Snowdon 1830-1839

Index to all Snowdon pages   Index to all references to Snowdon

References to Snowdon 1830-1839

During the 1830s, publishers began to transcribe whole sections from earlier published accounts of Snowdon, especially from Thomas Pennant and Bingley.

Summary in chronological order (details below)
1830 William Aldam, aged 17, his sister, Isabella aged 12 reached the summit
1830    J.D. Forbes reached the top of Snowdon in the mist
1830    Description of Snowdon and long quotation from Pennant
1830    Article in Welsh blaming the guides for inaccurate information on Snowdon repeated by tourists
1830    Notes on Snowdon in a guide book
1831    Leigh published a guide to North Wales
1831    John Parker (1798-1860) noted the opening of the Pen y gwryd inn and the new road at the upper end of Llanberis Pass
1831    Newspaper report of a month’s trip in north Wales
1831    Two women got half-way up Snowdon on a stormy October day
1831    Hannah Williams, her father and uncle climbed Snowdon on a very hot day.
1831    Charles Darwin joined Prof. Adam Sedgewick on the first of Sedgewick’s eight visits to north Wales to study Geology
1831    John Ruskin, aged 12, climbed Snowdon and may have been inspired to write his poem ‘The Eternal Hills’
1832    A beacon was lit on the summit to celebrate the birthday of Victoria, Duchess of Kent and Strathearn (1786-1861) who was staying in north Wales with her daughter Princess (later Queen) Victoria
1832    Poem in Welsh by Gutin Peris to celebrate visit of Princess Victoria to north Wales
1832    Charles Babington, Professor of Botany in Cambridge climbed Snowdon several times
1832    Thomas Letts wrote a long, florid, illustrated account of his ascent.
1832    John Cadbury climbed Snowdon
1832    Richard Llwyd, the Bard of Snowdon, published a guide book to Snowdonia
1832    John Parker described and measured the poet-making stone on Snowdon
1832    A History of Wales, translated from early Latin by Dr Powell and augmented by others included a section on Snowdon
1832    A newspaper reported that a building for the accommodation of tourists was to be built near the summit by Asheton Smith
1832    Edward Doubleday and friends climbed to the summit in search of insects
1833    Samuel Lewis’s  A Topographical Dictionary of Wales included a section on Snowdon
1833    John Gorton’s  A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland included a section on Snowdon
1833    Eliza Constantia Campbell published Stories from the history of Wales with an account of an ascent of Snowdon based on her climb in 1819
1833    Catherine Sinclair wrote authoritatively and at length about Snowdon, but did not climb to the summit
1834    An ironmaster, William Hibbs Bevan of Crickhowell, left a very brief record of an ascent
1834    A newspaper reported that a young woman guided visitors up Snowdon
1834    William Graeme Tomkins noticed the foundations of one of the new huts
1834    Joseph Hemingway quoted from several earlier tourists in his guidebook
1834    A newspaper reported that the Victoria Hotel Llanberis was being extended and a ‘cottage is about to be built for the reception and entertainment of travellers at the summit’
1835    Laura Elizabeth Sanders made a sketch on the summit
1835    A bonfire was lit at the summit to celebrate the nuptials of R Williames [sic] Vaughan, Esq., and Miss Lloyd
1835    Three Dutch travellers climbed Snowdon at night
1835    Thomas Pryer wrote a very long description of his experiences of climbing Snowdon
1835    Rev John Skinner failed to reach the summit at night, but his daughter, Anna did,
1836    A Pedestrian, probably Joseph Onwhyn, wrote hints on how to enjoy an Three-week’s ramble in Wales
1836    Thomas Roscoe published a long account of an ascent, with much reported speech from guides
1836    Article on Snowdon
1836? Description of an ascent by someone who wanted to see an eclipse from Snowdon
1836    Reflections on a view of Snowdon
1836 (date uncertain). Captain Edward Foley made several unsuccessful attempts to see views from the summit
1837    Horace Francis climbed Snowdon with his brother and a lady
1837    Elizabeth Bower climbed Snowdon with her ‘newly acquired husband’
1837    Thomas Turner climbed Snowdon in the mist, but the clouds parted and the views were clear.
1837    G. J. Bennett republished several earlier accounts of ascents
1837    Joseph Gurney Barclay (of Barclay’s Bank), climbed Snowdon with his father and four sisters.
1838    An Anonymous fisherman complained at the charges made by Snowdon guides
1838    A Reading newspaper reported that it was possible to travel from London to Snowdon in less than 48 hours
1838    A newspaper reported that during some sunny weather 50 pedestrians had been seen on Snowdon in September
1838    W. Byron wrote a long, readable account of an ascent
1838    John Alonzo Clark wrote ‘even ladies make the ascent of Snowdon, I felt that I had too weak a chest to try’
1838    An anonymous tourist who had seen nothing on his two visits to Snowdon, quoted Pennant at length
1838   William Williams, the botanical guide took the ‘Botanical Looker-Out’ to the summit
1839    Thomas Hopkins, a Nephrologist, saw nothing on his first visit but had clear views on his second
1839    John Parry, (Bardd Alaw, 1776-1851) climbed Snowdon for at least the second time
1839    Bingley’s son, brought out a third, updated edition of his father’s Excursions in North Wales
1839    The Mountaineer, Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, (1795-1854) climbed Snowdon three times.
1839    Alfred Tennyson was in Llanberis and probably climbed Snowdon as described in his ‘The Golden Year’


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

1830 Journey up Snowdon
Immediately after our arrival we set off on this formidable expedition E. Shipton and my sister on ponies, myself and two guides on foot. From Llanberis to the summit is 5 miles. The guides made use of a road by which copper ore is transported from a mine in the mountain. After leaving this road we went some distance along a stony track, formed by the guides. ½ mile from the summit the ladies dismounted, the badness of the road, no longer allowing the horses to proceed. We attained the summit after a laborious ascent of 2½ hours. The view was very intensive, and the day on the whole favourable but the intense heat greatly impaired the distinctiveness of distant objects. On the south and west arise an immense chaos of mountains, the highest in Wales. Several lake s or Llyns were interspersed in the intermediate valleys; and the sea closed the prospect to the north and east [sic, west]. There are several springs of the most excellent water on Snowdon, and the surrounding mountain, and we who were on foot seldom passed any without using its water to dilute our brandy. In descending, pedestrians have the disadvantage.
On Snowdon I found two or three Saxifrages, a Rumea, Lycopodium etc. but a botanist much not expect much success among the mountains unless he stay a considerable time at one placed and discover the localities.
Aldam, William, Tour in Wales, Doncaster Archives, DDWA/D/2/18, ff. 15-17

4.10.1830 Monday
Stopped at Dolbadarn castle and engaged a guide
Reached the top of Snowdon which was enveloped in mist
The journey down to Capel Curig
Forbes, J.D., & Forbes, Charles,
‘Notes on a tour to the English Lakes and Wales with Charles, 1830’
University of St Andrews Library, Deposit M, Box no 1.9, pp. 51-56

1830 (pre?)
Part based on Peter Bayley Williams with quotation from Pennant.
SNOWDON whose towering top overlooks its petty rivals, and from whence upon a clear day, the expanse of vision carries the eye over part of the coast, with the hills of Scotland; the high mountains of lngleborough, and Penygent, in Yorkshire ; beyond these the mountains of Westmoreland and Cumberland; and on this side some of the hills of Lancashire. When the atmosphere is very transparent, even part of the county of Wicklow, and the whole of the Isle of Man become visible. It is often the case, that when the day appears favourable for obtaining an extensive prospect, a vast mist suddenly surrounds it, and remains in that state for several hours. In exploring this mountain it is necessary to start early in the morning in order to rest, and view the different prospects that present themselves to the eye; to have an experienced guide; and some provision, and liquor, which will bear dilution… Near the top of Snowdon is a spring of fine, clear, well-tasted water, and is excessively cold.

There are three different routes by which strangers are generally conducted up this celebrated mountain ; the best and most usual way, is that commencing between the New Inn and Dolbadarn castle, near the bridge, and following the course of the river tor a quarter of a mile, and passing very near the water-fall called Caunant Mawr, then turning to the left, along the ridge of hills between the upper vale of Llanberis and Cwm Brwynog, as far as the copper mine, then turning to the left, and winding up the side of the slope or ridge, cross over until within view of the Llanberis pass, above the church.

The ridge of Snowdonia is a natural rampart, running in rather a bent line from sea to sea, with two rivers for a moat at the back of it, which fall into the sea, one at Traeth Mawr, the other at Conway, as if nature had designed Anglesea for the seat of sovereignty, and art had likewise lent her aid in securing the passes or avenues leading through them, as Deganwy on the Conway, Caerhun on the pass of Bwlch y ddau-faen, and a fort at Aber; Dolwyddelan Castle, Nant Ffrangon Fort; Dol Badern Castle in Nant Peris, and Cidwm in Nant Tall y llyn ; and upon the broad pass of Traeth Mawr the castles of Harlech and Criccieth, a tower at Casail Gyfarch, and a fort at Dolbenmaen.
{Long quotation from Thomas Pennant on Snowdon}
The height of Snowdon, above high-water mark at Carnarvon, is 3591 feet.
From Carnarvon 7 miles—From Carnarvon to the summit of Snowdon 11 miles—Beaumaris 13 miles.
Alsop, W., A Descriptive Sketch of Bangor, the Suspension Bridge of the Menai, Snowdon etc. (Shrewsbury, c 1830), pp. 36-39
A descriptive sketch of Bangor, the suspension bridge over the Menai, Beaumaris, Holyhead, Carnarvon, Snowdon, and Conway. 2nd ed., Derby : Mozley & Son, [1831]
A Descriptive Sketch of Bangor, the suspension bridge over the Menai, Beaumaris, Holyhead, Carnarvon, Snowdon and Conwy. (Shrewsbury, Tibnant and Co., [no date]) ‘Compilation from various well authenticated sources’.

Mae yn ofynol bod yr arweinydd yn Sais a Chymro …
(Suggestions of what a guide should know accurately (blaming them for errors in published accounts by tourists.)
Gwyliedydd, 1830
See Williams, W., Hynafiaethau a Thraddodiadau plwyf Llanberis a’r Amgylchoedd, (1892), p. 61
Jones, Dewi, The Botanists and Guides of Snowdonia, (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 1996), p. 140

There are three different routes by which strangers are generally conducted up this celebrated mountain: the best and most usual is that commencing between the New Inn and Dolbadarn Castle, near the bridge, following the course of the river for about quarter of a mile, and passing very near the waterfall called Cernant Mawr, then turning to the left, and pursuing the copper sledge pathway, along the south slope of the ridge of hills between the upper wall of Llanberis and Cwm Brwynog; then turning to the left (or north), and winding up the slope or ridge, cross over till we are in view of Llanberis pass, above the church. During the first part of our progress the view will be confined, but here on the mountain flat the prospect is extensive, particularly to the north-west, where the greatest part of the Isle of Anglesey is visible; and to the east a portion of Denbighshire is seen between the mountains. We have then to ascend two precipices impending over a lake below. After this ascent is surmounted, the progress is easy and the rise very gradual for upwards of half a mile, and thence to the peak the distance is something more than a quarter of a mile, which may be attained without much difficulty. Upon the summit small stones are frequently found bearing the features of cockle or other shells, which fact is sufficient to prove that sometime or other a flood has rolled over that head now so proudly pre-eminent. From this elevated situation may be seen in clear weather, the Wicklow Hills in Ireland on the west; the Isle of Man and the Cumberland and Westmorland mountains on the north-east; and a part of South Wales to the south-west …
The best times for such a view are June and July, when it will be necessary to be on the mountain before sunrise as mists and fogs generally collect soon after.
{It is inadvisable for people of delicate constitution to make the attempt} … it may safely be asserted that no person who is equal to the task will ever have occasion to regret having ascended Snowdon, even in cloudy weather, particularly if the sun should occasionally appear – as in this aerial region the scenery and views are perpetually shifting and changing; and many have been known to prefer a partially cloudy or misty, to a hot sultry day, for such an excursion. The apex of the mountain does not exceed a square of five yards, and a parapet wall has been formed around its extremities from the custom of every stranger visiting it aiding the erection by a contribution of a large stone. The wall is very useful in sheltering the visitor from the chilly cold, and protecting him from the piercing wind. A bottle of milk and water, with a small portion of Brandy in it, would be found very refreshing and agreeable, but on no account should the use of even a single glass of ardent spirits be indulged in, as it is invariably more productive of danger than comfort, the smallest quantity being sufficient here to intoxicate. A friend whose health once suffered severely by this want of caution in this respect, addressed us the following letter upon the subject, soon after the occurrence [1827], at a time when we contemplated the ascent during our residence in North Wales. We then published it in the local newspaper, for the edification of such of our friends as might be tempted to deviate from the prescribed rule, and with similar view we insert it here.
[Here follows an edited version of a letter published under the title ‘A Night on Snowdon Mountain. A Hint to Tourists. Extracted from a Letter to a Friend’ in The Chepstow Gleaner (1827) and republished in The Monmouthshire Merlin 23rd February 1850] see Snowdon 1820-1829
Anon, A guide to the beauties of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire: comprehending particular notices of Beaumaris, Carnarvon, Conwy, Snowdon, the Menai Suspension Bridge, Bangor, and every interesting place or object deserving the attention of the tourist. (Macclesfield: J. Swinnerton, printers, [c.1830]), pp. 61-62


Leigh’s Guide to Wales included quotations from Pennant (1781), Bingley (1800) and Charles Bucke’s Beauties, Harmonies, and Sublimities of Nature (1821)
THE SUMMIT IS Distant from
Beddgelart                               6 miles
Caernarvon, by Dolbadarn Castle, or by Llyn Cwellyn 11
Dolbadarn Castle                     4
Llyn Cwellyn                          4
The etymology of Snowdon, or Eryri, has given rise to various ingenious conjectures. Snowdon is evidently derived from the Saxon, and denotes a snowy hill, or bill covered with snow, which is not uncommon here even in the month of June. The Welsh name Eryri is derived, by some, from Mynydd Eryrod, the hill of eagles, and by others, from a compound of Welsh words, Cereig yr au Eira, or Snowy Cliffs.
The range of mountains of which Snowdon forms the loftiest summit, commences with Penmaen Mawr, at the north extremity of Caernarvonshire, and extending across the county in a south-west direction, terminates in the triple—peaked Reifel, the base of which descends to the shores of Caernarvon Bay. The length of this range, following the zigzag direction of the ridge along its summit, is about forty miles.
[3rd edition, 1835: Snowdon was formerly a royal forest … Curious alpine plants on Clogwyn y Garnedd … It is remarkable that near the top is a fine spring of water.]
The summit of Snowdon is 3571 feet above the level of the sea, and is so frequently enveloped in clouds and mists as grievously to disappoint the traveller’s expectations. When,  however, the weather proves favourable, the view is beautiful beyond description. There are various modes of ascent, of which we shall endeavour to give an account. Guides may be procured at Beddgelart, Llyn Cwellyn, Dolbadern, Llanberis, and Capel Curig. The ascents from Beddgelart and Llyn Cwellyn are the most frequented, although the latter route is boggy and wet in some places, and rocky and stony in others.
The tourist should take with him a basket of provisions, including some brandy, or rum and milk, as the mountain air will give keenness to his appetite, and at the summit is remarkably cold. The cordial, however, should be taken cautiously, as a Very small quantity, owing to the rarefaction of the air at this height, will affect the head.
[3rd edition, 1835 advice on what to take by Bingley]
[Quotation from “The distance to the summit of Snowdon  …  9to] we soon reached Beddgelart, somewhat fatigued with our long walk.”]
The ascent from Beddgelart to the summit of Snowdon, allowing leisure to view the various prospects, usually occupies about five hours, though it may be accomplished in less time.
From Caenarvon the tourist had better proceed to Dolbadarn, by the excellent carriage-road completed in 1828. It was formerly the custom to go in a carriage only as far as Cym y glo Llanrug, and there take a boat up the Lower Llanberis Lake, to the neck of land between the two lakes: the new road, however, has superseded this plan. At the Inn at
Dolbadarn the tourist must procure a guide, the charge for which is seven shillings. Ponies are charged five shillings each. The ascent by this route is so gradual, that a person mounted on a Welsh pony may, without much difficulty, ride up nearly to the top in about four hours.
From Dolbadern the tourist must ascend by the waterfall of Caunant Mawr, and thence along the vale of Cwm Brwynog, till he arrives in sight of the black and almost perpendicular rock called Clogwyn Du Yr Arddu, at the bottom of which is a small lake. Leaving this rock about a quarter of a mile to the right, he ascends a steep place called Llechwedd y Re, and proceeds to the Well, which is within a mile of the highest peak of Snowdon, called Yr Wyddfa, the conspicuous. The remainder of the ascent is tolerably smooth.
Llyn Clwellyn, seven miles from Caernarvon and five from Beddgelart, has been already noticed. See Beddgelert.
Upon its banks is a small public-house, where guides and ponies may be procured for the ascent. The charge for each pony is five shillings, and the guide expects from seven to ten shillings for attending a single person, or a party five shillings each. A person must also go to take charge of the ponies when the steepness prevents their proceeding any farther, which is within about half a mile of the summit. The whole distance, from the Guide’s House to the top, is about four miles.
Is not more than seven yards in diameter, and is surrounded by a dwarf wall, which forms some slight protection against the wind to which this height is exposed.
“The mountain from the summit,” says Mr. Pennant, “seems propped by four buttresses, between which are four deep cwms, or hollows; each, excepting one, had one or more lakes lodged in its distant bottom. The nearest was Ffynnon Llas, or the green well, lying immediately below; the waters of which, from this elevation, appeared black and unfathomable, and the edges quite green. Thence is a succession of bottoms, surrounded by the most lofty and rugged hills, the greatest part of the sides of which are quite mural, and form a most magnificent amphitheatre. The Wyddfa is on one side; Crib y Distyll, with its serrated tops, on another; Crib Coch, a ridge of fiery redness, appears beneath the preceding; and opposite to it, is the boundary called the Llechwedd. Another very singular support is Y Clawdd Coch, rising into a sharp ridge. The view from this exalted situation is unbounded. I saw from it the county of Chester, 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 Anglesea, lay extended like a map beneath us, with every rivulet visible.”
The view from the summit has been thus described by the Author of the “Beauties, Harmonies, and Sublimities of Nature” “From this point are seen more than five and twenty lakes. … and an unlimited orbit appears to display itself as a theatre for our ambition.”
Leigh’s Guide to Wales and Monmouthshire, (1831), p. 300-306; 3rd edition (1835), pp. 306-313

1831 Wednesday 9th September
A small new inn lately built at the very foot of the mountain – it is called Pen Gwryd [Pen y gwryd]– the new road through the pass of Llanberis opened about three weeks ago and a coach called the Snowdonian goes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Caernarfon to Capel Curig. 17 ½ miles meeting the Wonder coach from Holyhead about 12 o’clock, and returns again.
Parker, John, (1798-1860), September, 1831, NLW MS 18256C Tours through Wales 1819-47, p. 128
This is confirmed in the third edition of The traveller’s companion in a pedestrian excursion from Chester through North Wales, including a description of the suspension bridge at Bangor. (3rd. ed. Chester: Parry & Son, [after 1831]) to which the following note has been added to the earlier editions, p. 65: ‘A new line of road leading from Caernarfon by Dolbadarn Inn through Snowdon pass, and forming a junction with the road from Capel Curig to Beddgelert, was opened on the 18th August, 1831.’

TO NORTH WALES (concluded)
Ascended Snowdon without a guide
Began misty but it soon cleared away.
Views [no description of the summit]
Got lost on the way down to Beddgelert
Returned via Bangor and steam boat to Liverpool after about a month’s absence
‘G’ Wolverhampton Chronicle, 14.12.1831  

1831 13th October
After breakfast, Eliza and Ann set off for Dolbadarn in order to ascend Snowdon … A most stormy night arrived at 5 at Dolbadarn passing the village of Llanberis and found Eliza and Ann who had been but half way up Snowdon. Eliza and the guide were blown to the ground and he pronounced it not safe to proceed higher.
Anon (but probably by one of the female members of the Simcoe family)
Notes on a tour of Wales with letter sent to Miss Simcoe of Walford Lodge, Honiton, Devon, Devon Record Office, Exeter, 1038 M/F/1/316

Hannah Williams, her father and uncle climbed Snowdon on a very hot day.
having by this time reached Dolbadarn Inn which we found a tolerably good one, and a great many strangers in it, and having taken some refreshments, we started, with guides or horses, to ascend Snowdon, whose summit we could distinctly perceive penetrating the clouds and appeared to be mingling itself with heaven instead of earth. It was a lovely day and as we traversed the woods and heathy rugged hills, numerous offers were made by the little urchins of pieces of spar & copper ore from Snowdon. On we went, by the waterfall, and ascending the hill where steps were cut in the ground, we crossed the usual horse road, and keeping to the left, went on by Cwm Brwnog or the rushy hollow, where numerous persons were engaged in making hay, but the moment they perceived us, a young girl about 6 came skipping along and bounding over the new mown ground, was shortly before us at the cottage door and sent her little sister to invite us to partake of milk in the cottage which however we declined uncle Fred having provided a little French cream to which we gave the preference. From hence we climbed up the steep meadows where the men were carrying hay upon their shoulders and making ricks their being no wagons or carts used in  these parts for that purpose…my father quite fell in love with a pretty little good natured well behaved girl who had accompanied us from the cottage, but who could scarce speak a word of English. However, this little creature toil’d with us to the very summit of Snowdon. After toiling for upwards of an hour we found ourselves more than three miles from the top and being excessively hot. Both father and I were quite weary and my plague of an uncle kept assuring us that we were near the top when indeed we were three miles from it. Here we came in sight of a black and almost perpendicular face of rock call’d Clogwyn du’r arddr or the Black Precipice. This we left on the right and began an ascent far more tedious than the former. Here we sat down for a while and here I could have died, a fine pellucid spring of water being near which was the coldest & clearest we had ever seen. We took a littler mingled with the O.D.V. we had brought with us and being partially refresh’d we resumed our toilsome journey and after a while reached a verdant expanse from which we had a lovely view into the pass of Llanberis … however it was a lovely day!  Not a cloud was there to dim the bright azure of heaven, the sun pelting its whole power upon us but added loveliness to the green valleys beneath … from hence we laboured again thro’ tracts as rugged and desolate as the scenery around is bold and romantic. Indeed the nearer we approach’d the more rough and difficult became the path. However, with considerable difficulty we reach’d the Llewedd and from hence ‘tis only half a mile to the summit which by way of pre-eminence is called Y Wyddfa, or the Conspicuous. It rises almost to a point on which is placed a conical heap of stones and upon these a lofty pillar of wood erected by the engineers when they were making the trigometrical survey. But what language can possibly convey the magical effect produced upon the mind when we attained this elevation. One moment’s gaze amply repays for all the toil and labour of ascending. The grandeur and beauty of the scenes around must be seen to describe them is impossible. Nor can the bewildered eye find a place whereon to rest. All is sublimity, all is grand, mountains on mountains piled…poetry not transcribed …on one side mountains beyond mountains rising in the distance terminating with the horizon, in another direction the broad face of the ocean illumined by the brilliant glittering of the setting sun. Towns, villages, rivers, lakes, mountains, valleys, plains, and rocks lay scattered around like the figures on a carpet…the shades of the evening drawing on warned us to depart, for already had the sun sunk behind the Wicklow mountains and the mists began to close round or kiss the imperial summit of Y Wyddfa. We descended by the same rugged path and with without once resting reache’d again this Inn of Dolbadarn. Having taken tea which by the way refresh’d but little, we ordered our carriage and reach’d Caernarfon about eleven o’clock.
However this fatigue was too much for both father and myself, and we were several days before we sufficiently recovered to venture farther than a walk to the baths or some of the pleasanter rambles around the town.
Williams, Hannah, Journey through Shropshire, Wales, Ireland & Lancashire, 1831, Worcestershire Record Office, 899:866/9522

Charles Darwin and Professor Adam Sedgewick toured north Wales in 1831 to study its geology.
Paul H. Barrett, The Sedgwick-Darwin Geologic Tour of North Wales, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 118, No. 2 (Apr. 19, 1974), pp. 146-164
Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873)
Sedgwick was one of the founders of modern geology. He proposed the Devonian and Cambrian periods and with his friend Roderick Murchison also proposed the Silurian and Devonian periods. Much of what is known about his work in Wales is derived from letters to Murchison and a few others, and his publications.
He visited Wales on geological research trips in the following years. The first few trips lasted several months; the later ones were for only a few weeks.
1831     Summer and Autumn in north Wales studying Geology with Charles Darwin
1832     May to August
1834     June to July (6 weeks), south Wales and the borders
1842     July
1851     north Wales
1852     south Wales
1853     mid and south Wales
1854     July and August (2 weeks)
John Willis Clark and Thomas Hughes, The Life and Letters of the Rev. Adam Sedgwick (1890), 2 vols.

