The Highest mountain in England and Wales
Although there were many mountains to choose from, we’ve set our sights on the iconic Welsh peak of Snowdon. At over 3,000 feet above sea level, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and England and it’s summit is inaccessible to wheelchairs.
With a return distance of 9 miles and 1,000 meters of ascent, the most viable route to the top of Snowdon is the Llanberis Path. Leaving the village of Llanberis, the first obstacle is a very steep road which gets you to the start of the path. The wheelchair will need to have sufficient power to get up this steep incline, but also be small enough to fit through the gate which bars the way to the mountain path.
For the most part, the path is quite consistent and well maintained, although in parts it becomes far more rugged and broken. By far the most challenging part of this route though will be a steep concrete stair-case which marks the last few meters to the mountain’s summit.
The images below show the types of terrain that will be encountered and you can follow the path yourself using Google’s Street View. Clearly this is not a path for your average wheelchair.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
This video of the Snowdon Mountain Railway gives a clear view of the type of terrain the wheelchair will encounter as it approaches the summit:
As you can see in the video, the Llanberis path runs almost parallel to the railway. Where other wheelchairs have got up the mountain in the past, I would hazard a guess that they’ve used the railway. It is reassuring to know that if need be, difficulties on the rocky path can be avoided by using the railway, but that would be defeating the purpose. The challenge is to get to the top of Snowdon using the footpath, after all, how many other mountains have railways to the top?