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Place Category: Route
For those of you who might think that all the routes up Snowdon are well known, here’s another one to add to the Cwm Clogwyn ascent. The Clogwyn Gwin path starts at Rhyd Ddu and is an ideal way to create a circuit from Rhyd Ddu without having to return over Bwlch Main, especially if you find it a tad windy on the first crossing.
We’ve LOADS of images to come for this walk!
This path either starts from opposite the Cwellyn Arms in Rhyd Ddu or from the Rhyd Ddu Car Park.
1a From Cwellyn Arms Taking the kissing gate in the gravelled area in front of the pub, you join the newly made path.
1b From the Car Park, continue along the car park towards the start of the Rhyd Du path and follow the track left. After a 100m or so, the track turns left to join the main road. At this point, the path is clearly visible to the right.
2 The initial section is very well built and easy to follow (just ignore a farm track that turns right at one point) and continue up towards the Welsh Highland Railway. Its worth looking back at this point over Llyn Cwellyn, one of the finest viewpoints on the railway. The easy part is now begind you and you will need some decent nav skills for the section ahead.
3 Once you cross the railway, the path becomes much more indistinct – and a bit wet in places. It includes the obligatory boardwalk in a bog that doesn’t help much on crossing the first boggy section as you need a boardwalk to cross the bog that’s now formed either end of it. Hopefully, the improvement work further down will reach higher altitudes. The path isn’t clear to follow, and while there are footpath waymarks all the way, they can be missed.
4 Soon enough, the slate tips of the Glanrafon Quarry come into view, and will need to be crossed. Head towards the stile to enter the quarry and then follow the way-posts as you climb straight up the slate slope and follow the path left and down. Don’t be tempted to cut across right as you’ll end up on horribly loose slate, the path takes the best route down. Or to explore, as you could easily follow one of the quarry tracks to a sheer drop where any bridges are long gone.
5 The path continues downhill before skirting the base of the slate tips right over boggy ground before crossing the Afon Treweynydd and it’s numerous pools by a footbridge. The path continues and you’ll soon arrive at a well made farm track.
6 Tempting as it is, you’ll need to cross this track, and head cross country, finding the footpath posts if you’re lucky. The going is indistinct, and compass work will be needed in mist. The track is also rather wet in places, but nothing that threaterns to keep your footwear. Our GPS log on this walk seems to be perfectly on the footpath, but we still missed the markers from the farm track for most of the way on this instance!
7 Eventually, you reach the Snowdon Ranger path at SH575 553, with a few strange looks of “Where’s e come from then?”. You’ll need to turn right here and follow the Snowdon Range Path up to the Summit of Snowdon.
Ideally you can then descend via the Rhyd Ddu / South Ridge back to the start to make a circular walk of about 15km. In summer you can take any of the other paths down and the Snowdon Sherpa to return to the start (just check the timetables first as they can be sparse between Pen y Gwryd and Beddgelert).