Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, at an elevation of 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level, and the highest point in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands. It is located in Snowdonia National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri) in Gwynedd (historic county of Caernarfonshire). It is the busiest mountain in the United Kingdom and the third most visited attraction in Wales; in 2018 it was visited by 558,000 walkers, with an additional 140,000 people taking the train. It is designated as a national nature reserve for its rare flora and fauna.
The rocks that form Snowdon were produced by volcanoes in the Ordovician period, and the massif has been extensively sculpted by glaciation, forming the pyramidal peak of Snowdon and the arêtes of Crib Goch and Y Lliwedd. The cliff faces on Snowdon, including Clogwyn Du’r Arddu, are significant for rock climbing, and the mountain was used by Edmund Hillary in training for the 1953 ascent of Mount Everest.
The summit can be reached by a number of paths (there are 6 main paths) and by the Snowdon Mountain Railway, a rack railway opened in 1896 which carries passengers the 4.7 miles (7.6 km) from Llanberis to the summit station. The summit building, called Hafod Eryri, houses a cafe and is open only when the railway is operating; it opened in 2009 to replace one built in the 1930s. The railway generally operates from March to the end of October, with trains running to the summit station from May. The daily running schedule depends on weather and customer demand.
Length: 6.8 kilometres (4.2 mi). Elevation gain: 965 metres (3,166 ft). Overall gradient: 1 in 7.1 (14.1%).
The Llanberis Path is the longest route to the summit. It follows the line of the railway and being the easiest and least interesting, it is the route used by the annual Snowdon Race, which has a record time of less than 40 minutes recorded from the start to the summit.
The section of the Llanberis Path beside the railway near the summit has been called the “Killer Convex”; in icy conditions, this convex slope can send unwary walkers over the cliffs of Clogwyn Du’r Arddu. Four people died there in February 2009. This is a James Bond and Tomb Raider Filming Location.
The James Bond series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short-story collections. Since Fleming’s death in 1964, eight other authors have written authorised Bond novels or novelisations: Kingsley Amis, Christopher Wood, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver, William Boyd and Anthony Horowitz. The latest novel is Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz, published in May 2018. Additionally Charlie Higson wrote a series on a young James Bond, and Kate Westbrook wrote three novels based on the diaries of a recurring series character, Moneypenny.
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