Climbing Snowdon

Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and the highest mountain in the British Isles outside of Scotland. As such it is probably our most popular day out. Each year we take many school groups, scout groups and guide groups up this mountain. There are a number of ways to get to the top of Snowdon to choose from depending on the objectives of the group in question, the most popular are listed below.



snowdon-summitLlanberis path

Start Point –Victoria Terrace, opposite Victoria Hotel, Llanberis LL55 4TT

Distance overall – 16km

Height gain - 950m

Difficulty – easy mountain walk


This route starts from the village of Llanberis, with multiple car parks. The route follows the line of the railway, and is often considered to be the easiest route.  Although steep at first, it eases to a fairly constant angle, passing two cafes on the way up to the summit (open in summer only). It is the most gradual steady ascent of Snowdon, and although it can feel quite long, it is the kindest route on the knees for the descent. 



Snowdon Ranger path 

Start Point – Snowdon Ranger Youth Hostel, LL54 7YS

Distance overall – 13km

Height gain - 950 m

Difficulty – medium mountain walk


This route starts at the Snowdon Ranger Youth Hostel, (parking is available here). There is an initial steep section, before it levels out a little, passing Moel Cynghorion and approaching the dramatic, steep flanks of Clogwyn Du’r Arddu. After this the angle eases as you make your way onto the ridge leading to the summit. Descend the same way, or a good circular walk is possible by descending the Rhyd Ddu path.




Rhyd Ddu path

Start Point – Rhyd-Ddu Railway Station, LL54 6TN

Distance overall – 13km

Height gain - 900m

Difficulty – medium mountain walk


This route starts in the village of Rhyd Ddu, (car parking is available). This is a quiet route, with a good gradual start on the old slate quarry track. It then branches off to ascend the steep and impressively narrow ridge of Llechog. Although there is a good path, it is narrow and a good head of heights will make this seem more enjoyable! Descend the same way, or a good circular walk is possible by descending the Snowdon Ranger Path. 



Watkin Path 

Start point – Pont Bethania, Nant Gwynant, LL55 4NL

Distance overall – 13km

Height gain - 1000m

Difficulty – medium mountain walk


This route starts at small car park just past Nant Gwynant lake. Another relatively quiet route up Snowdon, starting steeply up through National Trust land with beautiful series of waterfalls.  The path then passes through old slate quarries and dramatic scenery in a beautiful remote valley. The top section holds a short but awkward steep scree slope. Descend the same way with a possible variation down the North Ridge. 



PYG Track and Miners path

Start point – Pen y Pass Youth Hostel LL55 4NY

Distance overall – 12km

Height gain – 700m 

Difficulty – PYG Track is a medium mountain walk the Miners path is an easy mountain walk.


Both these routes start at the Pen y Pass car park. These are the two most popular routes up Snowdon, usually with PYG track for the ascent and Miners for the descent. The PYG track gains gradual height, while the Miners brings you up past a series of beautiful mountain lakes. They both join for the final steep ‘zig zag’ section to reach the summit ridge. 



crib-goch-089Snowdon horseshoe (Grade 1 Scramble)

Start point – Pen y Pass Youth Hostel LL55 4NY

Distance overall– 12.5km

Height gain – 1100m 

Difficulty – very difficult mountain walk with scrambling


This route requires an excellent head for heights and very good fitness, some scrambling experience is also recommended. The route starts up the PYG track and before branching off to ascend the knife-edge arête of Crib Goch. It then follows the ridge up Crib y Ddysgl and onto the summit of Carnedd Ugain before traversing over to the summit of Snowdon. The route then descends a short way before climbing to the summit of Y Lliwedd. Further steep descent then meets the Miners track, bringing you back to Pen y Pass. 




These are the major routes up Snowdon.  For those who are after something a little more unusual there are quite a few less travelled routes that our local guides can take you on.