Wild About Wales
Guided Mountain Walking

Climb Snowdon
The Miner's track approach to Snowdon.

Elevation above sea level: 3560ft (1085m)

Maximum height gain walking to summit by the Wadkin path: 3329ft (1015m)

Return journey time: typically 7 to 8 hours

Return distance: 7 to 9 miles depending on route.

This view is of the summit in winter from close to the Miners track

Price: guided ascents of Snowdon
  • Single day guided walking        
Price per person per day* £40
*Supplement if only 1 or 2 people £15 per person
Group rates Please call.
Private guiding day rate £150

The routes up Snowdon
By the standard of any mountain range in the world, the Snowdon massif is exceptional. What this moutain lacks in height by global standards, it more than makes up for by the complexity of its architecture. Depending how you look at it there are up to 10 distinct natural lines of ascent on this hill, but even these leave almost unlimited scope for variation, taking in the little visited cwms and gulleys that abound its flanks. Starting at the North (Llanberis) end, and working clockwise round the mountain, here are the 10 routes that we regularly take groups on:

The North Ridge
The North ridge route begins close to LLanberis and follows a route more or less parallel to the railway track and the crest of the ridge. It is mainly a steady uphill walk with one or two slightly steeper sections.

Crib Goch
The ascent via Crib Goch is the most demanding of the routes listed here. It starts from the car park at the crest of the LLanberis Pass and involves some scambling (that is hands as well as feet on rock). Close proximity to some very long drops is a feature of this route so a head for heights and a preparedness to accept being in a slightly scary situation would be rewarded with a real mountain route.

The Miners' track and the PYG track
These two paths start from the same place as the Crib Goch route and have the same height gain. The start point is fairly high so actual height gain by walking is somewhat less than on the other routes.

The Miners track follows the well made dirt road that used to serve the Brittania copper mine. The first few miles are at a fairly gentle gradient and there is pleasant waterside walking. A steep section follows as the path leaves the dirt road and wends up the back of the cwm to gain the summit ridge. Half way up it joins the PYG track.

The PYG track by contrast begins along a rocky path and gains height in several steps. It is more of a mountain route than the Miners track and provides high level views over the two lakes; Llyn Llydaw and Llyn Glaslyn. The two paths meet at the back of the cwm and zig zag up to the finger stone at the Bwlch (low point or col) on the summit ridge.

LLiwedd Ridge
This route, includes the independent twin peaks of Lliwedd. These are high exposed summits with a steep drop to the East. Once past these tops the route joins the Wadkin Path. Traditionally the LLiwedd ridge forms part of the route known as the "Snowdon Horseshoe" which ascends Snowdon via Crib Goch and descends via Lliwedd.

The Watkin Path
This begins at a lower elevation than the others so it has the greatest height gain (by a few metres). It is a route of historic interest as it was officially opened in 1892 by Prime Minister Gladstone, and passes a large memorial plaque to the event on the way at "Gladstone Rock". The route is a well defined track that traverses the lower slopes of Lliwedd. There are occasional steep parts on the way up to the final Scree slope. When the path was opened this section was made passable with wooden decking and rails, but these have all disappeared apart from the occasionally scrap of timber to be seen in a gully here and there. Consequently the upper section has become more challenging and requires careful progress. Watch for stones dislodged by parties above you on this route.

The South Ridge via Cwm Llan
This route follows the Watkin path for a mile or so before taking a line left accross broad hill side to the bwlch (pass or col) that lies at the end of the South Ridge below and the independent peak of Yr Arran. The route then follows the South ridge to the summit incorporating some (avoidable) easy scrambling at one point. Higher up on the ridge there are some spectacular situations with long drops on either side. But this route does not have the exposure of Crib Goch and makes a great route for walkers.

The South Ridge via the Rhyd Ddu Path
The start of the Ryd Ddu path provides an approach to the North Ridge from the opposite side of the mountain to Cwm Llan. In fact the route only follows the Rhyd Ddu path for half a mile or so at which point it continues along another one of Snowdon's quarry tracks. Just before gaining the South ridge the route passes thorugh extensive slate quarry workings. A tunnel close to here with a hidden entrance leads to a deep quarry pit to which we take groups en route to the summit; time permitting.

The Rhyd Ddu Path
From the narrow guage railway station at the village of Rhyd Ddu this route meanders up the hillside to gain the ridge of Llechog. Llechog in turn joins the South ridge fairly high up on the mountain and above the scramble mentioned on the Cwm Llan route earlier. There is a section requiring care at the junction with the south ridge but this is an ideal route for walkers.

The Ranger path
This is another ideal route for walkers and is often combined with the Rhyd Ddu path to make a traverse of the mountain. It begins a little over a mile from Ryhd Ddu and follows a well defined trail that Joins the North Ridge roughly where the Crib Goch, Miners and PYG routes also meet the ridge.

Wild-about-Wales | Tel: 01286 831559 - 07941 520033 | email: walk@wild-about-wales.com