The highest mountain in Wales, Snowdon, and the tallest peak in southern Britain, Pen y Fan are both great walks if you want to spend a day in the Welsh countryside.
Snowdon is situated in North Wales within Snowdonia National Park and has a number of routes to be climbed, ranging from easy to more challenging.
This makes it a good mountain to tackle for anybody, but walkers should make sure they know their limits and choose the route most suitable to them.
Pen y Fan is located in Brecon Beacons National Park and is a very popular peak to climb in South Wales.
Its popularity probably stems from the fact that on a fine day the view from the top takes in the Bristol Channel, Gower Peninsular and Swansea Bay.
Which of these two peaks you decide to tackle may depend on which part of Wales you are in, but both make for a good day’s walking.
The weather can turn quickly, especially in Wales, therefore even on a sunny day it is important to take the right equipment when embarking on climbing a mountain.
Proper wet weather walking boots
, water resistant clothing like over trousers
and jackets and layers are all recommended in order to adapt your attire to whatever the Welsh weather decides to throw at you.
A map and compass are always a good idea when going hill walking.
Ordnance Survey suggests map sheet number OL17 in the OS Explorer series, which covers Snowdon and the surrounding area.
For Pen y Fan it recommends OL12 in the same series.
There are six routes to choose from when climbing Snowdon:
1. The Beddgelert Path
The easiest route up Snowdon, it is perfect for beginners and features a gradual climb to the top.
2. The Ranger Track
This route has wonderful views, despite the relative ease of the climb – most people of reasonable fitness will be able to reach the summit this way.
3. The Miners’ Track
Split into two halves, the first part of this route is very straightforward, but gets tougher as you near the summit.
4. The Pyg Track
The Pyg Track is a harder climb throughout and starts at the same point at the Miners’ Track and features beautiful scenery.
5. The Watkins Path
This route should only be attempted by those who know what they are doing, as it is the hardest way up Snowdon, complete with loose scree and it is easy to lose the path.
6. The Llanberis Path
An alternative to the other routes, the Llanberis Path is much longer than all the other options, but is quite easy and goes along near the trains.
Climbing Pen y Fan
A classic horseshoe route can be taken which also includes Corn Du and is generally regarded by more experienced walkers to be the best way to scale the mountain.
It involves a spectacular ridge, but despite the steep drops the paths are well maintained so it is not as daunting as it sounds.
Alternatively there is an easier route which starts from the Storey Arms car park and involves two parallel paths.
Most people who tackle Pen y Fan do so using these paths and ascend via one and descend by means of the other.
Look out for the Tommy Jones’ Obelisk which was erected after a five-year-old boy went missing on the mountain in 1900.
If you are planning to climb one of these welsh mountains make sure you are equipped the the right climbing and walking gear. Everything you need can be found at www.trekwear.co.uk