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Full-time teacher, author, and freelance International Mountain Leader, Ali has been wearing Meindl boots and hiking shoes for over 18 years, walking them into the ground until they finally give up the ghost.
The wild landscapes of Snowdonia are particularly attractive in springtime with long mountain days, freshly emerging flowers from under a blanket of snow, and extensive panoramic views with unblemished horizons. This is the best time of year to experience the splendor and beauty of the 1,497 miles of public footpaths and 164 miles of bridleways throughout 9 mountain ranges in Wales’ longest established National Park since 1951.
Snowdonia National Park is the third largest in the UK offering 823 square miles (860 acres) of wilderness to explore, alongside 37 miles of coastline, running from the Llŷn Peninsula, south towards Cadir Idris in the southern section of the Park. Meindl offers a vast range of high quality shoes and boots to explore every mile of the National Park, whether it be wearing the Meindl Respond GTX low rise hiking shoes for a fast approach and day walk, to the sturdier Bhutan MFS classic hill walking boot for overnighter and more adventurous explorer. Alongside the glacially cut valleys, there are 15 mountains reaching over 3,000 ft in height, perfect for those wishing to scramble their way up graded routes such as the north face of Tryfan. For these adventures, the Meindl Himalaya MFS offers a serious mountain walking boot with a stiff sole, wide rubber reinforcement to guard against rock abrasion and the option of attaching crampons in winter conditions.
The perfect day walk in Snowdonia consists of a traverse of the Glyderau, taking in the Devil’s Kitchen, Cwm Idwal and the iconic serrated peak of Tryfan. Not for the feint-hearted or inexperienced scrambler, the ascent of the north face of Tryfan can easily be avoided by taking the path next to the visitor centre at the western end of the Ogwen Valley, before ascending by Llyn Bochlwyd. The panoramic views upon summiting the Glyder plateau are out of this world; Snowdon (1,065m) and Crib Goch feels a stones-throw away to the south-west. The Cantilever Stone and Castell y Gwynt (frost-shattered vertical rocks) are found on a rocky outcrop near the summit of Glyder Fach (994m); another iconic location to snap a photo – see above. Traversing west, you summit Glyder Fawr (1,001m) before descending north through the Devil’s Kitchen into Cwm Idwal, one of the most dramatic mountainous scenes in the UK. The round-trip is just over 10km in length, with over 1,000m of ascent.