Snowdon to be called Yr Wyddfa

The National Park Authority voted that Wales’ highest mountain will be referred to by its Welsh name

Read time 2 mins

Published Nov 17, 2022

Base editorial team
BASE editorial team BASE writers and editors who live and breathe adventure every day. We love adventure storytelling as much as we love adventure itself.

Snowdonia National Park Authority said it took ‘decisive action’ after more than 5,000 people signed a petition calling for Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) and Eryri (Snowdonia) to be called by their Welsh names, rather than the English equivalent. The park’s head of cultural heritage, Naomi Jones, told BBC Wales that Welsh place names were part of Eryri’s ‘special qualities’.

‘By referring to our most renowned landmarks by their Welsh names, we give people from all over the world the opportunity to engage with the Welsh language and its rich culture,’ she said, adding that many public bodies already used Yr Wyddfa and Eryri.

‘This is very encouraging and gives us confidence that this change in the authority’s approach will be accepted for the benefit of the Welsh language and as a mark of respect to our cultural heritage,’ she said.

A motion to stop using the English names was first put forward last year by Gwynedd councillor John Pughe Roberts, who said that many people in the country were ‘complaining that people are changing house names, rock names, renaming the mountains’.

Yr Wyddfa stands at 3,560ft © Haseeb RIzvi

Yr Wyddfa stands at 3,560ft (1,085m) and attracts around 400,000 walkers a year. It is Wales’ highest mountain and the highest point in the British Isles.

The mountain has been a cause for concern amongst conservationists in recent years, as over-tourism caused a marked increase in footpath erosion, littering and irresponsible wild camping. Mountain rescue teams also expressed concern about the rise in unprepared and ill-equipped walkers setting out on the peak. In 2021, the National Park Authority implemented measures to mitigate damage and manage visitor numbers, including shuttle buses and a booking system for carparks.

This year, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) also entered into talks with European federations about changing the team’s name to Cymru – the Welsh name for Wales. Cymru is already used by the Welsh FA in its internal and external communications, but the FAW is considering the merits of changing the country’s name in international competitions too.

In this feature, BASE Collective member Jethro Kiernan showcases the brutal beauty of winter in Eryri – a wonderland of winter mountaineering, skiable snow and climbable ice walls.

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