Roderick Impey Murchison, 1st Baronet (1792-1871)
Murchison was on research trips in Wales in at the same time, but in different places to Sedgwick. They worked together on several publications.
Geikie, Archibald (1875). Life of Sir Roderick I. Murchison. London: John Murray.

John Ruskin, aged 12, toured Wales with his parents and climbed Snowdon. This might have inspired him to write two poems,
John Ruskin visited Wales at the age of about 7
to Llanberis and up Snowdon of which ascent I remember, as the most exciting event, the finding for the first time in my life a real “mineral” for myself, a piece of copper pyrites! But the general impression of Welsh mountain form was so true and clear that subsequent journeys little changed or deepened it. And if only them my father and mother had seen the rwal strengths and weaknesses of their little John; – if they had given me but a shaggy scrap of a Welsh pony, and left me in charge of a good Welsh guide, and of his wife, … they would have made a man of me there and then, … and probably the first geologist of my time in Europe.
‘The Eternal Hills’
I love ye, ye eternal Hills
With the mists all wreathed around ye;
I love ye, all ye cloud-born rills,
As ye beat the rocks that bound ye.
I’ve seen ye when the huge storm-fiend
From his peaceful sleep doth rouse,
And the misty coronet doth bend
On your mighty, shagged brows;
A thing of might
In his gloomy flight,
As he buries ye, hills, in his stormy night.

I love ye, I love ye, ye mighty things
With your huge and frowning fells;
When the eagle flaps his nervous wings,
And the tempest round ye swells.
I’ve seen ye with your forests hoar,
As they nod o’er your crags all lone,
And your crags do shake ‘neath the torrent’s roar,
And are snowed with rock-borne foam,
As they wake from their sleep
When those waters leap
Into your caverns dark and deep.

‘Moonlight on the mountains’
Curtained in cloudy drapery
The stars were glimmering on high
All with light festoonery
Round their fulgent centre queen,
Fleecily, as veiled between
Sate she, and with them did roll
Round the fixed, eternal pole.

Folding, like an airy vest
The very clouds had sunk to rest;
Light gilds the rugged mountain’s breast.
Calmly as they lay below ;
Every- hill seemed topped with snow.
As the flowing tide of light
Broke the slumbers of the night.

Ruskin, John (1819-1900), Praeterita, Outlines of Scenes and Thoughts Perhaps Worthy of Memory in My Past Life (1885-1889); (another edition, 1949), pp. 84-85; Ruskin, John, Poems, (1891), vol. 1, pp. 96-97; 100

17th August 1832
Bonfires were lit on Penmaenmawr, Snowdon [? See below – possibly Glyder], Twhill, Elidir and other mountains to celebrate the Duchess’s birthday [Victoria, Duchess of Kent and Strathearn (1786-1861), Mother of Queen Victoria] during her stay in north Wales with Princess Victoria. The following day, the Duchess visited Llanberis, without her daughter; was taken along Llyn Peris on a boat; had refreshments at the new Royal Victoria Inn, visited Dolbadarn Castle and Mr Assheton’s cottage.
During the visit 2,000 rock cannon were fired in the mountains (holes, bored in the rocks were filled with gunpower and lit with connected fuses).
The Cambrian Quarterly Magazine and Celtic Repertory, vol IV, 1832, pp. 526-537
Parry, Edward, Royal Visits and Progresses to Wales and the Border Counties of Cheshire, Salop, Hereford, and Monmouth … (Chester, 1850), pp. 444-445

On the 17th of August 1832, a splendid bonfire was made on this summit [GLYDER] in honour of the royal visitors in the vicinity.
Llwyd, Richard, Beaumaris Bay: the Shores of the Menai, and the Interior of Snowdonia; Scenery Unrivalled in its Comprehensive Variety, the Interesting Objects Which it Includes, and the Sublime Prominence of its Features. (A new edition, Chester, 1832), p. 54
Identical text in: Llwyd, Richard, (the late, The Bard of Snowdon) A Trip to Wales or the Steam Packet Companion from Liverpool to Beaumaris, Bangor, Caernarvon and Conway with a description of the Shores of the Menai, the Snowdonian Mountains, Lakes, Valleys, Castles, and Mansions in the Neighbourhood; as well as the Beauties, Curiosities and Antiquities of Cambria. Chester, Edward Parry, [c. 1832], p. 54

Richard Llwyd, poet and historian, climbed Snowdon with others but he said nothing about climbing the mountain or the views from the summit.
We left Capel Curig early in the afternoon, having agreed to pass the night at Bedd Gelert, in order to be on the summit of Snowdon at the dawn. But on our way to Bedd Gelert that evening, we made a short digression into the recently opened pass of Llanberis, achieved by the spirited sons of industry and enterprise at Caernarvon.
We are now on the summit of Snowdon,
“Yn nês i’r nèn, ac uwch ben byd.”
Approaching heaven, and above the world.

O thou, whose blest approach glad worlds behold,
The glowing east declares in blush of gold,
Night’s spangled azure takes a gleaming red
As soars the glorious blaze from Ocean’s bed;
While earth exulting through the gloom appears,
Meets the gay morn, and dries her dewy tears,
Swells the loud hymn that hails thy glorious way
To give expecting worlds a flood of day.

And now whate’er Imagination’s powers
Can form and fashion in her wildest hours,
When meteor-like—creations of her own
Are born, and bloom before her fairy throne
Are faint—the Muse to wider views awakes,
Full on her eye each native feature breaks
With force sublime they rise—expand—advance,
She riots—revels in the vast expanse,
‘Tis wonder all yet wonder points to more,
I bend th’ obedient knee—look up—adore!

This aspiring chief is 1190 yards, or nearly three quarters of a mile above the level of the sea.* The crown of this king of mountains is called Yr Wyddva, (the conspicuous). From this height the visible horizon cannot be less than a thousand miles. For the particulars of this extensive space, consult your maps.
The following is the height of the principal mountains in Great Britain, taken by Lieutenant Colby of the Engineers, by a most powerful Theodolite made by Mr. Remsden [sic – Ramsden], and at the public expence:—
{The list includes the heights of mostly Welsh mountains}
Ben Nevis                   4500
Snowdon                     3571
Caernedd Llewelyn     3469
Skiddaw                      3022
Cader Idris                  2914
Pumlumon                  2463
Penmaenmawr            1540
Llwyd, Richard, Beaumaris Bay: the Shores of the Menai, and the Interior of Snowdonia; Scenery Unrivalled in its Comprehensive Variety, the Interesting Objects Which it Includes, and the Sublime Prominence of its Features. (A new edition, Chester, 1832), p. 54
Identical text in: Llwyd, Richard, (The Bard of Snowdon) A Trip to Wales or the Steam Packet Companion from Liverpool to Beaumaris, Bangor, Caernarvon and Conway with a description of the Shores of the Menai, the Snowdonian Mountains, Lakes, Valleys, Castles, and Mansions in the Neighbourhood; as well as the Beauties, Curiosities and Antiquities of Cambria. Chester, Edward Parry, [c. 1832], p. 54

Poem in Welsh by Gutin Peris to celebrate visit of Princess Victoria to north Wales
North Wales Chronicle – Tuesday 11 September 1832

Charles Babington was born in Ludlow, became Professor of Botany in Cambridge.
Caernarfon, Llanberis, (Vaynol Arms [inn managed by] R Cross, 1/- per meal. 1/- for bed.
Met Harold Browne of Emmanuel College who was going to stay with two pupils.
Llanberis, and part way up Snowdon.
Started to ascend Snowdon and ‘set off botanizing’
Ascended Snowdon
Snowdon. Met Mr Eyton, late of St John’s who was collecting insects
Babington, Charles, (1808-1895), Memorials Journal and Botanical Correspondence of Charles Cardale Babington, (1897) and digital version, (Cambridge University Press, New York, 2013)

Thomas Letts was a competent artist and his descriptions of the landscape reflect his perceptions of the colours he saw. His diary was accompanied by small sketches and watercolours.  He was accompanied by Mr Boyce and later by Messrs [John] Russell and Badderly.
27.8.1832 Monday
Slept at the Hotel, Capel Curig
28.8.1832 Tuesday
At the Dolbadarn Castle [inn] we took some bread and cheese and afterward a horse with a sturdy guide to lead the way; t’was it was very extravagant to ride up this place; but last nights labour had left us both in poor condition ; thoroughly stiff and lazy. As expected, our friend had ascended the mountain early and left a note for me; which however was not delivered: we commenced the ascent at ½ past 2 by a path so easy, that I felt quite ashamed of the course we had taken; especially when we met a lady returning down on foot. Trusting solely to my pony’s instinctive caution, I let him pick his own path, and used my eyes with all due diligence; the early part, has nothing very inviting in its features; even the waterfall <on our right> was insignificant (at all events when we beheld it) the rocks were barren and the view confined; but when we came to about a level with the entrance of a copper mine (whose blasting no less than the rattling of the slate quarry we had long since been greeted with  s their echoes rattled thro’ the neighbouring mountains, now giving a report both sharp and loud, then less and less distinct, but soon returning, as it were thro’ some fresh channel, almost resumed its pristine vigour, but presently fell again and by degrees died softly  away to silence) When we got to the bright green-lake, that lay before its mouth, the field commenced to expand and never will the impression be erased from my memory. Our view was scarcely ever much extended for to our mortification, the clouds which began to gather the instant we were mounted, were now rolling up the mountain sides, occasionally to their very tops, concealing them entirely from our view; but the gaps, the little openings in these eddies, afforded the golden opportunity. In some parts the mountains just below us, all ragged in their outline, and half obscured by cloud, gave a horrible idea of the gulf beneath; but as it were emerging from that gulf, Llanberis vale appeared with the two lakes and the castle; while the mountains that enclosed them, and which before had seemed so giant like, we now were overlooking, and fresh vallies, on the other side displayed in equal splendour: while the deep, dark crags that lay between, being shadowed by a cloud, were

were like a purple velvet and those a little further, instead of looking brown, or white, or green, as we had seen them in the morning were tinted with the finest azure blue that ever eye beheld; this in contrast with the purple, the golden rays that glittered on the lakes, and the rich green verdure of the vale, produced a group of colours, which my fancy never could conceive, nor any artist’s boldness ever attempt to imitate. I could scarcely contain myself! The tears rushed instantly to my eyes, they do so at this moment upon the bare recollection and I never can recall the impulse without experiencing a like sensation. I thanked God that I was permitted to witness such a scene. I gloried and was proud that I was of that race who could enjoy such splendour and I felt grateful, very grateful, that such goodness should be manifested, which not alone gave all things needful, but made them pleasing to our senses and here most nobly to the sight. It was but a moment tho’, I hallowed to my friend to stop, but the nature of the path, causing a fearful anxiety to overrule his love of scenery, he pursued his upward path in cautious guarded steps. I too, like a fool that I was, instead of grasping the opportunity and scraping all I could, followed his example and thereby lost, what I would bear any fatigue to witness again. The path here certainly became rather appalling; just broad enough to allow the pony’s feet to move; no more; and the precipice beneath, oh horrible! But I would not look down, twas useless, for the scene had changed and nought but barren rock appeared again. Winding round a mountain – that shut Llanberis from our view, and gave a passing glimpse of the green lake, before alluded to we were completely buried in the curling cloud and could see but a few yards before us; presently however, it was off again and the flag staff on the highest peak of Snowdon showed us the point we sought. Twas far above tho’ yet, and we had now been rising just two hours; a cloud again enveloped us, and tho’ it soon passed by gave us, of course, a little xxxxxxxxx in its passage twas a long time, ere it reached Y Wyddfa (Snowdon’s top) presently we saw two pedestrians skidding down with hasty pace, one a little in advance was rather short and thickly set, with an oil skin o’er his hat and leathern knapsack strapped across his shoulders; he had a stout stick in his hand and looked eagerly towards us, as we neared him I thought I knew the vessel’s build and at a venture hailed “What ships a hoy? Captain Russell? Twas even so! John Russell was the man and very glad I was to see him; for not receiving the letter he had left for me, I felt anxious to know his movements; little doubting we should meet that night at Beddgelert: well after mutual congratulations, introduction to his friend Mr Badderly and so forth, we pursued our path and not long after dismounted at a little stone enclosure [stable] where our guide procured some water, which being duly flavoured with good honest brandy soon brought a little warmth into our fingers ends again.

Our guide was a poor, ignorant, half-starved lad, as crafty, tho’ as poor; for he soon told me that 1/6d was all that he should get for his journey, while his master, the landlord of the inn would pocket the other 5/6d (7 shillings is the charge for a guide, tho’ I would give but 5 shillings and that was far too much with 10 shillings for the ponies. [The accounts of costs at the end show that he paid half the cost of the guide and horses, of 7s 9d but the cost according to the diary entry would have been 17s  i.e. 8s 6d each.]

“Gentlemen generally gave him a shilling for himself though!” when we stood over the spring to take our drop o’ stuff his countenance I’m sure was a fair subject for Le Brun. Desire could not be more strongly developed; ‘twas an excellent study; no effort to conceal the passion, you saw it in its naked state. We gave the poor devil a drap [sic] ; altho’ (twixt 4) we could ill spare it; the rest of our journey to the top was on foot and perfectly uninteresting, as far as the eyes were concerned; we were buried in clouds the whole time and had enough to do to pick our way between the stones for  t’was [sic] a turkey carpet tho’ to what we had last night. Just before we gained the wall of stones (raised by the accustomed tribute of a single one, from each visitor) at the very pinnacle of the mountain, 3571 feet above the level of the sea, we were obliged to use our whole strength to keep our legs; twas not for more than 20 yards; but being a narrow ridge, quite unprotected, with a perfect abyss on each side, whose depth we could not form the slightest idea of, the cloud tho’ which we passed being so dense as to prevent our seeing one jot beyond the edge; these things combined with a most terrific wind on one side of us, made the passage really fearful. I knew we could not do better than follow the Guide’s example and he quickened his pace the instant he approached the spot and having gained it descended a few inches on the windward side put his two hands to his hat and ran away as fast as the nature of the ground would permit; so did we all and congratulated each other on reaching the afore-named resting place. Well here we were, at the spot we had many a day desired to see, whose glories we had so often read of, and whence we were to behold three Kingdoms at a glance! What could we see? A stone wall and three gloomy countenances; not only  our account of the shelter afforded by the wall but because its attainment seemed like some great feet to boast of but I had watched the sky thro’ our whole progress up and felt confident that a few minutes would enable us to get a view; but my companions only laughed, called me weather wise, and proposed descending immediately, being useless to remain there in a cold dark place devoid of any interest; another, and a final drop of brandy put them in better spirits and Mr Boyce wrote a letter to his sister, to which I took the liberty of addressing a line by way of a P.S.: Just then the mist seemed thinning and at the instant a gleam of light intensely brilliant, shot thro’ it, from a lake below; the gap rapidly expanded ; a glittering waving line came, streaming from it, twas a river: another and another yet, soon pierced the flitting cloud; all else was darkness ; presently a deep outline of the rocks above was visible; others soon followed and then the sea spread forth its golden surface; the valley now might easily be traced, with the little dots of trees below us; the mist then thickened ; the lakes and rivers once again shot singly forth their beams and for a while no other light was visible; yet these were constantly changed to a duller or a brighter light, as the intervening clouds became more or less dense; by degrees however, all brightened up again, the rocks, the sea, the valleys each displayed its several beauties, the colours changing as the clouds passed over: soon all the distant coast appeared: Caernarfon Castle might be traced, and the huge mountains right and left, and last of all the rocks beneath us; the copper lake seemed like a puddle while that of Llanberis was little larger altho’ near 3 miles long; yet as the eye became accustomed to the change we could compare the several points and so arrange each within our minds according to their due propositions. We walked round to the other side. But soon retraced our steps – for the wind kept blowing “great guns” while the clouds lay in the current and so afforded only partial views of the vast expanse beneath; yet following these gaps, you might cross mountain after mountain, with all the lakes and vales between; thro’ many a town, or pretty village, “over steeple, towers, and turrets” till the wide ocean once more closed the view, but as I said, returning I spread my map upon the ground and set it with the compass, for although I could willingly have stayed, as long as light would let me, I had not forgotten Llyn Cowlid and as, moreover our guide was returning to Dolbadarn, while we were to cross the mountain in an opposite direction (whereby our new companions had already lost their way, which, by the by was the reason for our meeting as we did), I thought it was advisable to make sure of our road while yet the light permitted and therefore resolved in my own mind, upon the several points to guide us. There lay our road (I should not have seen it had I not known it must be there), just underneath you lofty bifid mountain, on whose right spread a lake and winding river this was the noble pass that first attracted our attention – opening upon Caernarfon and the coast of Anglesey as far as Holyhead; on either side the mountains rose in peerless majesty, sometimes frowning in a deep garb of misty purple, presently a green, or else a greyish blue; those on the right composed the whole southwestern chain of Snowdonia and formed the boundary to our view, while to the left lay another pass in which a smooth lake appeared and a line that seemed to be some road winding betwixt the mountains among which twas shortly lost ; still further on the left , lay the pass of Beddgelert which we had fixed upon as our headquarters for the night but we could not see into this because the lofty Avran intervening formed our boundary on the left. I therefore came to the conclusion that if darkness deprived us of our landmarks we should steer for about two miles North East by East and then strike off directly for the road which lay south west; this circuitous route I was previously aware, was necessary, on account of the numerous precipices that lay beneath us. I now called the guide and told him to point out our path when he confirmed the one I laid down altho’ he caused some doubt by calling that a road, that I fancied was a river; the fact was however, that the road lay immediately behind the stream, whose brilliancy obstructed the view beyond; returning to the other side where still the clouds were rolling on, the eye crossed Llyn Lydan and the two at Capel Curig, but could not reach beyond the chain of mountains behind Llanrwst. The nature of the weather sadly confined our prospect but I must ever feel that we were more than compensated by the grand and expanding phenomena of light and shade that we were witness to. The pass of Llanberis we completely lost, altho’ perhaps one of the grandest but the guides seldom show you that, I hear, and such a day as this and such a time on such a day rendered the attempt absurd. Twas now 6 o’clock and the guide became fidgety to depart, but I made him first show us (as agreed with the landlord) a little way upon our course; on parting I gave him 6d for his civility, when the scoundrel abused me like a pickpocket had I not been in a humour more disposed to laugh, than to be affronted. I could have sent the devil headlong but I contented myself with laughing at him and apologising for the affront at the same time asking him to return the money; that wouldn’t do however and the poor simpleton vented his spleen by hooting at us in the distance; for we did not stop long to hear him. Seeing the evening tolerably promising we determined not to hurry ourselves so while Messrs Russell and Badderly  amused themselves with my telescope Boyce and I were stretched upon the grass with our sketch books but I do not think I shall be able to make much of the sketch I took; tis too vast and therefore confined and minute to convey the smallest idea. The beautiful Llyn Gwynant which I had so much admired in our mornings ride lay beneath us on the left too much so to bring into my sketch, but straight ahead lay Llyn y Dinas and close to that Dinas Emrys a lofty rock whither Vortigern is said to have retreated from his foes. The river Colwyn hence, winds most invitingly thro’ the great Aberglaslyn Pass and close to Tremadoc right into the sea. {account of the descent – no details} in some parts we slid down on ! what shall I say? oh, nothing! I must not mention it although the seat of wisdom with many a noble sage
{Arrived at Beddgelert by 8 pm}
Letts, Thomas, ‘1832 August Manchester, Liverpool, By coach to North Wales with Mr Tho[Thomas] Boyce. Joined by Messrs [John] Russell and Badderly.’ NLW MS 21690B, ff 75-87

Llanberis 30th July (no postmark)
Now settled down at a small inn at the foot of Snowdon, and on the edge? of Llanberris Lake … we are favoured with good health, good spirits and good appetites and are anticipating all the delights of an ascent up Snowdon either at midnight tonight or … in the morning. We have engaged and intelligent guide [?] to accompany us and two ponies [?] , the experience of others will [?] induce us to [?] with suitable provisions.
Climbed Snowdon, left the ponies in a rough built pound, [stable] the remainder of the way being impossible and hazardous for them. [there might be more]
Cadbury, John, 2 letters from John Cadbury to his sisters written during his wedding tour of Wales, 27-30 July, 1832, Birmingham archives, MS 466/251/2-3

Richard Llwyd (the Bard of Snowdon) wrote a guide book in the form of a tour of north Wales which praises (and suggests) improvements to the landscape by the landowners. One edition of this had a title similar to that of his earlier publication: Beaumaris Bay, a poem: with notes, descriptive and explanatory;… (1800)
We left Capel Curig early in the afternoon, having agreed to pass the night at Bedd Gelert, in order to be on the summit of Snowdon at the dawn. But on our way to Bedd Gelert that evening, we made a short digression into the recently opened pass of Llanberis, achieved by the spirited sons of industry and enterprise at Caernarvon. Here one of our party observed that the value of a great and good proprietor could in no way be made more apparent than by planting at intervals the tract of unvaried sameness on the opposite ascent. This would in some degree atone for their non-residence, and at the same time benefit themselves tenfold. O could the sons of affluence but taste the felicity of being the beneficent centre of a happy district, what an improved country we should have!
The scene in this vale is truly grand, not surpassed even by most romantic parts of Westmoreland or Cumberland. The bold and prominent rocks which ascend almost immediately from the edges of the lakes, and tower into the sky, cast a pleasing gloom upon the whole landscape.
The vale of Llanberis is nearly straight, and of no great width throughout. It contains two small lakes, separated by a narrow neck of land; the upper pool about a mile in length, and somewhat less than half a mile across, and the other, though longer, is so very narrow, as to bear more the appearance of a wide river than a lake.
On a rocky eminence between the two pools stands the remains of Dolbadarn Castle, consisting of a round tower, and a few fragments of walls. The inner diameter of the tower is only 26 feet. The founder was evidently a Welsh prince; most probably Padarn Beisrudd, son of Idwal. In this castle it was that Owen Goch was confined by his brother Llywelyn ab Iorwerth upwards of twenty years, for having attempted to excite an insurrection among the people, injurious to his rights and dignity.
We are now on the summit of Snowdon,
“Yn nês i’r nèn, ac uwch ben byd.”
Approaching heaven, and above the world.

O thou, whose blest approach glad worlds behold,
The glowing east declares in blush of gold,
Night’s spangled azure takes a gleaming red

As soars the glorious blaze from Ocean’s bed;
While earth exulting through the gloom appears,
Meets the gay morn, and dries her dewy tears,
Swells the loud hymn that hails thy glorious way
To give expecting worlds a flood of day.

