Route: Snowdon Section - Traditional Route

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The Welsh 3000s Challenge begins from the summit of the first peak, so you can either walk up Snowdon early in the morning (ideally in the dark), or you can camp/bivvy here overnight. If you camp you will have a good head start in the morning. However, it is likely to be difficult to get a good night's sleep, as Snowdon's summit is a busy and noisy place even at night. You will also have to carry extra kit for at least the first section of the route.

Snowdon ascent

  • Start at the Pen y Pass car park at SH 647 556. If you can’t park here you will have to exit the car park, turn right and park at the bottom of the hill on the side of the A498.
  • Follow the Pyg Track (not the Miners Track). The path you need to take is at the far right of the car park.
  • At Bwlch y Moch ensure that you don’t turn right up Crib Goch by mistake.
  • Follow the well defined path all the way to the ridge near the summit.
  • When you get to the ridge (there is a big marker stone here), turn left to the summit.
  • There is a very small, relatively sheltered spot for camping on the ridge between the marker stone and the summit. It is beneath a rocky area between the path and the railway. Alternatively, in the past I have secured my tent down with stones, next to the summit building.

(This route of ascent is likely to be the best option for most people. However, there are many other ways to get to the top of Snowdon, including a good path that leads up from Llanberis, where there are plenty of hotels, guest houses and bunkhouses.)

Garnedd Ugain

  • Follow the ridge back down past the marker stone.
  • Just after the stone there is a path on your right which leads to the summit trig point (Make sure you don’t miss this path or you'll end up in Llanberis!).
  • On the way down towards Crib Goch from the summit of Garnedd Ugain there is one short section of steep scrambling descent.

Crib Goch ascent

  • Extremely dangerous. There are sharp drops on either side, especially on the North side. Take great care.
  • First you have to tackle the two pinnacles. You don’t have to go right over the top of either of them because neither is the summit. I find the best way is to climb the first, descend it to the left (care!), then traverse around the right of the second.
  • After the second pinnacle a short ascent takes you to the summit (Many people mistakenly believe the summit is further along the ridge, at the point where the path from Pen y Pass is met).
  • Knowing your way, and knowing exactly which point is the summit can save you lots of time and worry!

Descent from Crib Goch

Crib Goch descent
  • You can see an area of scree ahead on your left that leads down to a more grassy area. Your aim is to get down to this grassy area.
    The best way is to carry on along the ridge until you can descend slightly on your left to a faint path across the scree. Carry on traversing the scree for a fair distance before you turn left downhill to descend the scree.
  • Navigation is very difficult now. There are no paths. Work your way down and to the left (but not too far left) to descend steeply next to a stream that is to the right of Llyn Glas on the map, passing just to the left of SH 620 560.
    (You could use a route to the left of this which descends from Llyn Glas, but it is longer. Alternatively, a route following a stream further to the right is shorter but extremely steep.)
  • Turn right downhill at the flatter section at the bottom (Cwm Glas Mawr). Work your way down and to the left to meet a path which leads to the wooden bridge at Blaen-y-nant, grid ref SH 623 570 (photo below).
camp site
  • Cross the bridge and turn left down the A4086 road. If possible, you should have a car parked in the lay-by on the left of the road just below the bridge. Failing this, your car can be parked in the village of Nant Peris, possibly in the "Park and Ride" car park.

(An alternative descent route of Crib Goch is to turn around at the summit and retrace your steps back to Bwlch Coch. From here you can drop steeply to your right into the cwm, picking up the route described above.)