The Snowdon Ranger of Read more [...]
Place Category: Route
The Llanberis Path up Snowdon has to be the most popular and easiest hiking route to the summit of Wales’ highest mountain. In normal weather, it poses no problems for the fit walker, with even the navigation being reasonably easy. On a fine day, you’ll be able to follow the hordes of other people who have also decided to follow the Llanberis Path – aka the Motorway.
It’s a steady pull once you pass the initial pull up the minor road, and you’ll have time to enjoy the route until about 2/3 rds of the way you’ll hit the real climb of Allt Moses. It’s then a real pull, but once above this it again steadies out and you’ll soon be at the summit!
Be warned that in winter conditions, the section between the top of Allt Moses and the junction with the PYG / Ranger is known as the Killer Convex for good reason! In snow, the path vanishes and you end up having to contour across a very steep slope. Even fully equipped for winter, this can be hairy!
The Llanberis Path
1 – Llanberis. The Llanberis Path starts wherever you want in Llanberis, but if you can find your way to the Mountain Railway station near the Royal Victoria Hotel then it’s as good a starting point as any. The Sherpa buses stop here and there are signs advertising parking in the hotel car park. Head towards the hotel, keeping on the right hand side of the road and turn right up Victoria Terrace when you reach the mini roundabout.
Ahead, pass the terrace of houses and aim for the minor road heading over the cattle grid and uphill. This initial climb is arguably one of the steepest parts of the whole trip! It soon relents, and there’s a café (more info here, highly recommended) at the top of the hill, though it’s probably too soon for that yet. Keep on the minor road, which twists and turns, through a gate and past some modern barns. Very soon after, there’s a footpath signpost to your left that states To Snowdon (about 1.5Km).
3— You soon pass under the railway, and you’re now just over the 3km mark, and about 450m up. I won’t lie to you, but you’re not quite half way yet! Then keep going as you’ll soon be passing the Half Way House.
4—Half Way House. Ok, so now you’re as good as half way up. Technically, this little café is half way up from sea level, but as you’re well over half way distance wise (4 k out of 7.5k), you’re as good as half way up and deserve that cuppa! Keep going on the wide and gently angled path for another Km and if it’s clear you’ll start to appreciate the views ahead and right of Clogwyn Du’r Arddu – also known as Cloggy among climbers.
5—Start of ‘Allt Moses (5km) Now you’ve got a hard Kilometer ahead and over 250m of climbing! Allt Moses starts off as giant steps, but deteriorates further up into a rougher path. It is in the process of being surfaced, so in time this whole section will be improved. It’s still a nasty pull up, and Clogwyn Station most of the way up provides a brief respite in the form of a path under the railway and beyond this you finally start being rewarded with the views. It’s clear now that you’ve climbed a fair way and the Pass of Llanberis looks far below. The mountain directly opposite is Glyder Fawr. You can actually get a train to Colgwyn and follow the remaining route from here.
6— The Killer Convex. The path continues to pull up a little less steeply, but steeply nevertheless for a short while before finally relenting. The path here is wide and easy, but if you take a look at the slope on either side you realise how steep the slope would otherwise be. This is the black spot in winter known as the Killer Convex that lives up to its name in the winter.
7 —Bwlch Glas Standing Stone. This is the home stretch! Less than a 100m of climbing and only half a Kilometer of walking to the summit! You won’t rush as the view down past the PYG track and Crib Goch has now opened up on one side, and towards Rhyd Ddu on the other. If you’re lucky, the views only get better from now on!
8—To Snowdon Summit. From the Bwlch Glas Standing stone, the path continues along the wide ridge shared by the railway. It is a little eroded in places due to the sheer number of feet that walk this section every year. The summit building, Hafod Eryri, soon comes into view and you know it’s not long now! The path turns to wide, smooth steps as you reach the building and the summit is just a few dozen steps away.featured