toyle.
With ewe and lamb, with goats and kids they play,
In greatest toyles to rub out wearie day;
And when to house and home good fellowes draw,
The lads can laugh at turning of a strawe.”
The perpendicular height of Snowdon is, by late admeasurements, 1,190 yards, or 3,570 feet, being somewhat less than three-quarters of a mile from the level of the sea. This makes it, according to Pennant, 240 yards, or 720 feet higher than Cader Idris. By General Mudge, the height of Snowdon is stated at 3571 feet: in the Penny Cyclopcedia, it stands 3,557 feet; authority not given. The term of British Alps, applied to this range of mountains, is as old as the time of Camden. (See Lit. World, vol. ii. p. 23.) The claim of its being the loftiest mountain in South Britain is, however, disputed with Whernside, in Yorkshire, the height of which is stated at 4,000 feet. [note: Panorama of North Wales. This must he an error; since Maltebrun gives the height of Whernside, from General Mudge’s measurement, at only 2,384 feet. [end of note] Next to Snowdon, in the same range, are Carned Llewelyn, 3,471 feet; and Carnedd Dafydd, 3,429 feet. But mole-hills are all these compared with Mont Blanc, rising 15,646 feet, the highest mountain in Europe 5 or, with Chimboraco, the highest summit of the Andes, 21,440 feet; or with the Great White Mountain of Thibet, the loftiest in the world, rising to the height of 26,462 feet, the summit of which is visible from a distance of more than 200 miles. Yet, so trifling are these apparently vast heights, in comparison with the globe of the earth itself, as to have been likened to the roughnesses on the rind of an orange, or to grains of sand—comparisons as striking as they are free from exaggeration.

Snowdon is reputed to have been held sacred by the ancient Britons, and there is a popular tradition that whosoever slept upon it would wake inspired. There is nothing unreasonable in a barbarous people thus regarding a majestic monntain as an attribute of the Deity; since, what is more likely to kindle, in cultivated minds, a sense of the Divine power than such scenes of grandeur and sublimity as the romantic region of Snowdonia presents to every eye and heart. This locality we know to have been one of the strongholds of the singular superstition of Druidism; namely, in the island of Mona, (now Anglesea,) the attack upon which, by Suetonius, is so characteristically recorded by Tacitus. The whole district long continued the refuge of princes, and the retreat of bards. Late in the thirteenth century, it was the scene of the conflicts between Edward T. and the Welsh, previous to his entire subjugation of the country. In his first campaign, he opened roads into the inmost fastnesses of Snowdon.

Again, “the brave people of Snowdon” are distinguished in the chronicles of these wars; and Edward is known to have penetrated into Anglesea by a bridge of boats, over the Menai; now crossed by a more lasting bridge, one of the greatest works of useful and magnificent art. (Mackintosh’s Hist. Engl., vol. i. p. 253.) Here, also, the remnant of the Welsh bards took refuge, to save themselves from the fate of the greater part of their race, who had been cruelly massacred by the English king. Gray, in his elegant poem of The Bard, represents one of this persecuted race seated on a rock, lamenting his comrades’ death, and calling down curses on the head of the monarch:
“Ruin seize thee, ruthless King!
Confusion on thy banners wait!
Though fann’d by conquest’s crimson wing,
They mock the air with idle state!
Helm nor hauberk’s twisted mail,
Nor e’en thy virtues, tyrant, shall avail,
To save thy gentle soul from nightly fears,
From Cambria’s curse, from Cambria’s tears.’
Such were the sounds that o’er the crested pride
Of the first Edward scatter’d wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon’s shaggy side
He wouud, with toilsome march, his long array.”
The whole district was formerly, too, a royal forest, and abounded with deer; but the last of these were destroyed early in the seventeenth century.

The routes of ascending Snowdon are four; namely, from Dolbadarn Castle, (see Lit. World, vol. ii. p. 23,) Llanberis, Llyn Cwellyn, and Beddgelert; the last being the most difficult. Several individuals, who have climbed this mountain, have published accounts of their ascents; neither of which, however, exceeds, in accuracy or interest, that by Mr. Pennant, who is, on this account, entitled “the Prince of Welsh tourists.” (See Tour in Wales, vol. ii. p. 170 seq., second edition, 1784.) [Full account by Pennant was quoted.]

We conclude with the following elegant summary of the prospect, [with an extract from The Beauties, Harmonies, and Sublimities of Nature: [Charles Bucke, (1821) (2nd edition, 1823); (new edition 1837)]

Of the annexed engravings, the first represents the summit of Snowdon. The second shews the mountain, at about half way up, where the steep begins; with the basaltic formation already referred to.
Anon, Snowdonia, Ascent of Snowdon, The Literary world, A Journal of Popular Information and Entertainment, conducted by J. Timbs, no. 64, 13th June, 1840, pp. 161-165

24.4.1840 (Friday)
Ascended Snowdon with a guide – Richard Edwards, guide for 50 years. View from the summit extremely grand.
W [Wyatt] and I pitted each other with snow which was in great abundance on the shady side of the hill. On top is erected a little circular tower of stone and on this a beacon constructed of several planks on beams as a landmark … found some beautiful little rock plants which I sent to Cheltenham
Victoria Hotel [Llanberis]
Napier, C.E., Diary of Captain Charles Elers Napier (step son of Admiral Sir Charles (born 22.5.1812)), of a walking and fishing tour in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, JOD/80, pp. 15-17

Few tourists are satisfied without climbing the steeps of Snowdon; and not seldom has the visitor on reaching its summit, stood for some time, motionless and silent. Those hills, those rocks, those vallies, those streams, those lakes, what could they less?—have laid strong hold on his feelings and thrilled him with ecstatic wonder.
The perpendicular height of Snowdon, ascertained by the latest trigonometrical survey, is 3571 feet, a little less than three quarters of a mile, above the level of the sea. The other points by which it is surrounded are of nearly equal elevation.
Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Great Britain, is 4358 feet above the level of the sea. {Continues with the heights of a number of other Mountains throughout the world.}
Bransby, James Hews, A Description and Historical Sketch of Beddgelert and its Neighbourhood, (London, 1840), p. 26
Bransby, James Hews, A Description of Llanberis and the Snowdon District, (Caernarfon, 1845), p. 19

‘Snowdon had his night cap on’. To Llanberis
Dolbadarn Castle, Dolbadarn Hotel [inn], walk to Ceunant Mawr
After dinner, walked to copper mines and the castle ruins, ‘at the top of which we lay smoking cigars till dusk.’ Retired to bed at 10 having desired to be called at 1.30 (am) if fine enough to ascend Snowdon.
4.8.1840 (Tuesday)
Ready to ascend Snowdon by 1.30 am on 2 old horses with a guide who carried our brandy and biscuits. He had been guide for 27 years. The horses were left without food or water in a roofless stable and the party scrambled up the rest of Snowdon. Took 3½ hours. Saw sunrise
Two planks, 20 ft long, set upright in a heap of stones to make the summit visible from a distance (a suggestion of George IV in 1821). Back at the inn for a fine breakfast by 8.45.
‘My expectations [of Snowdon] were raised exceedingly high, it infinitely surpassed all conception and baffles all description, producing the most pleasing sensation and leaving traces in my memory which will be held dear.’
Maymott, William, ‘William Maymott, July and August, 1840, Tour in north Wales’, Cardiff Central Library, MS 2.848, pp. 29-37

Dolbadarn Castle
Slate quarry ‘we heard several explosions’
We walked to see Peynant Mawr of the falls of the great Chasm …
We returned to the inn to tea, intending to go up Snowdon early the next morning to see the sunrise.
The morning was so wet that we were obliged to give up all thoughts of ascending Snowdon.
The pass of Llanberis is extremely grand and we fortunately had a heavy storm as we passed so that saw in perfection. The road has been within a few years [sic] it is cut through high mountainous rocks and is a very good road before this was made no carriage could go through the pass
Anon, A journal of a tour through Wales and Herefordshire, undertaken in September 1840 said to be by Elizabeth Sarney of Wargrave, Berkshire, NLW ms 22892 A, ff. 9-10

[same text about the summit as in 1833 and 1845 editions, but details of hotels etc have changed.
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, (2nd edition, 1840), vol. 2, Llanberis

William Buckland, the geologist, observed evidence of glaciers in Snowdonia.
The following autograph of Professor Buckland is framed, and hangs in the Goat Hotel, Beddgelert.
At Pont Aberglaslyn 100 yards below the bridge, on the right bank of the river, and 20 yards above the road, see a good example of the furrows, flutings and strae, on rounded and polished surfaces of the rock which Agassiz [the French geologist] refers to the action of glaciers. See many similar effects on the left of S.W. side of the pass and Lakes of Llanberis.
William Buckland, 6th October, 1841.
Black’s Picturesque Guide through North and South Wales, (1851), pp. 172-183
F.S.A., A guide to Snowdon and the Glydwrs with notices of Llanberis, Nant Ffrancon etc. (Manchester: Abel Heywood & Son 1868? [advert on inside cover dated 1867]), p. 11

The text comes from a private journal, dated 15 July, 1840 which prompted the sonnet.
A toilsome, and, in many places, a dangerous journey of three and a half hours brought me, from ‘mine Inn’ at Capel Curig, to the top of this majestic mountain; but alas! how delusive are appearances – how often does ‘hope tell a flattering tale!’ instead of bright sunshine, which had invited me to ascend, instead of the grand prospect with which anticipation had lured me many weary miles, I found myself wrapt in the chilly embrace of the clouds, with my vision imprisoned on all sides by an impalpable, yet to it an impenetrable, barrier, which, as it drew closer and closer, seemed to threaten to crush me. …
Sonnet: On the Summit of Snowdon by John Hannam
How oft upon this lofty mountain height –
… I’ve longed to stand
(re disappointment and the vain seeker of truth)
The Leeds Intelligencer. 10.4.1841 (from Smallwood’s Magazine, April)

North Wales, no. VI
Beddgelert to Llanberis, passing Llyn Dinas
{Story of an old Welsh guide who had been in a trance for three days during which he professed to have had intercourse with heaven and made predictions which had come true.
Llanberis Pass.}
‘And here, by good right, I should describe my ascent to the summit of the venerable Snowdon, (for most tourists commence their ascent from Llanberis) but as mine was made under somewhat unfavourable circumstances, and my present object is to arrive at the end of my literary journey, I shall not now dwell on this part of my tour: indeed, it deserves a separate article. The prospect from the summit is wonderfully sublime, and, (with the exception of that from the right) is the noblest I have ever seen. … I love to view nature from the summit of a mountain, as then (if ever), does Creation appear to be the Creator’s mirror, clear, calm, and expansive.  …’
Staffordshire Advertiser 4.12.1841

Royal Engineers? rebuilt the cairn [15 feet high]
We understand that Lt. Craig of the Military Engineers, is sojourning at the Victoria Hotel having under his command a party of sappers and engineers creating a column on the top of Snowdon. The Salopian Journal makes it a complaint that pillars of 15-18 feet in height are being erected on the Mountain of Dolgellau [Cader Idris?] and other parts of north Wales and some of our readers may be enabled to unravel the mystery so studiously observed by the perspiring and rambling officials as to by what legal authority such liberty is taken in private possessions. We believe that the sole subject is to make such trigonometrical surveys to make the present topography of Wales as correct as the present advanced state of science demands that it should be. To do this a suitable telescopic observatory should be made and it is desirable that the pillar so erected should be made durable rather than temporary and should be furnished with a cavity capable of containing telescopes, barometers, thermometers and other instruments and scientific tools.
Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald, 22.5.1841

Trigonometrical Survey
We understand that Lieutenant Cragie, a military engineer, is now sojourning at the Victoria Hotel Llanberis having under his command a party of the corps of sappers and miners, engaged in the erection of a column or pillar on the top of Snowdon.
North Wales Chronicle, 25.5.1841

Ascent of Snowdon
Stayed at Victoria Hotel.
Intended to watch the sunrise
‘We reached the stonework on the highest point, but only to meet with disappointment, for thick mists invested the pinnacle of Y Wyddfa and the sun rose in murky gloom. The cold was intense and I was almost disposed to beat a quick retreat from this comfortless situation. [i.e. no huts?]
{but the mist cleared after two hours and the views were spectacular}
Ends ‘… val sans retour of fairy land – Roscoe’s North Wales’
Liverpool Mail – Saturday 13 November 1841

Snowdon, in summer Moonlight  [poem]
The moon is up on Snowdon’s cloud-capt height … (about 50 lines)
{Reference to elfin bands }
Borrow’s Worster Journal, 10.6.1841

S.S. wrote several articles in the first number of the English Journal, including three describing a tour of Wales.
A Visit to Snowdon
We asked for a guide to Snowdon, but could only obtain a man who, with the knowledge of two or three English monosyllables, had a conceit that he was an accomplished Saxon—for so they style us English folk. A guide at all times is a bore; but there are morasses round Snowdon which it requires direction to avoid. The ascent from Beddgelert is that found to be most difficult. From the Dolbadarn side the mountain may be ascended to within a quarter of a mile of the summit, on a mule or pony. On that side the sterner features of the mountain are not encountered; but they are met with in all their grandeur in the Beddgelert direction: and provided the summit is not veiled in clouds it discloses what the majority of travellers who make the ascent dream not of environing them — the formidable precipices that appear on every hand. Upon the verge of these, when the mountain is beclouded, which is nine days out of ten, travellers are unaware of treading.
The guide was a sturdy little fellow, every muscle well defined, and of a make, if one might so judge, less active than enduring. A little cold meat and bread, a small portion of brandy, and a bottle to contain water, were all our store of luggage; and these our Taffy guide carried in a wallet, together with a stout staff. We had soon a specimen of our guide’s English.
“How far is it to Snowdon?” “Er gogledd,” was his reply, meaning “the north,” supposing we had asked the direction. We held up our fingers one, two, three, and, coming to a mile-stone, at length got him to understand what we wanted; and his reply “tri,” or “three,” was intelligible enough. We found out, too, that it was three miles further to the summit, or six miles from Beddgelert. Thus terminated our dialogues until we returned to the inn at Beddgelert in the afternoon. We discovered before we had reached a mile that our hearty breakfast was an impediment to us, and for the first mile up the mountain it was for more so than during the first mile on the road, the sturdy guide getting far before us. This feeling wore off afterwards. We gained strength as we ascended; and for the rest of the journey fairly beat the guide up hill as well as down.
Three miles of ascending turnpike road brought us, in the first instance, to a farm; beyond which, high in air, appeared the double peaks of the mountain, connected by a concave ridge. The peaks were just visible through the clouds that began to rise upwards as we turned from the high road across some enclosures which conducted us upon a path that led up a rounded slope of considerable steepness. After ascending a quarter of a mile we turned round to breathe, and in the direction of the opposite side the road we had not long before quitted, there arose to our view a succession of the wildest mountain forms. Acute, round, rugged, and torn summits were seen on the western side—ridge beyond ridge, point beyond point. The largest and nearest was a vast dark mass, part of a range called Crib Goch, 2,850 feet high. In the direction of Beddgelert rose Moel Hebog, 2,584 feet. Lyn-ygad, a lake dark with mountain shadows, appeared at our feet near the road; and beyond it, towards Caernarvon, arose a chaos of summits. We continued our ascent, which was steep and tedious, towards the peak called Crib-y-Distyll, which we left on the right, pursuing a path along the turf almost at the edge of a precipice of great height, which terminated in a vast hollow in which several small lakes were observable. Streams and rills were seen far below us, while the mountain mass on which we trod seemed to tower over all in the direction of the country which was open to us. The Glyders, and the mountains called David and Llewellyn, lay in another point of the compass, covered with haze. We came at length to a narrow path on a ridge called Clawdd Coch. The heavens were now clear, and the higher peak of Snowdon stood sharply out. On coming to this spot, and proceeding a few steps, the track became so narrow, and the precipices, on one side particularly, so awful, that we recoiled to gather resolution for proceeding. A moment passed; we dashed across rather than walked, looking only before us. On the left hand the ground rose a little, and then a tremendous precipice of not less than a thousand feet showed several small lakes of different coloured water in the vast amphitheatre below, one of a red colour, and another of a fine emerald hue. In the narrowest part of the ridge the gulf on the right hand was the most formidable, as a false step would hurl the unlucky wight [sic] who stumbled fourteen or fifteen hundred feet down precipices and slopes, the latter so perpendicular that they differed nothing from the former in danger. After passing this ridge, and proceeding but a short distance, the principal summit of Snowdon was near us, appearing to be close. It was a perfect pyramid of broken rocks intermingled with turf, and terminating in a heap of large stones. We toiled up this last ascent, inspirited by the keen air, for triple the distance we had imagined the summit to be from us, and then rested on the apex of the mountain, 3,600 feet in elevation.
But how shall we describe the more distant view from that spot — a wilderness of world! To the west, the south, and the east, the atmosphere was clear. Mists covered the north-eastern part of the scene; and, though the Isle of Man was visible, the coast of Lancashire could not be descried – but what of that! for three-fourths of the vast circle of the heavens all was mapped beneath the eye. The Isle of Man lay darkly in the sea that intervened between Ireland on the west, and Anglesey on the south, its whole extent visible. On the west, the shore of Ireland, and the Wicklow mountains, were plainly seen. Then came the Irish Sea from the Wicklow coast, Holyhead, the whole of Anglesey, a perfect model for a surveyor, under the feet—every thing so accurately delineated by the wonderful sense of vision—hundreds of square miles, with all they bore, diminished to a miniature or a point, and thrown into the sensorium! The Menai Strait, from Caernarvon to Bangor, slept bluely below; and the intervening district of mountain and vale, borne to our feet from the grey towers of Carnarvon, as if we could fling a stone upon it. The long strip of land or peninsula of Caernarvonshire terminating at Bardsey Island, south-west, Cardigan Bay, and so south to the mountains of Merionethshire, and inland to the Wrekin—a vast chaos of sea, lake, river, rock, mountain, and valley—came upon the wondering eyes in countless shades of colour. The purple of the heath flower was the predominant hue on most of the mountain sides wherever there was vegetation.
But if the distant view was striking, its great features were its immensity and variety. The nearer objects to the mountain were striking from a different cause. Desolation overspread all; ridge upon ridge, like ocean waves in continued succession, were at our feet—radiating, twisted, rent—in wonderful confusion. Precipices of dark aspect; rocks piled upon rocks; mountain summits, torn and jagged as if by a succession of the most frightful earthquakes; gloomy hollows between severed ridges, the depth of which could not be discerned by the eye; and here and there a gleaming lake with treeless shores, reflecting the fantastic and dissevered masses, at whose bases they seemed to rest in a frozen tranquillity—these were presented in never-failing number. Neither pen nor pencil could do justice to the picture: painting might borrow the aid of poetry to sketch the outline of such a scene — and both fail in the task.
We remained half an hour on the summit: it was an age in enjoyment. We descended with great rapidity, but did not arrive at Beddgelert, on our return, until nearly five o’clock. We then hired another car, and proceeded to Carnarvon, thirteen miles distant, which we reached between seven and eight. The air at the level of the sea seemed sultry and warm, and, with the effects of the day’s toll, soon manifested themselves on our bodily frame. Sleep came pressingly upon us; and we retired to rest at the hotel, after looking at, rather than partaking of, what was set before us for dinner. The heat during the night continued its annoyance. The rapid transition from the mountain country to the sea level was, no doubt, the cause of this feeling.
To conclude, it was a hard day’s work, which perhaps had never been accomplished so quickly before; but it was a labour very far within the limits of possibility to any hale person who might choose to try it: it was far without the pale of impossibility.
S.S., Bangor to Llangollen, English Journal, vol. 1, (1841), pp. 21-22
The Welshman, 22nd January 1841

July 27th [27.7.1841]
At an early hour I started of [sic] for Snowdon in company with a young Scotchman named Watson. The summit is five miles from our quarters, which, by the way are also kept by a Scotchman, one Johnstone. In two hours we stood on the summit, when suddenly a dense palpable mist rolled completely round us and enabled us with difficulty to see 3 yards before our noses. Standing as we did so far above the world and apparently in mid-air, it seemed as if we had been cast away on some unknown planet, and were looking down on the boundless regions of space. As it was impossible to get a glimpse of created matter  after waiting patiently for an hour we set off at break-neck pace down the brow of the mountain, and scudded along the edge of a precipice 600 ft in depth – invisible however from the mist – where in ascending we had been obliged to lie down under the tremendous gusts of wind. The reason was rather too simple. To add to the buoyant influence of the rarefied air, we had contrived to dry up a pint bottle of raw whisky and a soda water bottle of sherry. At the height of 2570 feet the effect of this liquor made us play “such fantastic tricks before high heaven” as nearly dropped us from the zenith like falling stars. In the afternoon we all took a car to Capel Curig. This is a most picturesque road, lying thro’ the pass of Llanberis, above three miles in length, but not wider in parts than 160 ft: the Welsh call it Cwm Glas, or Blue vale, from the colour of the slate which forms a towering wall on either side. The retrospective view from the other end is truly sublime. On emerging from the pass, the scenery is exceedingly beautiful, but perhaps too bleak for some admirers of nature.
Anon, ‘Welsh Journal, 1841’, NLW MS 748B, pp. 57-60

Advert: Royal Victoria Family Hotel and Posting House, Llanberis
J Johnstone [who, according to the advert for the George, was formerly there] …
The ascent of Snowdon, at the foot of which the Victoria stands, is so easy that ponies can with safety attain the summit; Guides etc being always in readiness for the accommodation of Tourists. …
Advert: The George and Dragon, otherwise the Bangor Ferry Inn TO BE LET
North Wales Chronicle – Tuesday 28 June 1842

Poem, ‘Snowdon’, by Mr Jones (account of an ascent at night)
Along Llanberris’ Vale, as sunset glow’d,
And birds, with music, flll’d the ambient air;
For Snowdon’s heights, in rev’rent mood, I rode,
Fancying “The Bard,” and “ruthless ” Edward, there.
Up the ascent I slowly wound my way,
Lifting the vapours’ curtain, till the Cone,
Whence I might hail the sunrise, cloudless lay,
And, in the clear, cold, flood of moonlight, shone.
My guide now slept—’twas night’s enchanted noon;
Ey’d by the countless stars, I could not sleep,
But, awestruck, gaz’d and listen’d; passing soon,
Catching the voice of nature, and the deep;
The throbbings of the ocean-pulse of earth;
The world’s rotation, motion’s ceaseless birth.
Fear fell upon me, like a sense alive
To dying; by the scene, my mind, o’erwrought,
Expos’d the weakness of the flesh to strive
With phantasies of overpow’ring thought.
My guide now starts from slumber, pointing east,
The Matin-star first glimm’ring, as he spoke,
Straightway, my spirit, from its trance releas’d,
To new and glad realities awoke.
Lo! with the dawn, the far horizon teems,
Mark its chill, pale, gradations into light;
West, are the stars—the morn’s advancing beams,
East, have already put the stars to flight.
The distance clears, and milder grow the skies;
Now, heralds of their king, his radiations rise.
No Persian, on his hilltop worshipping,
Fresh from some drear captivity set free;
No chain-burst Eagle, on exultant wing,
Plunging in day’s unfathomable sea;
No “joy of awe” which Poet e’er defin’d;
No hope quite realis’d, if not surpass’d;
Can fully typify my frame of mind—
Of perfect life a precious antepast—
As, thro’ the Orient’s light-emblazon’d arch,
Whefel’d into view the beatific Sun!
A vital presence on its kindling march,
A Victor with the world from darkness won!
His high-noon Coronation I attend,
Nor, till the shadows slope, my course down Snowdon bend.
Clare Journal, and Ennis Advertiser – Thursday 22 September 1842
A Century of Sonets: Lines on the Burns Commemoration of 1859 … by Jacob Jones, (London, 1866), pp. 13-14