And now whate’er Imagination’s powers
Can form and fashion in her wildest hours,
When meteor-like—creations of her own
Are born, and bloom before her fairy throne
Are faint—the Muse to wider views awakes,
Full on her eye each native feature breaks
With force sublime they rise—expand—advance,
She riots—revels in the vast expanse,
‘Tis wonder all yet wonder points to more,
I bend th’ obedient knee—look up—adore!
This aspiring chief is 1190 yards, or nearly three quarters of a mile above the level of the sea. The crown of this king of mountains is called Yr Wyddva, (the conspicuous). From this height the visible horizon cannot be less than a thousand miles. For the particulars of this extensive space, consult your maps.
[He says nothing about climbing the mountain or the views from the summit]
The following is the height of the principal mountains in Great Britain, taken by Lieutenant Colby of the Engineers, by a most powerful Theodolite made by Mr. Remsden [sic – Ramsden], and at the public expence:—
{The list includes the heights of mostly Welsh mountains}
Ben Nevis                   4500
Snowdon                     3571
Caernedd Llewelyn     3469
Skiddaw                      3022
Cader Idris                  2914
Pumlumon                  2463
Penmaenmawr            1540
Llwyd, Richard, Beaumaris Bay: the Shores of the Menai, and the Interior of Snowdonia; ; Scenery Unrivalled in its Comprehensive Variety, the Interesting Objects Which it Includes, and the Sublime Prominence of its Features. (A new edition, Chester, 1832), pp. 55-56
Identical text in: Llwyd, Richard, (the late, Bard of Snowdon), A Trip to Wales or the Steam Packet Companion from Liverpool to Beaumaris, Bangor, Caernarvon and Conway with a description of the Shores of the Menai, the Snowdonian Mountains, Lakes, Valleys, Castles, and Mansions in the Neighbourhood; as well as the Beauties, Curiosities and Antiquities of Cambria. Chester, Edward Parry, [c. 1832], pp. 55-56

John Parker, (1798-1860)
4.7.1832 Wednesday
‘Description and measurements of the poet-making stone on Snowdon’
called ‘Y maen ddu yn arddy’ but Evan Jones, the guide of Capel Curig spoke of it as Carreg y Bardd [much more on this stone].
Parker, John, Tours through Wales 1819-47, Memoranda of a tour through North Wales in 1832, NLW MS 18256C, p. 172

A little to the south of Llanberis is Snowdon the etymology of the name of which mountain has given rise to several curious conjectures; but Snowdon is evidently derived from the Saxons, implying a snowy hill, or hill covered with snow, which is not uncommon here even in the month of June. Humphrey Lhwyd maintains its signification to be eagles’ rocks. The ingenious Mr. Pennant derives it from a compound of Welsh words, as Creigiau’r Eira, or snowy cliffs; and perhaps both have an equal claim to originality. From the greatness of the object before us, it is almost impossible to give an adequate description; but according to the best authorities, Snowdon is, from the quay at Caernarvon to the highest peak, one thousand three hundred yards in perpendicular height above the level of the sea, and chiefly composed of a very hard stone, with large coarse crystal, a general attendant on alpine countries. The Welsh have also a tradition, that these uncouth and savage mountains formerly abounded with woods, and that they were felled by Edward the First, on account of affording a secure retreat to the natives, and convenience for their detached and ambuscading parties. This idea is confuted by Giraldus Cambrensis, in his description of this mountain, written nearly one hundred years before the time of Edward the First, which, besides, perfectly corresponds with its present appearance. Sir John Wynne, in his History of the Gwydir family, says, “Snowdon was in ancient times a royal forest;” and still further asserts, that not only Nant-conway was wooded, but all Caernarvon, Merioneth, and Denbigh shires, were originally but one forest. This is evidently too general an assertion; for according to this author, Owen Glyndwr destroyed the whole in 1400. The distance of the summit of Snowdon from Caernarvon is rather more than ten miles, but from Dolbadarn Castle, in the vale of Llanberis, where the ascent is gradual, a person mounted on a Welsh pony may, without much difficulty, ride up nearly to the top. To accomplish this, the traveller should go from Caernarvon to Dolbadarn Castle, and after keeping on the side of the lake turn to the left for Ceunant Mawr, a noble cataract; from thence ascend a mountain to a vale called Cwm Brwynog, a very deep and fertile spot; from thence pass through Bwlch y Cwm Brwynog: here the ascent becomes very difficult, so that timid travellers are frequently obliged to clamber on foot, till, by keeping to the right, they arrive at Llyn Glâs, Llyn Nadroed, and Llyn Coch, where the spaces between the precipices form an agreeable isthmus, leading to a very verdant plain, where the traveller rests for a short time. After this a smooth path leads almost to the summit, called Y Wyddfa, or the Conspicuous, which rises to a point, leaving a small space for a circular wall of loose stones. The mountain from hence seems propped up by four buttresses, between which are four deep Cwms or vallies, with three lakes, and almost a boundless view, taking in a great part of the counties of Chester and York, with other parts of the north of England, Scotland, and Ireland, the Isle of Man, and Anglesea. From the same situation is a view of between twenty and thirty lakes, chiefly in this county and Merionethshire; of mountains, let it suffice to say the most noted are Moel y Wyddsa, Y Glyder, Carnedd David, and Carnedd Llewelyn, which are properly British Alps, having lakes and rivers, high and craggy precipices, covered with snow a considerable part of the year, and produce similar plants. The hills appear, as it were, heaped one on the top of the other; for after climbing up one you come to a valley, and most commonly to a lake, and passing by that, ascend another, and sometimes a third or fourth, before you gain the summit. The greater part of the rocks which compose these mountains are schistose, hornblende, mica, granite, and porphyry, enclosing considerable blocks of quartz. The plants and animals are nearly the same as those found about Cader Idris. To conclude, it may be said, with Mr. Bingley, that were the traveller’s expectation to soar above all former ideas of magnificence, this mountain will infinitely surpass all conception, as it baffles all description, for no colour of language can paint the grandeur of the rising sun observed from this eminence, which is thus beautifully described by Mr. Pennant: {quotation}
{Snowdon Forest}
The History of Wales written originally in British by Caradoc of Llancarvan, Translated into English by Dr Powell, Augmented by W Wynne, Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford; Revised and corrected and a collection of Topographical notes attached thereto by Richard Llwyd Gent of Llannerch-Brochwel (Shrewsbury, 1832), pp. 5-7

It is reported that Asheton Smith Esq., who claims, so I understand, a very considerable proportion of the Snowdon Range, is about to erect near the summit of the hill on the Llanberis side, a building of suitable accommodation for the temporary accommodation of manly tourists and fairy footed pedestrians. By now, the adventurous recital of a company of relatives who ascended high to witness the rising sun on Snowdon’s cloudy heights, particularly the account of the trials and fatigues of the female members of the party and not doubting that the travellers partook of the common lot, no one person can hear of Mr Smith’s intentions without satisfaction. If the side of the building be not too difficult for horses, to say nothing of carriages, the building will no doubt provide accommodation for them also, a good man is merciful to his beast.

It is manifest that there are many kinds of structure which, so far from increasing pleasurable and grand associations, would, if allowed to be erected on Snowdon, deteriorate from the proprieties in what the painters call ‘The Keeping of the Scene’. It occurred to me that if the buildings resemble the out-office forming a Convent it would be as much in harmony with the rugged and anti-social majesty of surrounding objects as any other character of building whatever. A castle being erected at such a height would, I suspect, convey back our recolections to ages too rude and, consequently, would destroy the present anticipation revived in us by finding far off a place of supposed rest and refreshment. Should it be contrived that a spring of abundant water issued from a rocky rut within the courtyard of this caravanserai or is seen falling into a natural basin beneath the boundary walls of the more picturesque kind of new chambers observatory which will, I supposed be deemed essential.
Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald, 7.9.1832

1832 8th June
Edward Doubleday and friends climbed Snowdon in search of insects. They were soaked by rain on the way and met the women of their party at the summit who had ascended separately on horseback from Llanberis in dry weather.
On our return [from the mountain at the back of Capel Curig Inn] to the inn we found a botanical friend [William Christy, Junior, Esq of London] of ours, who, with a party of his relations, had arrived during our absence; and with whom we immediately fixed on ascending Snowdon the following morning. In the evening, we took several Phryganecs flying about the river; and among them the beautiful Philopotomus scopulorum, and a large Perla apparently marginata.
9th [June 1832] The party who had arrived last evening kindly gave us seats in their carriage from Capel Curig to the pass of Llanberis. We three naturalists then commenced the ascent on foot, accompanied by a guide named David Jones, an incipient insect-collector of great promise. In the first quarter of an hour, we had taken Carabus glabratus and arvensis, Steropus AEthiops, Helobia Marshallana and Gyllenhalii, Elater cupreus and pectinicornis (the former is in great abundance, both sexes of each), Telephorus AEthiops, a Byrrhus apparently undescribed, [Note: c Byrrhus Alpinus, Newm. ater; elytris lavurimi punctulatis; lineis undechn longitudinalibus elevatis.  B. pilulae simillimus, at paulo major; caput, thorax, elytra,abdomen pedesque nigri, pilis aliquot albidis. Habitat in montis Snowdon graminibus; Junii diebus frequens. [end of note].
and several other insects we had neither of us before taken.

We now found, by the masses of clouds which rolled in grand and billowy succession down the mountain-side, that we might shortly expect rain: and scarcely had we arrived at this conclusion, when rain, hail, and snow, or a compound of the three, began to fall around us in torrents, and very speedily wetted us all to the skin. After deliberately proceeding through this kind of weather, with sundry falls, and divers bruises occasioned thereby, for about an hour and a half, we reached a little stone hovel, erected by the workers of a copper mine as a shelter for themselves and their tools. Here we stood awhile, cold and drenched with wet, and held a consultation or council of war—the usual consequence of a defeat. We were three quarters of the way up the mountain; it continued to rain and hail in torrents; there was no prospect of shelter elsewhere, whether we proceeded or returned; we had neglected to take with us any spirits, in spite of the advice of the waiter at the inn; and now we found out our error: for wet, cold, wearied with the long, laborious, and slippery ascent, and sore with repeated falls, we really seemed to need some renovating influence from within to counteract so many ills from without. To proceed or to return were equally uninviting. Whilst in this state of uncertainty, the rain suddenly ceased. We sallied forth at once, and were unanimous in our determination to proceed. The path was now steep and stony; the clouds, like huge curtains obeying the impulse of an invisible line, rolled up the mountain sides in the same majestic manner in which, a short time before, they had descended; and, through an aperture, we gained a glimpse of the country below—crag piled on crag, interspersed with lake and mountain-stream, bathed in sunshine, and altogether gloriously glittering with the recent rain. The view was grand but transitory: the clouds again rolled down the precipices—the fairy scene was gone—and we reached the summit of Snowdon, enveloped in so thick a cloud that we could scarcely distinguish each other when standing close together. On the flag-staff, and under stones, we found abundance of Helobia Marshallana and Patrobus rufipes. The ladies of our party, who had gone on to Llanberis to procure horses, now joined us, to our great gratification; and kindly supplied us with sandwiches and wine, which we found particularly acceptable. It is a little remarkable, that, in their ascent of the mountain from Llanberis, they had not had a single drop of rain.

In descending, the Helobice were running about in all directions among the stones; but we were too wet and cold to pay much attention to them, especially as our bottles were previously pretty well stored with them. When we had reached some hundreds of yards below the summit, we found the heavy cloud which had enveloped it had completely disappeared, and all above us was clear blue sky. The country below us was also visible in places, through openings in the clouds. The green lake, so remarkable, as many of our readers may recollect, for its deformed fishes, presented a curious appearance:—a stratum of rain-clouds was passing over it, although far below the spot where we stood; and its whole surface was in a kind of simmer with the heavy rain, at a time when the sky above us was beautifully clear and cloudless. In the Copper mine lake we exercised our water-net, and took three water-beetles, Hydroporus Davisii, Colymbetes fontinalis (a singular variety, without the usual ochreous spots on the elytra), and another Colymbetes resembling the very common C. bipustulatus, but differing in some respects; and, as we cannot find it described, we have given its characters below, and purpose assigning to it the name Snowdonius; the name nigro-ceneus, which precisely describes its colour, being pre-occupied [note d:] Colymbetes Snowdonius, Newm. nigro-aneus, lavis, capite postici punctis duobut ferrugineis. C. bipustulato simillimus, at minor convexior ac postice angustior. Maris elytris striis obsolete elevatis. Totus nigro-asneus, antennis pedibusque piceis. Variat interdum, (exemplariis crudis) elytris piceis. Habitat in montis Snowdon aquis; Junii diebus frequens. [end of note] … On our return to Capel Curig, we were completely overcome with wet and fatigue, and were right glad to get rid of our wet clothes and go to bed.
Doubleday, Edward and Newman, Edward, An Entomological Excursion, The Entomological Magazine, Volume 1, (1833), pp. 53-55

25.6.1833 Tuesday
‘Mr Dawall, the botanist whom I guided over Glyder Fawr and his two friends were going to Llanberis’ {so I accompanied them to [base of] Snowdon}. ‘They were Cambridge men and well known to Professor Sedgewick who has lately been in north Wales i.e. during the last summers. He considered Snowdonia to be extremely perplexing as to Geology.’
Parker, John, (1798-1860), June, 1833 ‘Journal etc. of a Welch Tour, 1833’, NLW MS 18256C Tours through Wales 1819-47, pp. 196-206

Letter from Alexander William Kinglake (1809-1891) to his mother, dated Harlech 25th  September 1833
Will probably go up Snowdon, though “I am not particularly fond of mounting the summits of celebrated hills for one is sure to find the name of John Smith neatly carved upon the stone which marks the top”
Cambridge University Library: Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, Add. MS 7633/68-123/78

Presumably the following was compiled from previously published sources before 1832 when the Victoria Hotel was built.
Llanberis consists only of three or four houses and a spacious and comfortable inn called the Dôbadarn Inn for the accommodation of the visitors who in the summer season resort to this place, in their excursions to Snowdon. … About a quarter of a mile south-east of the Dolbadarn Inn, and not far from the public road is the noble cataract of Ceunant Mawr. … Since the opening of the new line of road from Caernarfon to Capel Curig, Llanberis has become the principal resort of parties visiting Snowdon, to which mountain the ascent is easier from this village than from any other place in the district, and may be accomplished on horseback, almost to the summit. For this purpose, guides are constantly in attendance during the summer season, and ponies may be obtained which are accustomed to these arduous and precipitous roads on which they travel with perfect ease and security. In addition to the spacious and comfortable inn of Dolbadarn, a new and more capacious house of entertainment is now being erected in a more splendid style for the accommodation of the increased number of visitors whom the new line of road has induced to select this as the principal place from which to make their mountainous excursions, and commence their ascent to Snowdon. {Views from Llanberis Pass.}

The highest summit of Snowdon is called Y Wyddfa or “the conspicuous” and rises almost to a point affording space only for a small enclosure if loose stones, where the traveller may take refreshment, while resting from the toil of his arduous ascent, and within which a pole, consisting of four thick planks inserted in a mound of stone, was erected by order of government in 1827. [same text about the summit is in 1840 and 1845 editions, but details of hotels etc have changed.]
{Rare plants; the view from the top.}
Fossils and minerals of various descriptions are found in abundance in this mountainous tract: among these the most valuable are the beautiful Snowdon Crystals, transparent as the diamond; … Goats … are now seldom seen. {The former forest; copper mines; slate quarries.}
See also Bettws Garmon and Beddgelert
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, (1833), vol. 2, Llanberis

LLANBERIS, or LLANPERIS, co. Carnarvon, N. W.
A village and parish in the hundred of IsGwyrfai, situated at the entrance of the grand defile called the Pass of Llanberis, and at the base of the Snowdonian mountains. The village consists of a few cottages, a poor-school, and a tolerable church. A new village, however, is springing up near to the lakes, and here are two inns affording comfortable lodgings, and much frequented by tourists, anglers, and artists, the scenery in this gloomy valley being considered the most sublime in the principality. The living is a rectory in the archdeaconry and diocese of Bangor; valued in K. B. 4/. 18s. 9d., but in P. R. 105/. The copper-mines here are beginning to be worked with spirit, and new slate-quarries, conducted upon very improved principles, afford occupation to the inhabitants of this and of the adjoining parishes. The slate and ore are raised close to the margin of the lake, flats are provided to transport them to the extremity, whence they are conveyed by a railroad to Moel-y-Don, on the banks of the Menai Strait, where they are shipped for exportation. An admirable line of road is carried along the margin of the lower lake from the New Inn to the town of Carnarvon, for which great benefit the public are, in a great measure, indebted to the indefatigable zeal of George Bettis, Esq., of Carnarvon. In the year 1831, this line of road was continued through the Pass of Llanberis, and opened into the post-road from Beddgelert to Capel Curig. The Glider Fawr Mountain forming the eastern side of the Pass rises to a height of 3300 feet, and Snowdon, which hangs over the west, is elevated 3571 feet above sea level. The surface of the lakes lies 310 feet above the sea. Llyn Cwm Dwythwch, in the west of the parish, discharges its surplus waters into the Upper Lake of Llanberis, by means of the river called Afon Hwch, which in its course falls over a ledge of rocks about sixty feet in height, forming the noble cataract called Rhaiadar-y-Ceynant Mawr. Near the village is a well, dedicated to St. Peris, and formerly supposed to be serviceable to rickety infants and scrofulous persons. The ancient round castle of Dolbadarn, one of the Welsh fortresses built to guard the mountain passes, stands on the summit of a rocky eminence, protruding from the side of the mountain, and separating the Upper from the Lower Lake. Its position is remarkable, and it constitutes a strong feature in the sublime scenery of this vicinity. Owen Goch, brother of Llewellyn, last Prince of Wales, was confined in this castle for upwards of twenty years. In the excavations made for the foundation of the new line of road through the Pass, and at a place called Gorphwysffa, a long stone chest was discovered, thought by many to have been an ancient cist-faen, but it is quite certain that it was never intended for such purpose, nor was it of ancient workmanship.
Gorton, John, A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland: Compiled …, Volume 2, (1833)

This book is in the form of stories told by a mother to her young son, Lewis who wanted to be told some historical tales. The stories were supposedly based on a visit to Wales, the native country of the mother. The author, Eliza Constantia Campbell, made a record of an ascent of Snowdon in 1819.
[following a visit to Arthur’s seat, Edinburgh, Lewis was told the following:]
Snowdon is only 3571 feet; but being the highest point in Wales, it perhaps commands a more extensive view than any of the Scotch mountains.
“It was from Beddgelert, which is seven miles from the summit of Snowdon, that we set out on the expedition, at twelve o’clock at night, for we wished to get to the top in time to see the sunrise. Having engaged a guide who well knew the best way of ascending, and who carried a lantern, and also a basket of provisions for our breakfast, a party of us, mounted on surefooted cavalry, left the peaceful little village. The moon shone brightly, so that we had not much occasion for our lantern until we arrived at the boggy ground below the mountain. It often happens that travellers are disappointed, after all their toil, by a cloud settling upon the peak of the mountain, and forming a thick mist around them, so that they can see nothing; and when we were on our way we observed a cloud sailing slowly along the sky, exactly in that direction, and at the same height as the summit of Snowdon. You may suppose how anxiously we watched its progressive motion through the air. Just as it reached the peak, we could see some patches of it detaching themselves from the black mass; then the cloud itself began to loosen and shew a pale star or two through it, and at last it disappeared into thin air. We now quickened our pace, soon left the turnpike road which leads on to Carnarvon, and turned to the right over some very rough ground to a farm-house, where we disturbed the good people to supply us with a bottle of milk, and to take into their stable the horses of those who preferred ascending the mountain on foot. This desolate farm-house stood all alone in a bleak and barren flat, about three miles and a half from the point of our ambition. Here the guide lighted his candle, and away we trudged, over ground sometimes covered with loose stones, and sometimes soft and wet. The moon being frequently clouded, and the farthing candle affording but little assistance, we now and then plunged ankle-deep into a bog, or kicked our poor toes most painfully against a broken fragment of rock; but such as were enterprising enough to encounter the ascent on foot, resolved to ‘grin and bear it’, as papa says, and without making a single complaint. Where the ground was marshy, it was actually lighted up with glowworms, which appeared in such quantities that we could not avoid treading upon hundreds of them, they seemed as numerous as the stars over our heads, and almost as brilliant. …

The dawning day shewed us the deep hollows of the mountain, some of which were filled with water, forming small lakes. It is from one of these reservoirs, called Llyn-glas, or the Blue Lake, that the little river rises which runs through Beddgelert, and which is there called the Glasllyn.

We now began to discern a black peak far above us, which we flattered ourselves must be the point we were aiming at; but as we approached it this sugar-loaf character was changed into a rough ridge, from which we could perceive much higher ground still very distant.

At length we attained a narrow terrace called the Red Ridge, which connects, as it were, the two highest peaks of Snowdon. It was fearful to look down from it as we walked carefully along with a precipice on each side of four hundred feet; yet the guide told us that a gentleman, whom we had the pleasure of being acquainted with, had followed a fox over this very ground to the very summit of Snowdon without dismounting!

A few more paces brought us to the top of the highest peak, called the Wyddfa, or the Conspicuous.

