One of the UK’s most iconic walks, Snowdon from Pen-y-Pass, up the Pyg and down the Miners track is a favourite for many walkers heading for wales highest mountain.
You can pay £10 to park at Pen-y-Pass or you can get the bus from Llanberis for £2 each way or park further down and get a taxi which are frequent during the weekends.
Snowdon or Yr Wyddfa as it is known to the locals is a well-trodden route for thousands upon thousands of visitors each year. There are many different routes to the summit, six to be precise and you should allow 6-8 hours for any of the routes.
The Pyg track can be strenuous as it gradually climbs up to the summit and in particular the zig zags which climb steeply and often catch people out. In winter this track can be very dangerous and as always crampons and an ice axe are necessary.
The Miners track on the return to Pen-y-Pass follows the same route as the Pyg track until just after the zig zags where you will head down right above Llyn Glaslyn. The path is very rough and loose scree can make this part of the route difficult to navigate. Once on the lower path it is much more easy going.
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, at an elevation of 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level, and the highest point in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands
It is located in Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd. It is the busiest mountain in the United Kingdom and the third most visited attraction in Wales, with 582,000 people visiting annually.
The walk starts right across the road from the YHA, all you do is walk to the top left-hand side of the car park and the track starts from there. I noticed plenty of room for parking which costs around £10 for the full day and also a bus terminal, toilets and a cafe. So, if you do not drive this route can be travelled to by public transport.
Starting from Pen-y-Pass Car Park, head for the far corner behind the café and toilets.
This is the start of the Pyg track which will gradually lead you upwards towards Bwlch-y-Moch and after around 20 minutes walking you should have amazing views down the valley towards Llanberis with Llyn Peris & Llyn Padarn being prominent.
The first part of the track easy in some parts and not so easy in others due to the navigation of rocks and unsteady terrain, but it was is strenuous. When you reach the pass-through gate below Crib Goch, you will be greeted with amazing views of Snowdon ahead and to the left many feet below Llyn Llydaw.
The path is easy on foot from this point until you reach the point below Crib Goch Pinnacles (Spectacular grey mountain above to the right. There were some difficult slabs to cross and water flowing over them and it can be a little tricky to. Once that is navigated you will be faced with a climb up the famous Llwybr Y Mul (The Zig-Zags) you may decide to have a rest and a sandwich here before one last push to get to the summit.
Continue up the zig zags until you reach Bwlch Glas and the Llanberis path. The Snowdon summit will now be in view on a clear day and you should be able to see for miles in all directions. Head left and follow the path to the left of the railway tracks and after a while you will reach the summit and the café. The summit can be very busy depending on which day you visit and you may find yourself queuing up to take that selfie image on the summit top.
On the way back down, you follow the same path including the zig zags until you reach a fork on the path, one leads back using the Pyg track and the other takes you down the miner’s track. On your decent down stop by the side of Glaslyn and take 10 minutes to chill and take a few photos. Then continue around what is called the trial level before reaching the water’s edge of Llyn Llydaw. There are old ruins there which are fenced off, but it seemed popular for people taking photographs.
When you reach the path that crosses the waters, half way across look back at the amazing view of Snowdon. Continue the track and Craig Llyn Teyrn should be directly above to the left were the Horns and Carreg Gwalch are an amazing sight indeed. You are now only 1 mile from the car park and the path is very easy underfoot.
*Update March 2018*
The National Park have now changed the prices to park at Pen Y Pass car park. You will now have to pay £10.00 to park overnight and £10.00 to park during the day. This means if you arrive at the car park before 08:30am you will have to pay £20.00. It means if you stayed at the YHA you would not be able to set off on your walk-up Snowdon until 08:30am so you can pay the day tariff.
Obviously if you do not park overnight this still causes problems and means you can’t pay the correct fee until the correct time or face a ticket. The other alternative is to park further down the valley in free parking spaces and wait for the taxis that pass frequently at a cost of £2.50 each way per person.