Some said Wales’ highest peak was now ‘busier than Blackpool’, but National Park bosses said problems with littering and parking were no more significant than usual
Those hoping to make the most of the Easter weekend sunshine on Snowdonia were met with queues worse than Alton Towers, some have complained.
Car parks and laybys were full and online allegations about visitors finding human poo on Snowdon sparked heated debates.
Some said Wales’ highest peak was now “busier than Blackpool”, others noted that queuing times for Alton Tower’s 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, which spoiled its unique appeal.
Images showed the long queues snaking down from the mountain’s peak.
However, National Park bosses said problems with littering and parking were no more significant than usual.
When it came to parking, only on the A5 in the Ogwen Valley there were issues of illegal parking with some motorists removing traffic cones next to pavements, according to the Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA).
And one person online hit back at the criticism of tourists flocking to Snowdonia.
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This person wrote: “To the majority of the 600,000 people a year who climb it, it is and will be the highest mountain they will ever summit.”
Another chimed in saying it was “perfectly reasonable” for people to head to Gwynedd’s mountains at weekends when the weather is good.
She added: “Not everyone has the luxury of time off in the week or when it’s quieter early in the morning.
“These are popular, accessible routes, especially for people who have been waiting for a day off and the weather to be OK. Yeh sure, the parking is a nightmare, and I get that, but to call people muppets or idiots is a bit unfair, at least they are getting outside.”
Given the importance of tourism to North Wales, some people said its was disappointing to see so much “moaning” about Snowdonia’s walkers.
SNPA has long promoted the less-visited peaks of southern Snowdonia but with mixed results.
The Rhinogs were reported to be quiet over the weekend as visitors gravitated to the likes of Snowdon and Tryfan. However, Cadair Idris, near Dolgellau, had a busy Easter.
The weekend’s queues brought littering and toileting, and there is concern that too many people are going ill-equipped for a day on the mountains.
Experts fear novices are choosing dangerous routes beyond their capabilities.
One commented: “It is great to see so many people coming to Eryri (Snowdonia) to enjoy this exceptional area.
“But it is only through working together that we can continue to protect and preserve these fragile landscapes.”
People being caught short on the mountains is an age-old problem and has long been an issue for the staff and volunteers who keep Snowdon clean.
SNPA said they had worked “tirelessly” over the weekend but a spokesperson added: “The matters that were addressed over the weekend are not new problems.
“The conclusion from the staff and volunteers on the ground showed the issues were not as significant as were reported in the media.”
To cope with Snowdon’s 700,000 annual visitors, and to accommodate parking problems elsewhere in the national park, bus services have been improved this year.
At peak times, the Snowdon Sherpa operation is running every 15 minutes.
An SNPA spokesperson added: “We are placing sensors at all our car parks around the foothills of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon).
“This will enable potential visitors to make informed decisions about which areas they wish to visit and have a back-up plan if the car parks are at full capacity.”