Sunday [10th July] Fine, Walked to Pont Aberglaslyn. Sarah, Jess and I went to the afternoon service (English). Walked to a fall on the Llanberis road. Sunset dubious but not desperate. J. called on the Father of guides about Snowdon. The old man dubious about the weather. Hope to ascend next morning.
Monday [11th July]. Awakened by the sounds of pouring rain. No Snowdon for us that day!  Ceaseless rain until 6 when J & I went out to the bridge the Gwynant a furious stream.
Tuesday [12th July]. Lovely day. The father of guides gave us the slip. So walked to the falls of the Llugwy.
Wednesday [13th July]. A visit from the deceitful father of guides. Decided if it continued fine to start for Snowdon at 12 o’clock. Waited till one, & then finding that the guide had again deceived us, we started for the pass where we spent the morning. Jess & Bess hired ponies. Jess fell off her horse, picked up by a traveller & gently replaced. Think the heron’s name Caldecott. Dined at 6. After dinner walked to the bridge.
Thursday 14th. Started on ponies for Snowdon under the care of the guide Richard Jones. Made the ascent to the Red Ridge in 1 ½ hours where we left our ponies & Bess & then began the ascent on foot. Passed frightful precipices & arrived at the summit of Snowdon having ascended 3572 feet in [blank] hours. Found tents erected for sappers & miner for observations & several parties. Remained an hour on the summit, the clouds sweeping rapidly over the landscape & then resting upon the summit of the surrounding mountains, then moving & revealing some beautiful lake, bay or mountain – a fairy scene!  Sara induced a guide to ascend the Capel Curig side for plants which he brought up in a few minutes, the man leaping from crag to crag much to our horror. Found the descent much easier & passed the 1st precipice in searching for plants in the clefts of the rock. On returning found Bess safe, thought we had been absent about 3 hours. Lunched heartily & drank Jessie’ health in commemoration of her birthday. Walked the whole way to the foot on foot & then mounted our horses & arrived home, bruised, stiff & exhausted after a most charming day of enjoyment.
Hannah Wood, Book of Sketches, National Library of Wales, DV26 (PD281)

This account resulted in the near loss of a child by irresponsible parents.
Romantic Adventure on Snowdon
Great excitement was recently produced in Llanberis and its vicinity, in consequence of the supposed loss of a little girl on Snowdon. It appears that on Sunday a lady and gentleman, with one of their children, a girl about ten years old, proceeded from the Victoria hotel, near Llanberis, to ascend Snowdon, and after walking with their, guide for about two miles, the parents desired their child to return alone to Llanberis, while they proceeded to the summit of the mountain. On their return to Llanberis, the child had not arrived, and after fruitless search, could not be found. To-day the alarming news spread in till directions. Mr. Assheton. Smith (staying at the hotel), with promptitude and the kindest solicitude, offered a handsome reward for her discovery, and ordered all the men from his extensive slate-quarries to aid in the, search; but darkness came on the second evening, when guides and quarrymen returned without the child, or tidings of her. Nearly all hope had fled, when two miners arrived with the poor girl. It appears that she had strayed from the track-remained 24 hours wandering on the mountain, without food or rest, during heavy rains, and at last found a descent on the opposite side (towards Beddgelert), reaching the mouth of a copper mine, where she begged for a piece of bread. The miners observing her miserable state famished, bruised, and wet to the skin-put her to bed, gave her coffee, and dried her clothes, carrying her over the mountain to Llanberis in the evening. They were well rewarded by Mr. Assheton Smith for their trouble. It was a fine sight to see the gladdened faces of a mother and many more anxious expectants, when the lost sheep was found. The girl is bruised and cut, apparently by a fall, but not seriously, and at present is in no condition to give more precise information than what is here related.
The Welshman, 2nd September 1842

A Trip to Snowdon.
The fine morning of Tuesday last tempted us to pay a visit to old Snowdon and, the season being likely to continue favourable, we narrate our trip, in order to stimulate others to an undertaking the delight of which more than compensates for any toil it may impose. Toil may, however, he altogether evaded; thanks to the good posting which the Carnarvon hotels supply, and to the stout Welsh ponies, by means of which “mine host” of the Royal Victoria Hotel, situate at the entrance of the Llanberis pass, enables his guests to attain the summit of the mountain. …
King of the British hills! happy is he whom taste and leisure induce to scale thy Promethean steeps, and look down upon thy Titan sons. Nor be their claims forgotten. Beyond the smooth cool lake, to the far left, the Llider Fawr exhibits his mine of wealth – quarries of slate, scooped out, baring his mountain ribs, yet appearing but as a surface scratch upon his giant frame and forming by its evidences of human proximity, and power, and skill, a fine contrast with the terrible sublimity that, to his right, presents itself in the savage and inaccessible brow of the Glyder Fawr, jutting boldly forth, as if to seal up the pass. We speak here of the roadside view, merely; but, climb the rock from which Cwm-y-Glo derives its appellation, and the more fully revealed form of these hills will well repay the trouble but perhaps the toil had better be reserved, fur to, the hill of eagles, the lordly Snowdon, invites you to ascend! How calm and beautiful the giant looks as distance subdues his terrors!  How stern and how majestic, as a clearer sky, or a less interval, reveals them! How deep is the interest which he excites, as parting clouds display his mighty sinews, or gathering mists enhance the mystery of his form!

Have you rested at the Victoria Hotel, dined, drank quantum satis, and taken due precautions, id est, “creature comforts” in good store, – then lose no time, but proceed upon your journey for, whether you ride or walk, you have much to see, and time is passing.

Go first to Caunant Mawrr, that is, “the fall from the great chasm.” It well deserves its name. You will find it at the end of a glen about half a mile south of your inn and it will not take you much out of your way to Snowdon. The torrent is from Cwm Brwynog, and its first rush over the cloven rock is finely turned in an oblique direction, by a broad mountain stratum, so that it falls aslant into the gulph below, being at the same time slightly broken in its fall by jutting rocks, which diversify its character without detracting from its grandeur. The fall is about sixty feet; and whether rains have swollen its waters, or long draught has diminished rains have swollen its waters, or long draught has diminished them in volume, its picturesque accompaniments of rock and foliage enhance its beauty, and will amply repay the peep you give at it.

Tourists too oft exaggerate the difficulties of the ascent up this “mammoth amongst mountains.” If you walk, a stout stick, and a little patience, is all you need. Start early, take time, reserve your strength. Leave the inconsiderate and the rash to rush on at railway speed as though toil, like virtue, were “its own reward;” and enjoy by frequent pauses the various scenes of mountain beauty that disclose around you, at every step. By this means, your toil will be less felt, and will be made subservient for your enjoyment. Be not too nice about the appearances of the sky. If the weather is fine, it matters little whether the atmosphere is chequered with more or less of cloud, for the vapours repay for that which they hide, by the fresh charm they give to whatever they are passing over; audio some tastes, and those not the worst, there is more real beauty in the ever changing forms and hues, with which the clouds clothe the hills, as they undulate along their sides, repose in their deep hollows, or cap their summits, than in the widest range of prospect which a clear cloudless azure may present Even a temporary storm is a desideratum, inasmuch as it superadds another element of sublimity, and reveals a grandeur and a gloom peculiarly its own.

To describe the various points of the ascent which display fine openings among the circumjacent hills, would require volumes. Each step discloses charms that defy alike the painter and the poet. We cannot, however, refrain from calling particular attention to the prospect that bursts upon the eye when, for the first time, the brows of the Glyder and the Llider have been over-topped, and their stern features are gazed upon from the waist of their more giant king. The varied hues of herbage and of rock, the broad extent of undulating surface, and a peculiar outline, subduing terror into beauty, form the elements of a landscape that will be long remembered by the eye of taste; meanwhile, on the other hand, the right – the Eifl have stepped into full view, and the whole mountain range seem ready to do homage to their chief. In nearing the summit, the heart of the traveller half recoils from the terrible depths of bleak precipitous rock, which every step discloses on the Capel Curig side of the mountain. A mingled feeling of pleasure and surprise awaits him as he marks the slow and weary steps of those who are climbing to the summit by this ascent: and the quick sympathy of brother-hood informs him that neither time, nor care, nor wrongs, nor disappointment, have sealed up the fountain of love, placed deep within him by the Divine author of his being.

When the sky is clear, the view from the summit is most extensive. The whole of the mountains and lakes of Carnarvonshire and Merionethshire are mapped out, as it were, immediately under the eye; whilst on the horizon the mountains of Penygent and Ingleborough, in Yorkshire, the hills of Lancashire, Cumberland, and Westmoreland, part of the coast and hills of Scotland, the Isle of Man, and even part of the county of Wicklow, in Ireland, are distinctly visible; no less than from thirty to forty lakes being seen in the intervening vales and many a meandering stream flowing in silvery lines to its far ocean bed.

On Tuesday last, although the day was fine, the sky was not so clear as to permit this extent of vision. Sixteen of the Carnarvonshire lakes were however visible, and every portion of this and the adjacent counties seen in that half bird’s eye, half perspective, that shows at once the summit and the base of every mountain without depriving its sides of their distinctive character. Mynydd Mawr still retained somewhat of that peculiar form which, as seen from Carnarvon, has caused him to be likened to an elephant in repose – Glyder Fawr, but exhibited a more terrific outline, and a more diversified sublimity; whilst even the tame contour of Moel Eilian became a rival to the nobler forms of majesty and beauty by which he is surrounded.

To enumerate the names of lakes, and hills, and vales, that have not been visited by those for whom we chiefly write, were idle; and to convey an adequate idea of mountain forms here greenly sloped, the abodes of verdure and of life, there rugged and stern, impending cliffs, huge perpendicular rocks and gushing waters mingled in shapeless majesty, yet softened into beauty-is all impossible. Even the pencil were inadequate. The savage grandeur of a Salvator would exclude their detail; the elaborate minuteness of a Turner would scarcely secure the full unity of their Alpine masses. They must be seen to be understood. Our object is not so much to describe as to invite others to inspect that which we feel to be at once beyond all power of description and all terms of praise. Yes, the view from Snowdon must be seen to be understood and it will present new aspects and new beauties with every change of season and of sky the very mountains themselves losing their distinctive outlines as rays of light call forth their jutting cliffs, or a sailing rack, sinking into their chasms, exhibits their demarcating ribs; whilst the colouring and chiaroscuro of the whole change with the shadow of every passing cloud, and the advent of every atmospheric current – that which one moment appears dark and terrible, being the next moment lit up into sparkling beauty, or invested with the rainbow mystery of its circumambient sky. At one moment mountains will appear beyond mountains, in far perspective, carrying the foreground hues, by beautiful gradations, to the sky, – interspersed with winding vales, broad lakes, and lovely streams, traced clearly to the ocean, and capable of definite depiction whilst at the next, large masses of mountain and of valley will be enveloped in cloud, and the remainder appear all changed in form and hue as though Proteus and Iris had bound them in the mystery of their blended spell.
Is our reader a poet, or a true lover of poesy,
“Whilst silence holds her sabbath
In the hollows of these hills,”
he will feel in gushing ecstasy the thrilling tenderness of his spiritual being. The full capabilities of his noble and immortal nature will dawn upon him and the mysteries of life, and of eternity, stand half revealed. Is he a painter, may the mantle of Wilson fall upon him that he may learn to combine infinity of detail with unity of mass, and perpetuate by a year of toil the beauty of a moment. Is our reader one on whom taste has conferred the privilege of enjoying that which it is the peculiar province of genius to create, here will he find much if not all that cultivated intelligence may demand as the sources of deep enjoyment in scenic beauty whilst to the man of science and research old Snowdon offers a rich supply of much that, as a student in any of the three kingdoms of nature, he may be desirous to possess. The corps of engineers have sent down a company of sappers and miners to make preparations for the arrival of some efficient officers to complete or repeat a trigonometrical survey of these hills and the surrounding country; and the circumstance is fortunate for the tourist, as their tents will afford him shelter from the gust, and will doubtless be gladly opened to receive him and, for the encouragement of those who know how much even mental pleasures depend upon the presence of physical enjoyments, we would suggest that the good brandy, which Mr. Johnson of the hotel can supply, can be diluted within half a mile of the summit of Snowdon, at a spring of the coldest, the purest, and the most delicious water that ever refreshed a traveller; whilst viands of the best quality, a good bed and the sweets of well-earned repose, await him at his return to the Victoria, the hospitality of which establishment he will have an opportunity of recording in an album kept for that purpose, and containing among other, not unpleasing impromptus, the following
Ye tourists all, both high and low,
Of every rank and station,
May well upon this house bestow
Your mite of commendation.

The fare within, the scene without,
Are really so delightful,
Stomachs and eyes may (not a doubt)
With luxuries be quite full.

The lake has trout of finest sort;
I trow, ’tis true, for I have seen it.
The house itself’s a famous-port
And famous port is in it.

The host is in himself a host.
His daughter’s quite a fairy,
I’ll toast her in my buttered toast.
In cream fresh from the dairy.

And Margaret, the waiting maid
Was never made for waiting;
Her charms throw many into shade,
Who live both rank and state in.

Sweet memory ofttimes shall call back
Bright eyes and cheeks of cherries.
Of which, in sooth, there is no lack
At Johnson’s of Llanberis,

The smoke-dried denizens of Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and other large towns, should throw off the coil of care and business, for a few days, and inhale the invigorating air that surrounds this monarch of the British alps.
Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, 18th June 1842

Charles James Fox Bunbury, (1809-????) had an interest in botany
June 18th To Beddgelert and Llanberis, 24 Miles
{Had been in the area in September 1832}
Llanberis Pass
{Ascent of Snowdon}
When I reached the top of the mountain (which is crowned with a pyramid of stones), I could not see ten yards in any direction: we were enveloped in impenetrably thick white clouds, which came rolling up before the wind in surge-like columns forcibly reminding me of the scene in “Manfred”.
{had a fine view after waiting some time.}
I procured here several good plants. {details}
June 21st
At Llanberis – much rain
June 22nd
From Llanberis by Caernarfon to Bangor.
Memorials of Sir C. J. F. Bunbury, Bart, edited by Frances Horner Bunbury and Katharine Horner Lyell., vol. 1, (1891), pp. 362-366

Charles Darwin was in north Wales studying geology.

The Ordnance Survey were on the summit of Snowdon from 16th July to 21st November 1842
Description of the [Ordnance Survey Trigonometrical] Stations:
Snowdon, marked by a pile 20 ft in diameter beneath which a hole is bored into the rock to denote the centre.
Observations from Slieve Donard [Ireland] 3 ft theodolite, R.S.; 21 observations of Snowdon
Observations from Snowdon, 3 ft theodolite, R.S., 16th July to 21st November 1842. Only 4 observations of Slieve Donard
Observers Lieut Pipon and Stanley R.E.
Ordnance Trigonometrical Survey of Great Britain and Ireland, Accounts of the Observations and Calculations of the Principal Triangulation; and of the Figure, Dimensions and Mean Specific Gravity, of the Earth as derived therefrom.
Drawn up by Capt Alexander Ross Clarke under the direction of Lt Col. H James, superintendant of the OS, (London 1858), pp. 36, 152-153

A large company of the Royal Engineers have established their headquarters in the neighbourhood and are about to erect the largest theodolite ever made, with which to make observations and which will enable them to communicate with all the highest points of England and Scotland
The Hull Packet; and East Riding Times, 15 Jul 1842

The German tourist, J.G. Kohl climbed Snowdon and met the Ordnance Surveyors. He published in German in 1844. An abridged version of a translation of his work was published in 1844 and a fuller version probably in 1845. This is the full version:
On the ensuing morning we set off for Snowdon, the loftiest of all these hills. The summit of which is about 10 miles from Caernarfon. We reached the foot of it in a small gig, such as in general use for traversing the numerous cross and bye roads of the country.
We had a “beautiful morning,” and a “very fine drive,” as far as the inn at Llanberis whose vale and village are to Snowdon, what Chamouni is to Mont Blanc. Here, by an excellent breakfast, we refreshed our energies for the ascent, on foot, – joining a party of English sight seers, who were all agog to visit the wonders of the Principality, – its mountain peaks, its 126 ruined castles, its romantic lakes and vallies. This class of tourists has greatly increased of late, with the improved facilities of communication; those who have it not in their power to visit foreign climes, wisely contenting themselves with admiring the beauties of their native land. I found no reason to repent having joined this party; for it consisted of persons who, besides being agreeable and well bred, entered into the full spirit of mountain travel, and were enthusiastic in their admiration of the scenes around them.
Behind our inn, about a mile distant, was situated a slate quarrying which we were told there were upwards of 1,000 persons employed. In the neighbourhood were several smaller quarries; and a continued volley of explosions was to be heard, arising from the process of blasting; as well as one uninterrupted rattle produced by the slate slabs rolling down the rocks. {more on the quarry}
{Margaret Uch Evans}
Our guide to the heights, upon mentioning to us his name, Hugh Williams, furnished occasion for the relation of a singular fact connected with his very name, with the Menai Straits. {Story of the Menai ferry going down in storms in 1664, 1785 and 1820, when on each occasion, the only individuals to survive were called Hugh Williams.}
The heights by which wee ascended were perfectly bare, being divested both of verdure and wood. The different levels in the ascent were covered with fragments of rock and stones. Higher up, however, a little green made its appearance, – no slight relief to the eye. These spots, these mountain oases, were covered with sheep, wandering at liberty, uncontrolled either by shepherd or his dog. The creatures remain in this half-wild state, winter and summer, never being secured except on occasion of shearing, or when about to be sent to market. If taken to be fed in England, it is said they begin to pine away; and when not far from the borders, they will break from the field, and find their way back to their native hills. At one time, goats were more generally seen than sheep; indeed, Wales was celebrated for them, as the Tyrol for is chamois; and they are still bred, though on a much smaller scale. As fast as agricultural improvements are introduced, the goat continues to make room for the sheep, as the more useful animal, and one less destructive to the young crops, either in the farm or garden.
A little higher up we came to a smooth level meadow, a terrace-like spot, which, we were told was “the Consultation Hill, or Foylcyhnorion, where the old chiefs were in the habit of assembling to deliberate, during their wars with the English. It bears a strong resemblance to the field of Rutli, where the three Swiss heroes took their patriotic oath.
We found the peaks of these hills generally moist, notwithstanding the long, dry summer of 1842. This peculiarity, which renders them slippery, gave the Welsh considerable advantage in resisting the attacks of their enemies, who had great difficulty in maintaining their footing at all. In our progress we passed several copper mines, among which we observed a number of small lakes, whose waters were actually dyed green by the metal. The sheep that pastured around had too much sagacity, we were told, to partake of the poisonous water. Some of these small lakes are to be met with, even on the loftiest eminences; two of those which occur upon Snowdon, are celebrated by tradition, the one for having possessed a floating island, and the other for a tribe of one-eyed fishes. As is the case with many other mountains which are either always or most frequently covered with snow, – Montblanc … for instance, it is to its white cap, that this mountain owes its name. The word is Saxon, but the true Cambrian tern, Craig Eryri has, according to Camden, precisely the same meaning. Strange, that so many spots of lesser interest should have retained their native denominations, the country itself, and its noblest mountain, should have received their names from their conquerors. That of Wales, is a general Germanic term for Celtic lands, while the ancient British name is “Cambria” or “Cymri.”
Snowdon narrows, as you approach the summit, into a complete cone, on the top of which, a surveying party found only room sufficient to spread a small tent, and arrange their mathematical instruments. The soldiers on duty at this tent, erected for the purpose of a new survey of the country, had constructed a pathway of stones around their frail canvass dwelling, which added considerably to the facility of commanding a prospect of the scenery on every side. The officer of the post, for the better accommodation of himself and his men, had raised several other tents on the little levels lower down.
With regard to extent of view, Snowdon is considered to stand unrivalled in Wales, and even in Britain. Scotland indeed, has loftier mountains; for Snowdon is only 3751 feet high, and Ben Nevis 4370; but, though higher, the Scotch hills present a more limited range of objects, being obstructed by other eminences; and then, as they are situated at the extremity of Great Britain, the prospect is, in great measure, confined to the ocean, and affords little variety. Snowdon, on the contrary, lies in the centre of the British World, and presents views on all sides, of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and Wales; as well as of the islands of Anglesea and Man. The atmosphere round it, indeed, is seldom sufficiently clear to admit a full and satisfactory view to the extent of its horizon. I was informed by the officer alluded to, that during the two months that he had passes on the mountain, he had not seen the coast of Ireland more than four times; although the summer in England, as throughout Europe, had been a remarkably fine one. The highest point to which the thermometer had risen, during the months of July and August, had been 74 degrees of Fahrenheit.
We had, on the whole, a very favourable day; for we had neither fog nor rain. Large masses of cloud, indeed, swept over the eminences below us, permitting us only at intervals to catch delightful views of the slate-teeming mountains of North Wales, of the Irish Sea, covered with steamers, and of the flat, sandy, isles of Anglesea and Man. We were told by the officer of engineers, that the old breed of eagles had long been banished from their eyries on the peaks, the last of the race having been seen, some years ago, taking his flight for ever from his patriarchal hills. The Cambrian name of the mountain, Craig Eryr, though, according to Camden, it bears, as already stated, the same significance as Snowdon, is derived by others from another Welsh word, Craig Eryrod, – the Hill of Eagles.
Kohl, Johan Georg, Reisen in England und Wales, (Dresden, 1844)
Kohl, Johan Georg, England, Wales and Scotland, (London 1844)  (Abridged translation)
Kohl, Johan Georg, Travels in England and Wales [1845] (Translated into English by Thomas Roscoe), Reprinted (London 1968), pp. 68-69