Here we enjoyed the satisfaction of feeling that we stood on higher ground than any in England, in Wales, or in Ireland. As the sun was just rising, the cold black hills were in a moment changed into objects of warmth and brightness; the sea sparkled; the verdure of the plains seemed freshened; and an extraordinary effect was given by our height to the whole scene. The Isle of Anglesey appeared like a map, of which the hedge-rows formed the boundary lines: and many high hills, whose height we had regarded with awe in the course of our tour, were now sunk into the insignificance of mole-hills. We saw nearly the whole of North Wales, part of South Wales, many English counties, all the Isle of Man, and a considerable range of the Irish coast. Owing to the great elevation, however, the cold was intense, though it was the morning of one of the hottest days in July, and glad we were to get under the shelter of a rock to eat our breakfast.
In the clefts of these rocks I afterwards found many beautiful flowers, and, what is curious enough, some which are commonly found in low, shady lanes, or in very moist ground, such as the wood-sorrel.
Anon [Campbell, Eliza Constantia] Stories from the history of Wales: with various information and amusement for young persons by the author of “The History of Wales arranged as a catechism” (Shrewsbury : John Eddowes,1833), pp. 126-130
Campbell, [Eliza Constantina] Mrs., Tales about Wales with a Catechism of Welsh History by a Lady of the Principality, 2nd edition edited by Captain Basil Hall, R.N., (Edinburgh and London: 1837), pp. 125-130

Catherine Sinclair (1800-1864) novelist and children’s writer wrote beautifully and at length about her tour of Wales. She didn’t climb Snowdon but her knowledge of it shows that she was well read. She was the only tourist to refer to the story that the giant Rhita was buried on the summit. She referred to her companion as A- but his or her name was never revealed.
The shape and proportions of Snowdon are so grand and lofty, that nature probably determined to astonish us by this majestic mountain, and then broke the mould in which it was cast. Bishop Heber perfectly coincides in my admiration of Welsh scenery, and writes enthusiastically on the subject, preferring it to any he ever saw; and certainly nothing can appear more perfect in its way than the desolate grandeur throughout the Pass of Llanberis, three miles long, hemmed in by Snowdon on one side, and the Glidders, or Welsh Glaciers, opposite, which rise so contiguously, that some parts of the chasm we drove through, seemed not above 30 yards apart, and the road had barely room to wind its way along. We felt like a nut between the crackers, thus wedged in by two such mountains, with masses of rock impending on each side, ready to roll down and extinguish us. Gilpin on the Picturesque, talks of “ill-disposed mountains;” and certainly these had a very treacherous aspect. There are people who never go anywhere without seeing something to be afraid of; and a little apprehension here might have been perfectly justifiable, as our post-boy mentioned that the road is sometimes entirely blocked up by an avalanche of rock, while many large fragments were now suspended over-head, with little more apparent security than the sword of Dionysius. How easily these tottering rocks might be safely propped up in their present elevations, and rendered stationary for ever; yet if once they began a downward course, how rapid and irresistible would be their descent —An emblem this of the sinner’s course when he once yields to temptation; for a slight resistance may be sufficient at first, yet how impossible for anything short of supernatural power afterwards to stay his fall. Every one who seeks for high attainments in holiness, may be compared to Sysyphus rolling a stone up-hill; for not more certainly is the inclination of every thing downwards, than of all Christians to decline from their steadfastness. We were shewn a mass of rock recently fallen, measuring thirty-six feet long; so it would exactly have filled up your drawing-room. Not far from that lay another immense stone, beneath the shelter of which an old woman formerly lived during several years, finding herself amply accommodated, though she must have been almost as entirely cut off from human intercourse in such a place, as if buried like a toad in its centre. An old Welsh proverb says, “whoever sleeps a night on Snowdon, will awaken either a poet or a madman;” and as men have some times become both, it is not an experiment many would be inclined to try, even with so lofty a subject to inspire them as this new Parnassus. While we rolled ingloriously round the base of Snowdon, I often wished myself mounted on its summit, and envied the goats skipping among the precipices without an idea of being giddy; but the ascent is one thousand one hundred and  ninety yards; while no one in scaling a mountain will be of opinion with the Frenchman that, “ce n’est que le premiér pas qui conte ” Every step becomes more difficult than its predecessor; so this desire to reach the top of Snowdon must be added to the list of my unattainable wishes. “Though fixed on earth, aspiring to the skies!” Moralists declare that the most miserable situation in life is to covet great pre-eminence without energy to seek it, and that those who have not active ambition can only find peace in contented insignificance; therefore travellers not possessing energy to perch themselves like eagles on the summit of Snowdon, must be satisfied to measure its circumference, and delay a closer inspection of the upper regions until they grow younger. Near the top of Snowdon a celebrated giant-killer is buried, not our old nursery friend, “Jack,” though an equally redoubtable hero, who put so many giants to death, that he made a coat of their beards [Rhita]! rather a troublesome manufacture ; but I once saw a pair of gloves equally uncommon, which might have been worn at the same time, made from the beards of the muscle shell-fish, which sometimes grow about four inches long.
Near the bottom of Snowdon we were shewn an ancient spinster, who has lived almost a century in single blessedness, inhabiting her small cottage, perched upon a rock at some distance off the road, and completely isolated from all neighbours.
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone.
Luckily for her, witchcraft is no longer credited, or she might have been in some jeopardy, as old age and lonely habits were generally the chief evidences against a culprit, and she could have brought few witnesses to vouch for the blamelessness of her life, since no one ever visits there. This Welsh recluse is quite an heiress, possessing a hundred sheep of her own, which were scattered on the hill, like snow-wreaths at a distance, and we heard that she lives very comfortably in her solitary dwelling, “contented wi’ little, and cantie wi’ mair.” How seldom the great events of this busy world can interest her. She scarcely knows probably what king reigns in London now, while standing far remote, at her cottage door, “unhurt amidst the war of politics, the wreck of ministries, and the crush of elections.” The death of a sheep must appear of more importance to her than the death of a monarch; and the breaking of a window pane a severer blow than the breaking of the Bank of England. As long as Welsh flannel and worsted stockings continue in fashion, she is above the vicissitudes of life, and may carry on perpetual knitting in peace and security. Even amidst the warm current of domestic affection, how natural a tendency the human heart betrays to freeze into selfishness; but when individuals, either from choice or necessity, live entirely isolated, every event of the day personally concerns themselves only, and therefore the consequence becomes inevitable, that their minds get engrossed about trifles, and those trifles are exclusively their own affairs.
The celebrated Lakes of Llanberis rather disappointed us; they exhibit merely a few sheets of water, not more than three miles long, considerably removed from Snowdon, with scarcely a tree reflected in their waters, which seem clear and shallow. Not a boat was visible, and few traces of animal life or human society; but probably good fishing abounds here, as a celebrated angler observed of the Welsh lakes, that they contain two thirds water and one-third fish. Formerly a large shallow lake like one of these, ornamented the grounds of the late eccentric Lord, who amused himself often with rowing a party of guests into the centre, when a large bung was secretly drawn out, which caused an alarming leak in the boat. His Lordship’s visitors underwent all the agonies of shipwreck, and at last the vessel merely grounded in a few feet deep of water, whence the terrified victims were speedily rescued, drenched, though not drowned, and probably admiring greatly the dry humour of their noble host. We did not make quite so intimate an acquaintance with the depth of Llanberis, but rapidly skirted along the banks. An old Welsh fortress rises there, in a rather picturesque situation; but the moss-grown walls, where “ruin greenly dwelt,” excited only slight attention, until A- [her companion] announced it to be Dolbadarn Castle, once a favourite retreat of Owen Glendower and his followers, where liberty made her latest struggles for existence in Wales. What magical power exists in association of ideas! We look with indifference at an extensive plain, when suddenly it acquires intense interest from discovering that this was the field of a great battle. We admire a diamond necklace, till some busy gossip betrays that the whole is merely an imitation in paste, and though no change takes place in its appearance, our feelings are instantly reversed; and an old, wreck of a castle like Dolbadarn excites vague and in distinct consideration, till we hear that it became the scene of imprisonment, conflict, or victory, to some patriotic hero, whose name seems familiar to memory like that of Owen Glendower, long the admiration and the terror of his numerous foes, though more than four hundred years have elapsed since “the place that once knew them has known them no more. Their lives are as a tale that hath been told; their hatred and their love are lost.” One of the Welsh native princes languished in confinement within these walls during twenty years of hopeless imprisonment; but the castle looks now like a gaunt, bare skeleton, from which life, strength, and cheerfulness are departed.
The palace of the feudal victor
Now serves for nought but for a picture.
The exploits of Owen Glendower are so universal a theme in Wales, that if any author ever wants a hero for his next historical novel, I could venture to recommend him ; the scene laid at Dolbadern Castle, and the catastrophe, if sufficiently dismal, might most appropriately take place in the Pass of Llanberris. The poet who planned a tragedy about Mount Vesuvius, where his heroine entered, pursued by a stream of lava, might here substitute an avalanche of rocks, though it would be apt to go off rather heavily in the representation. Thirty years ago not an inn existed at Llanberis to afford travellers a bed, or any refreshment except bread and cheese; but so much has the fashion of touring increased the comfort of tourists, that a splendid new hotel has been erected here, called “ The Princess Victoria,” where, instead of being received by a landlord who spoke no English, as was the case not very long since, we might now have fancied ourselves returned to the Lakes of Cumberland. The hours here are much modernized also; for we arrived so early as eight o’clock, when the whole household appeared in a slip-shod, half-awake state, which induced us to postpone our appetites, and to take another stage before breakfast. Bingley, in his tour through Wales, twenty years since, did not find the beds very inviting, as he records, that having remonstrated with a landlady on the extraordinary number of fleas, she gravely asserted the impossibility of discouraging these intruders, because whenever one was killed, half a dozen more came to attend the funeral; but such days are over now ; for the Frenchman who makes his livelihood by taming and training those very active animals for public exhibition in London, would scarcely find any recruits here at present with which to entertain the fashionable world, by driving his carriages and playing at whist.

Our stage from Llanberis to Bedgelert was varied by several toilsome walks up hill, for travellers in this neighbourhood must lay their account with having occasion to pedestrianize frequently; and could we have consulted a pedometer, it would certainly record our having achieved more miles of walking than we can venture to claim, without an authority so unimpeachable. Timid persons might be inclined to walk down the descents also; for it required great reliance on the strength of our drag-chain to feel any satisfaction in rattling along these mountain-paths, where I planned at least a dozen of overturns which never took place, and tried several times to guess how far we might have to send for a doctor. As travellers cannot live like cameleons, on air, it may be conjectured, that after having completed two long stages among the mountains, in a sharp appetizing morning, breakfast became no unimportant affair; and seeing that tourists on the Continent still keep up the good old custom of recording their bill of fare at every inn, it ought to be a matter of as much importance to know what was achieved in a Welsh kitchen, as in one more remotely situated in Italy. Accordingly it deserves commemoration, that we sat down to a praiseworthy déjeuné, consisting of fish a moment before off the hook, eggs not laid above an hour since, mountain butter, that tasted of the grass, and cream as rich as any in London. Fearing the description of breakfast may occupy more room, however, than that of Snowdon itself, the rest shall be left to fancy. Here we discussed, over our tea and toast, the romantic tradition of Llewelyn and his celebrated greyhound, to which, like the dogs of Frederick the Great, a monument has been raised, commemorating his virtues and his tragical end. It is a common Welsh saying now, “I repent as deeply as the prince who slew his dog;” and the story has lately been revived by a beautiful song of Mrs. Arkwright’s, sung with suitable pathos in every drawing room.
Sinclair, Catherine, (1800-1864), Hill and Valley, or Hours in England and Wales 1833
1st edition, (New York, 1838) 160-167
2nd edition, (Whyte and Co, Edinburgh, 1839), pp. 194-202
Part published in The Visitor or Monthly Instructor, (London, Religious Tract Society, 1845), pp. 156-157

This is all that a tourist recorded
Returned through Llanrwst to Capel Curig
Walked to Dolbadarn
to Caernarfon and back
Over Snowdon to Beddgelert and Tremadoc
Bevan, William Hibbs, Glannant, Crickhowell, ironmaster.
NLW ms 22689B
, f. 45r-v

1834 (this is probably not Snowdon)
[Sir Roderick I.] Murchison is off to Wales to complete his grand geological survey of a part of that Principality.
Letter from Dr Mantell, Brighton, June 18th, 1834, to Benjamin Silliman
Fisher, George Park, Life of Benjamin Silliman, M.D., LL.D., Late Professor of Chemistry, Geology and Mineralogy in Yale College, …, Volume 2, p. 194
Is this:
Murchison, Roderick Impey (1792-1871) The Silurian system: founded on geological researches in the counties of Salop, Hereford, Radnor, Montgomery, Caermarthen, Brecon, Pembroke, Monmouth, Gloucester, Worcester, and Stafford: with descriptions of the coal-fields and overlying formations / by Roderick Impey Murchison; in two parts. (London: John Murray 1839)

In many parts of Wales, and in other romantic countries, young females act as guides; and it is truly astonishing how lightly they trip along (like their mountain goats), chanting some pretty ditty to amuse the panting tourist, who enquires, every half-dozen steps, “how far is it to the top?” A very interesting mountain maid has gone with parties to the summit of Snowdon from Llanberis (a distance of five miles), and back, frequently three times in the course of one day, and, after that, danced for an hour to the inspiring notes of the Welsh harp.
[Note to poem which mentioned a guide]
The Glamorgan Monmouth and Brecon Gazette and Merthyr Guardian, 23rd August 1834

[26.8.1834 Tuesday]
{left the inn at 1 am with a boy guide to climb Snowdon}
{Guide called to miners, some distance away, to ask if there had been an accident, because a lot of lights were visible}
‘soon passed by the foundations of a house which one Mr Smith the proprietor of part of Snowdon is building for the accommodation of those who should be tempted to see the sunrise – it will have 9 bedrooms and 4 sitting rooms and will effectually ?????? half the pleasure of the journey as it will take away all the difficulty.’
{Views to the east before sunrise}
{Description of sunrise}
{back to Beddgelert. The guide was keen to get down so he could take another party up}
{The descent to Beddgelert}
Had breakfast at the Goat Inn at 8.15
Tomkins, William Graeme, ‘Travelling Reminiscences or notes of a Journey from London to Liverpool via [Wales], Denbighshire Archives, DD/DM/365/1, pp. 78-86

The first section is based on Letters on the scenery of Wales, Robert Hasell Newell (1821), pp. 155-156 (not transcribed here).
The perpendicular height of Snowdon is by late admeasurements 1190 yards (somewhat less than three quarters of a mile from the level of the sea.) This makes it. according to Mr. Pennant, 240 yards higher than Cader Idris. Some state Whernside, in Yorkshire, to be the highest mountain in South Britain, and more than 4000 feet. Helvelyn is 3324 feet, Benlomond 3262. But mole-hills are all these compared with Mont Blanc, rising 15,680 feet, the highest mountain in Europe ; or with the American Chimboraco, 20,909 feet, the highest ground ever trodden by man; or with the mountains of Thibet, above 25,000 feet, and the highest at present known.
The air is sharp on the top of Snowdon, and like that in all other mountain districts, is very salubrious and congenial to health and longevity, which accords well with the aphorisms of Churchyard in 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.
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 inexcusable. That the ascent is somewhat laborious and difficult, especially to those who are deficient in physical strength, may be allowed; but, says Mr. Bingley, {quotation of advice on what to take and wear}.
The next consideration for the tourist is, the route that is so be taken to the summit of the mountain. Of these there are four, namely, from Dolbadarn castle, Llanberis, Llyn Cwellyn, and Bedd-gelert; and at each of these places a guide may be procured. The Rev. Mr. Newell, in his letters on the scenery of Wales, opines that the last mentioned is the easiest and safest, much of it being practicable for horses. [note:] The ascent from Bedd-gelert is unquestionably the most difficult, and that from the Victoria inn the easiest. [end of note] That the tourist may be directed in his choice, and at the same time be apprised of the objects that are likely to come under his observation in the ascent, we shall here subjoin the description of several individuals who have climbed the mountain’s brow. And first that of Mr. Pennant, who is entitled to be denominated the prince of Welsh tourists: {quotation from Pennant.}
Mr. Bingley’s Ascent. This industrious and persevering traveller observes, {quotation from several of Bingley’s ascents.}
Ascent from Dolbadabn.
This account is taken from a small useful publication, entitled “Guide to Bangor, Beaumaris, and Snowdonia,” by Mr. John Smith, of Liverpool. The narrative is written by a friend of Mr. Smith, who, the latter informs us, was a companion of the late lamented Belzoni, and the period when the ascent was performed was the summer of 1825. We give the account in the narrator’s own words. [see above, 1825, John Smith]
The descent is not related by the writer of the above description. I understand, however, it was merrily performed by all the party, whose fatigue in the expedition well qualified them to feel the luxury of a few hours repose at Dolbadarn.
Prospect from The Summit.
In the foregoing descriptions by three of our most respectable tourists, sufficient is contained to afford the traveller a tolerably good idea of the nature of the ascent to the top of Snowdon; and we shall only add the subjoined animated description of a view from its summit, by the author of the “Beauties, Harmonies, and Sublimities of Nature.” [Charles Bucke, (1821) (2nd edition, 1823); (new edition 1837)]
Hemingway, Joseph, Panorama of the beauties, curiosities, and antiquities of North Wales, (1834); (3rd edition, 1839, 1842), pp. 292-297; 4th edition, (1844, 1845); 5th edition (1851 – 1855)

Royal Victoria Hotel, in the Romantic Vale of Llanberis – Edward Green
Very considerable additions have been made to the buildings connected with the hotel …
Location – landscape, Dolbadarn Castle,
To the summit of Snowdon, on which a cottage is about to be built for the reception and entertainment of travellers, there is a commodious road, belonging exclusively to the Victoria Hotel, where Welsh ponies with careful guides, are kept in constant readiness. …
Manchester Courier, 19.7.1834; 2.8.1834

Laura climbed Snowdon (16th July)
Sketch: On Snowdon
Sanders, Laura Elizabeth, Sketches in Wales (1835), Hereford Library, Pilley collection, no 1387, p. 68

In a list of the rarer plants of Britain, Caernarfon had the longest list for all the Welsh Counties.
Watson, Hewett Cottrell, The new botanist’s guide to the localities of the rarer plants of Britain, Volume 1, (1835), pp. 235-244

Nuptials of R Williames [sic] Vaughan, Esq., and Miss Lloyd
SNOWDON. Henry Rumsey Williams, of Penrhos, Esq. had a fox chase at Snowdon, and afterwards entertained a large party with a sumptuous repast at Llanberis, an immense bonfire blazed on the while top of Snowdon. [sic]
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 14th July 1835

Three Dutch travellers climbed Snowdon at night
“Verhaal van een Reisje door een gedeelte van Engeland en Wales, in Mei 1835” (“Story of a Journey Through a Part of England and Wales, in May 1835”)
Published in a popular periodical (1835)
Rita Singer’s article and European travellers web site

This is one of the longest accounts of an ascent, mostly taken up with pages of descriptions of the views from the summit on which he spent over two hours.
(16 pages, about 2,600 words.)
Llyn Cwyllyn
Climbed Moel Elian and stayed until sunset {long description of the setting sun}.
{The story of the 7 year-old boy who died of exposure following his mother}
Reference to one of Ossian’s poems
“Hast thou left they blue course in heaven … Let thy return be with joy”
{Descended in near darkness}
… One almost regrets that the march of intellect and the lights of education should have banished the sportive train of sylphs and fairies from these their favourite haunts. … They are still often seen and their influence is acknowledged by the natives …
{Returned to the Goat, Beddgelert by 11 p.m.}
[He must have gone back to Caernarfon in the meantime]
Friday 14th August,
The Ascent of Snowdon
It was impossible for the weather to be more propitious than it was during the whole of the day on which I ascended this mountain.
The shades of the night gradually dispersed at the approach of dawning day; the atmosphere was clear and transparent, the air mild and serene, and the thin and floating mists of the morning which reposed on the surface of the tranquil lakes and hovered over the bosom of the vallies, gradually up-rose and disperse, as the sun, after throwing his first bright rays over hill and mountain, ascended brilliantly and gloriously through a cloudless sky. I was staring before his rising glories had tinged the Orient, and feeling invigorated by the freshness of the morning
Notwithstanding the fatiguing walk of the previous day, I prosecuted my journey without delay, and left Caernarfon for Llanberis at an early hour.
I arrived at the Royal Victoria Hotel at Llanberis (which is situated at the foot of Snowdon) after a beautiful walk of about seven miles.
The whole of the magnificent mountains in this wild but romantic region owing to the extreme clearness of the atmosphere appeared before me vividly and distinctly – their gigantic forms stood boldly out against an azure sky – and with the exception of the Great Glyder which was encircled by a fleecy girdle of clouds, were unobscured by the least particle of mist or vapour. Snowdon, the great object of the day’s journey appeared majestically before me as he did on the preceding evening, his bicapitated summit was still distinctly visible.
Having breakfasted at the Victoria, I determined, as everything assumed such a favourable aspect, to commence the ascent without a moment’s delay – and I thereupon started, unaccompanied by any one immediately afterwards.
The road to the summit of the mountain commenced directly opposite the hotel (the only house save one in this sequestered district) and winds along for the space of about five miles by the side of what may be termed the great northern buttress of Snowdon – a chain of rocks which commencing at Llanberis gradually increase in altitude until they unite with the parent mountain at a narrow passage – overlooking a precipice horrific in appearance which intervenes between the two peaks or summits.
The ascent being thus slow and gradual though somewhat toilsome and fatiguing, presents nothing of danger – even to a weak or timid traveller – and this part of the route may without much difficulty be proceeded over by a person mounted on a Welsh poney.
After walking about three mile, having attained a considerable altitude, I arrived at a small lake, whose waters assumed a dark green hue, and which was overhung by a high dark precipice placing an effectual bar to all further progress in that direction.
The path now turns sharply to the left so as to avoid the green lake and the dark precipice and also the perpendicular side of the rock or buttress before described, which here at an immense elevation, fearfully impends over the terrific pass of Llanberis. The ascent now becomes steep and difficult, and the path twines in a zig-zag direction over the only accessible place in this part of the mountain – with care and patience however this may be surmounted, even on horseback without danger although in some places the aspect of the route is awful in the extreme – but a few feet to the left the rocks descend perpendicularly into the pass of Llanberis, and towards the right the face of the mountain descends steeply to the little plain which contains in its bosom the waters of the green lake.
As yet there is little in the rout to recompense the toil of the ascent, nothing is to be seen but the dismal extent of the wild and dreary mountain hollow the Cwm Brynog encased with the sterile forms of bare gigantic mountains and towering precipices – but having surmounted the Bwlch Cwm Brynog, the most difficult part of the ascent, a smooth path which winds along over the summit of the dark precipice over hanging the lake, leads to a point which is situate midway between the two great peaks of Snowdon – from hence is first seen the other side of the mountain, and a magnificent view disclosed in every direction.
The lowest peak which is called Crib y Distill, is easily gained from this position; but Y Wyddfa the highest peak, presents a wild, rigged and terrific aspect to appearance accessible only to the wings of the eagle. It is a narrow and broken ridge of rock springing sharply upwards to a point – bearing a gigantic resemblance to the pinnacle of a Gothic Cathedral.
I proceeded towards Y Wyddfa, and ascended it with greater care than I had imagined I should. The rout lay upon the very edge of Clogwyn y Garnedd [note: which signifies “The precipice of the Summit”, ‘Moel Y Wyddfa’ – The conical hill of the conspicuous presence’ and ‘Crib y Distill’ the crest or point of view. [end of note]
Snowdonia’s highest precipice, over huge, disjointed masses of broken rock which were scattered in all directions. My progress was, as may be expected, slow, and I halted occasionally and laid down to rest upon several patches of moss-like turf which presented themselves in the course of my progress. At length however I set my foot proudly upon the summit of Moel y Wyddfa, the highest pinnacle of the mighty Snowdon, and the most elevated spot in all England and Wales.
I forgot all my fatigue in the glories of the prospect, the sublimity of which baffles all description.
Around in a state of wild, chaotic-like confusion uprose the loftiest mountain of Cambria. Preeminent above the rest soared in one direction the summits of Carnedd Dafydd, Carnedd Llewellyn and Y Glyder-vawr, and in another the lofty head of Cader Idris and the gloomy heights of Plinlimmon – but the power of language utterly fails in depicting the sublimity of the scene.
As I bounded with exultation at the glories of the surrounding prospect, I felt it at first impossible to contemplate calmly and in detail, the immeasurable beauties of this magnificent Panorama. The eye at first glancing over the vale of Beddgelert rested upon Cardigan bay which was shining like a sea of silver in the rays of the noon-tide sun – then quickly glancing back over the subjacent Lakes reposed on the green summit of Y Glyder.
At this period a bright and fleecy cloud careering in mid-air excited my attention {but it floated away.}
{6 more pages describing the views, based on a 2 hour stay on the summit}
The air at length became keen and cold – the clouds were collecting and marshalling themselves around the summits of the mountains …
{Heard, then observed a hunt in one of the vallies}
{More descriptions of the view}
In the centre of the summit is a high pile of stones, serving as the rude pedestal of a wooden pillar which was erected here by the officers of the Ordnance surveying expedition. Before descending I mounted the pile and cut my initials on the pillar {then descended – 2 pages of description}
Ceunant Mawr waterfall by moonlight
Reflections on the Scenery
Pryer, Thomas, ‘A Journey through North Wales in the month of August 1835 by Thos. Pryer’, illustrated with engraved prints by Gastineau and a few others. NLW MS 3138C, no page numbers

The often miserable Rev. John Skinner (1772-1839) had very bad handwriting, but fortunately some of his journals were copied by his brother whose handwriting was good. For this tour, however, there is no copy and Skinner’s journal is very difficult to read, complicated by the lack of punctuation and his enthusiasm to record everything at speed, resulting in a somewhat incoherent account of his ascent at night with his daughter, Anna, a guide and a boy. The account was accompanied by several sketches, including a self-portrait of him leaning against the ‘friendly stone’ part-way up Snowdon once he had decided not to continue to the summit. Other, rather poor sketches show the landscape and a distant view of the building in which their ponies were sheltered during the ascent. John was about 63 years old and had been injured when his grey (horse) threw him soon after they started the ascent, but his daughter, Anna, walked to the summit with the guide. Sadly we have no record of her experience of the ascent or whether she saw the sun rise from the summit.

