Snowdon Wales believes Snowdon’s summit has to be the smallest in the world served by a public transport system. Other small mountain summits all have their rail stations and facilities somewhat much further below the actual summit. Comparable situations include the Cocovados (Brazil) Brienz Rothorn, Pilatus and Niesen (Switzerland) as shown in the pictures below.
Snowdon’s Summit is extremely small in comparision yet the peak manages a railway station, cafeteria and shop, staff facilities and electricity generation. How quaintly British!
The Cocovados, Brienz Rothorn, Pilatus and Niesen all have buildings/terminal stations well below the summits.
The Schilthorn and Santis have their buildings plonked right on the peak itself. And yet so much more roomy than that of Y Wyddfa’s.
Mountains in Switzerland are now being served entirely by cable cars, which allow the summit buildings to be plonked right on top of a small peak. Two examples are the Schilthorn and the Santis in the above pictures. Both are larger than Snowdon’s tiny summit.
Switzerland’s Schilthorn (9,744ft) is the smallest of the two (with a slightly larger size summit compared to Snowdon’s) but its Piz Gloria offers tons more space and facilites than Hafod Eryri could ever! The Schilthorn is served by a single cable car which involves far less terminal space and allows more facilities including a revolving restaurant (the Piz Gloria), a sun deck, and many other facilities. On the face of it, can anyone imagine James Bond chugging up Snowdon by steam train to face his arch enemy Blofeld? Despite Snowdon and 007 being British institutions it doesnt quite work the same does it?
For a Swiss mountain, the Schilthorn is quite surprisingly not much bigger than Snowdon. This might sound like a crazy assertion. Yet the Swiss mountain sits on top of a huge massif that supports nine peaks towering over the Lauterbrunnen valley. The Schilthorn is the second highest of these. Walking up there involves an ascent from Allmendhubel, a very pretty alpine village (elevation 6273ft) closest to the base of the Schilthorn. The total climb is 3471ft. That’s just 171ft more than the ascent of Snowdon via the Watkin path!
© 2010 Gwychder y Wyddfa/Snowdon Splendour/Snowdon Wales