Letter: Edward Stanley, Bishop of Norwich, to Michael Faraday, 2 November 1842
I enclose a letter from my son, Lieut. Charles Stanley, R.E., [died 1849 aged 30, see Gents. Magazine, vol. 33, p. 341] now encamped on the summit of Snowdon for the purpose of taking triangles for the new Ordnance Survey describing a fine case of electrical suffusion occurring on the evening of 20 October. I ascended on the day before when the air was so remarkably clear to the N. and E. that I clearly, with the naked eye saw the Isle of Man and the Heliostat was seen from the observatory on Axe Edge near Burton distant upwards of 90 miles. There had been thunder the day before and no doubt the atmosphere was a good deal charged with electric fluid. I remained there on Wednesday night during the whole of which a heavy gale from NE prevailed with thick but sharp snow. The thermometer at 25 [degrees Fahrenheit] but owing to the effect of dry evaporating wind, the feeling of cold was intense. I left the summit in the middle of the day on Thursday in a dense cloud, which extended with the snow about half way down. I should be glad to hear your opinion on the details. It appears to me that the observatory which is about 10 or 12 yards above the officers’ hut on the very pinnacle of the mountain must have received the discharge of an electric current, much in the same way as the knuckle of a finger receives that of an electrical machine, these accounting for the light and noise, and that the  super-abundance of electrical fluids not being able to penetrate the earth there deeply covered with snow, attached itself to part of the observatory and the face caps of the men, and this seems more probable, by no such lambent fire appearing on the second flash and sound on the Evening of October 22nd where rain had considerably melted the snow and laid the earth bare. If you can suggest any observations, I am sure my son will be glad to avail himself of you instructions, and it is possible that the camp may remain in its exposed domicile for several weeks to come.
Papers of Michael Faraday, Royal Institution of Great Britain, ms. F1 K30;
Faraday, Michael, Correspondence of Michael Faraday (ed. Frank A J L James), vol. 3, 1841-1848, (1996), pp. 104-105, Letter 1443

Edward Stanley, Bishop of Norwich wrote a long letter to his wife after visiting his son, one of the surveyors on the summit of Snowdon.
Camp Snowdon, Monday Oct. 20, 1842
—- Left Chester at 7 o’clock fortunately I had the coach to myself nearly all the way and by 3 o’clock A.M. was in bed at Bangor.
& taking a car at 9 to Caernarfon & another to Llanberis from thence found myself on my way up Snowdon soon after 12. The morning was perfect …
There was Snowdon’s peaks before me white and sharp as Alps in their new clad ermine garment of Snow on which the sun shone with dazzling light then as the sun was eclipsed by clouds, bright masses of white mist out dazzled the peaks – then again the ???? became so uniform & intermingled that it was impossible to say where Snowdon ended and the sky began. When about halfway up the guide pointed out a dark line slowly moving upwards on the snow consisting of a train of ponies laden with coals for the summit. The peak … appeared again and the camp became visible like small dim excrescences on an inclined plain of snow – soon after this, three figures were visible with a black speck moving rapidly to and fro ????? ????? & soon one of the little figures shot ahead from the nest? followed by the black speck – it was not necessary to use my Telescope to ascertain that the figure was dear Charles & the speck his black dog, ???????? he bounded & soon we met and he did look so happy – the two others joined us soon Mr Pipon and Hankesson who left us when we came to the path leading to Capel Curig – Had I selected a day for Snowdon with all its varieties of ??????? and beauties in perfection, I could not have chosen better – on one side dark, gloomy and misty ghosts of snow showers were shrouding hills and dales while on the other parts the sun was illuminating lakes and vales, coloured with the richest garb of autumnal tints and as if to crown the whole when within a few paces of the top one of the men came on to say that the long sort for, and in vain looked for the Heliostat of Axe Edge was visible and up ran Pipon and Charles to the observatory to verify the result and note down the angles – leaving me to the care of James to do the honours of his house at which I arrived in 2 hours and 5 minutes from Llanberis – probably the first Bishop on its summit, at all events I think I may venture to say certainly the first and probably the last Bishop who ever got up there on foot in so short a time – the usual time being 2 ½ hours and sometimes 3 or 4. I was not tired but my feet were cold to a degree – the transition being from marshy ground to the first meeting of the snow, which was partially melted into a mass of swashy chill upon which as we ascended to the remaining portion where all was one sheet of dry snow with a sharp biting NE wind extracting every moveable particle of warmth from our bodies.

I had through the early portion of the march only used by black Gt Coat but when the above N.E. breeze pounced upon me on turning a particular corner I took it off and put on my fur coat from whose protection saving when in bed, I have not for a single moment departed, having in addition from the moment I took off my wet stockings & freezing shoes by Charles’s stove put on his ???boots both of which, as the sequel will shew, have not been more than ????? under existing circumstances absolutely necessary & under which tho’ within a yard of the stove, I am now sitting with my fingers almost numb – But to proceed tho’ not much tired I was so hungry that my first call was for luncheon, which was forthwith a???????? by James groaning under a well covered tray of Pigs face, cheese, butter & bottled Ale – I really felt ashamed of myself – first of all I eat [sic] pigs face thinking it the very best Pigs face that had ever been served up – cheese, Bread Butter & all the very best – & after eating of each till I could eat no more, I still reluctantly retired to ‘visit’ the Observatory & had the extreme pleasure of being present when not only Axe Edge but two others, Whittle Hill & Bollings 88 & 65 miles, were again visible & noted down. But now to change the scene – for it seemed Snowdon was prepared to show himself in all her phases for my express gratification no doubt – About 4 o’clock the mists began to accumulate – the wind began to rough in the lower vales & rise in sudden squalls accompanied with piercing sleet – Pipon took his departure downwards to Beddgelert, leaving the camp to Jenkins? & to Charlie and me. In vain I poked in piece after piece of ????nnel coal into the stove and sat with my hands covering? over it to keep out the cold which now became unwelcome intec??? through cracks and crannies of the thin wooden walls  – fur coat and fur boots did their best but their best was by no means equal to the necessities of the occasion and so it went on till 6 o’clock when Charlie applying his lips to a large couch shell blew a blast out of the little square slide in the room louder than the bleak blast, which was now in full howl sweeping before it clouds of pulverised hail, sleet and snow, and true to the blast tho’ how he affected his passage from the cooking room I cannot imagine in come James with three smoking hot dishes, 1st a leg of mutton, 2nd a hashed duck, 3rd potatoes & in such good company with my chair within a foot of the stove I sat down with the best fortitude, good will & I must candidly confess I never enjoyed a dinner more – By the time it was well over Boreas was active in his vocation he roared and bellowed angry on the hut which with all its force pelted and battered on the outward panels of the building, as if it insisted on its right to every square inch of space and would have ejected us from this its domain of storm and tempest. About 6 o’clock M Williams of (I think) Crayydon [sic] who is a sort of scientific man had arranged to fire a 6 pounder every evening, which was to be observed at the camp – but in vain did we look out at the appointed hour, the wind was blowing great guns & the heavy dense clouds as effectually shut out the flash; about 8 I turned into ???????? bed, covered over with blankets my sheet, fur coat etc. and one of Charlie’s  ??????  assort of fur stuffed quilt – I had indeed intended to secure the warmth for my feet of a bottle of hot water but after James had cracked two, I gave it up trusting to the gossamer coverings I have just described – before going to bed however, I should add that Charles on looking behind his chair, called out, only look what’s here – and what we did see was a carpeting of snow which had drifted under the door & on his opening it to see how it could get in, we found the little covered in passage separating his house from Pipon’s, well filled with snow – the beer barrel completely covered and a pan full of minerals which Charlie had put in a pan of water was hard frozen – on opening his own door matters were rather worse for a little section which could let in air and command a view was blown open and resisted all attempts to shut so that the snow had had free ingress into bed – however, at last I got in & strange to say, I never felt more comfortable in my life – first of all I soon became quite warm, feet and all, & there was something indescribably agreeable in the ???????? of enjoying perfect repose, when such a ????? ????? of aerial demons were striking from without – & still more strange, I who am a bad sleeper & kept awake by the march of a mouse even, actually slept better than usual – to be true? my sleep was not sound, for strange dreams and visions kept passing before me, and then I lay awake for a time. My watch seemed to partake of the singular novel position in which it was placed, I had poked it on one side under my pillow, but when I drew it out it was so cold that I was obliged to bury it under the clothes to warm it and then when I tried to make it strike, something gave way and it came to a dead stop. By midnight, the storm seemed to be at its height  – I really expected every minute to hear a loud crack and feel myself struggling with the wreck – I might well say the night was unruly? where we lay  – In the midst of all this din of cracking and roaring & pattering & rattling of hail & sleet, ever and anon there was an awful pause, lasting sometimes ½ a minute, & sometimes rather more, I could not keep fancying that the genius of the storm was pausing & thinking within himself “What shall we do next for the Bishop” for that a genius or imp of some sort or other was above me was my only mode of accounting for an unaccountable ???????? noise I heard now and then just over the shed – there was a dull sound as if somebody was stepping heavily out of bed and tumbling over chairs and tables in this room – now as I well knew I & Charlies & his sappers were sleeping high above the rest of our fellow mortals our nearest neighbour upwards being the man in the moon I could not but persuade myself that if it was not the man in the moon himself it must have been someone of the legion spirits of the gale, but be that as it may, he did me no harm, only stirring up a very philosophical train of thought as to how and why he made these strange and singular noises – about 6 o’clock the sapper on the watch opened the door to inform Charlie what was perfectly obvious, without such regimental and official notice, that he need not get up to make observations as we were all in the clouds – about 7 however, Charlie walked into my room with a merry countenance & his eyes wide open to report the state of his room  – The head of his cot was frozen to the panels, his looking glass (being below freezing temperature) on his breathing upon it immediately covering itself with an efflorescence of hoar frost, the walls of his room wherever there was damp all mantled with ice or frost and his water jug a mass of ice, so much for my night on Snowdon. I should add that to my surprise, the building did not shake, the walls seemed to stand firm & ar? thought because literally they were founded upon a rock, but Charlie’s rationale of the phenomenon was probably that true one, namely that the timbers were so hard frozen together it was impossible to shape? them – at 9 James in spite of wind and weather had laid out the breakfast table and furnished it with an ample supply of tea, coffee, mutton chops, broiled pheasant, potted Yarmouth bloaters & all other good things and I can only say I enjoyed the Breakfast as much as I had done my yesterday’s luncheon & dinner  – when this was over I visited the other houses of James, the men and the cook’s home an affair more easily said than done as the ground was so slippery that I could scarcely put one foot before the other in Charlies’ large fur boots. And the wind almost blew you over, whilst the sharp freezing snow cut like needles as it struck the face – what a wild scene it was, the huts were barely visible amidst the drifted snow which now covered everything, it was a severe climb to reach the observatory not 20 paces above – which cut a curious figure, its long ropes to keep it steady now looking like enormous cables of snow attached to the colossal figure of a huge snowman as if to find him a prisoner on his lonely post – we went up to observe the instruments the thermr had been at 26 [degrees Fahrenheit] & was then 29 – the extreme cold being occasioned not so much by the lowness of temperature as by the cutting fierceness of the wind – As for the scene, how shall I describe it  – like nothing belonging to the world – land was invisible & so was sky  – it was an undefined, confused melange of dazzling white which the eye could scarcely look upon – the passing cloud above as white as the snowy surface of the mountain over which it swept, we might have been in another planet it requiring some stretch of imagination all things considered, & the sudden change from the view of yesterday, to think that there was another world below us, where people might be luxuriating under a warm sun, reading newspapers and gossiping about things from which we were far removed.

About half past 1 Charlie and I prepared, notwithstanding to undertake a voyage of discovery & revisit (if they existed) these lower regions, & floundering thro’ the ????tradders snow, we began our descent – at first the cold was intense and the clouds impenetrable, but in about a qr of an hour it was curious to see dim outlines of mountains appearing below and here and there a bit of a vale green with sunshine  – when about ½ way down, and while still in the midst of snow, (don’t be alarmed) I all of a sudden felt the queerest sensation, a whistling of all about one a strange giddiness and an inability to keep my feet, it increased to such a degree that I was at last obliged to tell Charles to hold my arm & I sat down, or rather sank down on the first stone I came near. I kept my eyes shut for five minutes, then by degrees came to myself – I have no doubt this vertigo was produced by either the dazzling glare of the snow or the jolting of the ???????? as I floundered through deep snow, or from the extreme cold of the feet – but no matter all’s well that ends well – in another ½ mile, I was quite myself again an in one hour & ¾ including the time I sat on the stone we entered Llanberis Hotel, where having put on clean and warm stockings & shoes we did full justice to an incomparable dinner of Trout and Char & Carnarvon mutton – all below was smiling and radiant as sun and fine weather could make it & the turmoil of elements having been confined to the higher regions, soon after 4 Charlie with a merry face and light heart set out on his return, while I in a car pushed on for Carnarvon where I have finished this long letter – no doubt he soon fell in again with wind and clouds as I saw vast masses rolling over the Snowdon range.
Ever yours
E Norwich
Letter from Edward Stanley, (1779–1849) Bishop of Norwich (1837 -1849), Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, Stanley of Alderley Records, DSA/201, pp.

This guide book included long quotations from Pennant and others.
We were told by our host that the best time to ascend the “monarch of mountains,” was in the night time, so as to reach the summit in time to view the king of the day rising from the eastern horizon in all his splendour. Several of the company agreed to join us, for it seemed we were all bound on the same expedition. After furnishing ourselves with a lunch, and a X X of O D V [brandy], to drink on the mountain top, we engaged a guide and hired ponies.
Ascent Of Snowdon,
“Father of hills! I greet thy friendly face,
The last best shelter of thy country’s race;
The smile that led them to thy sinewy arms,
Where nature revels in unvarnish’d charms;
Stretch’d, for their safety all thy realms of rock,
Repell’d invading hosts repeated shock.”
Llwyd. [Richard Llwyd, the Bard of Snowdon, published 1804]
There are various accounts of the ascent of Snowdon, but we shall adopt the description given by a friend of Mr. Smith, of Liverpool, and companion to the late lamented Belzoni, who made no less than three ascents to the summit. We give the account nearly in the narrator’s own words; since they convey precisely the same impression, and describe correctly the objects on the route adopted by ourselves.
[Account of an ascent of Snowdon, 1825, transcribed by Mr Smith]
Upon the extreme summit is a huge wooden pillar, placed on a large mound of stone work, erected by government in 1827, covered with hosts of names of persons who thus aspire to immortalize themselves; each apparently endeavouring to outvie the last inscribed; to effect which they must have made use of each other’s shoulders.
The view from this exalted station is unbounded. From the summit may be seen the county of Cheshire, the high hills of Yorkshire, part of the north of England, Scotland, and Ireland: a plain view of the Isle of Man; and that of Anglesey lay extended like a map beneath us, with every rill visible. To see this prospect to advantage, Pennant sat up at a farm on the west, till about twelve, and walked up the whole way. [Quotation from Pennant.]
Storm On The Mountain.
Snowdon has its seasons: there are periods when it is enveloped in clouds for days, with little intermission. Occasionally the sky becomes obscured immediately after the tourist has accomplished the ascent, but if of firm mould, and provided for the emergency, the phenomena of storms may be studied here in all their grandeur and sublimity. Pennant was thus on one occasion overtaken by a thunderstorm. [Quotations from Pennant (1781) and Letters from Snowdon (1769)
Snowdon affords an extensive field for the researches of the botanist. The rose root, rhodiola rosea, grows hero, and fills the whole mountain with scent for three or four weeks in the summer; its pale green branches are found on the steepest rocks. Its flowers are yellowish green, and are even more sweet than the roots. The summit of Crib Goch, is covered with festuca vivipara, the alpine viviparous grass, which bears a cluster of young seedlings on a very slender stem. These waving in the wind, apparently without support, give a singular appearance to the rocks, which look as if they were in motion. The opposite-leaved saxifage, generally flowers here either in April or May. Clogwyn y Garnedd, was noted even in Camden’s time for its alpine flowers; but many species have since then been utterly exterminated by the numerous explorers of the rocks. But the botanist will find ample amusement for hours in this locality, from the multitude of rare plants which yet clotha the gloomy rocks which they inhabit: grasses, rushes, ferns, mosses and lichens, vegetate in great variety. Some fine branches of that elegant fern pteris crispa, and the Snowdon pink, are found in great perfection. The aspidium conchitis, an exceedingly rare alpine fern, is met with, but the specimens are inferior to those found in Scotland; here it rarely exceeds six inches in height, but it is a most delicately pointed and highly finished plant.

Snowdon is also rich in geological treasures, so much so as to render it impossible for us to give them a distinctive character, as they begin so high as the calcareous, and descend as low in the system as the softest argile. The prevailing strata, however, whereof the highest summits from the Conway to Snowdon are composed, consist of petro silex, grey granite, slate, shattery, schistus, intermixed with rich veins of metallic substances and quartzspar; of the latter, I.lanberis mine produces a remarkable kind, being of a bright ruby. The intelligent mincralogist will be highly delighted in his ramble over these romantic hills.

The following anecdote of three gentlemen travelling through the principality, is said to have taken place at the inn at Dolbadarn. By a coincidence, not very wonderful, the servants of each of these gentlemen were natives of England, Ireland, and Scotland. The subject of the conversation of the evening was the ascent of Snowdon. The landlord informed them there was a tradition, that if a person slept on the top of Snowdon all night, he would awake in the morning either a poet or a madman; which led to a conversation as to trying the experiment. Not being willing to undergo the hardship themselves, it was proposed that one of the servants should be despatched to test the accuracy of the landlord’s report … but the result of the experiment is not recorded.

The following is a comparative view of the height of the principal mountains in Wales, taken by Lieutenant Colby, of the Engineers, by a most powerful theodolite made by Ramsden, and at the public expense:  Snowdon 3571 feet …

While here the tourist should not omit visiting Ceunant Mawr, The Waterfall of the great chasm, which is within half a mile of the Victoria Hotel. This tremendous cataract is upwards of sixty feet in height, and is formed by the mountain torrent from Cwm Brwynog, which rushes with tremendous force through a cleft in the rock above, and descends in a slanting position, with noise rivalling the thunder, into the deep black pool below.

Before the tourist leaves the Victoria Hotel, he should also visit the Dinorwig and Glanrhonwy slate quarries, situated on the declivity of the mountain, opposite Dolbadarn Castle, where nearly 2000 men are constantly employed.

This little valley, formerly the scene of sanguinary fights, is now the theatre of trade and commerce. Besides the immense slate quarries, it can boast of mineral treasures; both copper and lead ores are found in great quantities in this neighbourhood. Quitting this delightful spot, we enter the famed Pass of Llanberis…
Parry, Edward, 1798-1854, Cambrian Mirror, or a New Tourist Companion through north Wales (1843).  pp. 98-101
Another edition (London: Simpkin and Co., Longman and Co., 1846)
also in Anon, The Cambrian Tourist Guide and Companion, containing a concise account and description of North Wales: chiefly in the counties of Merioneth and Caernarvon with their various Antiquities, Mountains, Lakes, Waterfalls, Towns, Principal Inns, Roads, etc. (1847), pp. 108-113

Thomas Carlyle, (1795-1881) was considered to be one of the most important social commentators of his time. He toured north Wales with his brother John and climbed Snowdon. He visited south Wales earlier in the year and wrote to his wife on the 3rd July1843 ‘Even I, the most determined anti-view hunter, find [the rocks of the Avon at Clifton] worthy of a word.’ Presumably much of the following was in a letter which was not transcribed in Froude’s work, or from some other source.
The brothers [Thomas and John] went in a steamer from Liverpool to Bangor, and thence to Llanberis, again in a tub-gig or Welsh car. They travelled light, for Carlyle took no baggage with him except a razor, a shaving brush, a shirt, and a pocket-comb; ‘tooth-brush’ not mentioned, but we may hope forgotten in the inventory. They slept at Llanberis, and the next day went up Snowdon.
The summit was thick in mist. They met two other parties there coming up from the other side of the mountain, ‘like ghosts of parties escorted by their charons.’ They descended to Beddgelert, and thence drove down to Tremadoc, where they were entertained by a London friend, one of the Chorleys, who had a house at the place. Carlyle began to feel already that he had had enough of it, to tire his ‘tossings and tumblings,’ and to find that he did not ‘at the bottom care twopence for all the picturesqueness in the world.’
Froude, James, Thomas Carlyle, A History of his Life in London, 1834-1881, vol. 1, (1884), p. 316

Thomas Carlyle, Reminiscences; edited by James Anthony Froude (1881)

Anon, Wales as Carlyle Saw it Forty Years Ago, The Red Dragon, July – December, 1884, p.
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 6th December 1884

The Duke of Newcastle who owned Hafod, near Aberystwyth, climbed Snowdon with his four daughters and son William during a tour of Wales.
From Beddgelert through the magnificent pass to Llanberis where we stopped and instantly made arrangements for going up Snowdon – all being ready we proceeded – unfortunately it was rather late in the afternoon being after 4 o’clock when we arrived at the inn – but we were soon off and after a fatiguing pull arrived at the top – which we had scarcely reached when the mist came on so thickly that after having waited about 20 minutes finding that it was in rain? and too late in the evening to expect to profit by any extrication from ???? we descended – for nearly the whole ascent it was clear and we could see everything that the state of the light permitted – We could see at least 12 lakes but I forget the exact number and the most extensive and magnificent prospect I ever beheld – it was the finest thing in its way that I ever saw – and I would not have missed it on any account – on a clear day and earlier light the coast of Ireland, Isle of Man, the sea beyond Anglesea, and various other places could be distinctly seen – we did not reach our inn until past 9 o’clock excessively fatigued but truly gratified – we dined and went to bed as soon after as we could –
Diary of the Duke of Newcastle, The University of Nottingham, Manuscripts and Special Collections, Ne 2F 7, p. 49

The most singular and amusing thing on the top of Snowdon is a rude hut constructed of massive stones piled one upon the other – interior cased in wood in which a most singular character named Williams, a second Robinson Crusoe, has taken up his abode during the season – a good natured careless sort of fellow ready to welcome every stranger, high or low to his hospitable abode. Luxuries he cannot boast of but a cup of coffee, probably without milk and a bit of home made bread and good butter he sets before you and bids you eat and smile and be merry. He appears to have been disgusted with the lower world and declares himself happier on the top of Snowdon – surrounded with mists that drown the valley below.
Anon, 1844, Lancashire Record Office, Preston, Ms DDX1282-4

This is a different account to those published in Roscoe’s 1836 edition of his ‘Wanderings’
‘On one occasion, while staying at the Victoria Hotel, I determined to commence the ascent of Snowdon at such an early hour as would afford me the prospect of a glorious sunrise from the top of that lofty mountain. For this purpose I engaged a guide whom I ordered to be in readiness the following morning, and at the appointed time, after some hasty refreshment, we started on our way before daybreak, taking care to provide the edibles, ycleped brandy and biscuits, necessary for a day’s sojourn upon the hills. After a wearisome walk we reached the stone-work on the highest point, but only to meet with disappointment, for thick mists invested the pinnacle of Y Wyddfa, and the sun rose in murky gloom. The cold was intense, and I was almost disposed to beat a retreat from this comfortless situation, but my companion prevailed on me to remain, assuring me, from his long experience, that the morning might yet prove to be remarkably fine. He was correct in his prognostication, and a day of wonderful revelations rewarded me for this exercise of patience. After waiting for nearly two hours, the heavy clouds moved forward in tempestuous eddies, and for a few minutes the scene was without any parallel for its novel and sublime character. The objects immediately surrounding me, and the summits of the loftier hills appeared to roll with the surge of the sweeping and dispersing fogs. As they slowly debouched, column after column, the horizon began to clear, and the splendid scenery, below, disclosed itself more distinctly. The sun, breaking forth from his pavilion of clouds, illuminated the mural steeps of the Llywedd, and shed a sudden radiance over the lakes and vales below. The panoramic views presently became more grand and extensive. Far as the eye could reach a vision of wondrous power and beauty unfolded itself, awakening new thoughts and feelings in the soul, which trembled while it exulted in tracing the startling and majestic characters stamped by an Omnipotent hand upon these his glorious works. The atmosphere became perfectly clear; the day, magnificently beautiful, displayed the most distant objects to the far-oil‘ horizon of the sea, in the most brilliant and varied illuminations. The red veins of Crib Goch reflected back a stream of sanguine rays, as quick and fierce as those which glittered upon his ridge. The singular and fantastic forms of these rocky formations, either primitive or time-worn, pinnacled or projecting, running off in bold escarpments, or shelving into sheet-like floors of granite, sometimes yawning in chasms too deep for the light of summer sun to reach, or rounded into amphitheatres that might have formed the council-hall of a race of giants, gleaming in their hues of grey, green, and purple, lying in ribbon streaks. or mingling in rich combination.—all, all lay immediately around me. The loftiest points of England, Scotland, and Ireland were not merely shadowed forth, but were seen ; while the Isle of Man, sparkling with ocean lights, ——the Menai, running like a silver thread in a web of verdure, —-and Anglesey, with her hills and coasts, appeared to be spread like a map before the eye. The impression was that of a world of solitude stretching out in a succession of prospects, fading into distant softening vistas, as agreeable to the eye as to the imagination, and looking like the val sans retour of fairy land. The descent from Snowdon into the vale of Llanberis offers many picturesque views, but they are not so interesting or majestic as those on the side of Capel Curig or Beddgelert. A great part of the way is monotonous; but this, in some degree, served to heighten the pleasure of reaching in safety the delightful scene around old Dolbadarn Tower, which had presented itself under many aspects, with varied effects, from different points upon the hills.
Roscoe, Thomas, Wanderings and Excursions in North Wales with 51 engravings by W Radcliffe from drawings by Cattermole, Cox, Creswick etc. [1844], pp. 235-237 and (1853), pp. 241-243
This was also published in Black’s Picturesque Guide Through North and South Wales, (1864) and other editions, and in other guidebooks.