we made arrangements for ascending Snowdon the guide having promised to provide a pony for Anna and I knew I might ?only on the sure footed ??? or faithful grey to follow the path that others trod as I never have found her deficient when put to the proof [.] As the man promised to call us at twelve in order to be on the summit of the mountain at four to see the sun rise I thought it most advisable to go early to bed … I accordingly did so Anna did not be drawn so when the summons arrived she was enabled instantly to obey it and I was not long in putting on my clothes but in my haste not having made my access? ????? aspirations [of] the ?expedition as far as t’was myself concerned was doomed to be unproprietious. For the first three miles along the Caernarfon road I drove Anna in the car … no. 5 [sketch] … we were to become equestrians. as soon as we arrived at the farm house a little way out of the road, it was so dark that we could scarcely discern the way we had taken on the turnpike and followed the guide who was on the horse procured for Anna who trotted on before grey with so much speed she had enough to do to keep up. but on leaving the turnpike I could see nothing so the guide dismounting and giving his horse to the boy who had accompanied us (?????? at the back of the carriage) to lead he continued? the vehicle over some of the most jolting road we had traversed in any part of our tour and I began to apprehend that a breakdown at midnight at the threshold of our aspiring enterprise would be by no means agreeable however it might have afforded an episode to our journals. but evils did not terminate here on quitting the carriage it was so dark the man could scarcely see how to put the saddle on my horse as the side saddle had all along ???? on that the guide brought for Anna which in I had of being a poney was at least 15 hands high she was soon mounted – I thought as this animal hard? our accustomed to the mountain and was led by the guide it was much better she should ride it than take grey who was not much of a mountaineer especially after the adventure at March Howel when she stuck in a bog with my daughter on her back who was extricated by Mr Leach since such period she has been rather shy of encountering difficulties out of the common way – but here she was tried beyond what she had the power to perform and on reflection I have much to be thankful for that the adventure terminated with no less injurious consequences. We had not proceeded 200 yards the guide proceeding leading grey following after his ????? Anna’s horse and the lad walking by her side something like the white thread of a post? path occasionally being seen but then lost again when the ?gender made a ????? whether grey was alarmed at this or at the noise of a stream close at hand or at the rugged ???? of the footpath or at her want of sight how to proceed I know not but this fact I know she started from the trackway and got upon some soft boggy ground when rearing up and finally ??????????? on her haunches – I found myself sprawling on my back fortunately there was no stone in the way to come in contact and ???? the strength of my pericranium, so I scrambled up as soon as grey and resumed her legs but both master and mare seemed entirely of the same mind not to proceed forwards in the manner we had intended and both Anna and the guide being also assured that  2 legs and 10 toes were much better than all the hooves of Rileys company we determined on ascending the steep as pedestrians ?????? ?????? ????? the guide said it was three miles from where we were stood to the apex and in parts very rugged and steep the horses were accordingly dismissed under the escort of the man and boy to be put in the stable at the farm and plucking up our courage we began to climb Anna having hold of the guides arm and the boy and myself walking in the rear I found afterwards the noise which grey heard and had occasioned her disaster proceeded from a mountain torrent rushing near the wall which separated the field from its channel  and from which we procured an exit by a wicket which the guide knew where to find snow by feeling and ???????????? than by sight but it seems that it is not altogether requisite to have sight to make the ascent as on my complaining I could not in the least see the way nor know when to lift up my foot or when to step down which occasioned various perturbations on my part the guide said he had once led up a gentleman to the very highest pinnacle who was quite blind neither did he know he was so till the summit was gained indeed sight under present circumstances stood me in little stead I would discern the fragments of the rock as white objects before me and that was all their position whether elevated a foot or as much depressed beneath my tread I had no means of ascertaining but my feeling with the staff the guide ?provided me with which had an iron spike at the bottom Having proceeded some distance in this manner I began to flag and found it necessary to halt occasionally but then the difficulty of getting up from my seat again for by this time I perceived I had gotten a wrench ??? over my right hip probably when recovering my legs after my fall which made it very painful to rise when once sat down. Still I wished to persevere hoping as the day dawned I should be fuller able to pick out my way and walk with less ?????? however as Anna seemed quite strong and active I accepted the guide’s arm and thus continued to keep my legs a quarter of a mile further but was then constrained to give in [underlined] as the pugilists call it and own myself vanquished by Snowdon but still it was a giant who was the conqueror not a pigmy I never shall forget as long as I live the friendly stone against which I lent a huge mass eight or nine feet in height perhaps more not being able to sit down my hip becoming so painful but here I rested leaning against the mass the boy standing near me which the guide who had given me a sip of brandy out of his pocket companion took Anna under his arm who was loath to quit me had I insisted on her completing the enterprise though I could not and I was left to my contemplation still the morning began to break which was about half past three I believe for I could not discern the hands of my watch to say for a certainty what time it was – I then aske the boy whether he thought he could find the way back to the farm house where we had put up the horses he said if he could only be certain of the way for a quarter of a mile he then fall into the foot path but he could not tell how to find it till there was more light here then I continued to lean and the young ascanius before me who could just understand English enough to answer common questions but not satisfy me as to the extent of road leading to the summit when Anna was gone and the length of the way of the way we had to descend to the farm but from what I could collect it was nearly ???? distant sending I began to feel cold I told the boy we must endeavour to find the way at all events as I could not think of staying any longer as I felt it so chilly not withstanding I had on my great coat and a silk handkerchief round my neck but the exertion I had made has occasioned so much perspiration, my linen was become quite wet through and in the course of five minutes it became sufficiently light for me to discern the lakes we had passed to the left one called Llyn Gader as having ?turf in the recently of some strong hold I presume the other was Lyn Gwaithlyn both of these basins contain trout and char and an occasionally drawn by Mr Williams the lord of the soil to supply his table of these I made memoranda vide 10 & 11 [images] also of the appearance of the summit of Snowdon seen as the day became more advanced above the ledge which I did not pass (vide 12) on this a pillar has been erected which was quite visible in the clear expanse the stone which had been my Ebenezer was at the foot of this steep ledge and against which I rested my side and which was a friend indeed in terms of ???? . I sketched this from me ?mary with the Welch page awaiting my orders to wind our weary way to the base of the hill again vide 13. No. 14 is intended to describe our pass downward and I cannot well describe the satisfaction I felt in taking off my shoes and drying my feet quite drenched with the dew of the mountain before the fire at the farm house where we arrived at about five o’clock soon after I sent the boy with the horse which had been procured for Anna to meet her on her return as I had no apprehensions of ?????????? or danger in broad day on a horse well accustomed to the country … The old lady of the house soon blew the peat fire into as grand a flame as the material would permit and … made me some tea. … It was seven ere the adventurer and her guide [returned] as Anna did not use the horse trusting rather to her own steady footing than to the long legs of her stead … we made the best of our way back to Beddgelert {and went to bed}  … extortionate charges at the inn [not the Goat inn] … to the guide I paid 10s to the boy 1s 6d. {the landlady asked 5s for the poney}.
Journal of John Skinner, vol. 14, British Library, Egerton ms 3112, ff. 183-184; Egerton MS 3113, ff. 1-7

{called at the Royal Victoria [inn, Llanberis] for a guide [to Snowdon] but was advised that the weather was too poor} The charge for a guide is 5/- no matter the number of the party; ponies may likewise be had at the same house at 5/- each, that will carry you as near as you please to the top of the mountain.
Anon (A Pedestrian), Hints to Pedestrians, or How to Enjoy a Three-Weeks Ramble through North and South Wales [1836] (Joseph Onwhyn, 1837), p. 49

Thomas Roscoe reported at length conversations between him and his guide (Robert Hughes) and also with an elderly guide, probably Richard Edwards who called Roscoe’s guide Robin. This is quite different from the account of his ascent in both the [1844] and 1853 editions,
On the morning of my first ascent the weather became gloomy and lowering, and I was disappointed in the expected splendours of a sunrise seen from Snowdon. But,
the guide whom I had engaged at Capel Curig was perfectly acquainted with the localities. While he highly extolled the genius of the ‘Father of Guides,’ an aged man who lives at Beddgelert, and bowed with filial reverence to his remarks, he seemed to look down upon the modern race of guides from an eminence little less lofty than the conspicuous peak, he lamented the effeminacy of tourists, and that eagerness for easy ascents and pony-parties which deprived them of the nobler views to be met with on that side, the hotel, of so many stationary visitors, and the guides of so much of their importance and prosperity. What was the flat unvaried ride from Llanberis compared with the wonders to be seen in going by Capel Curig, or even by old Beddgelert, or Llyn Cwellyn! But as it was all the fashion, one of these days, he supposed, they would be making a longwinded pony-road, winding miles round, and as smooth as a railway, the whole distance from Capel Curig to the top of Wyddfa. It had been projected, he said, for the last seven summers—it would be done one of these days, and we might then go up Snowdon in an easy arm-chair after dinner!

Along the sides of the lakes, and on patches of meadow, people were busy in their little hay-harvest.

Having passed through the Glyder hills, which I entered the steep precipitous Cwm Glas, between Capel Curig and Beddgelert, and began the most arduous labour of the whole day. I had selected this route as partaking, I conceived, of the advantages of those able, indefatigable tourists, Pennant, Skrine, and Bingley;

A short way from the summit we met the old Guide of Beddgelert [Richard Edwards], whom my companion saluted with marked good-will and respect. It was a cordial meeting, and seemed to give equal pleasure to both. The old man shook him heartily by the hand, and regretted that he now saw him so seldom. ‘I am breaking fast, Robin,’ he said, ‘and you will see less of me soon.’ ‘Now, you don’t look so,’ replied Robert, ‘it’s perhaps fancy; but these hard up-and-down trips are enough to break any body, let alone one of your years. It is time for you to turn gardener, like my father, and leave this work to the ponies and the easychairs—all the fashion now!’ ‘Nay, I was a sound man,’ quoth the old Guide of Beddgelert, ‘till we had that unlucky long search after the poor gentleman.’ ‘And so was I,’ retorted Robert, ‘sound in wind and limb, till I made a dray-horse of myself, and carried huge, heavy parcels on my back over the hills. Now, how old do you think I look?’ ‘About fifty.’  ‘There then—I am as old in back and bone, may be, as yourself. Why, man, I am not thirty yet. Only I have broke my back, you see, and part of my wind—all for being too eager at carrying in my youth.’ The old man laughed, nor could his companion or myself forbear smiling at the quaint tone of Robert. ‘But who,’ inquired I, ‘was the young gentleman you were speaking of?’ ‘A gentleman staying at Capel Curig,’ replied the old Guide, ‘and, thinking he knew his way over the hills, didn’t take Robin with him.’ ‘That was the cause of it all,’ re-joined Robert. ‘So he left Capel Curig, you see, one day in October—far too late.’ ‘Nay, it was not from our inn, I think,’ interrupted Robert; ‘Wasn’t he from Beddgelert?’ ‘No, sure!’ replied the old man very seriously; but seeing us smile, he added, ‘Ah, Robin, thou wert always a bit of a wag.’ ‘Do you know all about it, Robert?’ I inquired. ‘From first to last,’ was the reply, ‘and I will tell it you, Sir, anon.’ Then shaking hands once more with the old Guide he bade him farewell; and we resumed our way.

In his recent ascents from different points, the writer had the pleasure of meeting, on the summit of Snowdon, several enlightened foreigners. Two German travellers and a young Frenchman were among the parties; with strangers from Scotland, from Ireland, and various other quarters.
I was informed by my guide that some twenty years ago, before the appearance of the present handsome hotels at Llanberis, Capel Curig, Beddgelert, and other picturesque points, the Faenol Arms was considered one of the grand resorts – a modern Snowdonian station of travelling rank and fashion.
It was on the eighth day of October, not quite three years ago,’ began my guide, seating himself on the low wall of the little cemetery, while I stood at the head of a large but plain monumental stone, placed in a corner of the ground below where he sat, ‘it was just the eighth of October, three years gone, that two young gentlemen, stopping at Capel Curig, wished to go to Beddgelert; and, for the shortest cut, determined to cross over the great Siabod Mountain, though it was then nearly two o’clock in the afternoon, and, thinking they were acquainted well enough with the country, without taking a guide. Had I known what they meant to do, I would either have dissuaded them from the attempt, or prevailed on them to let me go along with them, though I handled not a stiver— leaving it entirely to their honour, Sir, as I have done in your case. But they were not so lucky as to let me hear of it, nor a single soul at the inn! Why, Sir, it was a month too late to try such a journey—even had I been to accompany them, and at such an hour of the day! But it was to be so; for as I saw them go out, as I thought for a short walk, he—that I never saw again till the shepherds brought him here on his bier—was laughing and joking to his friend in the highest spirits, and in a way that on going a journey is no good sign. There had been a long dead calm; but that afternoon it was too still to be natural, the look-out, and in the distance was far too clear, there were red streaks over the line of the sun’s going down all along the sky; old Snowdon and the hills about him looked much too near, while above the Ogwen and the Trifaen to the east it seemed as dull; and I knew there was a black spot, though I could not see it, to the seaward beyond the Lavan Sands. What struck me most was the closeness of the air, so unusual to the season, and which led the poor gentleman to observe, as he passed me, how pleasant it was; and he added what was true enough—’You will see me again, Robin, before long.’ Though the waters were low, there was a dull, hollow booming among the hills, and, while not a breath was stirring, the lakes were beginning to be rough and restless—the birds flew low—and here and there, over the falls of the Swallow and the Conway, I that morning heard the scream of the black gulls, and the old ravens, instead of sweeping round as they did to-day, were bending for the plains and hollows, knowing well enough that the earth was ready to yield them food. There was little need that afternoon for the shepherds to go far aloft to find their flocks; the herds of black kine, no more seeking the green or lofty points, came tossing their heads, and ran wildly to congregate in droves under the sheltered sides and recesses of the mountains. The few deer and goats were not far behind them, and even the fox and his brother vermin might be watched taking to their deep and secret lairs. But what I liked the least, showing the appearance of a heavy storm, were the fish, whose ways I know as well as most; for hours before it set in, they were busy enough disputing with the birds for their share of the flies and knats, which almost covered the surface of the waters, just handy and within reach. Every thing seemed quite still and afraid besides the fish and the pigs, and the last were noisy enough; they turned up their litter and the very stones with their noses. And if you had seen the scouring, and neighing, and tossing of the wild ponies, and the spurring and whipping of some of the old farmers returning from market, and well nigh being washed into the rivers along with the mountain torrents, or crushed under the falling fragments of rock.

‘Yet while man, and beast, and bird, and fish, sought the lone covers and deep recesses above or below these old lakes and hills, those two poor gentlemen went forward full of confidence and high cheer, but with less knowledge and foresight of what was coming than the meanest animal or reptile that found a home, which that dreadful night they could not do, in the horrors of a tempest, amidst the wild Snowdon rocks. And in so far a mere beast is often wiser than a man, for such is the will of God—one has got it planted in him by nature, and the other has got it to learn. Well, it was such a night as I expected; the middle autumn winds (By this term Robert Hughes poetically enough meant to designate the equinoctial gales) and the waters were out, and the red lightning and thunder-claps seemed as if they would rive the hugest hills asunder with their bolts. But who thought those two young gentlemen were upon the hills till, about three of the morning, one of the people of the inn was awoke by the voice, or rather the groans, of some person crying out and knocking feebly for admittance! Upon opening the door we were alarmed at finding one of the gentlemen, who had that afternoon left us, in a state of complete exhaustion, and with marks of wildness and terror in his countenance. After being recovered from the excessive cold, which seemed to have benumbed his faculties, he broke forth into lamentations upon the apprehended fate of his companion, who, he repeatedly declared, he felt assured was no longer alive. Upon being questioned he stated, that when midway over the hills on their way to Beddgelert, they were overtaken by the storm and the night, and became completely lost. To add to the horrors of such a situation, in their attempts to recover their path they unhappily became separated, and though he heard his friend’s voice calling upon his name, so great was the darkness or the fog that he failed to rejoin him, after having once suddenly disappeared from his view. Long and vainly had he called and sought for him in all directions, and the most horrible feeling, which he described, was that of hearing the voice of his friend, through the storm and the darkness, growing feebler and feebler, as he conjectured, from their having wandered still farther from each other.’

‘But surely,’ interrupted I, ‘their voices would tend to guide them towards each other.’ ‘That,’ replied my informant, ‘was the strangeness of the thing—you will hear—for it surprised and perplexed the gentleman, who could not explain how he had found his way back through the hills, and had not himself perished. He believed that he often heard and followed the voice of his companion throughout the night—borne feebly to his ear in the pauses of the blast, and again lost in the whirlwind and tumult of the tempest. On he went for some hours, almost momentarily expecting to rejoin him, whom he imagined he heard calling his own name at a distance. By following the voice he had gradually extricated himself from the inner mountains, and at length found his way into the valley of the Mymbyr, at no great distance from the village.’

‘He then,’ continued my companion, ‘hurried forward to overtake his friend, who, from the voice, he conceived was not far before him—but he could percieve no one—and from that moment the sound seemed no longer to haunt his ear. But a strange misgiving and alarm seized upon him, and he felt a melancholy prognostic that his friend was no more. He insisted forthwith upon joining the guides, who, being summoned from different places to the number of fourteen, hastened in hopes of discovering traces of the unfortunate young man. During twelve days all parts of the Snowdonian hills between Capel Curig and Beddgelert were carefully traversed, but nothing was either seen or heard of him. At length his friend and the guides were reluctantly induced to abandon the bootless task—not without some hopes that he might possibly have escaped alive. It happened that one day early in November, a party of shepherds, being driven to seek shelter from a sudden hail storm at the foot of a rocky recess in the higher hills, in the direction of Beddgelert, about three miles from the road, found the body—which they bore back to Capel Curig, where it was interred. From the appearance of surrounding circumstances, it was concluded that he had not perished from a fall, but had retired thither for shelter, and died of cold—perhaps in his sleep. And you are now standing,’ continued my guide, ‘at the head of his grave; and it is almost light enough for you to read the words upon the stone.’ They were brief and simple—bearing the name of him whose death is greatly to be lamented.’ I felt singularly affected, having just traversed by night the same hills upon which he had been lost, with the guide who had there vainly sought for him, and who, had he stood at his side as now at mine, might have averted the unhappy event ‘And I now see, Robert,’ I observed, ‘why you interrupted the aged guide [Robin ] when he was about to tell me this unhappy occurrence; you thought it would damp the pleasure I should have in crossing the mountains; or, perhaps, that it might altogether deter me.’

‘It was the first, Sir,’ replied my guide, ‘for you don’t seem to be afraid of being left in the dark, or going alone with any one, either by day or by night.’

And did his friends pay the last offices to him, or was he laid here by the hands of strangers?’ I inquired.

All that I know, Sir, is, that his sister was here, not more than three days ago, to see the place where he was buried—that I saw her as she stood on the spot where you are standing now; and this is the first and the last which I know about it . I have told you what I promised.’

‘And I now see, Robert,’ I observed, why you interrupted the aged guide when he was about to tell me this unhappy occurrence; you thought it would damp the pleasure I should have in crossing the mountains; or, perhaps, that it might altogether deter me.’ ‘It was the first, Sir,’ replied my guide, ‘for you don’t seem to be afraid of being left in the dark, or going alone with any one, either by day or by night.’ ‘And did his friends pay the last offices to him, or was he laid here by the hands of strangers?’ I inquired. I All that I know, Sir, is, that his sister was here, not more than three days ago, to see the place where he was buried—that I saw her as she stood on the spot where you are standing now; and this is the first and the last which I know about it . I have told you what I promised.’ Turning away abruptly, and with apparent indifference, he began puffing the smoke from his short, well-practised pipe with redoubled activity and resolution. It had been his great resource in the intervals of our labours, and he seemed to esteem it a complete antidote for all evils; but I wronged him. II think you like that pipe, Robert,’ I said, ‘better than anything else in the world!’ ‘No, Sir,’ he replied, ‘it is not just that , for I always smoke hardest when I feel the world’s trouble coming upon me to stop it , and so it was but now.’ Soon after, as we walked, he told me in a few words—no longer in the same careless tone he had before put on, and through volumes of repeated puffs—’ how he had, not long before, lost the most lovely and promising of his children, a favourite of all who knew her. The news of it came much like that storm upon the poor gentleman, and I was thinking so of it, just as I broke so rudely away from you when I ended the story. No, Sir,’ he added, with a mournful smile, ‘there is something I love in the world still better than my pipe!’ I stood rebuked before the simple and all-powerful voice of nature in the heart of a father—from the lips of an untutored but honest man.
I was once more amidst the favourite scenes of my boyhood; and Beddgelert, the ‘Goat’ [inn] I saw the old guide of Beddgelert, whom I had met on Snowdon … He treated me to a Welsh interpretation, and after a learned discussion made sundry inquiries appertaining to his younger contemporary of Capel Curig, in other words ‘the lad Robin,’ withal he looks at least sixty, and a whole tribe of little spar and crystal sellers, who, followed by the bare-footed representatives of the spinning and knitting interests, with their incessant clamour of ‘buy, buy, buy,’
Roscoe, Thomas, Wanderings and Excursions in North Wales with 51 engravings by W Radcliffe from drawings by Cattermole, Cox, Creswick etc. (1836), pp. 132-137
See a different account of an ascent in 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 the 1853 edition,  pp. 241-243

Wilson, William, Illustrations of Snowdon – Botanical and Geographical Archives of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
Jones, Dewi, ‘The Doctor and the Guide: two Snowdonian plant hunters’, Caernarvonshire Historical Society Transactions, vol. 59, (1998), p. 73, note 57.

Article on Snowdon, quoting Pennant.
Snowdon, or Snowdonia, is, in its most extended sense, the name of a ridge of mountains in Caernarvonshire, forming a kind of natural rampire, extending along the greatest part of that county, in the direction of north-west and south-east; but the name is usually limited to the peak of Snowdon and the neighbouring ridges.
The principal peak is about ten miles south of the Straits of Menai, which separate the Island of Anglesea from the Welsh coast. The peak itself is about three quarters of a mile above the level of the sea, but the ascent is in some places so gradual, that a man on horseback can ride to within a mile of its summit. But the general character of Snowdon is that of a pile of mountains rising one above the other, and presenting the appearance of a series of abrupt precipices and gradual slopes, the whole group seems as placed there to form a natural barrier to protect the only defenceless side of the island of Anglesea.
At the end of the thirteenth century, this mountainous district was the scene of the conflicts between Edward the First and the Welsh, previous to his entire subjugation of the country. 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’s celebrated 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 l
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 wound with toilsome march his long array.
The view from the summit of Snowdon is supposed to be equal in extent and beauty to any that can be witnessed. {long quotation from Pennant}.
This mountain is noted among botanists for the numerous scarce plants which are found on its rocks. Near its summit, a spring of fine, clear, well-tasted water is found, extremely cold.
The Saturday Magazine. Published Under the Direction of the …, Volumes 7-8, (1836),pp. 247-248
Also in North Wales Chronicle July 12, 1836 (from Penny Magazine. [The Saturday Magazine which cost one penny]

A friend of Captain Edward Foley had come to north Wales to see an eclipse.
The tour of north Wales took place after the death of Miss Ponsonby of Plas Newydd, Llangollen, who died in December, 1831.
‘I intend to publish my tour’
{Tuman had come to ascend Snowdon to witness the eclipse}
(Mr Tuman? a collegian, son of Professor Tuman? of the Naval college. See p. 13)
When at Llanberis I met [Tuman] again whither he had come with some more friends to witness the eclipse. My intention was to ascend Snowdon also, tho’ not on that day. Accordingly, after waiting vainly for fine weather one evening at 4 o’clock as it partially cleared I determined to start but before I had mastered half the ascent I saw there was every probability of it being worse but as I have an unsuperable aversion to abandon an undertaking when once commenced, on I went, the gloom thickening around me little to be seen in the way of view except towards Anglesey.

