Distance: 11 miles / 17.5km
Ascent: 4460ft / 1360m
Terrain: Good paths over grass and rock, one narrow ridge crossing, over-populated summit, pathless grassy sections, easy(ish) stream crossing, steep grassy/rocky slopes
A trip up Wales’ highest via its quieter side, followed by an even quieter return through a lonely cwm. Experience solitude on Britain’s busiest mountain with a contrived circuit taking in the huge basin of Cwm Clogwyn, while the masses stride the ridges above.
- Start at the pay & display car park at Rhyd Ddu station and set off along the well-maintained Rhyd Ddu path to Snowdon. Initially a plod over featureless slopes, things become far more interesting when the top of Llechog is reached. Suddenly, Cwm Clogwyn is revealed nearly 200m beneath your feet, while the summit of Snowdon towers over the far side of the hollow.
- Continue on the obvious path, skirting round the rim of Cwm Clogwyn with the steep drop to your left, then climbing up some fenced zig zags to the end of Bwlch Main.
- Cross the rocky ridge of Bwlch Main, first on one side and then the other until things broaden and steepen on the final pull to Snowdon’s summit.
- From the summit, follow the railway down past the first marker stone perched over on the right (signifying the arrival of the Pyg track) to a second marker stone shortly afterwards. Bear left here onto the obvious path veering away from the railway – this is the top of the Snowdon Ranger path.
- Continue downwards on the path, which stays well back from the top of the huge, impressive cliffs of Clogwyn Du’r Arddu, denying any views (a short detour right will remedy this).
- At the col of Bwlch Cwm Brwynog, overlooking Llyn Ffynnon-y-gwas the path starts to level out. Continue a short distance beyond the north end of the lake, then turn left, leaving the path to follow the west shore of the lake. Cwm Clogwyn is now ahead, sitting up on a grassy shelf.
- Continue with the lake on your left, past the old dam, generally heading for Cwm Clogwyn. (Avoid losing height and gaining wet feet by skirting around the hillside on your left). As you begin to climb, trend over towards the stream issuing from Cwm Clogwyn, the Afon Goch.
- The Afon Goch needs to be crossed, with care, either on the way up into Cwm Clogwyn or on more level ground once in the cwm. The best spot to cross may take some seeking out.
- After crossing the Afon Goch and exploring Cwm Clogwyn, head over to Llyn Nadroedd, the westerly of the three lakes in the cwm and head round either the low ground on its north side, or the higher ground on its south side to gain the end of the blunt spur beyond – this is the north end of Llechog, the top of which was walked earlier in the day.
- Climb back up onto Lechog using a mixture of grassy rakes and slopes, with some boulder hopping. As the ground levels out, head directly south to intercept the Rhyd Ddu path.
- Turn right onto the path and follow it back down to the car park, in exact reversal of the outward journey.