This was published in Roscoe’s 1853 edition and might also have been in his 1844 edition.
The journey to Snowdon from Capel Curig is rarely made except by the most hardy pedestrian, because of the distance from the inn to the point where it may be considered that the real ascent is commenced. On one occasion, however, I was tempted to make the excursion, and as the route possesses subjects of great interest peculiar to itself, I give it for the benefit of any wanderer who, like myself, may happen to be a sojourner at this pleasant place. Pursuing the route through the valley of the Mymbyr, at about a mile past Pen y Gwryd, on the road to Llanberis, I branched of to the left, and soon came to the small pool called Llyn Teyrn, taking the beaten track above Cwm Dyli and close to the south eastern boundary of Llyn Llydaw, then westerly, leaving the Lliwedd (one of the buttresses of Snowdon) to the left, direct to Llyn Glaslyn ; and thence by a diflicult and circuitous route to the highest point-Y Wyddfa.
This ascent is very laborious, and has something of danger in it; but it is recompensed by scenes of extraordinary wildness and grandeur, over which Solitude seems to brood with undisturbed silence, scarcely ever broken by the wing of bird, or the voice of melody. It is a track, however, which the phytologist will find rich in specimens of that peculiar species of the vegetable kingdom, which the celebrated Linnaeus has described by the pictural appellation of Ethereae, a tribe only to be found in the higher regions of the air. At times, indeed, my progress continued over almost perpendicular stones from rock to rock, or broad and high escarpments. In some places the path was loose and gravelly, in others a light elastic sward refreshed my weary foot, which was followed by a long slip as hard as adamant. Now and then a sudden and bold descent unexpectedly revealed one of those cwms or hollows so frequent in this mountainous region, in which a whole camp of the ancient Britons might have lain concealed from observation; and again rising from this seclusion, patches of level land spread themselves round some lake, or stretched along some green and solitary glen, watered with gurgling streams, disclosing their proximate beauties. In every direction prospects the most magnificent opened to view, and every crag which I surmounted was furnished with objects of picturesque effect, or deep and absorbing interest.
Roscoe, Thomas, Wanderings and Excursions in North Wales [?1844]; (1853), pp. 229-230

1844 (June)
Botanical Ramble by Dr John Roberts of Bangor (1792-1849) and Joseph Sidebotham of Manchester (1824-1885)
During a short stay at Beaumaris in June, I made an excursion among the Caernarvonshire mountains, taking the route through Bangor, along the Capel Curig road, through the Penryn slate-quarries to Twll du, thence crossing the mountains to Llanberis, and the following day making the ascent of Snowdon, returning by the lakes and through the Llanberis quarries.
Having been unsuccessful in one of the objects of my journey, viz., lo procure Lloydia serotina, from its inaccessible situation, I determined on a second excursion. A friend from Bangor accompanied me. We took a conveyance as far as the Penryn quarries, having previously agreed with one of the workmen to accompany us, and to bring a rope. The morning was not one of the most promising for a botanical expedition, the mountains being completely hidden by a thick mist, while occasionally there fell a little rain. Nothing particular occurred during our walk along the road. Allosorus crispus was very plentiful on the walls, and we saw plenty of Saxifraga stellaris on the wet rocks.
Twll du is situated to the right of the road, just at the commencement of Llyn Ogwen, a large lake which borders the pathway on the left hand. Here commenced our ascent, which lay over fragments of rock and heathy ground, abounding in Lycopodium Selago and alpinum. In a short time we reached Llyn Idwel, a lake of considerable extent, the shore of which was lined with fragments of Isoetes lacustris, and the bottom is in some parts covered with it, growing intermixed with Lobelia Dortmanna. Subularia aquatica also grows here in plenty; but we did not find any in flower, being a little too early in the season.

On the neighbouring rocks was abundance of Andraea Rothii, in fruit, with A. alpiua in smaller quantity; also Grimmia ovata, Anictaugium ciliatum, and several species of Trichostomum: scattered here and there were Carex dioica and Splachnum sphaericum. We did not stay long in this place, as the rain began to descend rather heavily, but made the best of our way along the shore of the lake, and up the rugged side of the mountain to Twll du.

On the occasion of my previous visit, I ascended the course of a mountain stream, and gathered the following mosses upon the rocks which bordered it. Gymnostomum fasciculare, Weissia acuta, Glyphomitron Daviesii, Bryum crudum, B. julaceum, B. ventricosum and B. Zierii, with many others of less note. The rocks on our way up the mountain side were covered with the beautiful Silene acaulis, Saxifraga hypnoides, stellaris and oppositifolia, in fruit, Oxyria renifonnis and Asplenium viride. Twll du is an immense chasm or cleft in the mountain, the sides of which are perpendicular. It appears to have been formed by the long-continued action of a stream, which runs from a small lake above, called Llyn y cwu. At my first visit, I penetrated this cleft till I reached an immense block of stone, which completely chokes the passage, rendering further progress next to impossible. As our present object was to gain the top as soon as possible, we turned to the left on reaching the chasm, and so ascended, keeping close to the wall of rocks.

On these rocks we gathered Trollius europaeus, Thalictrum alpinum, Rhodiola rosea, Arenaria verna, Gnaphalium dioicum, and a Saxifrage which I suppose to be S. caespitosa; Hypnum Crista-castensis and Neckera crispa grew at the base, but we found no fruit. On reaching the summit, our friend the quarryman took off his load of rope, to reconnoitre the place. I had to act as guide, being the only one of the party who had visited the place before. We first went to the channel where the little stream leaps over the rocks into the profound abyss. From this place we could see plenty of the Lloydia serotina growing on the face of the precipice, above the large block of stone. There was one specimen bearing two flowers, a yard or two from the waterfall, almost within reach. I had seen the same specimen before, and wished much to gather it, but the attempt would have been very dangerous, from the friable nature of the rock. Fortunately I saw another, which, after a little climbing, I managed to obtain. We then returned to the rocks immediately above the precipice, where the quarryman fastened the rope round his body, and began the descent, having first given us strict injunctions not to let go our hold.

He returned however almost immediately, with the unwelcome news that the rope only reached a few feet over the brink of the precipice; it should have been at least ten yards longer. This was mortifying: but ne cede malis, thought I; so after a short consultation, we agreed to attempt a footing lower and nearer the precipice, and presently fixed on a small ledge of rock at the brink, where it was possible, by a little clearing from debris to place our feet. From this point we lowered our friend John, who soon reappeared with some specimens of of the precious plant in his mouth, and a few others in his hat.

The mist had now cleared away from the mountains, and we went to Glyder Vawr to search for Woodsia llvensis; in this we were unsuccessful, although possessing plans of the district, with which my friend Mr. Roberts of Bangor [Dr John Roberts?] had favoured me, embracing even the actual rock upon which he and Mr. Borrer had gathered it in plenty. Nothing else occurred particularly worthy of note, but I may observe that there was plenty of Juniperus nanus coming into flower, and a little Splachnum mnioides about Llyn y cwn.
Joseph Sidebotham.  Manchester July 10, 1844.
Sidebotham, Joseph, Sketch of a Botanical Ramble to Twll du, June 19, 1844, The Phytologist, no. 39 (1844), pp. 1036-1038
Jones, Dewi, ‘The Doctor and the Guide: two Snowdonian plant hunters’, Caernarvonshire Historical Society Transactions, vol. 59, (1998), pp. 55-75

Snowdon. A couple of huts have been erected on the summit of this far-famed mountain, in which visitors may take shelter and refreshment, as occasion may require.

One of these two brief sentences were published in at least nine national, regional or local newspapers, the first being a Welsh newspaper (but the equivalent has not been found in Welsh language newspapers). The sentence, with no other information, appeared as a snippet of news.
Snowdon. A couple of huts have been erected on the summit of this far-famed mountain, in which visitors may take shelter and refreshment, as occasion may require.
OR: A couple of huts have been erected at the summit of Snowdon for the accommodation of tourists.
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 13 August 1844
Liverpool Mercury, 16 Aug 1844
The Preston Chronicle and Lancashire Advertiser, 17 Aug 1844
The Guardian (London), 21 Aug 1844
The Welshman, 23rd August 1844
The Leeds Mercury, 24 Aug 1844
Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier, 05 September 1844
Durham County Advertiser, 13 September 1844
Berkshire Chronicle – Saturday 21 September 1844

John Matthews and his wife Hannah Maria Matthews (1798-1890), toured France, Switzerland and Germany in 1842 and north Wales in 1844. Hannah was 46 when she and her husband ascended Snowdon twice in one week, once during the day on a difficult route with a guide, and once at night in the company of five other women. Her husband kept a rather dry account of the tours. 
The Victoria Hotel and Dolbadarn Inn send up numerous guests to the top of Snowdon which is the highest mountain in Wales being about 3,500 feet above the level of the sea – The morning of the 5th [August] promising rather fairly we suddenly made up our minds to try the ascent which was nearest to our lodgings; but had we known what a precipitous ridge we should have to climb we never should have made the attempt from that quarter – For the first hour our ascent was steep and laborious but not dangerous – the second hour we were obliged to catch hold of pieces of rock, or roots of grass and moss, to support ourselves while we raised either foot a step higher up the steep incline; and had it not been for our guide pulling at my wife’s arm she never would have got up at all – we were afterwards told, that path was hardly ever used except by shepherds and perhaps a lady had never trodden it – As soon as we got over the ridge we arrived at the regular horse path from Dolbadarn and found the remainder of the way not at all difficult or unpleasant – The sun was shining bright on the summit, a circumstance which many who make the ascent are not favoured with. Fresh arrivals from different sides of the mountain took place during our stay so that the number of visitors were not fewer than from 20 – 30. We distinctly saw the Menai Straits with the sea at each extremity, the Isle of Anglesey, the bays of Cardigan and Carnarfon – Cader Idris, Plinlimon and many other mountains – Lakes without number and many beautiful vallies – An extensive landscape was spread before us till the view was lost in the distance. After enjoying the prospect for about an hour, the clouds which appeared on both sides of us collected together and enveloped us in mist – Though they afterwards partially cleared away opening a view, now in one direction, then in another, they did not entirely disperse. We remained till about 4 o’clock when we left the top and came down by a quite different path from the one we had ascended. On the whole we had reason to congratulate ourselves on the auspiciousness of the weather as we found in the “visitors book” many instances of disappointed feelings recorded by persons who stated they had waited for hours on the top and saw nothing but clouds and mist.
Not far from the lakes of Llanberis is a fine waterfall called Ceunant Mawr …
While on the top of Snowdon my wife got into conversation with five ladies who had come up from a boarding house at Dolbadarn – they all agreed what a nice thing it would be ascend the mountain in the night, to see the sunrise, and an appointment was made for the first fine night that should occur – The next three days there was pouring rain but the following one which was the day preceding that fixed for our departure, we encountered two of these ladies in our walk – Their entreaties for our escort up the mountain were received and they assured us their companions were willing to encounter any difficulty rather than forgo the expedition – The solicitations of six ladies were more than I could withstand, and though we had to walk to Caernarfon the following day, we went home and packed our luggage ready for the carrier, and about 11 pm we finally left our lodgings and walked 2 miles to Dolbadarn to call for the ladies – After taking some coffee, a consultation was held on the state of the weather. A cloudy sky and a few drops of rain had abated their courage, and upon taking the sense of the party it was found that the noes were in the majority – The comforts of a warm bed close at hand predominated over the uncertainty of seeing a fine sunrise next morning – But what was to be done with us? – It was too late to return to our lodgings, and every bed in the boarding house was engaged – There was a sofa already in the parlour in addition to which a mattress was brought in, and we were preparing to pass the night as well as we could – Another survey of the heavens was suggested, and a few stars were actually seen twinkling between the clouds – The courage of the ladies rose several degrees, and they now began to think it was very ridiculous to give up the excursion upon slight grounds – but by the time the sandwiches were cut and everything was ready it was past 2 o’clock [a.m.]

The sun was bound to obey the behests of his creator and rise at 20 minutes before 5. There was no delating his course – We had no Joshua to command him to stand still and await our coming – The only alternative was to make what haste we could – I acted as pioneer with candle and lantern in hand but the light did not enable us to see our path, which was streaming with water from the late rains, and we soon found our shoes and stockings saturated with wet – By the time we had mounted little more than half-way, red streaks were visible on the sky and we had the mortification to find we were an hour and a half too late – Two or three of the foremost of the party got a view over a lower ridge of the mountain, of a sky which resembled a sea of molten gold – The sight lasted but a few minutes, and those in the rear saw nothing of it – However, on arriving at the top they all expressed themselves highly gratified with what they did see – Light fleecy clouds came sailing up from below, and covering some of the mountains, gave them the appearance of being clothed with snow. We met on the summit two parties had gone up the previous afternoon and not being able to see anything, had passed the night in a hut at the top – One party consisted of a gentleman and three ladies, the other of three gentlemen – They told us they had been highly gratified with a view of a glorious sunrise, whereas we had encountered toil and difficulty and had failed in our principal object. – we found the temperature very cold and being wet with perspiration, and damp in our feet, a cup of warm coffee procured at the hut was quite a treat – After remaining an hour or two, we began to descend and arrived at Dolbadarn soon after 11 am – We only stopped to take a glass of water and a bit of bread, and then resumed our walk to Caernarfon which we reached between three and 4 in the afternoon thoroughly tired. The distance from our lodging to Dolbadarn was two miles – to the top of the mountain and down again 10 miles – from Dolbadarn to Caernarfon 7 ½ miles making 19 ½ miles and up all night – A great exploit for my dear wife.
Matthews, John and Hannah (Husband and Wife)
‘Journal of a Tour in France, Switzerland, Germany etc. in 1842 by JM and HMM. Also a Tour in North Wales in the Summer of 1844’, NLW MS 23063C, ff. 105-111
The journal includes prints:
Print ‘Pass of Llanberis’ (London, John Harwood and Co, 26 Fenchurch St., April 7th 1842, no. 272)
Print ‘Ceunant Mawr, Llanberis’, London, J. & F. Harwood and Co, 26 Fenchurch St., no. [blank] May 2nd 1842
print ‘Snowdon and the Lake of Llanberis’ with Dolbadarn castle. London, J. & F. Harwood, No. 204, July 6th 1841

1844 (July)
Ellen Hall, one of two sisters, both of whom kept diaries, climbed Snowdon in poor weather.
Capel Curig
The inn miserable, people stupid. Drive to Llanberis. Hotel, Strawberries and coffee. Asked about climbing Snowdon. Told it would take 6-7 hours, put on some habit shirts which the landlady brought us ‘we mounted our Welsh ponies and began the ascent … about 200 yards from the top we left our ponies in a shed {and walked to the top; views from the top but cloud came down}
I put on Sydney’s great coat. {They were accompanied by a young couple, possibly on their wedding tour}. Back for supper by 9 pm.
Hall, Ellen, diary, Bromley Archives, 855/F3/3, pp. 140-142

Elizabeth Rolls (of the Rolls-Royce family of south Wales) and others climbed Snowdon but did not reach the summit  because it was shrouded in clouds. They had a picnic in the snow.
Tuesday 23rd [April] John & Alex went on ponies to fish in Llyn. We consulted the old red-faced waiter who really is most kind & attentive to us and he was of the opinion we could not have a better day for going up Snowdon. So we ordered a car & guide and some sandwiches & taking a little supply of brandy with us, we started exactly at 10.  We were quite enchanted with the exquisitely grand scenery and even when the wheels of the car were hardly a few inches from the brink of a precipice we did not think of the danger, the view was so extremely grand and majestic.  Having driven along the new road made for the accommodation of the copper mines we arrived at Llyn where the car was put into a boat and ferried over.  The road then became in some places very steep and ends at a habitation erected for the miners.  We then began our toilsome ascent, and had we known how steep it was we really would not have attempted it.  However we got on tolerably well with the assistance of the guide.  Kate was very generous towards me in letting me have much more than my share of the strong arm of the guide or I certainly should not have got on as well as I did.  We arrived at length within three hundred yards of the summit and being very tired sate down to eat our luncheon amongst the snow rather alarmed & giddy at having such an awful distance to look down.  The view was magnificent and more than repaid us for the exertion we had undergone.  To have gone any higher would we found be of no use as the clouds got lower every minute over the highest point and the snow we had to go through was very deep & slippery.  So after a consultation what was best to be done we decided on going down again after enjoying the exquisite view for some time.  The guide assured us we should not see so much if we gained the summit as the clouds got lower every minute and we should have great difficulty in crossing the snow.  The descent we found very disagreeable & in some places very wet.  The guide carried us over one very wet place.  Altogether we found the whole undertaking rather a hazardous one & were not sorry to find ourselves in the car again in safety.   The wind was so high on Snowdon that one of the cushions of the car was blown out & lost.  Having arrived at the turning towards Llanberis we got out & followed the guide along a rocky path at the foot of Snowdon from whence we had a good view of the pass of Llanberis, the lakes and Dolbadarn castle.  We got back to Capel Curig at ½ past 5 much tired but delighted with our day’s work.
Rolls, Elizabeth, Memorandum book and diary of tour in North Wales, Gwent Record Office, F/P4 57

Carl Gustav Carus wrote an account of the King of Saxony’s tour of Wales, which included a detailed account of an ascent of Snowdon.
Bangor, 12th July 1844
EARLY this morning, according to our previous design, we made the ascent of Snowdon; the appearance of the weather was by no means encouraging, the sky was lowering, and the clouds hung deep around the mountain top. Still there was no rain-many signs of a favour-able change – and we took our chance of the advantages in our favour and set out. We made early preparation for our journey, and, at seven o’clock, mounted a light carriage, accompanied by a skilful guide. We followed the road towards the foot of the mountain, as far up its flank as it was accessible to any description of carriage. We commenced the ascent. Our path lay for some distance over wet pasture and spongy meadows-after which, the path became steeper, and occasional masses of bold projecting rocks occurred.
We were not the only travellers, whom the day tempted to try their good fortune on the summit of the highest mountain in England [sic]. Some ladies, mounted on ponies, rode sometimes before and sometimes behind us, and several parties followed them on foot. The summit of the mountain lay concealed in clouds – the rocks stood forth bold and black from the green of the Alpine meadows, on which the beautiful yellow anthericum ossifragum grows in great profusion, and a cold wind blew from the ravines which skirted our path. A young Alpine lark, only imperfectly fledged, fluttered along the ground before our feet, our guide easily caught it with his hands, but the old ones flew around, uttering such painful screams, that I induced him again to put the poor panting little creature upon the grass, behind a large block of stone.

When we ascended a little further, the view to the westward became partially free-and we saw the sea, the isle of Anglesey and Caernarvon Castle. As we ascended, however, the clouds again closed around us, and finally we found ourselves completely enveloped in the penetrating fog of these moist goddesses. The ascent also in many places now became difficult; the wind blew cold along the side of some rocky walls, or from the depths of some neighbouring ravine the thick fogs continued to roll more densely along the mountain sides – fortunately, so far, they did not thoroughly penetrate our clothes with their moisture.

Still onward, from height to height! – deep ravines lay at our side, the bottom of which, filled with thick fog, yawned horribly below. Vegetation now almost wholly disappeaned, except merely a few rare Alpine plants – and on every side of us rose lofty crags of black chlorite slate. Having taken some repose after the efforts of the ascent, behind a projecting rock which sheltered us from the wind, we again set forth, and in about a quarter of an hour (two hours in all) we reached the pinnacle of the mountain – 4348 feet [sic] above the level of the sea. View there was none! We found refuge in a small wooden shed, erected for the protection of travellers from the rain and wind, in which the best kept up a welcome fire. The man presently prepared a singular brown mixture, which he sold for coffee, and furnished some grayish oatmeal cake as an accompaniment. There were no spirituous liquors of any description to be had, because the occupier, with no small degree of self-satisfaction gave us to understand, that his wooden hut was to be regarded as a Temperance Inn. Not far from this mountain hotel, which I must state to be the first imperfect house of accommodation we had yet met in England, was a small stone hut, in which the rest of the travellers, together with their ponies, had found aharbour not much better than our own.

