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Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, is 3,560 feet high, and is by far the easiest of the 3 peaks. Located in Snowdonia National Park, Snowdon is the highest mountain south of the Scottish Highland an is probably the busiest mountain in Britain.

Snowdon also has one of the wettest climates in Britain, receiving an annual average of more than 4,500 mm (180 in) of precipitation.

  • Start / Finish: Pen-y-Pass or Llanberis
  • Ascent: 2381 feet via Pen-y-Pass
  • Target time: Ascent: 2 hours / Descent: 2 hours
  • Challenge Programme: March to Oct
  Viewing the two lakes from high up the Pyg Track


  Descending Snowdon via the Pyg Track

Snowdon has six ridges which are steep and rocky to the north and east and shallower and grassy, but more remote to the south and west. There are many cwms formed by glaciation in the ice age, some filled with lakes. Subsidiary summits include Garnedd Ugain (1,065 m), the knife-edge summit of Crib Goch (923 m), Y Lliwedd (898 m) and Yr Aran (747 m).

Snowdon offers some of the most extensive views in the British Isles; on exceptionally clear days, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales are all visible, as well as 24 counties, 29 lakes and 17 islands. It is also possible to view the newly built Beetham Tower in Manchester from here.

The view between Snowdon and Merrick (southern Scotland) is the longest theoretical line of sight in the British Isles spanning a linear distance of 144 miles(232 km).

Route options:

For the purposes of this challenge, two routes to the summit are possible - the Pyg Track or the Miners Path. Previously we have recommended the Pyg Track, but in recent years the Miners Path has been hugely improved and we now recommend this path as the most suitable for Three Peaks Challenge teams.

The Pyg Track is well used and can be very popular throughout the year, it also serves as one route to the base of Crib Goch and is used by scramblers and climbers, as well as walkers. Starting from the car park at Pen-y-pass, it climbs steadily to meet the summit ridge, then just a short walk to the top.

The Miner's Track is a wide, well maintained path, which leads quite gently around the lower reservoir of Llyn Llydaw, crossing the causeway, then climbing to the northern tip of Glaslyn, where the real climb begins. Climb the steep zig-zags and meet the Pyg Track, before joining the route from Llanberis at a rock post. Then just a short walk to the summit.

  Snowdon ascent - 1st peak on National 24 Hour 3 Peak Challenge

The Descent:

The descent can be via the Llanberis path, a fairly well maintained and popular route, generally following the course of the railway or returning to Pen y Pass via the Miner's Track. The return can also be made following the Pyg Track, however, in practice we have found that the Miner's Track offers the simpler descent route - but some groups may wish to use both routes.

Challenge Itinerary:

The 3 Peaks can be undertaken south to north or north to south and routing is more often decided on the personal preference of the group and their geographical location. However, expecially for those groups based in the south of England or Midlands, a south to north option is attractive as it allows the group to finish on the summit of Britain's highest mountain, albeit the hardest of the three, enjoying superb panoramic views (weather permitting), with the option of a return flight home from Glasgow to East Midlands, Heathrow, Gatwick or Stanstead. What better way to round off your challenge experience!

  The summit of Snowdon



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