"Das Urgestein"

Name of traveller

Gerhard Waldherr (b. 1960)

Reason for travel

  • research for the special issue of a German travel magazine

Date of travel

undated, ca. early 2010s

Der dritte Tag nach der Ankunft in Llanberis. Der Auftrag: Besteigung des Snowdon. Die Erkenntnis bis hierher: Nordwalisisches Wetter neigt selbst im Juni zu grober Übellaunigkeit. (Waldherr 74)


  • architecture: comparison of the newly built Snowdon Summit Visitor Centre to a lost spaceship
  • art: illustrated throughout with photographs by Klaus Bossemeyer (b. 1953) taken during a different excursion
  • clothing: description of hiking attire, its cost and adequacy for mountain walking in rainy climate
  • customs: references to local legends surrounding Snowdon, such as Rhita Gawr, King Arthur, the Afanc and fairies
  • history: brief mention of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd (1223-1282) and the loss of Welsh independence
  • literature: quotes from Thomas Pennant's (1726-1798) and Fürst von Pückler-Muskau's (1785-1871) descriptions of Snowdon
  • people: character sketch of professional mountain guide Mike Laing
  • recreation:
    • excursion by car into the near surroundings of Llanberis
    • guided hiking tour to the summit of Snowdon during a thunder storm
    • contains statistics regarding annual visitors to the summit of Snowdon
  • terrain:
    • constant references to the rainy weather
    • descriptions of the terrain around Snowdon and the mountain itself and the different paths leading to the summit
    • Snowdon described as a symbol for the struggle of survival of Welsh culture
    • notes on wildlife and botanical peculiarities surrounding Snowdon
    • notes on the erosion around Snowdon owing to great amount of mountaineers and climate change
  • transport:
    • modes of travel: bus; car; on foot; mountain railway
    • description of the Snowdon Mountain Railway
  • click here to read the full account

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Type of publication

illustrated travelogue


Waldherr, Gerhard. "Das Urgestein." MERIAN 10 (20 Sep. 2012): 68-77. Print.