My name is Matt Elliott and I'm very passionate about Snowdonia. I have the luxury of living locally, and have spent an enormous amount of time in the mountains. I am very familiar with the Welsh 3000s route, having walked every section of it a large number of times.
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Have you any advice on walking the Welsh 3000s as a mutiple day challenge?
It is very common for people to take on the Welsh 3000s as a multiple day challenge. Timescales normally range from two to five days.
Three days is the ideal timescale as the walk is naturally divided into three sections, with some form of accommodation option in each valley. There are campsites and bunkhouses in Nant Peris and at Llyn Ogwen, and a Youth Hostel at Llyn Ogwen (see the Accommodation on the Route section on the Links page).
The best strategy for a two day challenge is possibly to complete the Snowdon and Glyder sections the first day, and the Carnedds on the second. However, this involves a very long first day, which may prove too much for some groups/individuals. Another option is to carry camping equipment, so that you can wild-camp somewhere on the Glyders. Suitable wild-camp locations include Llyn y Cwn (between Y Garn and Glyder Fawr), or Llyn Bochlwyd (a short walk down from the col between Glyder Fach and Tryfan).
Bear in mind that if you carry your camping equipment it is likely to slow you down considerably. A support group is very useful as they can transport your camping equipment from place to place. If you require a little more luxury they could possibly drive you to a hotel or B&B in Capel Curig or Llanberis for the night.
If you only have one car, it is possible to complete the Welsh 3000s as three separate circular walks. For the Snowdon section use the "Alternative Route" to get to the top of Snowdon, then descend back to the start point via the Pyg Track. For the Glyder section use the ascent of Y Garn on Glyder Training Route Two, then reverse the Welsh 3000s route to Elidir Fawr, then complete the Glyder section of the route as normal. For the Carnedd section, complete the route to Foel Fras as normal, then retrace the route back to Carnedd Llewelyn, then take the descent used in Carnedd Training Route One. Bear in mind that for the Glyder and Carnedd sections this will add a considerable extra distance to the walk.
What is the best way to complete this challenge from North to South?
For the most part, the route on this website can simply be reversed. Some points to bear in mind are:
- Completing the route in this direction involves attempting the most dangerous part of the route, the Crib Goch ridge, at the end of the walk. At this stage you are likely to be very tired, and it could also be starting to get dark.
- The best starting point by far is Bwlch y Ddeufaen. Of all the starting points, it is the highest, and is also the closest to your initial peak. Navigation in the dark is fairly straightforward, as you can follow a fence all the way to first summit.
- The westerly ascent of Tryfan used in descent on a South-North attempt is very steep. Personally, I would use the easterly “Heather Terrace” ascent of Tryfan. However, the initial section of this route is not particularly easy to find if you have not practised it beforehand.
- Most people use the reverse of the traditional route rather than the alternative route as their final section. The advantage of this is that there is a fitting finish on the top of Snowdon, the highest peak. Also, there is a very clear and easy route down to Llanberis from Snowdon that can be used in the dark. However, it is perfectly feasible to use the alternative route instead if required, but the descent from Crib Goch to Pen y Pass is hazardous in the dark.
I only have one car. How can I get back to the start once I’ve finished?
This challenge is much easier to organise if you have more than one car. However, this is not always possible.
It's debatable as to which end-point is the best if you will need to use public transport to get back to the start. Abergwyngregyn probably has a slight advantage over Bwlch y Ddeufaen unless you are staying overnight at Rowen.
You can either leave your car at the start-point or the end-point of the walk. Either way, you will have to use public transport at some point to get back from the end of the walk to the start. A bus could take a long time eg. from Abergwyngregyn this involves a two mile walk and two bus changes. Also bear in mind that the Sherpa services don't tend to run late in the evening or very early in the morning. A taxi is an easier option but is likely to cost at least £40 (and more at night) from Abergwyngregyn or Bwlch y Ddeufaen. There is a section on Travel Information on the Links page.
The advantage of leaving your car at the end-point is that you will not have the inconvenience of trying to call a taxi when you are very tired. Also, there is no charge at the car parks at the end-points, but there is a charge for the car park at the Pen y Pass start point. You can get a taxi back to Pen y Pass on the morning of the walk, but this would involve an extremely early start. Alternatively, you can get a bus or taxi back the day before the walk, and stay the night in the Pen y Pass Youth Hostel, Pen y Gwryd Hotel, or alternatively somewhere in Llanberis (using the Llanberis Path to make your ascent of Snowdon).
The advantage of leaving the car at the start-point is that if you drop out in the first half of the walk it is likely to be possible to walk back to your car. However, bear in mind that there will probably be no mobile signal at the end-points, so you may have to call a taxi before you complete the walk, while you are still on higher ground. Another option would be to stay the night at the end point and work your way back to the start the next day, when the buses will be running and the taxis will possibly be cheaper. There is no accommodation at Abergwyngregyn, but a couple of miles from Bwlch y Ddeufaen are Rowen Youth Hostel and Cefn Cae campsite.