I met several parties coming down, one of two ladies and a Gentleman the lady as I passed looked at me in surprise and said “Are you going to Snowdon?” I replied if I can get as far – Why “You will have rain directly” I am indifferent as to rain, the mist I fear, presently I passed the gentleman “you’ll have rain Sir” Very probably I replied; what struck me was no one made a remarks as to the utter absurdity of ascending the mountain when all around was becoming dark as night by this time I was nearly too thirds up; when I first began the ascent I did it in the hope that the clouds would clear away, as in these auspicious climes it is impossible to say what the weather will be half an hour together tho’ now all hope of its clearing was abandoned I determined to push on and if possible reach the summit the Black? and mist were sweeping by me but the road was plain enough as there is a hard track for carts to the copper mine. I met a miner who pointed the way up the mountain for I was following that to the mine, by this time I could not see above 20 yards and sometimes not above half that. I looked up nothing but mist above me and a sea of clouds below however I followed his directions but there was no longer a path the way being over turf up a steep hill. I hesitated a little but saw tracks of horses and determined to go a little and see taking care to walk straight up so that if I did not like the appearance of things I might hit the road again by retracing my steps however I soon saw a stone wall looming through the fog I passed through the gap but still there was no direct gap but horses hooves were visible, on I went cautiously looking round me for landmarks On my left not far off I could tell there was a precipice from the manner in which the cloud broke over it. I therefore made a note that I must give him a good birth when returning and noticed that I must keep in a track more stony than elsewhere but I was soon very glad to perceive a more sure landmark which were two large pieces of rock sticking up on my right hand and therefore when returning by keeping them close on my left hand I should avoid the precipice but all at once I found myself again in a … path and then I felt quite reassured and went on with redoubled speed, this was a steep zig-zag road cut in the hill. I laboured on though the blasts blew so strong that I was often obliged to turn round to recover my breath and the sleet driven against me pretty well wet me. At length when I was almost in despair and thinking seriously of giving it up considering it foolishly absurd endeavouring alone on an unknown mountain contending with rain, thick misty clouds and wind when I thought I saw something like a well and a few paces in advance brought me to the sheds where the horses are put up, and I then knew I had not much further but here the road again ceased and I had nothing to guide me but tracks over the turf and taking care not to deviate to the right or left, for if once lost I might vainly try to hit on them again. I reached a mass of stone and rocks and here finding no path and afraid of diverting a foot from the track I picked up a small piece of stone as a memorial, looked at my watch 6¼ found I had just been 2¼ hours ascending, turned my back on the summit and descended rapidly with a fair wind tho’ hesitating a little when I passed those tracks not plainly marked out but by attending closely to the signs I had noted and a friendly gust or two clearing the mist partially just at the crucial moment I succeeded very well in passing Scilla as well as Charyidis and reached home in safety tho’ well wet.
Beaumaris …
Thursday 25th
left Bangor for Snowdon across the country 12 mile. The weather fine and clear and had in consequence a fine view of the mountain, Snowdon had not a cloud near him, but when arrived at Llanberis far too tired to think of visiting him, next morning broke cloudy and lowering however at 6.30, hearing a large party of Ladies preparing for a start [to climb Snowdon] I determined to go also supposing the guides thought the weather would clear up before the summit was gained else they would have dissuaded from the undertaking. However I found matters got worse as I continued upwards and after passing the party a little way I determined to descend and get my breakfast and in the course of the day should it clear, to resume. At about 3.30 p.m. it looking a little clearer, Snowdon’s top being visible at intervals as the clouds swept by him I strolled up the mountain with the intention of proceeding according to circumstance – I went on further and further every now and then setting down and admiring the mass of white clouds as they rolled along at intervals clearing away and partially opening out long vistas the sun darting out his rays as if determined to asset his superiority and lightening up all Anglesey with his beams and then again veiled in a thick robe of white clouds. I had mastered 2/3 of the height imperceptibly and then I determined to go on as I thought it very problematical if tomorrow would be a more favourable day tho’ intending should it prove so to ascend again. On reaching the top, beneath it was quite a sea of clouds it only being clear to the north here and there a dark black cliff reared his head above, and island in this ocean.
On the morrow it was a hot and sultry day but Snowdon still wore his robes and concluding I might wait an indefinite period I bade him adieu.
Saturday 27th
Returned to Tyn y Maes … where I again joined Parker …
Next day I climbed Carnedd David, had a clear unclouded view and observed Snowdon’s triple heads with not a cloud on them.
I decided on climbing Trifaen – Parker having done so in my absence
{Jumped from one high stone to another}
30th Tuesday
Boat to Liverpool
Foley, Edward, Captain, of Ridgeway, Pembrokeshire
NLW R.K.Lucas Papers nos 1953, pp 12-19
According to this account was an eclipse between Monday 22nd and Thursday 25th but he did not give the month.
There was a large-magnitude partial eclipse of the sun visible in Wales on 15th May, 1836 [but this doesn’t correspond with the dates given below]
See Carnarvon Herald and Y Seren Ogleddol, June 1836, page 183
There was an eclipse on 20th October, 1827, then in 1836, 1847 and 1858
The Cambrian, 13th October 1827, p. 2

A Welsh Quaker reflected on the view of Snowdon from Traeth Mawr and Traeth Bach
But a nobler spectacle is above; the disrobing to the sun of all Snowdon’s morning mountains. The resurrection, if I may venture the term — of the greater beauties of mountains, from the night horror of their mere dusky out-lines, has something in it of awful and even supernatural in look, that almost attracts the fancy toward the true tremendous re-appearance of all things after the Grave’s own long
night. There are to be seen, high up Snowdon, peculiar tints of umber red, mixed with grey blue, the former ferruginous probably but whispering to fancy of ancient volcanic ruins. But now the horrid sable which all night long had frowned round their grim brows, kept melting away into silvery, rosy, vermilion light ! Mists(beautiful as the sweetest morning could make them, with its tender blue brilliance and tender pale gold of sunlight), curled, smiled, and waved, transparent, over those grim hues still peeping through. The chaotic lofty view of their confused groups — the rolling blackness of the mist (itself now become their most exquisite beauty !) was food for lofty phantasy.
Downes, Joseph, Mountain Decameron, vol. 1 (1836), pp. 294-295

It was a hill
From whose top
The hemisphere of earth in clearest view
Stretch’d out to the amplest reach of prospect lay. Milton
Arrived at the Victoria Hotel, [Llanberis] It is a large and comfortable place, kept by a bustling and active old lady rather too stout to be considered graceful, or elegant indeed. I am inclined to believe that a few walks up Snowdon under a burning sun would be rather beneficial than otherwise in reducing the superfluities with which nature has invested her. In order that we might loose no time, as we intended ascending the mountain, the same afternoon, we ordered a cold dinner and having caught an appetite from the air that blew from the mountains we speedily satisfied out palates, and prepared for our ascent.We started from Llanberis about 2 o’clock on our ascent on this grand wonder of Wales. Having obtained a pony for the lady of our party my brother and myself determined to walk and having been provided by our good hostess with two huge clubs in lieu of our thin and slender sticks which she said would materially assist us, we set off, accompanied by another Gentleman who rode upon a sorry ???? boned animal which had doubtless trod in the same tedious and tiring path for years.
The day was exceedingly fine and brilliant the sun poured down its bright rays from an almost cloudless sky, a slight breeze blew refreshingly on the mountains, and caused the lakes of Llanberis, to assume a busy and animated appearance, it was, however, oppressively hot a sultry stillness seemed to pervade all Nature which was partially disturbed by the roar of a distant waterfall, as the torrent foamed over the deep abyss.
Having after some difficulty got rid of a quantity of troublesome children, by whom we were first besieged, all anxious to part with some of the curiosities found on Snowdon and the adjacent mountains, and my brother and myself having got rid of our coats through the kindness of the mounted individuals of our party, we continued our course, along a very bad road of loose stones and gravel.
The views that was continually opening around us, was one of exceeding beauty and richness and every step we took increased the extent of country visible to us. As we could not keep up with the cavalry of our company and as we were fatigued with the excessive heat and the continual rising ground we sat down to admire the prospect and gaze upon the grand scenery that was laid open to us: we observed deep in the valley beneath us a small circular the sides were dee and tinged with mineral tints, and as the sun’s rays reflected from its many coloured surface, it had a very brilliant effect.
This water is exceedingly unwholesome and if taken in large quantities, would cause death, it is very deep and when viewed in connection with its poisonous qualities has an awful appearance.
Having refreshed ourselves by the little brook that pursues its fine silent course down the mountains and by the side of our temporary seat, we again commenced toiling our tedious way up the mountain, and saw our companions some distance before us winding “up craggy steeps, and ridges rude”
After continuing walking for some time, occasionally stopping to admire the new wonders disclosed at every step; we came to a small stable where we found our party waiting our arrival. For as the air was becoming chill, and cold we deemed it most prudent to cloth ourselves warmer more especially as we were very much heated by the exertion of our tedious [he uses this word at least three times] ascent.
The ponies were consigned to the stable as the guide told us the rest of the way to the summit, a distance of about quarter of a mile, was too rugged and precipitous to admit of their walking up, with any degree of safety. But before I leave this spot, I must mention that not far from the stable there is a most delightful and refreshing brook said to be the highest water in the kingdom, it is exceedingly cold, being in general only 2 degrees above freezing point.
Here we sat down to admire the beautiful expanse of country stretched out before us, – to take breath after the excessively hot and fatiguing walk, – and to refresh ourselves from the pure and crystal little brook before us, which in some measure caused us to participate in the grateful feeling of the traveller across the Arabian deserts on beholding an oasis in its sterile and arid regions.

We now set off for the remaining short distance and hastened to obtain the object of our wishes and labours. This part of the ascent was by far the most difficult of any we had yet encountered as it abounds in sharp and craggy points, rising abruptly, above one another, together with large and disjointed fragments of rocks and loose stones intercepting the path the whole way, while to the left the steep and precipitous abyss forming the Pass of Llanberis caused us immediately to become aware, of the fearful altitude of our position and apparent danger of our situation.

We soon reached the summit of our wishes namely the summit of the mountain or as it has been termed by the Welch “Y Wyddfa” that is, the Conspicious which rises almost to a point and towers far above any of the other four ridges by which Snowdon is as it were supported.

The view that was laid open to us from the summit, baffles all description, and it is useless to attempt to convey true and correct idea, to a person unacquainted with it, of the grandeur and sublimity, of the whole scene spread out as it is, like a magnificent natural panorama before the eye.

The rocky wildness of the foreground formed by the Snowdonia range; on one side by the stern and desolate, though sublime rocks, forming the pass of Llanberis called Crib y Distyll which descends into the valley beneath by a succession of crags and precipitous rocks, and produce a very splendid and sublime appearance. Our other side, the tremendous ridge known as Clawdd Coch and celebrated for its singular formations stretches for a distance of 900 feet in the form of a triangular mass, the sides sloping down from the narrow sharp summit of twelve or thirteen feet to the broad and consolidated base of full a quarter of a mile.

The formation of this singular buttress has a curious and rather awful appearance, and although not so craggy or precipitous as Crib y Distyll it is nevertheless an important feature in the wild scenery of this romantic country.
{Descriptions of the views}
[The views] convey to the sensitive mind such an impression of beauty and grandeur visible in the works of nature, that might well cause the hear to rise in admiration of him who formed this world … and although the country be so mountainous and sterile that the labours of the farmer must cease, and the land remain in its waste and barren condition, though no fruit or pasture will spring from its hard and stony soil, yet no doubt these vast and dreary mountains are as necessary to the perfection of the system in which we live, as the green fields, and fertile valleys of the south which supply our barns with corn. …
We visited the hut erected on the summit for the purpose of accommodating those travellers who wish to ascend the previous evening in order to see the sunrise as it were from the distant horizon, in all its majesty, and glory [but] as it often happens that clouds and mist obscure the rich tints and splendid rays that usher in, the herald of the day, disappointment will very often follow so that these nocturnal ascents are very rarely attempted.
{The descent … stopped to see the waterfall}
Back at the Victoria Inn by 10 pm.
The dangers and difficulties attendant upon the ascent of this mountain are greatly exaggerated and made a great deal too much of by those who have attained the summit. We were cautioned by friends to take up cloaks and sticks, brandy and water and various other winter requisites, yet although we complied with none of these we felt not the least inconvenience and were glad we had no such encumbrances.
The path to the summit is very plainly marked out and may be followed by anyone without either the trouble or expense of a guide {except in bad weather}.
Francis, Horace, Journal of a tour 1837, NLW ms. 11597B, pp. 38-71

Elizabeth Bower climbed Snowdon with her ‘newly acquired husband’
10th [July, 1837] My wishes were realized. The day was a lovely as heart could desire & we made the most of it. The moment breakfast was over we walked to the top of a fine rock behind the inn, from where we had a beautiful view of the town and castle, with the bay & distant mountains, & on our return ordered the horses to be put to the carriage, listened to a tune from our old harper and started for Llanberis … of course Snowdon was the object to which all our questions were first directed, & finding that the excursion would occupy more than four hours, we thought it best to fortify ourselves with some lunch before we set out, but as soon as that important affair was finished, off we set, dear Henry on a farmer’s strong animal, & I on a little bay pony called Polly, as gentle as a lamb & sure-footed as a goat. The ascent is five miles in length (or rather height), but comparatively only a short portion of this distance is very steep & the road altogether proved far better than we expected. Henry rode to the point within a quarter of a mile of the summit where the horses are always left [stable], but as I felt rather giddy I was obliged to dismount & climb the steepest part on my own feet. Our guide William Williams was a very interesting character, exhibiting great intelligence & extreme good nature & attention with perfect simplicity. He beguiled the length of time devoted to the ascent by explaining the meaning of many of the Welsh names & by pointing out the peculiarities of the mountain & amused us a little with his minute account of the manner in which different kinds of food affected him.

As we advanced we had a beautiful view of mountains & lakes in various directions & within a mile of the top is a copper mine still worked. From the moment we left our ponies till we attained the very summit of the mountain we had little to do but climb crags like staircases & when we first reached the top all below was obscured in mist but gradually it cleared away on each side & gave us a more favourable view than most travellers obtain, even enabling us to discern the coast of Ireland very clearly. Magnificent indeed it was, far surpassing all descriptions but a scene that will long dwell in the storehouse of memory. The majestic height or our position towering ever over other lofty mountains & commanding the prospect of fifteen lakes & many vallies, besides Caernarfon Bay in the distance was peculiarly calculated to strike any beholder with awe & bring forcibly to the mind the omnipotence of the deity. I contented myself by sitting down on a heap of stones on the summit & admiring the vastness of the landscape around me but Henry, more adventurous, must needs mount on a wooden pillar raised above the stones, & was insufferably conceited at having thus occupied a more elevated position than myself. When we talked of descending, William Williams [guide] with all the activity of a chamois jumped from one crag to another & almost before we could watch his motions had reached the bottom of a deep perpendicular precipice to procure for me two different sorts of saxifrage & a plant called the alpine sow-wort which has only been found on Snowdon in the last year or two. We varied our route a little in descending to enable us to see one or two distant objects which we had missed in going up. And had a splendid view of the sunset behind a distant mountain, also of the two lakes of Llanberis, & Dolbadarn tower on the isthmus between them, also of Mr Assheton Smith’s excellent slate quarry on the mountain above which employ sixteen hundred men. On reaching the valley we again dismounted & crossed the river by some large stepping stones to see a cataract called Ceunantmawr where the water breaks three times & the last fall is sixty feet in perpendicular height. It has one singularity for the water has in one place worn itself a cavity in the rock which enables it to spin round in its descent which produces a curious effect. My pretty little Polly was in waiting for me as we regained our track. & when I gave her a parting pat on dismounting at the inn door, I much wished that I could have conjured her home with me for she seemed in every way qualified for the honour of belonging to a lady but the distance from Dorset was too great to think of purloining her.

Right glad was I to find myself once more on a sofa for tho’ very proud of my achievement in having been at the tip top of Snowdon, I think I never felt so tired in my life, & stiff as a poker too with riding & scrambling. We had been absent more than five hours, & the instant I had swallowed some dinner I repaired to rest but could get no sleep for visions of precipices & huge stones.
Bower, Elizabeth, Dorset Record Office, D/BOW:kw 209 / D.I/KW209, pp. 123-128

Thomas Turner climbed Snowdon in the mist, but the clouds parted and the views were clear.
Victoria Hotel
{The village has been enlarged because it is occupied by the agents and labourers of the copper mines and slate quarries.}
An ascent to the summit of Snowdon becomes the primary object of the tourist on his visit to Llanberis. After breakfast, therefore, the anxious enquiry was raised, as the morning was bleak and somewhat stormy, whether or not the task would be practable. Chances appeared much against the attempt but hope revived towards ten o’clock. Still there was a manifold disposition to with-hold the needful help of a guide with his ponies; drops of rain yet occasionally fell, and a strong breeze continued to agitate.
“The brown bosom of the lake
Into a thousand thousand sparkiling waves
Rocking the trees, or driving cloud on cloud,
Upon the sharp edge of yon lofty crags.”
My mind was, however, bent on the expedition; and at length, after another half-hour’s controversy the man and the animals were forthcoming, and we entered the base of this stupendous mountain, at a very short distance from the hotel.
Ceynant Mawr. …
Having, however, accomplished more than three fourths of the ascent, my determination was to proceed. … the dense fog, together with the cutting wind, rendered the cold excessive, and we were glad to shelter ourselves under a dwarf wall which has been erected for the comfort of tourists, and to discuss some brandy and biscuits. We now stood on the highest pinnacle of the mountain upon a space not more than 20 feet in diameter.  …[more]
Soon afterward, the consummation of our wishes was fully attained. The horizon gradually cleared, the curtain was raised, and in bright sunshine, the most magnificent and unbounded prospect opened to our view which the imagination can conceive
“Sudden, on either side, the gather’d clouds,
As by a sudden touch of magic, wide
Recede, and the fair face of heaven and earth
Appears. Amid the vast horizon’s stretch
In restless gaze the eye of wonder darts
O’er the expanse.
The effect, indeed … [more]
Turner, Thomas, (of Gloucester) Narrative of a Journey associated with a Fly, from Gloucester to Aberystwith and from Aberystwith through North Wales, July 31st to September 8th 1837, (London, 1840), pp. 113-118

The Goat is an excellent inn, and every attention the traveller can desire is paid with the greatest celerity. Twenty post horses are kept at this inn for travellers, and eight or ten ponys for the accommodation of those visitors who wish to ascend Snowdon with ease and safety.
Mr Pennant’s ascents (pp. 375-378)
Mr Bingley’s Ascent from Beddgelert (pp. 378-381)
Ascent from Dolbadarn (From Mrs Smith’s friend, 1825), pp. 382-386
Prospect from the Summit (from Beauties, Harmonies, and Sublimities of Nature (pp. 386-388)
J. Bennett, A Pedestrian tour through North Wales by G.J. Bennett Esq. of the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, with 20 Etchings by A Clint. (London, 1838), pp. 40, 375
Bennett, G. J., The Pedestrian’s Guide through North Wales, (London: Whittaker & Co., 1853)

So when at Capel Curig two years ago, I was told that persons frequently started for the summit of Snowdon, refusing a guide, as beneath their dignity as exploring travellers; but when returning at the close of day, wet, weary, and exhausted, the result of their futile efforts was too often found to be “non est inventus.” [The person is not to be found]
Lees, Edwin, ‘On the Value of Places and Illustrations as Subserviant to the study of Natural History’, The Naturalist, vol. 4, no. 30, (March, 1839) p. 228

1837, 8th August
Stared early this morning (about 8) to commence the ascent of Snowdon. We each had a pony, our guide a little short thick set talkative man walking by our sides. The ascent is very easy and gradual from this point in distance about 5 miles 4 of which might be travelled in a cart or light carriage. The views are not very extended but looking back over ?this ?vast green mountain forming the feet of Snowdon once covered with wood and forest and abounding with deer wolves bears etc. apparently of almost unlimited extent.
As you approach the summit it becomes more steep, here we passed a fine cliff in which a copper mine was being worked and after gaining the summit of this by passing round it and traversing another easy grassy ascent we came to the small stone enclosure where the horses are left. When they were all safely deposited within this building we commenced the final climb over a huge peak of rough rocks etc. for about ¼ mile. Here the view opens in a splendid way the vast precipices on the east and south eastern sides of the mountain presenting themselves before you as you gradually approach the summit along the brink of a narrow rocky ridge. [very small sketch of the summit from a distance.] Having gained the highest station (on which is a large heap of stones with a lofty pole erected in the midst), a most magnificent prospect is opened before you. A sea of mountains and valleys succeeding each other like huge waves. Anglesey with the Menai Straits and Caernarvonshire lay stretched at our feet like a map, the mountains of Westmoreland and even some in Scotland forming the northern boundary, Cader Idris and the neighbouring chains the southern limit of the view.
But the views of the mountain itself were almost the most striking of any a huge gulph in the centre of the mountain forms a vast crater surrounded on three sides with very lofty precipices reaching to the summit and containing two small black lakes.
Amongst the rocks forming the peak we found several fossil shells.
The air was quite pleasant and mild and the sun now and then favouring us with a bright gleam so that we spent some time on our elevated station admiring the splendour of the scene searching for fossils and eating our luncheon very pleasantly.
The descent was performed in almost the same route only varying it a little to obtain a view of the pass of Llanberis from the top of the huge cliffs that over hung it. Along the brink of these is a bank of loose stones and pieces of rock once forming a wall to prevent the deer and other game from falling over the precipices. We saw very few birds and animals only now and then a Wheatear on the grassy part of the mountain.
On reaching the inn [at Llanberis] we got some luncheon and then proceeded to Caernarfon.
Barclay, Joseph Gurney, (1816-1898), banker and astronomer. Journal of a journey to north Wales. NLW ms 24097B, pp. 93-97

One of our friends went to the top of Snowdon, with a guide from Capel Curig, he paid him 4s., and gave him his dinner and as much drink as made him squint more than his natural cast of eye, but the fellow had the impudence to demand 6s 6d more – a chap too, whose labour in that country is not worth more than 1s 6d per diem. The fellow certainly deserved 4s, because our tall friend with his well-turned pins and antelope activity, … gave him such a gallop up the mountains … ’
Anon, Fishing Excursion into Wales, The Sportsman, no 1, vol. 5 (new series), July 1838, pp. 95-97

{The line from London to Liverpool is complete except for a 38 mile trip by coach.}
This offers a great inducement to all who have not yet visited North Wales, and the adjacent counties, to inspect the natural beauties of perhaps the finest portion of Great Britain, and to reach the most remote point of which two days are now sufficient. A traveller leaving London at 7.30 [a.m.] will enter Birmingham at 4.30. p.m. and if he wishes may immediately continue his journey to Liverpool, which would be reached at 9 p.m.
A steam packet will, the next morning, convey him down the Mersey, … landing him at Rhyl at 11 a.m. or to Beaumaris.
{Description of the railway journey}
Llanberis – Dolbadarn Inn
… The ascent should not be attempted without a guide and pony. … The ascent in the present instance was effected on foot and without a guide.
The road [to the summit] presents, from its commencement, scenes on either side, bold, desolate, magnificent, – rough boulders of granite and quartz, breaking through the grassy sides of the acclivity in every direction; loose fragments rolled from the upper strata and strewed in endless confusion to the bottom of the valley and numberless tracts of small water courses … form a picture of the wildest character.
Ceunant Mawr
{description of the ascent}
The day on which this excursion was made, was without a cloud, and at twelve, the sun’s rays became excessively oppressive … the isthmus was reached … here a layer of snow was found which seemed unaffected by the hear of the sun.
{Quotes Bingley briefly about the expectations being infinitely surpassed}
The peak called “Y Wyddfa” is about ten yards square and enclosed by a low wall. The only specimens of animal life observed near the summit, were an eagle, a mountain finch, and a butterfly. …
Reading Mercury, 26.5.1838

