There are many routes to climb Snowdon. However most people climb the Miners Track or the Pyg Track from Pen-y-Pass before returning to Llanberis via the clear path alongside the tracks of the Snowdon Railway. It is the easiest way to climb Snowdon and highly enjoyable as well.
Pen-y-Pass is the usual place to start any climb of Snowdon. The paths to the summit are straightforward, wide and easy to follow and Pen-y-Pass has the added benefit of a high start of over 1,000 feet making the entire day easier. From Pen-y-Pass there are two routes suitable for the less experienced walker. These are the Miners Track and the Pyg Track. The other routes up Snowdon from Pen-y-Pass are Crib Goch and Y Lliwedd on the south arm of the horseshoe, neither suitable for those without scrambling experience but are described elsewhere on this website.
It is perfectly feasible to walk up either the Pyg or Miners Track and return by the other one to create a pleasant circuit. However there is a problem. it is increasingly difficult to park at Pen-y-Pass or nearby. It is possible but you have to book on line a parking place at the small car park. It can be chaotic. Therefore the most satisfactory way of climbing Snowdon is the to get the regular shuttle bus from Llanberis to Pen-y-Pass, climb via the Pyg or Miners Track , before returning to Llanberis on the direct route alongside the railway.
This makes for a good, safe circuit, less climbing as the start is high and finishes in a town with plenty to eat and drink. It also avoids the chaotic and unnecessary scenes which have been publicised on the news over the past few years with cars strewn all over the mountainside. It costs about £2 (as of 2023), runs every half hour and takes 15 minutes.
I have briefly described the routes below
This is the easiest route up Snowdon and starts at Pen-y-Pass. It is on a wide track, initially nearly flat to the large lake of Llyn Llydaw. From there the path climbs to a smaller lake at Glaslyn and then more steeply to meet the Pyg Track. The combined route then continues to the wide ridge and meets the Llanberis route a short way from the summit.
This is also the ascent route shown by the GPX file.
Again starting from Pen-y- Pass the Pyg Track is rougher (but more direct) than the Miners Track underfoot. However its more rugged nature makes it more enjoyable for some. It starts it a different direction to the Miners Track and climbs a path to the col of Bwych y Mor. The serious climbers then for the rocky ridge of Crib Goch whilst those staying on the Pyg Track make their way along the rocky path until it meets the Miners Track.
Although this can be used for the climb it is best as a descent as it is a longer route than the previous two described. It is also easy to follow in bad weather as the path sticks close in its upper parts to the railway tracks (which you can follow if you ever lose the path). The views in good weather are excellent and it has the added advantage of a cafe half way down!
This is the descent route shown by the GPX file.
Simple. Everyone should climb Snowdon. The route described here is the easiest and safest. However there are better ones; The Climb via the Watkin Trail is my favourite but climbing over Y Lliwedd is also excellent. My next stop is the Rangers Trail from the west. Crib Goch is also fun but a tricky scramble with exposure.
I find the most difficult challenge on Snowdon is is to make sure you pick the correct track from the summit. In the cloud it is a confusing place. There are steep cliffs to the west and a multitude of paths. To find all of these popular paths head north keeping the tracks on your left hand side. After roughly 500m the path splits, keep to the rail tracks for Llanberis. If you wish to return to Pen-y-Pass there is a sign but most importantly look for an initially steep path on your right and not the less steep one a few metres further.
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