Having spent some time upon the summit, dried ourselves, and ranged about among the craggy rocks and through the fog, we found our visit was in vain – no hopes of the weather clearing were longer entertained, and we prepared to proceed on our descent. Before we had descended far from the summit, the clouds presented occasional breaks, and we were able to snatch partial views into the beautiful deep valleys, which lie between the converging ridges of the mountain; and on one occasion the clouds rose like a curtain, and revealed to us a splendid prospect of the sea. In these occasional glimpses, we perceived for a moment that the declivities of the mountain were enjoying the full beams of the sun, and immediately we were again closely enveloped in our foggy mantle of clouds. There was a continual play of currents of air and waves of fog with the earth. Such phenomena furnish highly interesting subjects of contemplation to those who have greater leisure for their contemplation than we ourselves had. Of such extraordinary atmospheric phenomena, however, it may be said they show the life of the clouds, but cloud the image of life! If, however, the observation of such phenomena be made the chief object of a whole excursion, they will be found to have something in them unsatisfying. The unconscious life of nature always falls in value in the eyes of him, who has thought upon and experienced the mighty movements and impulses of the mind and feelings. As I have already said, what signify earth, and suns, and planets, if there were no eye to see, no inteligence to give them life?

Having proceeded somewhat further on the descent, our guide prepared to follow a different route in our return, through a deep precipitous valley, in which the king immediately acquiesced. The task, however, was by no means easy – it involved the necessity of going straight down a sharp declivity of the mountain, at least 1000 feet high, and very sparingly covered with moist earth and tufts of grass. We were obliged to aid ourselves as well as we could by the firmness of our tread, taking a zigzag course, and by the appliances of our hands and sticks, and at length reached the bottom in safety. The path, however formidable to us, would, undoubtedly, not have presented many difficulties to a well-trained Alpine hunter; to those, however, who are not accustomed to such clambering, it must be regarded as making a severe demand upon the exercise of their muscular power, and as a species of training which, when successfully completed, must always result in good. Even on reaching the valley, there was no path, and we were obliged to make our way over stock and stone, through hog and brook, till we came to a lower and a smoother region. During our descent, we were also obliged to endure the alternative of heat and cold, of sunshine and rain; at length, however, we reached some mines, at which rude paths began to appear, and presently after found ourselves at our carriages, and drove by another road again back to Beddgelert. On this road, too, we enjoyed the sight of some splendid mountain scenery. The weather had now become clear and sunny, whilst the top of Snowdon still lay thickly enveloped in masses of dark clouds. A small lake lay stretched out before us in the vale, full of picturesque beauty, and noble mountains beside and beyond, rose and towered one above another. I heartily envied an artist, who had established his studio on the edge of a mountain brook, and appeared to be diligently engaged in his work. What a pleasure it must be, to be engaged in an attempt to give a faithful delineation of such noble forms!

About half-past two we reached the hotel at Beddgelert, and our mountain excursion was at an end. After spending a short time in refreshing ourselves, and at luncheon, we took our departure, and drove westward through the valleys towards the sea-shore.
Carus, C. G. [Carl Gustav, German physician], England und Schottland im Jahre 1844 (Berlin 1845), pp. 102-108
Carl Gustav Carus, The King of Saxony’s Journey Through England and Scotland in the Year 1844, (1846), pp. 238-240
Beddgelert, North Wales. July 12. His Majesty the King of Saxony and suite, arrived here last night from Aberystwyth and slept at the Goat Hotel. He ascends Snowdon this morning, thence to Bangor and Chester.
The Times (London, England), Monday, Jul 15, 1844; p. 6

Letter dated Llanberis, 20.10.1844
Accompanied by a gentleman. Up at 5 am. Waiting for the rain to abate. Began ascent at 9.20 am. The Guide said “Your honours will see nothing, and be sorely frenched into the bargain; but English gentlemen must have their own way, and if you insist upon it, John Elias has nothing further to say.” We were accompanied by his son, a stout boy of about 11 years of age, as our guide.
{Heavy rain, then hail. The ascent was very arduous.}
‘My heart throbbed with convulsive violence – my brain reeled. … In vain our little guide (who was shivering with cold) implored us to return. I filled his mouth with whiskey! In vain the wind roared and the snow descended. …
For the last time our little guide conjured us to descend, but we were inexorable; I filled his mouth again with “mountain dew” and he persued his way with greater alacrity; he was a brave and intelligent little fellow.
We reached the Stone Huts and stable which are built near the summit for the temporary reception of the adventurous traveller and steed. At this point it is impracticable for horses to ascend further; the buildings were unroofed and the walls driven in by the violence of the storm. We stood for a moment, but the cold was so intense that we began to freeze and stiffen. We left the little boy in the securest place we could find, and again ascended, and now more painfully; it was the steepest and most rugged path of the Mountain, and we had recourse to our hands. We saw the summit before us; it was covered with debris, the ruins of ages; we made a desperate effort, and, enveloped in mist and falling snow, we succeeded in planting our feet on the highest plumes of the Prince of Wales. … We prepared to descend. The snow lay deep in our path, our clothes had become stiff and uncomfortable, and we moved with difficulty. A little while and the storm abated; we found our little guide suffering severely from the effects of the cold; his face was of an ashen hue. I made him drink small quantities of spirits at intervals, and after rubbing his hands and assisting him to walk, he quickly recovered.
The sun was now struggling for a peep at us, and we were surprised and astonished with the most beautiful glimpses of the surrounding country, through rents in the vapouring clouds. At times we were so intensely delighted as to exclaim out loud. We saw the Isle of Mona stretched out like a Fairy Map … {and other views}
The Geological Character …
At 20 past 1 o’clock we stood at the foot of Snowdon having accomplished the ascent and descent in four hours. On regaining the bottom we lost no time in reaching good Mrs Evans’s of the Dolbadarn Inn, where, after a change of garments, and a hearty lunch, we laughed over the perils and toils of the morning.
Signed W.
Shrewsbury Chronicle, 25.10.1844

Visitors’ books, which were kept in the summit huts, have survived for the period 1845 and 1850. The signatures of very few of the tourists whose record of their ascent is transcribed below, have been found in the books.

Lord Alfred Tennyson is said to have climbed Snowdon three times, and a storm he experienced was described in his poem ‘The Princess’ (published 1847)
Tennyson, Hallam, Alfred Lord Tennyson: a memoir by his son, (Macmillian, 1897), vol. 1, p. 252

The Rev. Wellington Starr is almost the only person who recorded visiting one of the huts on Snowdon during the life of the earlier visitor’s books (1845-1850) but he did not sign it as several others did on the 11th September, 1845.
In April, 1845, Mr. Starr removed to Northampton, taking the curacy of All Saints. It was in the autumn of this year that he first visited North Wales, and ascended Snowdon by night, in order to witness the sunrise, a spectacle which, by its splendour, moved him even to tears: his impressions were embodied in the following lines:
‘A week ago, when I left home,
I little thought that I should come
To Snowdon’s chalet—thence to see
The sun in heavenliest majesty.
Moonlight and mist at nightfall throw
A veil o’er all; one argent hue
Enclosed the earth; while far above
Gleams of a brighter world of love
Wafted the soul beyond that sky,
Par, far, into eternity!
But when the morning broke, and day
Onee more resumed his brilliant sway,
I saw—but words can never tell
That fire-line on the horizon creeping!
At once upon my knees I fell,
And for my very joy fell weeping!
Oxen H.W.S.’
‘And this short visit,’ says his sister, ‘ so much enjoyed, so fondly remembered, led to another, which ended, alas! so Fatally, so Mysteriously!’
Anon, The Tourist in Wales: A Series of Views of Picturesque Scenery, Towns, Castles, Antiquities etc. with Historical and Topographical Notices.   (London and New York: George Virtue, 1851) based on [Starr’s sister], Remains of the late Rev. Henry Wellington Starr, B. A. (London, 1847) (2nd edition 1848)
Evans, Clive Evan, The story of the Reverend Henry Wellington Starr B.A. and his mysterious death on Moel-y-Cynghorion in Snowdonia, September 1846, (1994)
for more on Starr

Thomas Cook’s first commercial railway excursion was to Liverpool in the summer of 1845, when he arranged for a cheap return ticket for 1,200 people from Leicester, Derby and Nottingham and printed a 60-page guide book. Some of the tourists continued on a steamer to Caernarfon possibly with the intention of climbing Snowdon, but bad weather delayed the steamer leaving Liverpool and the passengers had only an hour in Caernarfon. The records of this and a later trip are somewhat contradictory.
On the first trip the tourists were taken around Caernarfon town and castle by an English speaking Welsh guide. Two weeks later another trip was organised and Thomas Cook accompanied the party that walked up Snowdon.
In the summer of 1845 I proposed the first trip by Railway from the Midland District to Liverpool, and to that I appended a supplementary arrangement for a Steamboat Excursion to North Wales. The railway road to Liverpool was then very circuitous, and the proposal was long before it received full official sanction. At length I was permitted to issue an announcement of a Special Train from Leicester, Nottingham, and Derby, to Liverpool and back, for 15s. first-class and 10s. second-class (the third-class carriages were then chiefly open). Long before the day appointed for the running of this train the Tickets were eagerly bought up, and in many cases they were re-sold at premiums varying from 25 to 100 per cent. The Train ran via Normanton, through the Yorkshire and Lancashire valleys to Manchester, and thence over the original Liverpool and Manchester Line to its destination. From Liverpool we were conveyed by special steamboat to Carnarvon, sailing under the Menai Bridge and up the Straits. This was the first large pleasure party ever known to have landed at Carnarvon, and no small stir was caused there by our arrival. So great was the interest created by this Excursion that a second had to be arranged to meet the desires of the public, and again the special train was a “monster,” and another Steamboat trip was arranged for Carnarvon. The Steamer was advertised to leave Liverpool early in the morning, but during the night a gale blew furiously, and it was 3 p.m. before we started, a great many passengers having lingered upon the pier upwards of six hours. We reached the Menai Bridge in the dusk of the evening, and the Captain refused to attempt the navigation of the Straits till daylight. The chief of the party refused to leave the boat for the night, and a strange scene of excitement ensued. At about 11 a. m. next day we landed at Carnarvon, and had to return in about an hour, to reach Liverpool in time for the return special train. But despite all these drawbacks to comfort, the trip was heartily enjoyed by most of the Tourists; and it was during that expedition to North Wales that I formed a determination the next season to arrange my first trip to Scotland.
Cook, Thomas, Cook’s Scottish tourist official directory, a guide, (1860), Appendix, ‘Twenty Years on the Rails’, p. 4
This memoir appears to be a little confused. Other evidence suggests that the first trip was delayed and a second trip did reach the summit at night.
The Special Train to Liverpool left Leicester on Monday morning, about 5.30, and joining at Derby a train from Syston, Loughborough etc and another from Nottingham [for] Liverpool. {More than 500 booked from Leicester. At nine on the following morning the steamer Eclipse, with some 350 souls on board, departed for the coast of Wales amid a heavy soaking rain. {Passengers were either wet or suffered from seasickness.} The Eclipse arrived at Caernarfon about six in the evening, … and some thirty individuals resolved on climbing the heights of Snowdon; and though they were well repaid for the fatigue and loss of a nights rest, they were not favoured, by reason of the haziness of the atmosphere, with a view of the rising sun from Snowdon’s summit. The packet reached Liverpool on its return on Wednesday evening, the passengers, on the whole, well pleased with their voyage. The trains left Edgehill [Liverpool] on Thursday afternoon. …
A Second trip is to take place on Wednesday week, August 20th
Midland Railway, Another trip to Liverpool.
A Special train will leave Leicester on Wednesday 20th August … leaving Liverpool on Saturday 23rd, at 3 p.m. 1st class 15s, 2nd class 10s.
J.F. Bell, Secretary [No mention of Thomas Cook.]
Leicester Mercury, Saturday 9th August

Thomas Cook’s agency took the paying customer on a day’s round trip through north Wales: “The tourists travelled by rail to Liverpool, from where they took a steamer to Caernarvon – with an ascent of Snowdon as a grand climax … the response was so overwhelming that a second trip had to be arranged. Cook thought of everything; he made a preliminary survey of accommodation and facilities and produced a Handbook of the Trip to Liverpool. ‘From the heights of Snowdon my thoughts took flight to Ben Lomond.’”
The Tourist’s Guide: a Hand Book of the Trip from Leicester, Nottingham, and Derby to Liverpool and the Coast of North Wales, (1845), (Thomas Cook Archives)
The History of Tourism, Thomas Cook and the Origins of Leisure Travel, introduced by Paul Smith (Thomas Cook Archivist)
Swinglehurst, Edmund, Cook’s tours : the story of popular travel,  (1982)
Sharma, K. K. Tourism and Culture. (2nd ed. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons., 2004), p. 55, brief and inaccurate reference

7th November
J. and R.P. made the ascent of Snowdon this day from Beddgelert … The guide Thomas Jones was quite what a guide ought to be, prepared in every respect to afford assistance even with such small articles as pins which many ladies on gusty days find positively useful; he was attentive, civil and obliging.
Thomas Jones (of Beddgelert, guide to Snowdon), Pocket book with testimonials from clients, 1845-1849 University College of Wales, Bangor, ms 5046, p. 16

[same text about the summit as in 1833 and 1840 editions, but details of hotels etc have changed. See Lewis, Samuel file
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, (3rd edition, 1845), vol. 2, Llanberis

Drummond Light
Reflecting and lime lights with mirror
On the 31st December, 1845, Drummond’s Lime light was seen across the Irish Channel at 3.30 p.m. from the top of Slieve Donard in Ireland by an observer at the top of Snowdon, a distance of 108 miles.
Knight, Charles, The English Cyclopaedia, vol. 3, (1867), p. 683
[It is possible that this date is incorrect: it is more likely to be 1842.]

Rev. Henry Wellington Starr ascended Snowdon alone (against advice) in September and died in an accident on his way down. His remains were found by a huntsman on 1st June, 1847 See Accidents file

Mr and Mrs Hamer spent their honeymoon on the summit.
Jones, Robert, Yr Wyddfa, The Complete Guide to Snowdon, (1992), p. 173
[This was presumably not J.P. Hamer, the Snowdon guide who was married on the 10 January 1857.]

Miss S. Dovaston climbed Snowdon at night, probably with her brother John. By 11 am, there were 21 others at the summit.
On arriving at the Dolbadarn inn we put up the pony and toiled up a glen about a mile to see a waterfall formed by the mountain torrent Cwm Brwynog. It is upwards of 160 feet in height. While looking at this we again saw our companions of Sunday: who were guided to see this on their return from Snowdon, they gave us a rapturous account of Snowdon, and described some of its wondrous beauties, which whetted our desire to see and be upon his mighty top. The ascent from Llanberis is much the easiest and many ladies ride their ponies to the summit from there. … we came to a small inn called Pengwryd and on finding we could have accommodation, we resolved to tarry here the night, so we had tea and I wrote to my sister. In another part of the house was a party of fox hunters carousing and singing in a most uproarious manner, so that it was late before I could get any sleep: and in the morning I was duly waked by the yelping of hounds, blowing of horns etc. by 3 o’clock [a.m.] and this being the appointed time to rise I got up with a determined resolution to ascend Snowdon. Before 4 [a.m.] we were ready to start and our good hostess press’d very much for us to take her boy to guide us; for which she modestly asked five shillings, and on our refusing the same, she loudly spoke of the toils and dangers that would attend our arduous task, however to her lengthened sage advises we turned a deaf ear; bade her good morning and guided by the moonbeams cheerful light, we proceeded along the Llanberis road – hearing from time to time the tally-ho-ing of the fox hunters who were in the mountains above us. At about a mile we turned to the left along a road leading to copper mines and from this we had a delightful view of the clouds in the east which were of a thousand varied dies and with their ruddy streaks proclaimed the dawning day. Along this road we joyously tripped about another mile and we came to a large pool, and directly after passing this we discovered in a hollow below us a range of cottages about 14 in number and accessible only by a flight of steps about 50 in number which also formed the coping of a wall. We hailed the inhabitants of this dusky dell; and one boy offered his services to take us across the lake, this we accepted and were glad to see anyone from whom we could get information, for we had begun to have considerable doubts whether we were in the right road: when at a sudden curve of the path we came in full view of an immense conical mountain directly before us – perfectly red from the rays of the sun; which convinced us he had risen though we could not see him. We pointed to it and exclaimed ‘Y Wyddfa – Wyddfa!!!’ ‘Ea Ea Ea sure (yes)’ was the answer; my heart leap’t with delight; for it seem’d but a very short distance to the top: at length we came to the pool which was long and large: across the narrowest part of it was a chain fastened at both ends and passed over a wheel on the side of the boat: which was very broad and flat bottomed and used in taking over copper ore in sledges. The boat was fortunately on our side and after much searching the boy found the key under a great stone. The windlass was now set in action and after much shrieking and screelling on the part of the wheel and chain we gained the other side. We still followed the sledge path till we arrived at an engine house for drawing water from the mines and pass’d another pool called Llyn Glas (blue pool). Here we stood at the foot of Snowdon, and had a clear view of his majestic brow. We now had to wind up a zig-zag path at an angle of almost 45 degrees, repeatedly resting and looking back at the scenes we had left and on the backs of the clouds which fill’d the vale below, so fleecy, silvery and white reposing still in sleep’s soft arms. About mid way up this laborious path we came in sight of the sun which was shining in all his glorious majesty and splendour, and had attained a considerable height. The heat now became intense and were obliged the oftener to rest; at which times we were assailed and encouraged in our exertions by the shouts and vociferations of two gentlemen already on the top, which shouts we heard distinctly repeated several times by echoes. On reaching the ridge where the Llanberis and Capel Curig ways meet we met a gentleman and two ladies who joined us in our exclamations of joy and delight at the wondrous views around. We toiled on about a quarter of an hour and then attained the highest summit in Wales; found a little cabin with couches and sofas therein kept by a man who kindly pointed out the mountains and lakes to us; we met and greeted the gentlemen we heard from below; and received from them a description of the sunrise which had in beauty exceeded their expectations, they had been here from 10 o’clock the night before, and had slep’t in the cabin, and at different times got up to see the northern lights which they described as being very beautiful.
How awful this proud height, this brow of brows,
Which every steep surmounts and awe sublime
The subjects down below,
Here let me stand and wonder at my God!!!
[The last two lines of the original read:
The subject downs below ! Nature wears here
Her boldest countenance.
From James Hurdis, ‘The Favourite Village’, book 1, (1800)]
Snowdon stands amidst a gigantic host of stupendous mountains – his towering top o’er looks the rest of his enormous family, and affords an extent of prospect almost unlimited. {Long description of what could be seen.} The intermediate space is occupied by the sides and summits of mountains, hollow crags, masses of rocks, woods, lakes and glens, scattered in magnificent confusion.
We were soon joined by numerous companions and by 11 o’clock we were 21 in number, the clouds which had been peacefully slumbering in the vales, now felt the breeze awakening call, and began gradually to glide up the mountains, and exposed more lakes to our view which in all amounted to nearly thirty. The clouds to our inexperienced eyes seemed preparing for rain, so in spite of what the guides and cabin-holder said to the contrary, at 10 o’clock we began to descend, having spent 5 hours in the highest rapture and delight.
One of the gentlemen that we had first seen in the morning kindly consented to take me down Beddgelert side which would save me returning to Capel Curig and thro’ Nant Gwynant. It is called the easiest descent, but easy as it was, I often found it very difficult to keep my footing, for the moss and stones made the soles of my boots very smooth and in many places I had to take a kind of flying leap from one large stone to another. At last after sundry tumbles, slips and slides we reached the foot of this beautiful mountain, when to add to our fatigue we found we had taken the wrong path and was two miles out of our way. So after four miles along a hot dusty road we reached the Goat Inn at Beddgelert
Dovaston, S., Miss, A Few Remarks on a tour to Shropshire and north Wales, Cardiff Central Library, MS 3.149
[There is an entry in the Snowdon Visitor’s book for 15th September, 1846 ‘John Dovaston, West Felton, near Shrewsbury’ Snowdon Visitors’ book, 1845-1847, NLW minor deposit 34]

1847, 27th June
Prince Constantine of Russia and his entourage climbed Snowdon.
On the morning of the 27th ult. in company with four gentlemen whom I met the evening before near Llanberis (one German, two Spanish, and the other a fellow-townsman), I started for the summit of Snowdon. We had heard that it was likely we should meet with Prince Constantine of Russia on the mountain, as he was that morning expected at Llanberis from Beddgelert, en route for Bangor. The ascent from Llanberis, though in all conscience bad enough, is still much better than we had expected. After scaling a pile of stones on the extreme summit, and refreshing ourselves at the hut, our continental friends commenced singing “God save the Queen”. The mist at this time was so very dense that we could not see more than a few yards around.
{They heard that the Prince’s party was about to arrive so the German sang a Russian song} In a second or two the misty veil before us opened, and apparently, as if arising out of the rocks at our feet, the cavalcade came in sight. There were 12 in number, mounted on the hardy ponies used on the mountain. … The Prince rode up to us … [His companions included] Count Ormoloff, Baron Brunow, old Admiral Lutke, The Hon Col. Grey etc. …
The Prince continued to Llanberis and Caernarfon where he made some drawings of the castle, thence to Bangor, Penrhyn Castle and Penrhyn slate quarries, Conwy and Anglesey.
Bells Weekly Messenger, 12.7.1847 (From the Liverpool Standard)