This majestic peak has had a clear front for the few last days, a fact which sufficiently shows the state of the weather. On Tuesday there were no less than fifty pedestrians at one time on the side of the mountain, as we are credibly informed by an eye-witness. The summit was entirely free from cloud during long intervals, and only occasionally moistened with a mist or two – the air was, however, cold in the extreme, and there was considerable wind. Judging from the present state of the sky, we would advise tourists to be on the alert- there is work for them to do. The Chrysomela cerealis is on Arron – the Leistus montanus lies couching at the foot Snowdon. Unnumbered treasures of Flora’s choicest best and rarest are on the mountain side, whilst health and beauty and deep glad- ness invite the wanderer from every mossy nook and jutting cliff-
“Who comes not hither ne’er shall know
How beautiful the world below,
Nor shall he see how lightly leap
The white waves o’er each rocky steep.”
Monmouthshire Merlin, 8th September 1838

Byron, who lived at 18 Nelson Street, now of 25 George Street, Liverpool was accompanied by Miss Potter and Cousin (James) Potter. They met Messrs. Edwards and Emery of Lichfield at Menai Bridge who accompanied the rest of the party up Snowdon. He wrote a lengthy account in which he expressed many personal feelings. The long account of climbing Snowdon is very readable. At the end of the volume are several pages of autographs (66 in all) of those who had read it.
I do not intend at all to enter into a minute and dry description of the places we visited, but shall confine myself in my way to the philosophy and sentiment and moral (not sentimentalism) who [sic] I conceived deducible from an inspection of castles, pictures, mountains, ruins which came beneath our notice. The works of professed Tourists and Gazetteers must be consulted for particulars of length, breadth, thickness and other minutiae.
These indispensable preliminaries being attended to we were before half past One [a.m.] found in front of the hotel arranging matters with the guide, buckling our top coats on the horses, enjoining him most strictly to be careful of the grog and above all not to break or crack the bottles! “Who shall ride first?  For we could only procure two horses for the whole party. Where is my coat? What have ye done with my stick? Let me light my cigar?  And now and then a loud, loud laugh which made the silent mountains echo and alarmed dark night itself; or else a note or two from –
“My barks upon the waters”
At length, after much entreaty I was prevailed upon to mount the charger.
Here let me pause a little and attempt description.
First Miss Potter seated on a black, nay I cannot give colours, for the torches were few and the thinly scattered stars could not be expected to throw much brightness on the quadruped. Then Mr Edwards and Mr Emery each armed with trusty staves, and my cousins similarly accoutred. Lastly myself, your humble servant, Mr Syntax  – like but certes most un-jocky-like, astride a pie-bald maybe mare or horse. I learned not which, going forth in search (but I hope for a better purpose,) like him, of the picturesque and the sublime. [after William Coombe’s poem The tour of Doctor Syntax, in search of the picturesque (1817)] No rider am I, as it was well known but being assured that slender abilities were required to manage such a Tit, which had for many many years been accustomed to climb these mountains, I clapped spurs to mine Arab, and trotted away amid the cheers, and advices of my kind comrades and co-mates in travel.
While broken English wishes, or barbarous Welsh encouragings greeted our ears from guides & boots & maids & waiters
“How many” – we might have said if we had had the misfortune to have been born Kings and the misery to have been surrounded by false friends or open enemies; as Henry 4th was and had we been driven thus early from our painful couches by the anxieties of state affairs: –
“How many thousands of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep. Sleep, gently sleep.
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more will weigh my eyelids down,
And sleep my senses in forgetfulness? …”
The morning was glorious suitable to our purposes as if expressly elected.        
We were truly thankful on this account. Venus shone like a bright diamond over the summit of a distant mountain.
Charles’s Wain was prominent and I thereby learned North, South, etc. but must candidly say that I lost them again shortly: busily engaged as I was soon compelled to be, in the care of myself and the management of my Rosinante [a worn-out emaciated old horse based on the horse ridden by Don Quixote in Miguel de Cervantes novel]. I had little inclination for star gazing.  There was a calmness, a solemnity, in the heavens and on the earth which wrought greatly on my feelings and touched my sluggish heart in all its sympathies.  The night is often apostrophised as the encourager of dark deeds, deeds of blood and treachery; and the personification is well-nigh universally correct; but to my friends and myself night was not thus walked in, courted that she might throw her murky mantle over inglorious actions No! we had made the night subservient to the purest purposes, to purposes worthy of the  broadest day light. I cd have rested on the pommel of my saddle & long gaze on the sombre landscape in deep self-abasement. For as honest Francis Quarles [English poet, 1592-1644] in one of his Emblems says. “Lord, what a nothing is this little span We call a man” Especially when viewed in such a contrast. Serene still – very still was the whole creation. No lowing herds, no bleating sheep, no songsters melody. The silence was disturbed, nay, I should write relieved by the echoes from the voices of a party gone just before; or momentary gathering of the winds as they rushed up the passes and down the vales in gusty starts, and this past all silent as before. This was a darkness & torpor only of the natural world shortly and certainly to be  terminated by the appearance of day, and the businesses of Life but oh! there is another night and another stupor, a thick night a deathly stupor closely unfolding the  Moral World; which though the sun of Righteousness hath long risen, and many Have gone forth arrived with the spirits  power, and cried “Awake that sleepest thou and arise from the dead” still presents to  the spiritual mind, a gloomy picture of “iniquity, transgression and crime”. To return. We entered upon this labour possessed of those requisites which Mr Bingley a late Cambrian Tourist, deems essential and indispensable: “Good health and good spirits” The road to the base of the hills was wet but this soon terminated and the moment we left the level, our path became dry and stony. The whole of the ascent which equestrians traverse is continually winding, and some times zigzag. Pedestrians may venture to make the journey, in some stages, shorter and easier to the feet by crossing patches whose angle of declination is too great for the horseman, or by ascending tracks inaccessible to the Equestrian.  Onwards and upwards we directed our course, securely yet slowly. Now enlivened by cheerily giving the password – “All’s Well” Now an appropriate observation from one –  a caution from another and now, silent, and meditative. – Mr Emery and the guide had got ahead of us two or three furlongs, –  and several times they were hidden from our view by intervening rocks. Various scolding remarks were now uttered against the thoughtless Wight, our pilot. Not in reference to any fears relative to our mistaking the way, for we soon found that the horses, long accustomed to the route, were sufficient directors, but we scolded the unmerciful  being the rather, because he bore our well-laden Scrip, and the organs of thirst, (and we wonder!) in conjunction with our mastication powers seemed boldly resolved to get up a dictatorial petition (according to the custom of our reforming age) for a supply of necessary sustenance, liquid and solid both. We hailed them once or twice with all our might, they loitered and we soon overtook them. Having found a small basin of water that was fed by the tricklings and oozings from the crags above. We reined in our coursers – pitched our  tents and then right gladly, in bumpers of  mossy-tasted water medicated with —— [just a long hyphen, presumably brandy] drank the healths of our English friends; securely then, as we hoped, lying at rest in  balmy sleep. Our strength being thus renewed, we again, with sandwich in hand, set off; Mr Edwards taking the saddle, and I, idle man! the bridle.  Our views were still very circumscribed, for much gloom yet sat upon the mountains and shrouded the valleys; but each succeeding step threw more and more light on the grand yet wild picture; and the Whitening east showed tokens that The sun was busily preparing to begin his daily lace [sic]. Our highest wish was, from the top of Snowdon, to behold him rise! Anxiously did we enquire whether we really could attain the summit at our present speed, early enough to behold so magnificent a spectacle. The guide gave us every hope, and onward, onward, most diligently we plodded. Every step added increase of value to the journey the sheep aroused by us to their scanty and hardily gained pasturage bleated forth and how sweet were the sounds! their early morning’s thanks giving; while the murmurings of a distant gently falling rill complimented the general effect. Who thus circumstanced could dwell upon the difficulties and dangers of the way? For dangers and difficulties we had we had; one moment accident might have precipitated us headlong many a terrible yard: the next, had we missed our footing, we might have tumbled and rolled down for roods not a few. Again we sought our stores; and once more sped forth with fresh agility and courage. The Eastern horizon began to brighten very perceptibly, and surrounding objects were beheld with less indistinctness.  “The sun will rise before we gain the summit!” was an observation that frequently dropped in some discourse, late from our lips. How grievous the idea! Our fears incited us to stimulate each other to untried exertions. Hill upon hill has been surmounted; and each we thought was surely the last, But No! Is yond Snowdon? No! We traversed this and then from its height enquired again. Is yond Snowdon then? No! Yond surely?  No! No! No!  The twilight now became so strong, that we could distinguish the company before, and other who were seeking the same object, tho’ from different starting places. How awful, we imagined, in some cases, must be the situation of the troop above us! They seemed to be picking their way over such rugged paths or under such impending dangers, or climbing up such hills, as we at that distance conceived were almost impassable, and temerity itself to tread them.  I now began to feel the fatigue of the journey rather oppressive, and looked forward with marked wistfulness to the hour when I should again rest on poney back. It came! and I resumed my seat on the gelding with much satisfaction. In this ride, however the ascent being unusually steep, my inexperience proved very painful to my corporeal frame, and my awkwardness in the saddle turned the rest, I fondly anticipated more into fatigue than otherwise. Yet as the enchantments thickened manifold, I cared not for these slender drawbacks. This morning was an Epoch in my life! How could I then regret the labours by which it chanced to be connected? I received them as so many mementoes intended the more deeply to impress the events on my memory and my heart. Oh! Had I a Poet’s pen, or the Painter’s hand I would endeavour to describe and depict the whole according to the merits of its rich deservings But I have neither, and therefore can only do as well as I can.  Though I have been mounted the last half hour, yet I had dropped much into the rear of our female friend! My utter lack of equestrian accomplishments caused this. Repeatedly did I endeavour to heighten the speed of my filly; but alas! this only rendered my seat, the more  irksome and dangerous; for, on spurring  the left side I overbalanced the right  I was ready frequently to fall plump from my leathern elevation! In sooth I would have jumped off the animal had there been anyone near to take charge of it. There was not, and I was driven to submit. At long length we heard the welcome sounds – “Yonder is Snowdon! Yonder is Snowdon!” Shortly after we dismounted at the rude stables piled this for this purpose – perhaps half a mile from the summit – apparently the most rugged horrible half mile we had traversed.   And now were we all called to exert our strength afoot. We could perceive numbers already standing on the summit or reclining in some shelter from the wind which had become keen and piercing. A few were scattered on the pile of stones heaped together on the top, and here or there, more daring than the rest, were seen clinging round the wooden pillar p. 85 which had been founded in the centre of the heap Miss Potter nobly, nimbly skipped over the rocks and chasms. Mr Emery most indefatigably had walked every step, and was fairly master of the ascent many minutes before any of us. Cousin Will bounded up with the agility of the antelope. While the two old gentlemen (Mr Edwards and Cousin James) having fallen much out into the rear excited our unaffected pity; we feared lest they might faint, or lie down in despair; they continued, however to our great admiration, creeping on and resting, creeping on and resting, heroically resolved it would seem upon gaining before or after Sunrise at last the highest point of our  present ambition. The slothful souls! Nor did poor me leave anything undone to gain the top before that eventful moment when the sun should show his and give to Day its bright existence. While thus, as we could, hurrying up, my steps all at once were arrested; an object on my glancing downwards burst upon my view and riveted me as by magic to the spot.  I saw between the summits of the lower p. 86 mountains, the clouds of Heaven beneath my feet! Oh how sweetly soothingly beauteous! Tears gushed into mine eyes and not with mine only for others of our party I afterwards found had been similarly moved. My past toils were a thousand fold recompensed! Had I seen no more, my visit to the Principality would not have been without lasting, beneficial results. The first thought that rose in my mind after the thrilling sensations of joyous amazement had slightly subsided, –  was a thought of Heaven. How exceedingly bright yet placid and soft Heaven then appeared to my soul! I could have wept aloud! Nay, my soul shed tears! For oh! How unworthy I appeared, how culpable! what a great distance between me and that great and good Being who upholds all things by the word of his power! Like Job I could say “I abhorred myself and repented in dust and ashes. Well, too, might such a scene, in its mildness, its loveliness become compared p. 87 to the pure delight which the noble and sensitive mind receives when the maid of his wooing and winning is seen, all confidence, all affection, resting in his bosom, happy, innocent. So rested these clouds, in singular beauty in the vales and in the mountains breast. This promising first fruits of what might still be forthcoming put new animation into our hearts, and resting our wearing sinues. Onward, onward once more we again clambered, the roughnesses, steepnesses as well as pleasurenesses becoming more numerous, every instant. As often before intimated, or paramount desire was to attain Snowdonia’s top before sunrise. Long had the Eastern horizon his “fast approach betokened glad”. And such was the snowy brightness around where he lay that we presumed his chariot was certainly yoked and needed only a word to incite the prancing coursers to their duty.  

We stood upon the extreme peak of Snowdon! It was a moment of blissful thankfulness. The morning continued loveliness itself and every hand presented subjects touched and tinted beyond all mortal imitation. It has been said “Snowdon has its days” surely This was one of them. We shall never, I may venture to affirm, no never, not one of us, see again in this lower world, such another morning! The firmament towards the Orient was covered with fleecy clouds; some smooth as glass, others broken and rugged, some slightly bright, others, more dazzling than molten silver, the more remote, dense and heavy the Rocks and vales and lakes and streams, the sterile stony surfaces and the verdant spots beneath our elevation changed every moment the character of their beauties. The clouds, swelled and spread by new accessions. They rolled and waved and curled like an ocean gently blown upon! On seeing the formation of a cloud so slightly and slenderly had they their origin at first we simply considered them as the curling smoke from a cottage chimney or the miner’s temporary hut. We were, ere long, pleasantly undeceived.
Byron, W., Journal of a tour of north Wales containing many engravings 
Cardiff Central Library, MS 2.1093, pp. 61, 73-89; microfilm at NLW

Liverpool, July 11th, 1838
The summit of Snowdon is between three and four thousand feet above the level of the sea, and not more than fifteen or twenty feet in diameter. The prospect, from the summit, is said to be awfully grand. The eye takes in a mighty range of objects t Ireland, Scotland, and the north part of England, are distinctly seen. Twenty-five lakes, scattered among the mountains of Wales, exhibit their silvery expanse to the eye; while the Isles of Man and Anglesey lie spread out beneath like a map, with every rill visible. Of course, the day must be favourable, and the heavens cloudless. Such a day, in this region, seldom occurs. Often, when it appears clear, the mountain becomes suddenly and unexpectedly enveloped in mist, Snowdon was held sacred by the ancient Britons; and they believed that whosoever slept upon it would awake inspired. Though now utterly bare, it is said that it was once covered with forests, and that flocks of wild deer roved through its deep recesses. Though travellers, and even ladies, make the ascent of Snowdon, I felt that I had too weak a chest to try the experiment.

Following the course of the stream, through the same enchanting scenery that I have endeavoured to describe, the road gradually ascends, till we catch, through the plantations on the left, a view of Llyn Gwynnant, stretching below our feet. This lake and valley, deeply set among the loftiest mountains of Wales, form one of the loveliest pictures conceivable. The residences of two or three gentlemen, which are located in this valley, throw over it an air of cheerfulness, without destroying its character of seclusion. Shortly after leaving the lake, we have a very striking view of Snowdon. We look across the valley here, and see a huge precipice, over the edge of which, through a wide-sweeping dip in the hill, a very picturesque waterfall is projected. Plain indications of its source are apparent, which is Llyn Llydan, a highly elevated mountain-lake. Above this rises a dark perpendicular wall of rock, towards the summit of which, craggy and sharp ridges run up; and where they meet, the towering Peak of Snowdon rises — the workmanship of Him who can combine beauty with that which is strong and terrible. Near this point the road turns off which leads to Capel Curig, which I was very sorry not to visit, as I understood there were in the neighbourhood some rare specimens of mountain scenery. The rest of our way to Llanberis was through a very gloomy valley. I will describe this valley in the language of a traveller who passed through it before me: [from Rev. William Bingley’s much quoted description of Cwm Glas, 1804]

“For four miles I was hemmed in on each side by high rocks, that almost approach each other. The sun cast a sloping shade on those of the right, which fully marked all their deepened hollows: various in themselves, and varied in their tints and colouring, I was, at every step, interested by their terrific grandeur. They had no characters of softened beauty. There were here none of the delicate features of a cultivated vale—not even a single tree; but rocks towered over rocks, till their summits reached the clouds, whose partial gloominess added still greater sublimity to the scene. Sometimes I beheld above me a gentle hollow; then, a few steps further, the deepened precipice and towering basaltic-like columns of an adjoining range of rocks. In some places there appeared three or four ranges, one above another, with the most fantastic outlines imaginable, and receding in distances as in height. The tints on the prominences were of darkened purple, in the hollows sombre, and olive-brown on the nearer ranges. The foreground was overspread with masses of rock; and a rapid mountain stream forced its way along the middle of the narrow vale.”

There are two lakes, but a short distance from each other, in the Valley of Llanberis. Between these a communication is formed by a stream. From the lower lake issues the river Seiont, which discharges itself into the Menai at Caernarvon. Near the junction of these two lakes stand the ruins of Dolbadarn Castle, originally intended to guard the narrow pass; while, on the declivity of the mountain, nearly opposite this ancient castle, on the eastern side of the lake, are extensive slate quarries, situated high among the rocks, in which above a thousand men are constantly employed. The village of Llanberis lies in a narrow grassy glen, surrounded by immense rocks, whose cloud-clapped summits are seldom visible to the inhabitants below, who are said to be deprived of the reflection of the sun for about three months in the winter.

It is said that the vicinity of Llanberis has long been distinguished for the production of Amazonian ladies. A tourist [Pennant], who visited this valley in 1784, gives a very surprising account of a female he saw, then aged ninety, named Margaret ych Evan. {more details from Pennant.}

I have already lingered so long amid the mountains of Caernarvonshire, I fear you are quite weary, and I will therefore only say that from Llanberis I went in a direct course to Caernarvon; having by this means made a complete circuit around Snowdon.
Clark, John Alonzo, Glimpses of the Old world; or, Excursions on the Continent, and in Great Britain, Volume 2, (1840) pp. 397-402

{Description of the landscape of Snowdonia}
Though twice on the summit of Snowdon, I have seen nothing, and can therefore give no account, of the view: the want however can be supplied from Pennant {long quotation}.
{Description of the Landscape}
Anon, Tour in Wales, III, The Penny Magazine of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Volume 7, July, 1838, pp. 293

An account of a botanical excursion made last autumn in Snowdonia which will enable me to allude to some plants that have not previously fallen under our notice.
Dolbadarn Castle hotel
I held a consultation with a guide. He was willing enough to convey me to the summit only, but when he heard that I wanted to climb the precipices of Clogwyn du yr Arddu, and Clogwyn y garnedd, and search about for plants, he begged leave to decline the honour of attending me, as he said the whole day would be occupied – while if it proved fine (as rare a circumstance at Snowdon as red letter days in the calendar), he could take three journeys with different parties from Llanberis in the same day. There was, he told me, a sort of supernumerary guide, who was fond of gathering plants … Next morning a brisk little Welshman, active as the goat of his native mountains, with a tin box on his back, on which was painted “William Williams” presented himself to my inspection, and said that he was so fond of plants, that he would go with me anywhere as long as I pleased.
{Story of a tourist who got lost descending Snowdon and was found by Williams the following morning about 4 am, cold and hungry.}
At length I stood on Snowdon. Dull, and dark, and cold, the clouds hung about its subjects heights, and obscured three parts of the landscape.
On Yr Wyddfa, the highest point of Snowdon, the trigonometrical surveyors have reared a permanent stony cairn or mount, surmounted by a pole, which has already received the indentations of almost every letter of the alphabet … so inveterate is the habit of Englishmen to leave a memento of their track behind them. … I found a party of Gentlemen had just preceded me, … and as no one ever thinks of mounting Snowdon without a pocket pistol about him, we now prepared to fire, and simultaneously cheered to the health of our fair youthful Queen …Let no tee-totaller venture to mount Snowdon with presumptuous foot, as he values the well being of his outer envelope, without a medical certificate first had and obtained, in his pocket, for a little relaxation from the rule of his order. … Around the summit of Snowdon grows the humble Salix herbacea, a kind of willow, and the smallest tree known in the world … Among the chasms of [Clogwyn y Garnedd] I began cautiously to slide; but the little Welshman, with his tin box on his back, actually bounded like a roe, and soon brought me, from an almost inaccessible peak, some specimens of the rare Serratula alpina … {list of other plants found} …
The “Botanic garden of Snowdonia” still remained to be visited, and I started for it on the following morning with my little Welshman and a visitor. We proceeded to the base of Glyder Fawr … {continues to list plants}.
The Cheltenham Looker-on 19.10.1839, pp. 666-671

In the summer of last year, 1839, I went to the top of Snowdon, and found the whole of the mountain covered with a thick mist or cloud. While descending from the upper part of it, about two o’clock in the afternoon, I looked back and observed the summit quite free from cloud. In June last I again ascended the mountain, and again found it enveloped in the same kind of thick mist; but remembering that on my previous visit the mist had cleared away in the afternoon, I resolved to wait on the top. About two o’clock in the afternoon the mist began to break, driving along from the southwest and passing round the summit of the mountain. The wind was moderate, and the mist for some time concealed the country below to the north and the east; it, however, in a short time disappeared, and left the country open to view.
Hopkins, Thomas, On the Formation of the Cumulus Cloud, The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine, Volume 19 (July – December 1841), XXIII. p. 135
This was read before the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester in 1840

20 August [1839] [the year is included on p. 1]
Caernarfon Castle
Dolbadarn Hotel
After taking a luncheon, and furnishing ourselves with a drop of O. D. V., to drink on the mountain top we hired ponies for which 5/- each were charged, and guide to whom we paid  7/-, and we commenced our ascent of 5 miles. About half-way up we came to a dark perpendicular rock, of great height, right before us, with a lake below it, of a greenish colour, owing to the copper which is dug up in the neighbourhood. Turning shortly to the left, we began to creep up a very steep pathway, which was full of loose stones, but the ponies, (to whom we gave the reins to do as they pleased, at the request of the guide) threaded their way capitally, without the least interruption. We soon came to what is termed the first resting place, which is immediately above the pass of Llanberis, some 2,500 feet.
{views of Llanberis pass}
Not far from this spot is a small pool, called “Llyn y Cwm” (Pool of the Glen,) remarkable, formerly, for a species of trout, eels, and perch, which all wanted the left eye; …
Leaving this delightful spot with regret, we started again; and, after gaining the eminence above the dark rock already mentioned, we came to the second resting place, where the ponies are tied up, for the rest of the ascent must be done on foot. The guides fill their canteens with water, from a crystal spring at this spot. Here the prospect is of a totally different character; for, about midway, there is a large lake, and the rocks that surround it resemble a vast cauldron; the craggy sides of the pass opposite, called the Great and Small Glydir, are awfully grand. A zig-zag path has been made in this huge crater by the miners, which serves as a road for travellers to ascend from Capel Curig, the distance being from thence to the peak about 9 miles. It is awful enough to creep up this path, but it will require very stout nerves to descend it. … after about ¼ mile of very steep and rugged pathway, we stood on the summit of the king of mountains, the ascent having occupied three hours.
Mr Pennant, Mr Bingley [note:] a new edition of which has been published recently with many valuable additions. [end of note] and others have given a vivid description of the prospects from Snowdon of which Mrs Hemans [from her poem Eryri Wen] says-
Theirs was no dream, O monarch hill,
With heaven’s own azure crown’d!
Who call’d thee—what thou shalt be still,
White Snowdon !—holy ground.
They fabled not, thy sons who told
Of the dread power enshrined
Within thy cloudy mantle’s fold,
And on thy rushing wind!
It shadow’d o’er thy silent height,
It fill’d thy chainless air,
Deep thoughts of majesty and might
For ever breathing there.
[two verses missing]

Pierce then the heavens, thou hill of streams!
And make the snows thy crest!
The sunlight of immortal dreams
Around thee still shall rest.

