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mcrtchly: Track 2346 in area near Craig Fach, Snowdonia (Britain)
Snowdon Horseshoe (via Crib Goch, Snowdon and Lliwedd)
Length: 12.5km, Creator time taken: 8h41m, Ascent: 987m,
Descent: 1014m

Places: Start at SH64521 55582, Craig Fach, Crib Goch, Crib y Ddysgl, Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa, Y Lliwedd, Y Lliwedd East Top, Lliwedd Bach, end at SH64739 55554 219m E from Start
Logged as completed by 1
The Snowdon Horseshoe is probably one of the finest ridge walks in Wales and whilst it is not unduly hard there is a lot of exposed grade 1 scrambling on the first part of the route along Crib Goch. For this reason it is probably best to leave it for a calm and dry day like that which we were fortunate to have had when we did the route. The route commences from the top (north) end of the Pen-Y-Pass carpark (be prepared to pay £10 for all day parking) and initially follows the Pyg track until a wall and stile are reached. Just before the stile a path on the right leads to the foot of Crib Goch. The first part of the climb is quite steep scrambling/easy rock climbing and number of routes are possible until the gradient flattens a bit and the eastern summit of Crib Goch is reached. Now the fun begins.

The 300m or so of the route is along a knife edge ridge with a sheer 300m drop on the right and a steep rocky slope on the left. Most people traverse this by hand railing the ridge on the left side using the top of the ridge for hand holds; watch out for loose holds. There have been numerous rescues from the ridge, not just because of poor weather and accidents , but also from inexperienced walkers becoming cragfast. At the end of the ridge are three pinnacles, the first one we passed on the left and climbed over the other two. From here the ridge drops down to Bwlch Coch and a wider grassy path before more scrambling up Crib y Ddysgl ridge which leads to Bwlch Glas where the railway, Llanberis, Snowdon Ranger and Pyg paths all converge. From here it is a short walk up beside the railway to the summit of Snowdon.

The summit of Snowdon is adorned with a fine viewing platform sporting an ornate brass plaque indicating the nearby mountains , although there can be a bit of a queue to get on to this. Nearby is the impressive new cafe and railway station which blend well into the landscape. Less impressive are the prices. We were charged £22 for two Welsh Oggies (pasties), two small bottles of beer and two bottles of water. Kernowclimber complained that the Welsh had copied the Cornish Pasty but had not done a very good job!

From the summit we descended the SW ridge for 100m to reach a marker stone on the left which indicates where the Watkin Path descends to the col at Bwlch y Saethau. This part of the path is very steep and badly eroded in parts. From the col the path continues along a short ridge until the Watkin Path drops off to the right and we continued straight on to the face of Lliwedd. There is scrambling up the face but no where nearly as hard or exposed as on Crib Goch. From the summit of Lliwedd a ridge leads to a couple of subsidiary summits before a cairn marks the drop off on the left to go down to Llyn Llydaw. The descent over rocky ledges is quite steep and slippery in places (care is needed) and only eases near the bottom where a made path is reached. The path follows the shore of the lake to meet the Miner's Track and turning right on this quickly returns you to the car park at Pen y Pass.

The guidebook time for the route is about 6 hours. We took a little under 9 hours but had spent some time at the summit of Snowdon and also stopped at many points for taking photographs and video (see our video on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKYhqXQfkr4 )

Uploaded on: Mon, 30 Sep 2013 (15:42:37)
Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/track/2346/  
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Note: ALL information such as Ascent, Length and Creator time taken etc should be regarded as approximate. The creator's comments are opinions and may not be accurate or still correct.
Your time to complete will depend on your speed plus break time and your mode of transport. For walkers: Naismith's rule, a rough and often inaccurate estimate, suggests a time of 4h 8m + time stopped for breaks
Note: It is up to you to ensure that your route is appropriate for you and your party to follow bearing in mind all factors such as safety, weather conditions, experience and access permission.

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British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
(Creative Commons Licence)
"ASTER+": Hillshade and Contours
Courtesy of Tiles GIScience Research Group @ Heidelberg University More detail here