12.7.1847 (Monday)
However fine the sunset the evening before, Monday morning brought only a repetition of the weather of the three preceding days and there was still no hope of Snowdon.
There is something very interesting in being in the immediate neighbourhood of the ‘Great Mountain’ One constantly hears who is going up, who has gone – who have just come down – what kind of weather they had – some gratified – and others completely failing – then there are others who have been waiting so many days to ascend.
The windows of the sitting room both here and at Beddgelert bore witness by the abundant scribblings upon the pains to the tedious detentions of various travellers which had occurred at them. We heard several times at the Victoria of a party who were detained like ourselves and at the same time.
Then another party went up at six o’clock on the Saturday evening and a gentleman went up at 10 o’clock.
Then on Saturday morning I understood a gentleman set off inspired no doubt with hope from the fine weather there was for a little while that morning. He made all haste to go up but of course set off just about as the weather changed.
He waited on the summit a day or two in vain, and then in despair descended on Monday morning – and we heard before we left the Victoria that he was there again. We also had news of him afterwards in another place. The party waiting like ourselves at the Victoria I believe succeeded in going up at last.
Moreover at this time there was an additional circumstance of melancholy interest in the loss of the unfortunate Mr Starr, whose case excited so much interest in the country last year. He was a clergyman at [blank] a young man who travelled in Wales in September last [1846]. He wished to ascend the mountain. It was much later in the year than ascents are usually made and the weather was also unfavourable.
Above all he was bent on going by himself –  a thing at no time of the year and at no state of the weather, unattended with danger to one ignorant of the place.
Besides the danger from sudden fogs; from precipices, and steep and slippery places. There are as many turnings and windings among the mountains that one is very liable to take the wrong one, and to wander about in complete bewilderment, getting further and further from the place sought after. Mr Starr set off and before long meeting with two boys – he asked them if they would show him the way to the top. – they agreed and one of them asked him “What will you give for it?” by no means an unnatural question. He replied however: – “Oh that’s your way is it?” and walked off to continue his way alone. After this he was heard of no more alive and his body was not even discovered for upwards of six months during which period nobody could do more than conjecture the exact means of his death, whether he had fallen down a precipice or had wandered about till hunger killed him etc. etc.
We heard this of him from one of the Snowdon guides who showed us where had [sic] turned out of the right road and where his body was found etc. (v. page [blank]). This man thought that the probability was that he had been overtaken by a snow storm which had bewildered him.
Beyond this he could say nothing.
They found some hair and part of his body a few yards over the edge of a steep declivity and this caused them to search further so that they found other parts in various places below.
Even now a leg and his two arms have not, I believe, been discovered. The guide supposed the different part of the body had been thus scattered abroad by foxes, dogs and birds.
To return to ourselves, we stayed indoors for some hours on Monday morning on account of the rain and at length some of us went out to look at the waterfall Ceunant Mawr (mentioned at page [blank]) which we supposed would be flowing with a finer stream? after so much rain. We had a wet walk – wet above and wet beneath – but were much gratified with the fall which was very fine.
{Decided that they had to continue their journey}
While we were walking forwards we heard the blasting of the quarries several times. The effect of the reverberation which poured round the mountains and down the pass was extremely grand.
{Walked up Llanberis Pass}
{The pass – very poor weather }
The Cromlech – one corner of it was used as the summer residence of an old woman who kept cows in the vale.
{The pass}
We were privileged in having for our driver one of the Snowdon guides. ([blank] an entertaining little man.
He remarked that not one in four of his ascents were successful and that often for 10 or 12 days together there was no view. He told us that the circumference of the base of the mountain was 32 miles.
{thick mist with occasional peeps at the landscape}
The bottom of the valley is a verdant and grassy plain besprinkled with trees and the opposite resembles and surpasses a beautiful private park with its smooth lawns and hanging woods.
{had occasional distant views}
Llyn Dinas
{continued down the valley}
Reached the Goat Hotel [Beddgelert]
13.7.1847 (Tuesday)
Found the rain again falling.
And now at last the weather began to improve, the rain ceased and the mists gradually became thinner and the tops of the neighbouring hills came into sight more and more clearly so that our hopes of Snowdon revived.
On the strength of the fair promises of the weather, we hired a guide and after taking a short ramble in the pleasant grounds of the hotel we set off for the ascent. We had a car to take us the first three miles to the actual commencement of the ascent which continued for three miles more. The first three miles was on a gently rise. We had on our left hand all the way the lofty Moel Hebog (Hawk Hill) with its surrounding hills of lower elevation.
Our guide was Thomas Jones a man of very Swiss-like appearance who might have been a Mont Blanc guide from his looks. He told us that an ‘old gentleman’ whom  from his description I recognised to be Sir Henry de la Becke [1796 -1855, Geologist] having seen his name in the hotel book at Llanberis had been in the neighbourhood for several days prosecuting his geological researches. He said he had been over Snowdon twice lately and described him as going about with his hammer examining and sounding? The various rocks on the way or out of the way. He had met the ‘old gentleman’ the day before in the pass and supposed that if the day were fine he would probably make a third ascent. As he has done it so often that it is like play to him. Our guide told us also that he had taken the Grand Duke and party up on their recent visit. They had a middling kindof ascent. He also took up the King of Saxony and Dr Carus whose ascent as we before knew was quite a failure.
Our guide also told us that these mountains are as legally? apportioned property as the level fields below.
Snowdon itself belongs to three parties. – Sir Richard Bulkeley, being Lord of the Manor.
He told us that this place was a favourite resort of the Oxford men when knocked up with study. He said some of them made a practice of climbing Moel Hebog early morning to recruit their health.
As we ascended we went at first by a pretty regular path. This I think continues all the way for the use of the ponies but we turned out of it. There were many sloppy and boggy places across the worst of which stones are placed for the ponies. The lower part abounds with beautiful wild flowers.
For all the first part of our ascent the air was very clear. The tops of all the neighbouring mountains became clear and as we ascended the view enlarging on every hand formed a very grand panorama of mountains.
The peak itself was not in sight. The first point where we stopped was one of an extremely fine view. Between two huge ranges of mountain lay a lovely valley which extends to the sea and just as its extremity Caernarfon and its bold castle stood in relief against the water.
Then beyond dimly appeared Anglesey looking across to Holyhead – the valley itself was lovely the sides were of grass scattered with patches of wood and at the bottom lay lakes connected by a meandering stream and cottages scattered about. Then the way became more precipitous and craggy. For a long way the heat was great then this was relieved by frequent blasts of cold air which came pouring through the defiles of the mountains. Notwithstanding these coolings we were in a perpetual perspiration. We ket ourselves as cool as possible to avoid the effect of these chilling winds.
The guide pointed out to us the village where Mr Starr had set off
[small pencil sketch of a valley]
to ascend the mountain and his course up the side of the mountain. The village lay in the valley looking towards Caernarfon.
At length we arrived at the brink of a tremendous chasm or hollow in the side of the mountain. The sides being perpendicular and craggy and at the bottom flowed a stream joining some small lakes and sheep were feeding near them.
The guide pointed out on the opposite side a place known as Owen Glyndwr’s well. A streamlet flowed down from it but how it was connected with the renowned chieftain he could not say.
Beyond was an opening through which the land and sea were visible and the Isle of Man in fine weather. We saw what the guide said might be the haze over it.
The view of Llanberis was very beautiful here.
Our course lay round the border of this chasm and after a very long and steep ascent over pretty smooth ground. We had only just got to the other side Indeed from the summit itself it appeared be just beneath us.
By this time however the mists were rolling down the mountains again and quickly shut up our view behind and then on each side and then before. We began rather to despair but still persevered.
At one time we stopped to rest on a solitary rock of spar in the middle of a pretty steep and plain ascent at an angle of about 40? degrees. Here we were completely shut in by mist. What we saw only ourselves, the rock and a little above and below. This appeared singular when in the midst of such a glorious panorama of mountains. I took a sketch of the world as it existed to our view at that moment:-
[Pencil sketch of mist!]
If on stayed behind a few steps he seemed to be left alone in the world.
At the same time the clouds were of a clear white and not of the dingy yellow and brown of the Cockney fogs.
Now again the mists cleared away and once more we had distant views. The clouds would now entirely fill u the valley, then they would quickly pass away like a curtain and unveil? the plains flowing in the light of the sun far below and then all would close up again and become dim.
As we approached the top it still remained invisible. We were now climbing a very sharp crag and ledges of rock. In one place a new path was made which hardly differed in inclination (?????) from the slope of the mountain.
Then we came to a place where it was plain that the mist hid from us a most glorious view (which we got as we descended).
We were going along a narrow ridge of rock like the blade of a knife of hardly any breadth as the top where the path ran and the sides going down all but perpendicularly – on one side the guide told us for half a mile on the other for three quarters.
Here we only saw about a hundred feet and then all was white mist. It was awful to conceive of seeing anyone drop over the edge – and fall straight down out of sight in an instant. Two persons walking hand in hand might have fallen over – the one on one side, the other on the other – so narrow was the top. This continued for a good way and when the road opened out again – we came to a succession of crags each unseen till the preceding one was passed and each as we approached it seeming in the mist like a mountain at a distance.
After surmounting a number of these we came at last to the real peak and reached the summit at about half past one having been nearly 2½ hours after leaving the car.
On the highest point is erected a heap of large stones some [blank but in pencil 15 or 20] feet high on which stands a pole. To this we climbed and then stood to enjoy the view which though still all clouds, was grand. We were looking down upon a field of vapour the borders of which ran in a complete circle round the horizon.
The nearer parts soon cleared and then the peaks of Cader Idris and Plynlimon appeared up above the clouds. The former 30, the latter 40 miles off. And then the parts nearer gradually came into view. The clearing went on till at length in an hour or two more than half way round was almost without a cloud and indeed in only one direction were they at all thick. Thus we had not the glorious panorama brought full into sight at once but had to pick out the individual parts as they appeared.
By standing on the heap of stones we could get the whole view by merely turning round.
To give an adequate description of the scene as it at length appeared in its full grandeur is so impossible a task that I shall not enter upon it. It must be left for everyone to enjoy for himself who wishes to understand it – On the summit there are two huts together with the ruins of some stone ones formerly in use. Besides the people keeping these huts we found at the top a number of men and boys about half a dozen and a gentleman and lady who had ascended from Llanberis and were, I suppose, the party who had been waiting to ascend while we were at the Victoria (v. p. 122) (They were the same party as mentioned p. 109)
They had been up about 20 minutes and retuned to Llanberis again.
On getting to the top we went to one of the huts and had some coffee and bread from an enormous loaf. Both were good – at any rate they appeared so after our climbing. The man has tidy little hut with a small bed which he gives up to parties who pass the night on the summit or who come up early to see the sunrise (a thing in which we were told the great majority are entirely disappointed). He told us of the gentleman who had come up on Saturday morning – from Llanberis – in a great hurry  only to be disappointed – and after staying till Monday morning – descended after sunrise.
We found by the book kept in the other hut that several parties had been up before us that morning some of whom had seen nothing and others not much.
We observed the sheep feeding at all heights of the mountain, some very nearly at the top itself.
As we expected about an hour after we got up Sir Henry de la Beche and his party appeared on the Llanberis side. I observed that the ascent in that direction towards the top seemed much less steep and rugged than that from Beddgelert. Sir Henry was accompanied by his daughter and another lady and gentleman called Ramsey [note in pencil at bottom of page: Professor Ramsay of University College] appeared. He came as usual with a hammer in his hand. He is a very agreeable old gentleman. He said he was much pleased with what he saw of Univ Col [London] on his visit a fortnight before to distribute the prizes. He thought the students generally looked as if they had some amount of brains in their heads and as to Professor De Morgan he had a first-rate opinion of his genius? and talents.
He was quite at home amongst the mountains and picked out the various summits hardly visible in the distance – like old acquaintances.
We had a great advantage in the rainy and cloudy weather which had preceded our ascent as we were thereby able to see very clearly distant mountains, as Cader, Plinlimon and even ranges beyond which in very fine weather would not of course be so plainly seen, if at all.
The man who keeps the hut here stays on the summit all the season but spends the winter at Beddgelert.
He said he liked his summer residence very well, only it was rather dull sometimes [deleted in pencil] in bad weather when travellers did not ascend the mountain sometimes for days together.
The present season had not been a good one on the whole. The winter was late and they had had snow on the summit as late as in June. Sometimes parties ascend as early as February.
The guide traced to us distantly from the summit the course taken by the unfortunate Mr Starr so far as it could be ascertained.
It appeared that coming from the valley (a) he had taken the course towards (b) instead of that towards (c) leading to the summit.
Our course was in the direction of (d) towards (c).
In place of describing the general view seen from Snowdon myself I will quote the account given of it by the author of “The Beauties, Harmonies and Sublimity of Nature
After climbing over masses of crags and rocks …  and nerves are touched that never thrilled before. [Bucke, Charles, On the Beauties, Harmonies, and Sublimities of nature (1823, 2nd edition)]
In one of the huts they keep a book for the insertion of visitors names and remarks and a curious jumble it is – Hundred [sic] of names in every variety of autograph – remarks in very style of composition and feeling and penned in all the varieties of weather, from bitter disappointment at a bootless and comfortless ascent to rapture at the glorious sights which repay a successful one. And all these interspersed and enlivened by numerous pen and ink sketches of scenery but oftener of the parties themselves, which told plainly enough of wearisome confinement within the hut in place of an expected survey of the glories of the mountain. Some were so far reduced as to have been obliged to substitute for a rhapsody on the scenery viewed from the summit, a song in praise of the good cheer found within the huts.
We were reduced to no such necessity for our expectations had been most fully answered and more than answered. We had not time to look through all the book but saw several well-known names. Here amongst others was that of Mr Bright who with his newly married wife appeared to have first made an excursion through north Wales for we saw their names repeatedly in the visitors books at hotels always thus simply inserted : –
John Bright
Margt Eliz, Bright          } Rochdale, Lancashire
Descended Snowdon  } Junes … 1847
[In pencil Leatham’s sister]
Even here on Snowdon they did not leave word for their successors what kind of an ascent they had had.
Having spent between two and three hours on the summit we set off to descend. Having first taken some refreshments in the second hut which we found – after we had gone into the other in the morning – was the one patronised by our guide.  They kept ginger beer which was of a very superior character, as on this elevated situation one might imagine.
Well we set off and very different the descent was to the ascent. Our guide set off running down the hill at a smart pace and we had to follow on the narrow paths and among the crags.
Before long my legs began to ache rather severely but a continuance of the cause proved an antidote. We were soon beyond the steep crags the sharp ridges and the long steep ascent round the edge of the chasm.
Before getting to the lower edge we turned off and went down by a different route to that by which we had ascended – more direct and steeper. Some of it at a slope of 50 degrees and often among slippery and rough stones, requiring care to avoid awkward slips and bruises.
We could not go so quickly down this part but before very long we were on the more level meadow and boggy land.
These passed brought us to the high road again.
All the time of our descent the view was very clear and we had a beautiful view of the summit we were leaving behind, all the way. It was great contrast to our ascent.
In passing the narrow ridge, mentioned p. 154 we had a beautiful prospect of the two valleys more than half a mile below us on both sides.
On reaching the road we went to look at a remarkable stone a few hundred yards from the place where we entered it. This is called ‘Pitt’s head’ and bears a very great resemblance to a human head, the feature which has attached to it the name of the great statesman being undoubtedly the nose which is certainly a faithful likeness. …
[Sketch of Pitt’s head]
We then returned to Beddgelert where we arrived by no means disinclined to rest.
There are four ways or starting places for the ascent of Snowdon
(1) The Beddgelert one, which was our course
(2) The Llanberis by which we were coming at first. This is an easier but less pleasant ascent than the Beddgelert
It is more steep up among the mountains and the views are consequently not so good but the road is, I believe, better and not so trying to persons of short breath who sometimes complain of no. 1
(3) The Capel Curig ascent
(4) The Snowdon Guide [Snowdon Ranger] the way by which Mr Starr went up. It is an extremely easy way and parties can easily find their way without a guide in clear weather. It lies in the valley in the direction of Caernarfon. It is not much frequented as there is no inn but only a small cottage at the starting place at least this was the case some time ago. This is near Lake Cwellyn
Long, R.W., Notes etc. of a tour of ten days among some of the beauties of north Wales in the summer of 1847, NLW MS 5912B, pp. 121-173

The geologist Andrew Ramsay, (1814-1891) spent a great deal of time in Snowdonia between 1840s and 1852 gathering information for the British Geological Survey. Andrey Ramsay spent at least two months in Snowdonia in 1847 and many months in 1847, 1848 and 1850.
After their marriage [1852], Professor Ramsay and his bride, Miss Louisa Williams, the daughter of the rector at Llanfairynghornwy, Anglesey, took a wedding tour through Switzerland, and Professor Ramsay got his first view of a real glacier far away toward the summit of the Uri Roth Stock. On retirement he spent much time at Beaumaris in Anglesey in a house left to his wife and from whence he could see the Snowdon mountains. He was buried at St Sadwrn’s church in Llansadwrn where his grave is marked by a glacial erratic boulder.
The survey work and preparation of maps continued into 1853. He published The Geology of North Wales (vol. 3 of the Geological Memoirs, 1866), with a second edition in 1881 and many other articles and books.
He kept a diary and wrote many letters, extracts from which were published in Geikie, Archibald, Memoir of Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay, (1895)
My Dear Mrs Jones
‘From London I went to Cerrig y Druidion on the great Holyhead road, from thence to Beddgelert where I joined Sir Henry [Sir Henry de la Beche, 1796 -1855, Geologist] last Sunday. But on Monday we left that huge gaping Inn and trolled off through the pass of Llanberis for this snug cottage … his little household and self all domesticated together… we have been atop of Snowdon when the devil was just finishing his great brewing. It was a glorious spectacle. We have been on another mountain on his big washing day and such a seething of tubs and cauldrons roar! …We have sailed over Llyn Peris and Llyn Padarn … and we have journeyed to Caernarfon, seen the castle, bought fruit and roles and eaten both of them.
Letter from Andrew Ramsay dated Llanberis, 17.7.1847 to Mrs Jones (E.J.) of Dolacothi, NLW Dolaucothi L4295

The geologist Henry De la Beche was in north Wales with his daughter.
After Breakfast, we all [Ramsay, Sir Henry De La Beche, (Director General), [and others?] started for the top of Snowdon, the girls walking by the road and Sir Henry and I cutting a parallel section of the Barmouth sandstones etc. on the neighbouring ridge. … It was a glorious day. First of all the country was enveloped in white fog, which, clearing off here and there, showed peeps of the country, as if set in a superhuman frame. By and by it all rolled away, and from Cader Idris and Plynlimon to the long Mynd all was clear and distinct. Confound the Cockney tourists, though, that one meets a-top, and confound the huts and coffee-pots, visitors’ books and guides.
De la Beche stayed until early August.
Geikie, Archibald, Memoir of Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay, (1895), pp. 104-106
Reference to Ramsay’s sprained foot which he got while climbing Glyder Fawr with Sir Henry de Beche. He was recovering at Johnes’ home at Dolaucothau.
Letters and Extracts from the Addresses and Occasional Writings of J. Beete Jukes, Edited by his sister [C. A. Browne], (1871), p. 304

A chain of the highest mountains in Wales extends across Caernarvonshire, from Bardsey Island to Penmaen Bach, near Conway bay, gradually rising from each extremity towards the centre, which is occupied by Snowdon. The name of this mountain was first given to it by the Saxons, and signifies a hill covered with snow; but the Welsh call all this adjacent range Creigiau-yr-Eyri (the Eagle’s Cliffs;) for it is not true, as has been asserted, that snow may be found upon it through the whole year. The temperature at the summit is generally very low, even in summer. In July, just after sunrise, the thermometer has been observed at 34deg. and in August at 48deg. early in the afternoon.
The perpendicular height of Snowdon is by late admeasurements 1190 yards above the level of the sea. This makes it, according to Pennant, 240 yards higher than Cader Idris. Some state Whernside, in Yorkshire, to be the highest mountain in South Britain, and more thau 4000 feet. Helvelyn is 3324 feet, Benlomond 3262. Mont Blanc rises 15,680 feet; the American Chimboraco is 20,909 feet, the highest ground ever trodden by man; and the mountain of Thibet above 25,000 feet, the highest at present known.
The air on the top of Snowdon is sharp and bracing, and like that in all other mountain districts, is salubrious and congenial to health and longevity. It is seldom that persons who have taste and leisure visit this part of Caernarvonshire without ascending to the top of our British Alps; and those who make a tour from motives of curiosity would think the omission almost inexcusable. An important consideration for the tourist is the point whence he should commence the ascent for the towering summit of this majestic mountain.
Dolbadarn, Llyn Cwellyn, Beddgelert, and Llanberis, all put in their claims for eligibility as a starting-place, and at each of these stations trusty guides may be engaged. We are inclined to the opinion that the Victoria Hotel at Llanberis is the spot from which the most easy and convenient ascent may be effected.
It may readily be imagined that every resting point in climbing this commanding eminence must reveal, amidst the magnificent scenery of so romantic a district, views of surpassing grandeur and beauty: and such indeed is the case to an extent which the most vivid imagination can scarcely conceive. The enthusiastic author of “The Beauties, Harmonies, and Sublimity of Nature,” gives the following glowing description of the prospects from the summit:— [Long extract from “After climbing over masses of crags and rocks,  [to] … and nerves are touched that never thrilled before.” Bucke, Charles, Beauties, Harmonies, and Sublimities of Nature.” (1821) (2nd edition, 1823); (new edition 1837)]
But it is not always thus. Earthly pleasures are often greater in the anticipation than the enjoyment; and ardent hopes are subject to occasional disappointments. Bright as the day may be, mountain mists will sometimes intervene, and passing clouds suddenly draw a curtain over these glorious revelations of Almighty Power Take, for instance, the narrative of the King of Saxony’s ascent up Snowdon in July, 1844, his Majesty’s excursion being made from Beddgelert:— [Long extract from: “Early this morning, according to our previous design, … [to] About half-past two we reached the hotel at Beddgelert, and our mountain excursion was at an end.” Carl Gustav Carus, The King of Saxony’s Journey Through England and Scotland in the Year 1844, (1846), pp. 238-240]
Let us be very earnest in impressing upon the minds of all tourists one important injunction, –  never ascend Snowdon without a guide. It is unwise and perilous, even in the brightest weather, to make such an attempt. A melancholy instance of this venturous spirit occurred in the autumn of 1846, when the Rev. H. S. Starr, of Northampton, ascended the mountain without a guide; and doubtless perished in some of its bogs or precipitous defiles, as from that period till now, no trace of this unfortunate clergyman has been discovered.
Hicklin, John, (ed.) Excursions in North Wales. A Complete Guide to the Tourist through that Romantic Country; containing descriptions of its Picturesque beauties, Historical Antiquities, and Modern Wonders, (1847), pp. 193-199; (Fifth thousand, 1849), pp. 198-203

The geologist Andrey Ramsay spent most of eight months in Snowdonia (see also 1847, 1849, 1850)
Ramsay was in north Wales from mid-April until mid-December, 1848
diary entry 11.10.1848
Sent Gibbs to search the ridge of Snowdon. Sir H [de la Beche] and Forbes followed about half past ten for the top.
diary entry 20.10.1848
Gibbs and I started for Snowdon. Went down to the copper mine at Llyn-du r’Arddu. We climbed up the face of the cliff there, just by the great fault. It was frozen over in many places with ice and snow. It took us a whole hour to climb it, and we were frequently obliged to stop when in a secure position to beat our hands to warm them, We had often to cut step sin the rock and ice. Gibbs never for a moment lost his coolness, but I got a little nervous for two or three minutes. Once halfway up it was impossible to return; we were obliged to go up. Had a foot or hand given way one or both of us would have been smashed.  … I walked across Snowdon to Beddgelert. The top was covered with snow; fine view.
[From his dairy, dated 3.8.1848 at Llanberis, studying Snowdon geology]
{Robert Chambers (1809-1871) came to meet him at Llanberis to see the evidence of glaciation in Welsh valleys.}
‘Selwyn, Reeks, and Smyth up Snowdon; Chambers and I out on a glacial expedition up the pass, etc.’
[In a review of the 5th edition of Lyall’s Elementary manual of Geology, in Edinburgh New Phil. Journ., April, 1856, p. 317), Ramsay wrote:
We recollect well the unbelief … of Agassiz and Buckland in 1840-41, that glaciers once occupied the greater valleys of the Highlands of Scotland and Wales, and how sceptics and shallow wits whose geology perhaps rarely extended beyond the precincts of turnpike roads, attributed the grooving and striation of the rocks to cart-wheels and hob-nailed boots, and the ice-polished rock surfaces to the sliding of the caudal corduroys of Welshmen on the rocks…’]
Ramsay was still in north Wales on 15th November.
‘During Ramsay’s long stay this year at Llanberis he had two such visits [by representatives of foreign governments who wished to learn about the British Geological survey].
In June A. Sismonda, a Tuscan geologist, accompanied by a French man {stayed for a while}.
In August, two bearded Austrians, with large slouched hats, made some sensation among the peasants of Llanberis. One was Franz Ritter von Hauer, formerly Director of the Geological Survey of Austria, then Head of the Museum of Vienna. The other was Dr Moritz Hörnes, a geologist.
[Franz von Hauer, Reiseberichte über eine mit Moriz Hörnes im Sommer 1848 unternommene Reise nach Deutschland, Frankreich, England und der Schweiz : Mit e. Subvention d. Akad. d. Wiss. zwecks Studien über geolog. Landesaufnahmen, German, 1985, pp. 59-69 – letters covering Swansea to Bangor, up west coast]
The diary records their meals.
Other Geological survey staff who visited were:
Selwyn (based at Beddgelert)
Edward Forbes who brought his new wife to stay near Llanberis.
Sir Henry de la Beche, Director of the Survey
Geikie, Archibald, Memoir of Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay, (1895), pp. 132-140

The Holyhead railway is now open from Chester to Bangor but fares are high and the steamer is cheaper.
Beaumaris a good base for a stay
Victoria Hotel, Llanberis
{Snowdon – poneys cost 5s each – and will save a lot of fatique}
There are new refreshment booths on the very summit of Snowdon; Weary Tourists rejoice in hot coffee; bottled porter; and spirits; and if need be, a humble bed to stretch upon.
The Liverpool Mail, 15.7.1848

[Advertising card]
Roberts and Williams
Beg to announce that they have a house fitted up, on the top of Snowdon, for the reception of Ladies and Gentlemen. It contains Beds and Refreshments, and all other necessaries required by Visitors. The house is situated on the right hand side of the path in going to the top of the mountain. We shall feel obliged to our visitors for their patronage; and no excursions shall be wanting to merit their approval.
Parry, John Orlando, (1810-1879), Diary, tour through North Wales and part of South Wales, 1848, NLW 17728A

The beaten ascent of Snowdon will not do for the botanist. We succeeded in obtaining a guide, who was willing to conduct us wherever we wished. We first proceeded to a lofty precipice, forming one of the western buttresses of Snowdon, called Clowgwyn Du Yrarddu (Clogwyn dur Arddu of the Ordnance Survey). Here, among the rocks and wild debris, between the base of the precipice and Llyn Arddu, were all the ferns we had seen in Cwm Idwell, some of them growing, if possible, still more luxuriantly, as Asplenium viride, and Hymenophyllum Wilsoni of a very large size, and tufts of Allosorus crispus almost a yard in diameter. From the constancy of the mountain form of Cystopteris met with throughout these regions, perfectly distinct in the form and cutting of the pinnules from the more southern plant we had previously known as fragilis, we are inclined to believe in the specific distinctness of dentata, which we had before doubted; but have brought home a supply of seedlings to cultivate, the result of which shall be communicated, if successful.

