Some said Wales’ highest peak was now ‘busier than Blackpool’ but National Park bosses said litter and parking problems were no bigger than usual
Those hoping to make the most of the Easter weekend sunshine at Snowdonia were faced with queues worse than at Alton Towers, some have complained.
Parking lots and parking lots were packed, and online accusations about visitors finding human poo on Snowdon sparked heated debate.
Some said Wales’s highest peak was now “busier than Blackpool”, others noted that queues for Alton Tower rides were often shorter than the wait to reach Snowdon’s summit, North Wales Live reports.
Critics said the weekend turned into a “Piccadilly Circus” on the mountain, spoiling its unique appeal.
Images showed the long lines winding down from the mountaintop.
However, the National Park bosses said that problems with litter and parking were no bigger than usual.
When it came to parking, the only problem with illegal parking was on the A5 in the Ogwen Valley, with some motorists removing traffic cones next to sidewalks, according to the Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA).
And one person hit back online at criticism from tourists flocking to Snowdonia.
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This person wrote: “For the majority of the 600,000 people who climb it annually, it is and will be the highest mountain they will ever climb.”
Another said it was “perfectly reasonable” for people to go to the mountains of Gwynedd on weekends when the weather is nice.
She added: “Not everyone has the luxury of free time during the week or when things are quieter early in the morning.
“These are popular, accessible routes, especially for people who have been waiting for a day off and good weather. Yes, sure, parking is a nightmare, and I get that, but calling people muppets or idiots is a bit unfair, at least they get out.”
Given the importance of tourism in North Wales, some people said it was disappointing to see so much “whining” about Snowdonia’s walkers.
SNPA has long promoted the less-visited peaks of southern Snowdonia, but with mixed results.
The Rhinogs have reportedly been quiet this weekend, as visitors were drawn to Snowdon and Tryfan. However, Cadair Idris, near Dolgellau, had a busy Easter.
The weekend’s queues brought litter and toilet use, and there are concerns that too many people are ill-equipped for a day in the mountains.
Experts fear that novices will take dangerous routes beyond their capabilities.
Someone commented: “It’s great to see so many people come to Eryri (Snowdonia) to enjoy this exceptional area.
“But only by working together can we continue to protect and preserve these fragile landscapes.”
Getting caught in the mountains is an age-old problem and has long been a problem for the staff and volunteers who keep Snowdon clean.
SNPA said they had worked “tiringly” over the weekend, but a spokesperson added: “The cases dealt with over the weekend are not new issues.
“The conclusion of the staff and volunteers on the ground showed that the problems were not as serious as reported in the media.”
To cope with Snowdon’s 700,000 annual visitors and to deal with parking problems elsewhere in the national park, bus services have been improved this year.
During peak times, the Snowdon Sherpa operation runs every 15 minutes.
An SNPA spokesperson added: “We are placing sensors in all of our parking lots around the foothills of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon).
“This allows potential visitors to make informed decisions about which areas to visit and have a backup plan when the parking garages are at full capacity.”