King Arthur and the giant
Snowdon is linked to the legend of King Arthur, who makes an appearance in many of the Mabinogi tales and is heavily associated with Wales. According to legend, Snowdon is said to be the burial place of Rhita Fawr, the strongest and most violent of all giants, who was vanquished by King Arthur after a dawn battle at the summit.
Arthur and his men were said to have piled rocks onto the fallen giant to form the mountain’s peak and the place was named Gwyddfa Rhita, “Rhita’s Tomb”, which over time became Yr Wyddfa, Snowdon. Some believe that Arthur’s knights still sleep beneath the summit.
The mountains that form Snowdonia were shaped by volcanoes many years ago and sculpted by glaciation. The resulting cliff faces on Snowdon, including Clogwyn Du’r Arddu, make the ideal challenging training ground for rock climbers and mountaineers.
Sir Edmund Hilary, perhaps the most famous mountaineer in history, came to these hills and ridges to train and test his equipment prior to his famous ascent of Everest, which he successfully completed on 29 May 1953 accompanied by the Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay.
The legend of Canthrig Bwt
Canthrig Bwt, a wild woman who, according to local folklore, was thought to eat little children, lived under a huge stone called the Gromlech, which is a striking rock outcrop still visible today in the Llanberis Pass.
One day, some children went missing from the town of Ganthrig. The town’s residents looked for them, and later on, a local man, who was out walking his dog, uncovered some children’s bones. Nearby, the witch Canthrig Bwt was seen rushing back to her home, the Gromlech. The man followed her and confronted her, and as she came out of her home, he swung his axe and chopped off her head. That was the end of Canthrig Bwt.
Take a closer look at our newer diesel carriages and you’ll see that each one has been named after significant Welsh people who are fantastic international ambassadors for our country. We invite these prestigious ambassadors to officially unveil their carriage and ride it to Snowdon’s summit.
Some of the people to be honoured include classical singing sensation Katherine Jenkins OBE, the global icon and superstar Dame Shirley Bassey DBE, opera and theatre star Sir Bryn Terfel CBE and the renowned cyclist and director of Team Sky, Sir David Brailsford.