When on the last shoulder, in full sight of the summit, we met one of the older guides coming down, well known for his botanical lore, and especially for his knowledge, said to be exclusive, of the habitat of Woodsia in Clogwyn-y-Garnedd. After some chaffering to obtain information, and not without the aid of a little bribery, for which, however, he promised to transmit us a plant if we did not succeed in finding it, he brought us back a little to the edge of the ridge, and professed to point out the exact spot where the Woodsia grew, far down amid a world of rocks and precipices. All the time we did not think he meant us to find it. The absurdity of identifying by description from above one particular wet rock, when down amongst such a chaos of rocks and precipices, was apparent enough. We were determined, however, not to fail for want of trying; and luck might come in to aid. So down the Capel Curig track we went, and then deviated to the right, to get under the precipice constituting Clogwyn-y-Garnedd. It is almost needless to say, that after a tremendous scramble we had to give up the Woodsia; but were sufficiently rewarded by capturing several plants of Polystichum Lonchitis, and saw some still finer ones in places inaccessible. It is a great treat to see this truly splendid and weird-looking fern, evidently framed to brave, under its weather-beaten form, the storms of its native mountains. After rounding the little Llyn Glas below, we had to ascend the tremendous

Bwlch-y-Lacthan, to the summit, just before sunset. Here we found that the guides who are stationary at the top, having erected booths, where parties who wish to see the sunrise may now sleep, that is, lay miserably awake, had Lonchitis for sale at sixpence a root; a practice which, if encouraged, must soon annihilate this fine and sparingly scattered fern from all accessible habitats. They knew nothing of Woodsia. Since returning home, the guide, faithful to his promise, has sent by post a small root, and some fronds of a true Woodsia, but unfortunately so mutilated that we cannot satisfactorily determine the species.
We had bad weather at Beddgelert …
Bennett, William, Notes on the rarer Ferns observed in a fortnight’s Pedestrian Tour in North Wales; with several new Localities for Asplenium lanceolatum,
The Phytologist: a popular botanical miscellany, Volume 3, (1848), pp. 713-714

1848 (about)
Beddgelert, Sunday
Since I wrote to you last I have performed many heroic feats – On Wednesday four of us, among whom was the illustrious Squire of Alderney? started off for Cnicht. We had a magnificently clouded walk up the same track my father went with us – the old road to Tan-y-bwlch for about five miles then we struck off to the left and got up to the top of Cnicht …
When the next day at dinner they proposed to go up Snowdon by night I could not resist the temptation – so off we set at 11 o’clock with a cloudy sky and a peeping moon – but ere we had “ascended far” the moon ceased to peep and we were enveloped in the petticoats of a white mist  – we lost our way and had to proceed by the light of Nature within us for ol-la ???? we had without …[no more detail]. {reference to an edition of a book of 1848}
Letters written by Robert Temple (of Cambridge?) to his mother
NLW Glansevern 4791

Talhaiarn (John Jones, a Welsh poet and architect 1810-1869) climbed Snowdon and recorded his visit in his memoirs and in the Snowdon summit visitors’ book.
ANWYL SYR, Efallai y cofiwch ymloni gyda mi yu Mangor pan oeddwn ar fy mhleserdaith drwy Gymru yn niwedd yr haf diweddaf. (1848.) Wel, ces hyfrydwch mawr wrth syllu ar ogonedduswaith natur yn y dyffrydoedd meillionog, yr uchel-grib fynyddoedd, y llethrau
gwrydd goediawg, – y creigiau crôg, – a’r cymmoedd certh, sy’n addurno fy hên-wlad o ben-bwygilydd. Ymlonodd fy nghalon yng nghwmniaeth ei dewr-feib, ac ami i
” Gu enwog rywiog rian,
Foneddigaidd loywaidd lân.”
Bendith iddynt ! Dymunais gant o weithiau fod fel gloyn, yn eheddeg o flodyn i flodyn ; neu fel dywed y gân Saesoneg: –
” Roving forever from flower to flower,
Kissing all things that are pretty and sweet.”
Wei, Meistr Golygydd, digon o hyn, – traethaf i chwi chwedl :- Un boregwaith ar ôl brecwesta ar ddanteithion Gwêsty Mrs. Pritchard, yn Meddgelert, i ffwrdd a fi i ben y Wyddfa, ac ôl mawr ludded (chwi a wyddoch mod yn rholyn praff, ac yn debycach i ddanteithwas anfyfyriol nac i Fardd,) cefais y pleser o “chwarae ar ei choryn.” Dringais i ben y tŵr cerrig, a chenais fel ceiliog, er mawr syndod a dywenydd i’m cydwyddfodolion, o Gymru, Lloegr a Llanrwst; a thraethais, gyda hoywder a hylithrwydd, linellau campus Syr Walter Scott, y rhai a ddechreuant fel y ganlyn :
“Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land !
Whose heart,” &c. &c.
Bid hyspys i chwi fod dwy dafarn ar ben y Wyddfa. Euthum i dafarn Siôn Robert, a’r peth cynta’ welais ar y bwrdd oddd, “Huw’r Gwehydd Mawr a Siôn Ifan Bach” (fy nghyfeithiad o Burns’s Tarn o’ Shanter). ‘Holo’ ebai fi, “beth ydyw hwn?” “Rhywbeth i ddifyrru’r ymweledigion,” ebai Siôn Robert. “Pwy ydyw’r awdwr?’ ebai finnau. “Ond Talhairn,” ebai yntau. “Y fi ydi fo,” ebai finnau. “Tewch, da chwi” ebai yntau, “ysgrifennwch rywbeth yn fy llyfr i.” “Twt lol” ebai finnau “gadewch i mi gael golwyth o facon, a thafell o gwmpas y dorth, a chwart o gwrw, ac wed’yn soniwn am ysgrifennu.” Tra’r oedd Siôn Robert yn ffrio’r bacon, yr oeddwn innau yn craff-dremu ar yr olygfa odidog o’m cwmpas, ac ar ol slaffio fel gwaedgi, acufed fel yr ŷch, ysgrifiais yr hyn a ganlyn yn ei lyfr :
Ar ol dringo a theithio’i thorr,
A sarnau fyrdd, (nid siwrnau ferr,)
Gwelais y byd i gyd o’i gwrr,
A’r ddaear gu oddiar ei gwarr.

O’i serth orsedd ddaneddawg, ceir degau
O ddrychau ardderchawg,
Eryri a’i gororawg elltydd gwel,
Cribau uchel crebychawg.

Ysgythrawg grogawg greigiau, a gelltydd,
A gwylltion glogwynau,
Rhaidrawg ddeifr geifr yn gwau,
Hyd glonciawg lithrawg lethrau.

Llynoedd gorddyfnion, a llanau o’n blaen,
Ysblenydd wrthddrychau ;
Niwl a tharth drwy’r garth yn gwau,
A miloedd o gymylau.

” Twt, twt Siôn Robert,” ebai fi, ” ni thai hyn ddim yn wir : rho’wch fenthyg y ‘sgrifell unwaith etto,” ac yn ebrwydd ysgrifenais yr hyn a ganlyn :
Nothing e’er grow’d on,
That ever I know’d on,
On the summit of Snowdon ;
I’m pretty well blow’d on,
And the beast that I rode on
Is anxious to go down.
See for original text
Translation of part of the above by Ioan Bowen Rees, (ed.), The Mountains of Wales: an Anthology in verse and prose. (UWP, 1992), pp. 88-89:
… after breakfasting on the delicacies of Mrs Pritchard’s Hotel, in Beddgelert, off I went to the top of Snowdon, and after much effort (you know that I am a substantial barrel, more like a heedless glutton than a Poet) I had the pleasure of ‘playing on her crown’. I climbed to the top of the stone tower, and I crowed like a cockerel, to the great surprise and joy of my fellow Snowdonites, from Wales, England and Llanrwst; and recited, with spirit and elegance, Sir Walter Scott’s admirable lines which begin thus:
Breathes there a man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own – my native land!
Let it be known that there are two inns on the summit of Snowdon. I went to Siôn Robert’s, and the first thing I saw on the table was ‘Huw’r Gwehydd Mawr a Sion Ifan Bach’ (my translation of Burn’s Tam o’Shanter). ‘Holo’, I said, ‘what is this?’ ‘ Something to amuse the visitors,’ said Siôn Robert. ‘Who is the author?’ I asked. ‘Who but Talhaiarn,’ he replied. ‘That’s me,’ I said. ‘You don’t say. Good for you,’ said he, Write something in my book.’ ‘Nonsense,’ said I, ‘let me have a rasher of bacon, and a slice around the loaf, and a quart of beer, and then we’ll see about writing.’ While Siôn Robert was frying the bacon, I was taking in the superb view about me, and after gorging myself like a bloodhound and drinking like an ox, I wrote the following in his book:
Ar ol dringo a theithio’i thor
A sarnau fyrdd (nid siwrnau ferr)
Gwelais y byd i gyd o’i gwrr,
A’r ddaear gu oddiar ei gwarr.
O’i serth orsedd ddaneddawg, ceir degau
O ddrychau ardderchawg,
Eryri a’i gororawg elltydd gwel,
Cribau uchel crebychawg.

Ysgythrawg grogawg greigiau, a gelltydd,
A gwylltion glogwynau,
Rhaidrawg ddeifr geifr yn gwau,
Hyd glonciawg lithrawg lethrau.

Llynoedd gorddyfnion, a llanau – o’n blaen,
Ysblenydd wrthddrychau ;
Niwl a tharth drwy’r garth yn gwau,
A miloedd o gymylau.
‘Dear, dear, Siôn Robert,’ I said, this won’t do at all: lend me the pen again,’ and I quickly wrote what follows:
Nothing e’er grow’d on
That ever I know’d on
On the top of the Snowdon
I’m pretty well blow’d on
And the beast that I rode on
Is anxious to go down.
Y Cymro, 1848
The Works of Talhaiarn, Welsh and English, pp. 317-319
This is what appears in the visitor’s book – a shorter version of the Welsh poem above, and rather oddly, the two poems appear to be in different hands:
Ar ol dringo a theithio’i thor
A sarnau fyrdd (nid siwrnau fer)
Gwelais y byd i gyd o’i gwr
Greigiau ‘n y mwg a’r eigion mawr
Llanau a thai, Llynau a thir
A’r ddaear gain oddiai ei gwair.
Ar ben y wyddfa yn ngwêsty John Roberts, Medi 19eg 1848
[in a different hand]
Nothing e’er grow’d on
That ever I know’d on
On the top of the Snowdon
I’m pretty well blow’d on
And the beast that I rode on
So anxious to go down
Y Ddraig Werdd
Page signed by Thomas Griffiths, Llundain, M [not May] 13th 1850
Bangor University Archives and Special Collections, ms. 4151, p. 113

1848 10th August
The opening morning seemed propitious, and shortly after nine well mounted on our respective palfreys, we left the vale of Llanberis full of expectation and in high spirits. The apex of the mountain was still in the clouds but they were light and dry rolling as a mist. At about two thirds of the ascent the whole Island of Anglesey spread out beneath us as a beautiful garden, to this succeeded the lakes, valleys and mountains, which incircle this Queen of the North all lying beneath in subject silence; – and then the Irish Sea – we had now approached within some 300 feet of the summit and entered the clouds, working our way through them to the highest point in the hope, as our guide led us to expect, they would soon be exhaled. This indeed was in part realised and some very fine views for the minute were obtained, but ever and anon, this beauteous world, as beheld from these elevations, was all shut out. We remained on the summit upwards of two hours, but still in vain; the clouds became more dense and we could just see the ground on which we were standing, while all besides appeared a sea of vapour without a bottom or a shore. Partaking, therefore of our refreshments by a good fire in a comfortable room built of wood, we prepared for our departure from these cold and dark regions; groping our way with cautious steps and slow, till we suddenly emerged from the darkness into a panorama of magnificence and beauty. Another two hours brought us safely to the hotel.
Ballance, J., ‘A few brief recollections of a tour through Wales in the summer of 1848, presented to his dear niece, Louisa by her affectionate Uncle, John Ballance, 13th October, 1848’, Cardiff Central Library, MS 2.867, p. 18

The first part of this account is based on Bucke, Charles, Beauties, Harmonies and Sublimities of Nature: with occasional remarks on the laws, customs, manners, and opinions of various nations (1821). The editor followed this with a less satisfactory ascent.

Let not the reader suppose, however, that this is an enjoyment frequently realized. Like all sublunary pleasures, it is dependent on a variety of contingencies; and, in the case of ascending mountains, on those over which man, with his utmost care and vigilance, can neither foresee nor prevent. Bright, cloudless, and hopeful as may be the morning, yet, in the course of a few minutes, the mountain peaks may be covered with mist, and all that had made the breast to glow with delightful anticipation, is exchanged for the gloomy, the cloudy, the sunless sky!

An instance of this kind is furnished us in the case of the king of Saxony, who in 1844, ascended Snowdon—the particulars of which are minutely given; and their accuracy, we think, cannot fail to strike any who may have experienced the like dilemmas. For the sake of contrast with the preceding description, as well as to serve for a salutary warning to such as may be ignorant of the sudden changes which take place in the weather in mountainous districts, we will give the narrative in the interesting form in which it is written:

{full transcription of the ascent of Snowdon by Carl Gustav Carus, The King of Saxony’s Journey Through England and Scotland in the Year 1844, (1846), pp. 238-240}
S., S.S., Beddgelert and its neighbourhood, The Visitor or Monthly Instructor, (London, Religious Tract Society, 1848), pp. 368-373

Quotation from ‘Ebony’ about touring Wales – rude about how slow the Welsh are, triads including Three mountains that everybody goes up, but nothing specific about Snowdon.      
Eddowes’s Journal for Shropshire and Wales, 12.4.1848
With brief extract in Durham County Advertiser – Friday 26 May 1848

Josiah Goodall met four gentlemen and two ladies who failed to climb Snowdon
it appears having a great desire to witness “sun rise” from the top of Snowdon they started from Liverpool on Friday morning – Left Caernarfon at 11 o’clock at night, arrived at Llanberis at 1, found the Hotel full, had the guide knocked up, much to his displeasure, who told them that there was not the slightest chance of their being able to ascend Snowdon – except in clouds – after sleeping on chairs till 6 o’clock when instead of sunrise they found one mass of fog and rain – they then began to think of getting to Caernarfon in time for the boat vain hope – arrived just in time to be too late … they were obliged to pass the night … they were rather short of tin [money]. The two ladies took upon themselves to provide for the Gentlemen and lodge them in the most economical manner. After a good deal of trouble they obtained beds at 1/- each the hotel was much too dear.
Goodall, Josiah, Journal of a Trip through North and South Wales, 1848, NLW, MS facs 676, p. 7

Edwin Lees was a printer, bookseller, stationer and bookbinder of Broad Street, Worcester.
Caernarfon to Beddgelert
Pont Aberglaslyn
Capel Curig
Next morning we descended to breakfast, with appetites wetted for a feast upon the mountain monarch, and one of the ladies who had already been out, announced that all was right, fine and clear for that she had seen Snowdon without a cloud upon his crest. We soon dispatched breakfast, and our car having arrived, were conveyed to Capel Curig where we took up a guide, and then rode on to the top of Llanberis pass where we dismissed the carriage and under the direction of the guide commenced the arduous ascent. At first we found our up-hill task very fatiguing but we became inured to it as we strode on and recovered our wind and our spirits. Yet as we got upon still steeper boggy and slippery ground, hot and panting, we were compelled to make occasional pauses and take a refreshing draught. At last on turning a mass of rock we came upon a lower ??ip of the mountain and a fine deep green-coloured lake appeared below us, with Crib Coch, or the red ridge, one of the shoulders of Snowdon, immediately opposite and on the right an escarpment of inaccessible cliff over whose sides water was streaming in several places so as almost to stop the passage. High above all for a brief space appeared the craggy head of the monarch of all hills – but the next moment a mass of vapours veiled it from our view. Our path wound up the escarpment just mentioned, the red ridge with its enormous precipices gaping opposite to us, and now with one final effort we surmounted the great buttress we had been toiling up so long called Crib y Ddistill, and stood on a plateau leading to the crowning rooks surrounding the summit of Snowdon, styled Y WYDDFA, or the conspicuous. We now entered upon the vapoury region, for here all was cloud, but winding up among the crags as among winter fogs, we reached at last the crest of the mountain and another act of life was accomplished – Snowdon was climbed! It was not to do, it was now done, and we stood rejoicing.

There was a little fair to day upon this lofty crest, for the day being fine in the lower regions, many parties had ascended as well as ourselves, but alas for all human projects, the grim mountain turned sulky and his eminence, though at home, refused to be seen, or at any rate, though giving us audience, and permitting us to stand in his court, yet drew the curtains of his tent so closely about him, that it was not possible to see beyond its precinct, except at long intervals when the wind for a moment blew the veil of clouds away. Then, indeed, when there was a momentary break, the twin lakes of Nantlle shone out in beauty like mirrors of silver and amidst blue mountain ridges towering far away craterian bowls appeared in shadows black as obsidian – but soon the grey clouds spun round again, and all was lost in obscurity. At one time when the clouds had lowered below the summit and the sun was shining brightly above us, an interesting phenomena presented itself to view in the shape of a circular prismatic iris upon the level clouds beneath, and this curious appearance was once or twice repeated. The summit of Snowdon is composed of very ancient sedimentary rocks which have been uplifted to their present height by igneous action, and these contain casts of various shells, and indeed the shells themselves in a decomposing state. Accordingly, having pointed this out to some gentlemen a party of us set to work fossilizing whenever the cloudy curtains intercepted our view, and we obtained some very good specimens. It was rather novel to see twenty or thirty gentlemen all hard at work breaking stone upon the top of Snowdon. This, however, helped to pass the time away and as refreshment huts had been erected by some of the guides those who were inclined solaced themselves with porter, bread and butter etc. Short and few were the breaks in the envious clouds, and these we took advantage of when they occurred, but very little of the wide landscape was revealed; – now and then a gap of bright landscape appeared, but almost before the lake, valley, or mountain that loomed into view could be certainly known, the clouds whirled round and too too closely embraced us again.