Eryri! I temple of the bard!
And fortress of the free!
Midst rocks which heroes died to guard,
Their spirit dwells with thee!
Vide Welsh Melodies

Persons are generally recommended to ascend Snowdon to see the sunrise, but let no opportunity pass, for the old gentleman dons his nightcap for weeks together, and it is not infrequently the case, that travellers are detained in the neighbourhood for many days in the middle of summer, unable to ascend or even to get a peep at the peak. We were exceedingly fortunate in the day and hour, for the sun was wending his way to the west, which threw a most brilliant light on Cader Idris, Plinlimon, the Clwydian Hills, and the lofty mountains of Merionethshire, which lay right before us; and on our left, Carnedd David, Carnedd Llywelyn, the Great and Little Glydir, and the whole of the Isle of Anglesey lying like a map beneath us; and to the west, the sea, the Isle of Man, the Bardsey Island, and if we may credit the guide, the Wicklow mountains in Ireland.

We remained for half an hour enjoying this boundless and magnificent prospect, drank “to all friends in the world below,” and commenced descending; the sun was fast sinking in the west, and made a most glorious set. We repeatedly looked back to take a farewell peep at the peak, and when we had gone about three miles down, on taking one look more, we were astonished to find the summit having the appearance of fire; and on remaining on the spot, gazing with much interest, my ladye moon rose majestically behind the mountain, the grandeur and effect of which, nothing on earth could exceed – it was a sight never to be forgotten. By half-past eight o’clock we were safely housed at our comfortable hotel, discussing the merits of a good cup of tea and some delicious trout, which had just been tickled out of the lake close by.

Respecting this Alpine excursion, we say, with an old tourist, that though our expectations were raised exceedingly high, it infinitely surpassed all conception, and baffled all description; it produced the most pleasing sensations, and has left traces in the memory, which the imagination will every hold dear.
The Goat, Beddgelert … was full of company, which the fineness of the two preceding days had brought together, with a view of ascending Snowdon: but alas! the weather changed, it came on to rain, so that no one attempted the alpine excursion except a headstrong young man who had started at one o’clock in the morning, by himself (without a guide!), to see the sunrise; he lost his way, and it was quite a miracle that he was not lost himself for it was worse than madness to attempt such a journey alone; and all he got for his labour and pains, was a complete soaking, for he never saw either sun or moon, the mountain being completely enveloped in murky clouds.

We were told that a gentleman had gone up the mountain alone, about a month previously; and not returning as was expected, the following morning search was made, and his body was found at the foot of a terrific precipice, down which he had fallen. [accident]
[still 22.8.1839]
We came to Capel Curig, and glad enough we were to find a blazing fire in the coffee-room of the splendid inn, which was thronged with strangers; many of whom had been up Snowdon, in hopes that the weather might clear up in the course of the day, but it did not. We were amused by the various recitals of the tourists, in their attempts to get a peep at Yr Wyddfa, as the peak is called and entertained with the performances of a Welsh harper who played the air of Cader Idris, better known as Jenny Jones, in complement to the composer, the writer of these sketches, who heard it sung, whistles, and hummed, throughout the whole tour! [The composer was the author of this account, John Parry.]

The ascent to Snowdon from Capel Curig is about nine miles, but the first four miles consist of a good turnpike road from the hotel to the top of the pass of Llanberis; then proceeding alongside of the mountain, the tourist comes to the zigzag path which he ascends passing Llyn Llidaw, a dark lake under the rocky summit, until he reaches Bwlch Glas (the blue gap), then, turning to the left, he will soon be at the Peak.
{Left Capel Curig}
Parry, John, Bardd Alaw, [1776-1851] A Trip to North Wales containing much information relative to that interesting alpine country; the best mode of viewing its Sublime and Magnificent Scenery; its Mountains, Castles, Lakes and Rivers, together with the distances, names of the principal hotels, conveyances etc. by John Parry, Bardd Alaw.
(London: Whittaker and Co., Carnarvon : W Pritchard, [1839]), pp. 21-
Another edition, (London: John Limbird 1840) which includes the following: A great portion of this appeared in the Sunday Times 8.9.1839 – 20.10.1839. My travelling companion was Mr Simpson of Regent Street.
[John Parry (Bardd Alaw, 1776-1851) and his son John Orlando Parry (1810-1879) toured parts of north Wales together in 1828 following the Denbigh Eisteddfod. John Orlando Parry kept an account of the tour (A Journal of a tour in the Northern part of Wales, made in September, 1828, NLW minor deposits 293B) this is not the same tour. John Parry senior would have been 63 in 1839.]

The third edition of Bingley’s descriptions of four ascents of Snowdon in 1798, first published in 1800 (and again in 1804 and 1814) were edited and published by his son in 1838. Much of the personal detail was left out of this up-dated edition and it included reference to the Royal Victoria Hotel (completed 1832) and the heap of stones on the summit with a plank of wood in it, erected by the Royal engineers in 1827.
To ascend Snowdon from Capel Curig, the tourist must proceed direct as far as the top of the pass of Llanberis, and then, striking out of the road to the left, begin a slanting ascent over a green shoulder of the mountain. Among the neighbouring rocks copper is mined, and a zigzag path has been formed for the convenience of the miners, which crosses a ridge of the mountain at a point called Bwlch Glas, whence it descends to the Beddgelert and Caernarvon road near Llyn Cwellyn. The tourist will do well to follow this road as far as Bwlch Glas, and from thence to the summit of Snowdon the ascent is easy.
Instructions to the Tourist—Height of SnowdonProspect from the SummitNameRoyal ForestClogwyn y GarneddList of Snowdon PlantsWell near the SummitCopper MineFurther Instructions to the Tourist.
The ascent of Snowdon from Dolbadarn, in the vale of Llanberis, is so gradual that a person mounted on a Welsh pony may ride to the summit.
From the Royal Victoria Hotel, the tourist must cross the turnpike road, and passing along a road connected with the copper mine, proceed along the ridge immediately over the vale of Llanberis, till he comes within sight of a black and almost perpendicular rock, with a small lake at its foot, called Clogwyn du’r Arddu, the black precipice. This he is to leave about a quarter of a mile on his right, and then ascending a steep called Llechwedd y Re, the rapid descent, must direct his course south-west to a well (a place sufficiently known to the guides), from whence he will find it about a mile to the highest peak of the mountain.

The perpendicular height of this mountain, according to late admeasurements, is 3571 feet (somewhat less than three quarters of a mile) from the level of the sea. On the summit is piled a heap of stones to which is fixed, perpendicularly, a plank of wood about fourteen feet in height.

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

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

The summit of Snowdon is so frequently enveloped in clouds and mist, that, except when the weather is perfectly fine and settled, the traveller may wait some time without meeting with a day sufficiently clear to permit him to ascend the mountain with any degree of pleasure. When the wind blows from the west the summit is almost always completely covered with clouds; and at other times, even when the state of the weather seems favorable, it will often become suddenly enveloped, and will remain in that state for hours. Most persons, however, agree that the prospects are the more interesting, as they are the more varied, when the clouds just cover the summit. The following description of the scenery from Snowdon, when the mountain is in this state, is perfectly accurate.
[Poetry, extracted from Sotheby’s ‘Poems consisting of A Tour Through Parts of South and North Wales’ (1790)
Now high and swift flits the thin rack along
Skirted with rainbow dies, now deep below
(While the fierce sun strikes the illumin’d top)
Slow sails the gloomy storm, and all beneath,
By vaporous exhalation hid, lies lost
In darkness; save at once where drifted mists,
Cut by strong gusts of eddying winds, expose
The transitory scenes.
Now swift on either side the gather’d clouds,
As by a sudden touch of magic, wide
Recede, and the fair face of heaven and earth
Appears. Amid the vast horizon’s stretch,
In restless gaze the eye of wonder darts
O’er the expanse; mountains on mountains piled,
And winding bays, and promontories huge,
Lakes and meandering rivers, from their source
Traced to the distant ocean.
The name of Snowdon was first given to this mountain by the Saxons; its signification is, a hill covered with snow. The Welsh call all this cluster of mountains that lie in the county of Caernarvon, Creigiau yr Eryri, the Snowy Cliffs. The highest point of Snowdon is called Yr Wyddfa, the Conspicuous. Most of the old writers who have mentioned this mountain, assert that it is covered with snow through the whole year. Such, however, is by no means the case, for this, as well as all the other Welsh mountains, has in general no snow whatever upon it from the months of June to November.
Snowdon was formerly a royal forest that abounded with deer; but the last of these were destroyed early in the 17th century.
The parts of this mountain on which the uncommon alpine plants are chiefly to be found are the east and northeast sides. These form a range of rocks called Clogwyn y Garnedd, which abound in the most dangerous steeps. There is at all times some difficulty in searching them, but when the rocks are rendered slippery from heavy mists or rain, this becomes, from the insecurity of the footing, greatly increased. A list of the plants that have been found here may not be unacceptable at least to a young botanist, though but few of them are now to be met with. {list of plants}
It is a singular fact that nearly at the top of Snowdon there is a fine spring of water, which is seldom increased or diminished in quantity either in winter or summer. From its very elevated situation, this water is extremely cold.
A considerable vein of copper ore was discovered some years ago in Cwm Glas Llyn, the Hollow of the Blue Pool, near the foot of Clogwyn y Garnedd.
Welsh tourists have been much in the habit of overrating the difficulties that are to be encountered in the journey to the summit of this mountain. To provide against these, one of them recommends a strong stick with a spike in the end, as a thing absolutely necessary; another advises that the soles of the shoes be set round with large nails; and a third inveighs against attempting so arduous and difficult an undertaking in boots. To have nails in the shoes, and to take a stick in one’s hand, may both be useful in their way, but the tourist will find that good health and spirits are more essential than either of the other auxiliaries. He should allow himself sufficient time, and be upon the journey early in the morning, before the sun attains much power, and when the air is cool and refreshing. The chief thing required is a little labour, and this, by progressing gently, will be rendered much lighter. There is also another advantage in having sufficient time; by stopping frequently to rest himself, he will be enabled to enjoy the different distant prospects as he rises above the mountains, and to observe how the objects around him gradually change their appearance as he ascends. It will always be necessary to take a guide, for otherwise a sudden change in the weather might render the attempt exceedingly perilous to a stranger. But these changes are of no consequence to men who are in the habit of frequently ascending the mountain, as they have marks by which they would know the paths in the most cloudy weather. A sufficient supply of eatables is also absolutely necessary; the traveller will find the utility of them long before he returns.
(14 Miles.)
The Pass of LlanberisThe CromlechCaddy of Cwm GlasGorphwysfa Nant Hwynan or GwynantRhaindr Cwn DyliCwm LlanLlyn y DinasDinas EmrysBeddgelertLlewellyn and his DngPoem founded on this StoryPriory.
A part of which is called Cwm Glas, The Blue Vale, is hemmed in on each side by high rocks. In this pass there are no characters of softened beauty, none of the delicate features of a cultivated vale, not even a single tree, but rocks towering over rocks till their summits reach the clouds. In some places there appear three or four ranges one above another, with the most fantastic outlines imaginable, and receding in distance as in height. The foreground is overspread with masses of rock, and a mountain stream forces its way along the middle of the narrow vale. Such is this tremendous hollow, whose grandeur continues undiminished for almost four miles.
About three miles from Llanberis there is an immense stone that has once been precipitated from above, called
This stone is of some thousand tons weight, and many times larger than the celebrated mass of rock in Borrowdale called Bowdar Stone. It lies in a place called Ynys Hettws, Hetty’s Island; and two of its sides meeting at an angle with the ground, it was once used as the habitation of an old woman, who, in summer, resided in the vale to tend and milk her cows. The enclosures are yet nearly entire, and are at present used as a sheep-fold.
Not far from this stone, on the opposite side of the road, is the cottage where resided
The distance from Beddgelert to the summit of Snowdon is about six miles; this ascent is generally reckoned more difficult than that from Dolbadarn; but even from Beddgelert the summit is accessible to a Welsh pony; although, in general, equestrians dismount and walk the last two or three hundred yards.
In order to ascend Snowdon from Beddgelert the tourist must proceed along the Caernarvon road for about three miles, and then turning to the right, commence the ascent. After ascending some hundred yards, Llyn Cwellyn below, shaded by the vast Mynydd Mawr, with Castell Cidwm at its foot, appears extremely beautiful. Upon a clear day may be seen Caernarvon and the whole Isle of Anglesey, spread out like a map before the view. The mountains which from below appear of immense height, seem now to sink, the lakes and vallies grow more exposed, and all the little rills and mountain streams by degrees become visible, like silver lines intersecting the hollows around.
Towards the upper part of the mountain is a tremendous ridge of rock, called Clawdd Coch, the red ridge. This narrow pass, not more than ten or twelve feet across, and two or three hundred yards in length, is so steep, that the eye reaches on one side down the whole extent of the mountain. And in some parts of it, if a person was to hold a large stone in each hand, and let them both fall at once, each might roll to such a distance that, when they stopped, they would be more than half a mile asunder.
A path is now formed which avoids the summit of this ridge, by passing several feet below it, but unless the wind is very high, or the traveller extremely timid, he should by no means avail himself of it, for the view from the summit of the ridge is very grand and wild.
There is no danger whatever in crossing Clawdd Coch in the day-time, but many instances occurred (previous to the formation of the above-mentioned path) of persons who, having passed over it in the night, were so terrified at seeing it by daylight the next morning, that they have not dared to return the same way, but have taken a very circuitous route by Bettws.
In the hollow, on the left of the ascent, are four small pools, called Llyn Coch, the red pool; Llyn y Nadroedd, the adder’s pool; Llyn Glas, the blue pool; and Llyn Flynnon y Gwas, the servant’s pool.
After passing Clawdd Coch the summit is soon reached.
[note:] There are two other ascents of Snowdon, the one from Llanberis, the other from Llyn Cwellyn on the Caernarvon road, which were frequently selected by tourists; but the former of these is now much neglected on account of its difficulty, and the latter on account of its being less interesting than the rest. When speaking of the ascent from Llanberis, care should be taken not to confound it with that from Dolbadarn, which is perhaps the best of any. [end of note.]
Bingley, W., Rev, Excursions in North Wales including Aberystwith and the Devil’s Bridge, intended as a guide to Tourists by the late Rev W Bingley. Third edition with corrections and additions made during Excursions in the year 1838 by his son W.R. Bingley B.A. of Trinity College, Oxford, with a … map by J. and C. Walker. (London, 1839), pp. 47, 126-143

Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, (1795-1854) climbed Snowdon three times. A description of his last ascent, in October, 1839 was included in his book which comprises an account of tours in Europe, but the final section compared the landscape of foreign lands with that of the mountains of Britain, including Wales.
Of the four British mountains which possess the most powerful influence for the imagination—Snowdon, Cader Idris, Helvellyn, and Ben Nevis—each has its own attributes; and though in each the most striking feature is that of dark precipice, this is so differently exhibited in each, that if any one familiar with them all could see a single precipice apart from its accessories, he might tell to which mountain it belongs. Of these mountains Snowdon forms beyond comparison the noblest aggregate; because except on the side opposite Caernarfon, its upper portion is all mighty frame-work; a top uplifted on vast buttresses ; disdaining the round lumpish earth, and spreading out skeleton arms towards heaven, and embracing on each side huge hollows, made more awful by the red tints of the copper ore which deepens among its shadows, and gleams through the scanty herbage of its loveliest pathways.

[note:] Perhaps I love Snowdon the better on account of its being the first great mountain I ever knew. I have ascended it several times; – from Capel Curig, from Llanberis, and from Beddgelert ; the last time on 1st October, 1839, from the latter place. I am tempted to extract the following account of my ascent, from some notes of an Autumn in Wales, made shortly afterwards, as a companion to my attempted descriptions of Continental scenery.
Ascent of Snowdon.
The morning dawned misty yet promising, and I engaged a car to take me three miles on to the place where the ascent commences. As I rode on the Caernarfon road, speculating on the state of things in the higher regions, I observed a pinnacle shot out its head from the mist far into the sky. I asked my guide what height it was; I was told that it was the peak of Snowdon. Seen over the round breast of an intervening hill, it did not look higher than many other points, but was remarkable for its spiral form, and was surmounted, certainly not adorned, by what here appeared to be a little stick, but which is a great piece of timber stuck up in the midst of a heap of stones—all reared by order of the Government for a landmark—as if the mountain were not great enough without the addition of this Cockney crown! We proceeded, keeping this tall head in view, till we reached a gate about three miles on the road, where we quitted the car and began the ascent. We now saw the whole of the southeast side of the mountain, which presented directly before us its second peak, with the highest just peering over it. Here the mountain did not, at first sight, appear high, not nearly so high as a slender rock we had passed—but on looking attentively at it, you could fancy it crouching to conceal its height. Its aspect was that of a stony hill, surmounted by a green shoulder, on which appeared a steep upward track, with a tall peak just peeping over the ridge, and beyond a long regular slant dark against the sky. We walked along a plashy path, very gently rising, to a farm-house, passed through its yard, and continued by the side of a little stream, curving upwards through the dark rushy meadow, till we reached the first serious ascent among heaps of rocks, which bestrew the lower part of the hill. We now began to feel ourselves rapidly rising, winding about among grass and pieces of rock, till we reached a great fiat stone on which we rested, and the view from which was remarkable. Before us lay the simple unadorned lake of Bettws, with its one great rock rising to shield it; beyond, seen through two ranges of hill, the towers of Carnarvon Castle; and below, but apparently quite close, Anglesey, seen mapped out to Holyhead. The sea spread its lovely blue on each side of Anglesey—but the Menai Straits were entirely hidden, and the effect was that of standing on a terrace of which the towers of Carnarvon formed the battlements, and looking directly down on a huge garden below. Hence ascending, we found the second peak rising far higher above us than the summit itself had appeared from the plain. A spring of clear, cold, exquisite water detained us a few minutes, as it is the highest on this side of the mountain. On the Capel Cerig side there is a spring not very far below the summit. Here I tasted the water, having prepared the way by a little brandy, with which the guide had taken care that we should be provided. Here we saw the sea in front as well as to the west, between the huge openings of the mountain, and looked into a great valley branching off in that direction to the sea, which contains two lakes within its depth, between which Wilson sat when drawing Snowdon. A little onward we reached the margin of the first great hollow of the mountain, not quite so grand as that below the summit of Cader, holding three small pools, instead of (like that) one great tarn. Along the side-hollow, up the shining track, we now laboured, and found it by far the hardest work of the ascent, though not so hard as the Fox‘s Path of Cader. Having surmounted this stiff brae, we turned to the left under the second peak beside the precipice, and soon came to a ridge connecting it with the summit—the grandest part, by far, of the ascent. We now looked into a greater precipice on the opposite side—the greatest of all Snowdon‘s hollows—overshadowed by a shelf of rock of the boldest form, holding a little lake in its depth, and descending to a green ridge, over which the road from Beddgelert to Capel Curig, in the vale of Gwynnett, is seen, like a line of blue among the green. Beyond the upward ridge I had glimpses of a third hollow—that which is ascended from Capel Curig—of the same character, but not quite so large. Hence the path to the summit was sometimes on one side the ridge, sometimes on the other, sometimes on its top; but quite easy, and (in spite of the fables of guide-books, which talk about people dying with fright in it) quite safe. After about two hours and a half’s walk from the road, we reached the summit, where I partook of some sandwiches and brandy-and-water with great relish. Here the mountain seems drawn to a point, as by five or six cords, shouldering to the plain; and within these to embrace great hollows, more or less precipitous, with pools or tarns in their depths. Near the top it is a mere bunch of ridges, surmounted by one slender apex, defended by rocky fragments like huge tusks. Climbing the mound of stones, I saw the entire panorama, in its kind matchless, but not so grand as the lower view from the ridge connecting the second peak with the summit. To the west lay Anglesey, the sea beyond, and I thought I caught a glimpse of the Wicklow mountains. To the north Moel Siabod and the great mountains between Capel Curig and the sea, forming the pass through which the road passes among great bare stony rocks glittering in the sun. To the south the mountains of Merioneth, among which Cader was easily to be distinguished, and for some minutes a gleam of light revealed the very side of its central precipices along which I had lately climbed, and beyond—blue in the distance—crouched Plinlimmon. To the cast a wilderness of mountain, and round at least two-thirds of the view the blue ocean poured; as round the Shield of Achilles. The most remarkable feature of this great prospect is the mountain tarns, which gleam upon you from the bosoms of the hills. I counted twenty-three. Among them, one very far up its own mountain, gleamed out as from a brimming basin, over the Holyhead road, just visible in its huge bed of rock, at least 1500 feet above the neighbouring track of human traffic. I remained on the summit nearly an hour, during which time I was joined by a young friend and two ladies, who had ascended from Llanberis. On the descent we walked over the crown of the second peak, whence, and from the ridge, the view is really nobler than from the summit, because the neighbouring mountains are seen in nobler proportion. The distances, never very clear, grew more hazy; but they are never very important in mountain prospects. The guide offered to take me down into the Vale of Gwynett, through the great hollow; but I declined, fearing the wetness of the ground, and thinking the usual descent sufficiently grand; and so it was. [end of note]
Talfourd, Thomas, Noon, Sir (1795-1854), Vacation rambles and thoughts: comprising the recollections of three continental tours, in the vacations of 1841, 1842, and 1843, (1844), pp. 329-331
(2nd edition, London : E. Moxon, 1845)
(3rd edition, London : E. Moxon, 1851)
Also published in Black’s Picturesque Guide to North Wales, (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black; Chester: Catherall and Prichard, 1858), pp.

Tennyson is known to have visited Llanberis in 1839 where he wrote ‘Edwin Morris’ and it seems likely that he climbed Snowdon that year. He used Snowdon as a backdrop to his poem ‘The Golden Year’ in which he expressed his concerns about the current state of Britain. On a prosaic level, the poem tells us that he climbed Snowdon with ‘Old James’ and after descending, met Leonard at Llanberis and crossed the valley to the slate quarries where the poem ends with the echoes of blasting. The poem was first published in 1846.
Well, you shall have that song which Leonard wrote:
It was last summer on a tour in Wales:
Old James was with me: we that day had been
Up Snowdon; and I wish’d for Leonard there,
And found him in Llanberis: then we crost
Between the lakes, and clamber’d half-way up
The counterside;

He spoke; and, high above, I heard them blast
The steep slate-quarry, and the great echo flap
And buffet round the hills from bluff to bluff.

In the seventh part of “The Princess” Tennyson used a sudden storm which he might have experienced on Snowdon as a simile for a crisis in Lady Ida’s life.
As one that climbs a peak to gaze
O’er land and main, and sees a great black cloud
Drag inward from the deeps, a wall of night,
Blot out the slope of sea from verge to shore,
And suck the blinding splendour from the sand,
And quenching lake by lake and tarn by tarn
Expunge the world.

Wright, H.G., Tennyson and Wales : His tours in Wales. Welsh outlook, Vol. 15, No. 3, March 1928, pp. 60-63