The guides had got an album for visitors to record their names and feelings, and on turning to this we had the satisfaction to find that hundreds of others, like ourselves had ascended Snowdon with little result but that of seeing themselves and other disappointed  ramblers walking about in a dense fog; and this is not much to be wondered at if what a Welshman told me – who lived near Llanberis be true – that he had lived for fifty years about the base of Snowdon and never knew the mountain to be quite clear but twice! I had myself ascended Snowdon some years before, quite disappointed as to any grand prospect. In fact I believe the experience of most explorers of the summit of Snowdon to be in accordance with the expression of one writer in the Album, who says – he saw the mist – but mist the view! – this is not bad; – we sawed the mist, which was bad, and so cut it in despair! Almost to sunset we lingered on, still hoping there must be light at last but it was like the hope that is waiting for a legacy that never comes; and so wearied out, we prepared to descend the mountain on the Llanberis side, for this is quite a beaten track in summer; and without any difficulty. Of course, the path curves about, and all rocks and difficulties are avoided. Previous to departing, I penned the following lines as my contribution to the album:-
Life’s pleasures bright with ev’ry hue
Pass swiftly as the fleeting view;
A glimpse of joy, a hope to rise,
These are among life’s ecstasies!-
Experience tells another tale,
For cares and disappointments pale
Curl around life, and Snowdon shows
The same upon his rocky brows.
One glimpse of beauty – and anon
The prospect closes, and is gone!
So leaving the summit of Snowdon to its sulky seclusion, we descended the mountain, and soon got out of the coronet of mist. On our way down an eminence not apparently very dangerous, was pointed out as the spot where the bones of poor Starr, a clergyman from Northampton were found the year before after lying exposed for months; and strange if not horrid ideas arise in the minds of wanderers when they think of his hapless fate. The sister of the unfortunate gentleman has published a volume narrating the sad tale. Just before the mountain path joins the main road we passed close to the loud roar of a water-fall called Ceunant Mawr, but hidden from view at this point by over hanging foliage. On reaching the Dolbadarn Castle Inn at Llanberis, we immediately ordered a car, and had a pleasant evening ride passing along the side of the lower lake of Llanberis and on to Caernarfon.
Lees, Edwin, Notes on a Tour among the Scenery of North Wales in the Summer of the Year, 1849, By Edwin Lees, F.L.S., in company with two Ladies [Mrs Woodward and Mrs Lees and Mr Woodward], illustrated with prints, sketches and watercolours, NLW MS 1250D, [no page numbers]

Crown Property in North Wales
Extract from a pamphlet ‘On Crown Property in North Wales, its Mismanagement and Appropriation, by Owen Owen Roberts, Deputy Ranger of the Forests of Snowdon; with a reply to a letter by James Wyatt (Penrhyn Agent), regarding the Hundred of Uchaf, addressed to the Council of the Liverpool Financial Reform Association.
Hereford Times – Saturday 15 December 1849

Mary Ann Hibbert, who was about 59 when this diary was written ascended Snowdon with her companions, James and Charlotte and spent the night in one of the huts on the summit, having seen a spectacular sunset, but the mist obscured the sunrise.
On 25th September
‘A memorable day. I had a very good night & felt equal to Snowdon which we were anxious to ascend before the weather changed. … at the Victoria Inn {Llanberis] we engaged 2 ponies for James & I, Charlotte walking the whole way. I rode to within half a mile of the summit which was reached soon after 1 o’clock, but found the whole under a cloud. As there was nothing to be seen we determined after bespeaking the room for the night to eat our dinner in the first instance. Towards 3 o’clock the mist rolled off & we had the most beautiful effects possible, the landscape appearing at intervals between wreaths of mist. Soon it was clear on all sides & after enjoying the panorama from the summit we walked part of the road towards Beddgelert as far as the saddle where there is a magnificent view of each side. Charlotte took 2 sketches & we returned in time to walk the road from the top a very glorious one it was the sun going down behind the sea, which seemed like liquid gold & so high in the horizon that I could hardly persuade myself it was not sky. We had tea as soon as it was dark & then came the night which was misty & windy so that we saw little of the moon or anything else. I tried to lie down on one of the beds but bad smells & other disagreeables made me soon quit that locality & I got some sleep as did my companions also by the fireside. We wrote letters at intervals I was struck with one of the guides when he brought up hot water coals etc. for the night asking if we should like a Testament – they seem a very religious people. Morn Came at last but brought disappointment for the mist was so thick that we could see nothing & the wind so high it was scarcely possible to stand out of doors added to which I felt far from well however just at sunrise there was a break & we had several vistas of a golden sky & beautiful country behind one cloud & these limited views certainly impress one more than when the whole scene is spread before you. Once more the clouds closed densely round us & we resigned ourselves to our fate & bent all our energies on boiling our kettle for breakfast when we finished all our provisions satisfactorily. The guide whom we had expected at 8 did not appear until 10 & then though he bought a pony told me he did not think I could sit it at all events till we got more than half way down the mountain the wind was so high. We set out therefore on foot I helped by the guide James leading the pony & Charlotte scrambling as best she could but sometimes my guide had to go back & help her. The first misfortune was that James lost his hat then it was discovered that  before I had mounted the pony one of the bags had been lost  we were then past all the great difficulties so the guide thought we might do without him & he went back for our missing treasure which however I had little hope could have escaped being blown away in such a tornado. We struggled on. Charlotte had nearly met with a bad accident from a heavy gate falling back upon her leg but a severe bruise was the only evil it occasioned & she limped on. We met 2 parties setting off in high glee evidently intending to pass the night on old Snowdon. We warned them not to proceed but go they would though we had afterwards the satisfaction of learning that neither party reached the summit. About 1 we arrived at Llanberis the sky quite clear but wind as high as ever. Ordered a Car home & I saw a Doctor who advised me to go immediately to bed. Had a good night….
27th:  She is advised by doctor not to go out.
Hibbert, Mary Ann, Diary for 1849, 1850, 1851, Gloucestershire Record Office, D1799/F334

The geologist Andrey Ramsay spent most of five months in Snowdonia (see also 1847, 1848, 1850)
Ramsey working in Snowdonia in June, July 1849
As I could not sleep quiet in my grave had I not been up Snowdon, to see that bit on the Beddgelert side of Cwm-y-Clogwyn that bothered Selwyn and me so much, I revisited it today and came back over the top. No one was there but myself.
{he was desperately waiting for a clear day to complete some work}
Capel Curig, 31.10.1849 letter to his brother William
‘Winter does indeed approach, and it often looks sufficiently savage here, specially when the wind comes roaring down the glen … I the enchanted knight, fall in love with all the female waiters and chambermaids, the daughters being lantern-jawed.’
{He was still there on 28th November 1849.}
Geikie, Archibald, Memoir of Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay, (1895), pp. 150-158

Late 1840s
Andrew Ramsey wrote an important book on glaciers.
This mountain [Snowdon], the highest and noblest in the district, is bounded on three sides by valleys which in all respects are unsurpassed in geological interest and wild beauty, by any in north Wales. On the north-east lie the bare crags of the narrow pass of Llanberis, on the east the softer beauties of Nant Gwynant, and on the west the long drift-covered slopes of the broad depression that runs from Llyn Cwellyn to Beddgelert. In the midst of these, the mountain rises in a tall peak, 3571 feet above the sea, its base being formed mostly of old lava beds of telspathic porphyry and the topmost thousand feet chiefly of stratified felespathic tuffs and ashes.
{Much more on evidence of glaciation in Snowdonia.}
Ramsey, A. C., ‘The Old Glaciers of Switzerland and Wales’ Peaks, Passes and Glaciers. A Series of excursions by members of the Alpine Club, John Ball (ed.), (1st, 2nd, 3rd editiosn, 1859); (4th edition, London, 1859), p. 426-456.
Ramsey, A. C., The Old Glaciers of Switzerland and Wales, (London, 1860)
Ramsey, A. C., Phenomenes Erratiques en Angleterre [in English with notes in French] in Daniel Dollfus Ausset, ed., Materiaux pour l’etude des glaciers par Dollfus-Assuet., Volume 3, (1863), pp. 561-599

Account of the ascent of Snowdon sometime between 1848 and 1851 in bad weather. He described the huts on the top of Snowdon and added an account of the death of Rev Henry Starr who died on Snowdon in 1846, from the second edition of his biography, (1848).
Llanberis is undoubtedly the easiest point from which to ascend Snowdon, and guides may of course always be obtained, though the ascent is indeed often made without them. But the risk of losing the way, the difficulty of making inquiry, where Welsh is almost exclusively spoken, and the suddenness with which mists and storms come over the precipitous summit of the mountain, bewildering even the experienced mountaineer, render this attempt somewhat imprudent, especially if it be the traveller’s object to cross over the mountain, either to Beddgelert, or the tavern called the Snowdon Ranger; the path on the other side being more difficult than that next Llanberis. The Ceunant Mawr, which is quite a novelty in waterfalls, may be seen on the way, if it has not been already visited, as the path passes above the woody glen through which it comes down. It is a very striking object after rains, being upwards of sixty feet in height, and of very peculiar form; the course of the torrent, diverted by rocks, slants obliquely down a black ledge with thundering noise into a pool beneath, and hurries wildly down the romantic little glen towards the lake.

Few comparatively are so fortunate as to enjoy a clear view, if indeed any extended prospect, from the summit of Snowdon, even when starting from below with propitious and sunny weather. Of the caprice of clouds and mists, which often brings about this vexatious result, the following extract from a note-book will give some idea; let it be said, however, that it is brought forward with no intention of discouraging the adventurous tourist, who will often be as well repaid, or perhaps better, by witnessing the magical phenomena produced by partial obscurations as by a cloudless but comparatively insipid expanse of prospect.

“The slate front of the Royal Victoria glared (all too brightly) in the morning beams; the lakes and valley of Llanberis basked in unclouded sunshine, all the surrounding mountains were clear, save the topmost crags of Snowdon, obscured by rolling mists, which seemed, under the influence of the breeze, about to drift away, and give place to a sky of transparent azure. In high spirits, and disdaining the assistance of a guide, as it was my intention to return to the hotel, I climbed the glen side above Ceunant Mawr, and directed my steps upward, over grassy and spongy slopes, seamed here and therewith torrents and dotted with cottages, each with its small pathway. The region I was quitting looked more lovely by contrast with the dark hollows of the mountains towards which my face was turned; the heavy clouds, with gleams of sunshine occasionally bursting through them, were grand but bewildering, inasmuch as they concealed the summit of Snowdon, my beacon of course; and thus it happened that I lost my way, which I regained with some difficulty, by following the dumb show, and not oral instruction, of the peasants, to whom I could on my part do no more than give merely the name of my destination. I began now to regret that I had not taken a guide, as during the time thus lost the clouds rolled thicker and thicker. I could trace the course of the toilsome path which I was tracking, startling at intervals the wild sheep which roam over the mountain side, till it disappeared in a mysterious mist; a cold rushing wind too sprung up, which became more violent as I proceeded upwards into this region of obscurity. However, all beneath was as yet clear and promising. A little below, on leaving the path conducting to the huts of the copper-miners, appeared a tarn of a peculiarly dark, deep green, overhung with a fearful precipice: soon after passing this wild spot, the path, by a most toilsome pitch, brought me to the foot of the Saddle, as it is called, of Snowdon. Here the sudden burst of view was magnificent over the distant sea, which was brilliantly clear and luminous, and the more so for the contrast of the dark patches of clouds, which, rolling sublimely across the vast intervening void, seemed for a while suspended over the sunny waters. Immediately below my feet yawned the deep vale of Llanberis, and a wilderness of mountains beyond, partially seen amongst the gathering vapours. After a momentary pause, I turned my face upwards. The look-out was wild in the extreme, almost fearfully so; for, as I neared the Saddle,.—a narrow sloping ridge between two profound abysses, along which the path creeps up to the peaked summit of Snowdon, the cold mist, coiling up in vast clouds from the hollow chasm below, was driven athwart by a rushing wind that seemed to increase in fury as I approached the critical edge of the precipice; a fathomless depth, as it seemed in the obscurity, and in reality a perpendicular descent of rock which it requires a cool head to approach closely, even when clear. But there was one view I shall never forget, vouchsafed for a moment ere all prospect was obscured, so dazzling and so glorious that it forced from me an involuntary exclamation of delight and wonder. This was an opening in the very centre of the vast gray vail of mist, like the sudden lifting of a dark curtain, through which, with an effect that transcends description, was seen, three thousand feet below, the azure lake of Mynydd Mawr, set among its mountains; the country towards Carnarvon and the distant sea, basking all glorious in a sunny brightness, rendered perfectly unearthly in its lustre by contrast with its cloudy screen, which almost instantaneously closed, leaving an impression little short of ecstasy, and worth a thousand ordinary, though beautiful spectacles. With this the fog finally closed up; and now—what with the fierceness of the gusts, the density of the rolling vapours which disguised the aspect of the very pathway, through which the shapeless tops of the crags alone were dimly seen, and the wild and spirit-like wail of the blast—the whole scene was really terrific; and with trembling resolution I kept my way on the narrow path, averting my eyes from glancing, if possible, down into the bewildering sea of mist which yawned horribly below, looking out anxiously for the cairn of stones which marks the conical summit, which loomed, apparently inaccessible, through the fog; though but at a short distance, so entirely are objects disguised, and dilated into vague shadowy vastness and formless confusion among the phenomena of these cloud regions.

“The welcome hut at length appeared through the obscurity, perched on a peak, from which the precipitous rock sloped everywhere down into a sea of impenetrable fog. It was a miserable and impoverished hovel, with only an exterior covering of boards, through which the rain, which now descended in torrents, oozed and dripped at every crevice, rendering it, but for a well-supplied stove, too damp to be safely tenantable. At a short distance beneath the contiguous cairn of stones, which marks the summit of Snowdon, is another and more comfortable one, but of this I was not at the time aware. The moisture of my garments, as well as of this cheerless cabin, naturally disposed me to seek a corrective cordial; but here, where even the most zealous teetotaller might gladly admit of an exception to the rigour of his principles, may nothing be had more potent than a cup of indifferent coffee, which proved, however, most acceptable. Moreover, it was early in the season, and the tenant of this mountain auberge had but recently ascended for the season, to reap his harvest of profit from the tourists, which served as his apology for having no other provision than a huge loaf and butter: happily, there was no lack of peat to cherish a cheering blaze. The weather was desperate, yet it was hardly noon, and in hopes of a favourable change, I determined to remain till evening, but hour after hour passed, and it was scarce possible to peep out of the casement for the rush of the impetuous blast, which made the slight-built hovel tremble with the fierceness of its assaults, as though it would tear it from its fastenings and hurl it bodily down the mountain-side.

“During my tedious imprisonment, I endeavoured to collect all the particulars respecting the melancholy death of poor Starr, who perished by falling down a precipice, which might have been seen from hence, had not the fog prevented it. Strange as it may seem, I could obtain on the spot no coherent statement of the accident. This deficiency is supplied by the following brief account of the life and death of this unfortunate and accomplished young man, which cannot fail to be acceptable in this place, derived entirely from a most interesting memoir prepared by his bereaved sister.
Virtue, (editor), The tourist in Wales : a series of views of picturesque scenery, towns, castles, antiquities, &c ;… (1851), p. 20-22

A Few Days’ Run among the Mountains of North Wales (Conclusion)
On Friday morning, at 20 minutes after 7, our party left the Victoria Hotel, on ponies, under the direction of an intelligent guide, named Richard Owen. The morning was rather misty, but we were led to believe that before we reached the summit, it would clear up. Our road was somewhat rough after we reached the first ascent; the path was strewed over with large stones, the debris of the rocks, but the ponies accustomed to this sort of travelling, were quite as safe footed as our own horses are on a good turnpike road. The distance which we had now to ascend was computed to be six miles, and a height of 3557 feet; but of this fact we never obtained a glimpse until we had nearly completed our journey. Keeping on the side of the vale of Cwm Brwynog, we threaded our path with comparative ease, now and then scrambling over of rocks which interspersed our road, until we came upon Rushy Hollow. We now put our animals upon a smart trot, passing over many a bog, which, in winter, would have swallowed us up. Here we met with a farmer, who rented thousands of acres within our view, and a man of substance, his wealth being estimated at least at £1500 capital, having a flock of 200 sheep—a great number in that locality. His dress certainly was a contrast to that of the English yeoman.—Imagine a thin spare figure, with an old “all round my hat”, with the brim off— which had once been white—with an old pair of corduroy breeches, without knee-ties or buttons—a pair of brown woollen stockings, which once were black— and a light-coloured spare coat, with the nap worn by age, and ornamented here and there by a button or two of different sizes. Add to these, high-low shoes, which had never been acquainted with Day and Martin, held to the foot by a piece of string, and you will find the portrait of one of the yeomen of Snowdon. His residence was in the valley, at one of the few white cottages that could be seen in the distance.—There was no pretension to a homestead, and little or no enclosure to the few patches of land adjoining, which were under culture for oats. On the opposite side, however, there were several head of cattle, which formed a portion of his wealth. This day to Mr. William Owen was one of peculiar interest, for it was that appointed by him for selecting his sheep, and all his family, young men and young women, boys and girls—and there were not a few who claimed kindred to him—all were occupied in the difficult and laborious task of driving the sheep together to the sides of the mountain. This was an amusing scene, for the old man, with his hands in his pockets, acted as general, now calling out with stentorian tongue to a daughter, a true picture of an amazon, with “Now, Bet; now, Sian”! (Jane) then to a son, causing the welkin to resound again with his commands. At length, after great toil, the wild animals were got together in something like a huddle.

The temperature in the valley we had left was scorching hot; but here it was cold, and we had a smart fall of hail, which lasted for some minutes. Mr. Owen told us that last spring, about March, the winter was so severe that he lost several head of stock, 40 lambs and 50 sheep, which were frozen to death. We now came in sight of the black precipice, or the nearly perpendicular rock, called Clogwyn Du Yr Arddudwy, at the foot of which there is a lake, the waters of which were blue, and which we passed a quarter of a mile on our left. more, we had no opportunity of testing the quality of the water, but attributed its colour to the copper ore which is found in the neighbouring rock.

To the right of this is a collection of bold and precipitous cliffs, over which, about two years ago, a clergyman fell and was killed. Our guide, who was both intelligent and communicative, related to us the circumstances attending his death. The lamented tourist came from Northamptonshire, and he had often before ascended Snowdon. On this occasion be left Carnarvon with the view of reaching Snowdon on the Beddgelert side, to witness the sunrise. At the latter place he was dissuaded from going without a guide, as the mists were heavy, and to strangers the road was dangerous. Our guide even offered his services gratuitously rather than allow the reverend gentleman to run the risk; but the deceased said he knew the road well, and proceeded by himself. Nothing was heard of him for some weeks. The Beddgelert guide, not finding subsequently that he had been seen on the summit, supposed that, after leaving him, he had abandoned the undertaking. It might, perhaps, have been a month afterwards that his widowed mother and sister appeared in the neighbourhood, and enquiries were made for him in every quarter. Hundreds of the population were constantly engaged in searching every cliff, rock, and pass. A large reward was offered, but all without success, and doubts were abroad that he had been unfairly dealt with. Winter came on, and still his fate remained a mystery. In March following the snows melted away, and in the valley was found the skull of the deceased, and a few pieces of handkerchief. The whole country was again aroused, but it was not until some men were engaged in stopping the earth for foxes in these cliffs, that the remaining portions of the body were discovered lodged in a ledge, hundreds of feet above, in the cliffs. It was evident that the body had been torn about by the wild cats, which infest the rocks. The purse and watch were also found, and the remains were identified by his bereaved mother. There is now little doubt that the poor fellow had, in the twilight, mistaken his road, and in endeavouring to avoid falling over a tremendous ridge—called the rampart—which lay on his r. hand, had wandered too far to his left, and fell headlong over the dark precipice where his remains were discovered.

The whole scene before us was wild and had in bygone days witnessed many a struggle in the cruel civil and domestic broils that occurred among the inhabitants – before the principality was united with England.

We now arrived at a very steep place, the Llechwedd y Re, or Rapid Ascent, at some parts of which our faith in ponies wavered: but this scepticism was unwarranted, for the whole of our party arrived safely at the top. It was at this ascent we first gained a sight of some of the wonders to be unveiled to us when we reached the summit. Looking back upon our path a large extent of scenery opened to our view, bounded only by the extent of our vision; while when we approached to the side of a precipice— close at hand—we obtained a partial glance of the Pass of Llanberis, at a vast depth below us This was grand and terrific. Turning to the S.W. we proceeded upwards, and soon after reached the usual resting place, where there is a spring of the purest and coldest water we ever drank. We were now ½ mile from the summit, but we still continued in the saddle, although many put up their horses here, and finish their journey on foot. Our path in some places was precipitous, and the way lay among hundreds of peaks of rocks, amidst which the ponies confidently tread their way. Now and then we came to the edge of the precipice, exposing to us a yawning gulph of a thousand feet deep, but without any accident, if not without fear, we at last arrived at the summit, having accomplished the task in 2 hours 5 minutes.

The summit is not more than seven yards in diameter, but there are erected upon it two or three sheds rudely fitted as sleeping-rooms, and one room used as a coffee-room. These buildings are called the Snowdon Hotel, and belong to two guides, who soon procured us coffee and eggs, and offered us other refreshments—That which was even more congenial to our feelings was a blazing fire, for the temperature was very cold. —As soon as the rain and hail discontinued, we saw one of the most sublime and terrific pictures that the eye can rest upon.

We were fortunate in the day. for the distant landscape, although observed by a haze, was sufficiently distinct enable us to distinguish towns, rivers, lakes, mountains, the Irish sea in the distance, and immediately below and surrounding us there were the bold sides of the mountains – with their barren and rugged crags tinted over with colours of the most charming variety. We can give no description of the sublimity and grandeur of the view, nor the thousand objects that arrested our attention. It appeared to us as if the elements had been at war and the wreck and ruin lay before us. In the centre of the summit the Sappers and Miners have erected a sugar loaf rookery, of about 15 feet in height, on which they have placed a pole of eight feet, for the purposes of their trigonometrical surveys. To the top of this we also ascended. After staying enjoying the beauties of the panorama which nature has so abundantly enriched, we returned well compensated for and delighted with our trip, the attractions of which were greatly increased by the intelligent conversation of our guide, and his attention and assiduous care to the ladies, whose fears he completely dissipated. Before, however, leaving. Snowdon, he supplied us with a collection of plants which he had made at the summit, several of which we succeeded in reviving on our return to Lewes. Our descent was unattended with difficulty, and we reached the Victoria Hotel soon after eleven o clock. We cannot quit this establishment without eulogizing the courteous attention and devoted interest which both the host and hostess pay to their supporters; and we cheerfully chronicle our feeling’s that in all Wales we never enjoyed ourselves more than we did while tarrying with them at Dolbadarn.
Lewes Newspaper
Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, 8th September 1849
North Wales Chronicle – Tuesday 18 September 1849
Shrewsbury Chronicle – Friday 7 September 1849
Also published in Cliffe, Charles Frederick, The book of North Wales (1850)

On Tuesday morning 17.7.1849 I and an intelligent companion were on the Shrewsbury and Chester line wending our way towards Snowdon. By the arrangements of this cheap excursion to Killarney a day is allowed at Bangor …
{Sailed to Caernarfon by 9 p.m. thence by car to the Llanberis Hotel.}
Having partaken of refreshments, at midnight, under the direction of a guide we went forth to ascend the majestic Snowdon, our chief object being to witness the rising sun on the following morning. In this, however, we were doomed to disappointment as the top of the mountain was completely enveloped in mist; but still as we descended, the most magnificent scenery was presented …
“a sight so grand that age added to the greatest length of life could never eradicate it from my memory.” [source?]
{Even an Athiest would believe in God if they saw the views from here.}
[derived from Sir Richard Colt Hoare? of the Alps – would ‘awe even an atheist into belief’ – at the Grand Chartreuse, near Grenoble, 1786, Sir Richard Colt Hoare Recollections Abroad, During the Years 1785, 1786, 1787, p. 129]
To Bangor, Llanfair, Holyhead, Ireland.
‘Junius’, The Durham Advertiser, 31.8.1849

William Bennett (1804-1873) visited Snowdonia in 1849 and met William Williams (Wil Boots), who sent samples of the fern Woodsia alpina to Bennett, which are now in the Natural History Museum.
The Phytologist, vol. 3, (1849), pp. 713-714