For Snowdonia for Science, you have the choice of two tracks, the Miner’s Track or the Pyg Track, when tackling the Snowdon climb and their descriptions are below.

Miner’s Track
Here is the link to the official Snowdonia National Park route map.

The Miners’ Track starts from the Pen y Pass car park on a wide and even track, climbing gradually becoming a hard climb towards the intersection of the Miners’ and the Pyg Tracks. The details below give you a description of the ascent, with total distance and the approximate time it will take you to complete:

• Distance: 8 miles / 13km
• Ascent: 723m
• Time: 6 hours
• Start Point: Pen y Pass car park
• Grid Ref: SH 647 577

There is a newly commissioned metal gate to the path, which shows an outline of Snowdon’s Y Lliwedd ridgeline above Llyn Llydaw.

As you walk along a fairly easy, angled, engineered path enjoy the fantastic views of the Nant Gwynant valley down to the left.
Shortly, you will see the famous Snowdon Horseshoe: Y Lliwedd (898m), Snowdon (1,085m) Garnedd Ugain (1,065m) and Crib Goch (921m).
Five minutes on, and you will pass a small lake on your left, Llyn Teyrn (Lake of the Tyrant…but who?!). Look out for the ruins of the old miners’ barracks near the shore steeply below you.
The pipeline you can see leading down the valley on the left supplies water from Llyn Llydaw to Cwm Dyli hydro-electric power station in Nant Gwynant (the valley to your left). Shortly after this, you will reach the causeway. Cross the causeway and pass the ruins of the Britannia Copper Mine crushing mill on your right, before a steep climb to Llyn Glaslyn. Here, you’ve walked two miles.
From Glaslyn (Blue Lake), look at the dramatic view of Snowdon rising almost 500m above the glacial lake. As you walk around the lake, you will pass the ruins of another row of barracks on your right, where the miners used to stay during the week. At Glaslyn, although you have walked almost three quarters of the route in terms of distance, you are only halfway up the mountain, time wise.

Just after the barracks you’ll see a finger post. From here follow a well-pitched (laid stones) path that zig-zags up the slope. This part of the route is a hard climb and look out for bands of quartz underfoot, which can be slippery when wet. Taken nice and steady, this steep section will take about 25 mins to walk up.
Keep going, on steep pitched steps – and you will reach a tall, standing stone that marks the junction with the Pyg Track.
From this point, the path continues to climb steeply to Bwlch Glas, including a few places which need hands to steady you on the rocks. This part of the path is known as Llwybr y Mul (mule’s path).

One last set of steep zig-zags and you’ll emerge onto a flatter section of ridge, Bwlch Glas. Bwlch Glas is a busy place as two other paths join here (the Snowdon Ranger and Llanberis Paths). You will see railway tracks running up the mountain along the right-hand side of the path and one of our mountain safety team will be here to direct you towards the summit.
Take in the views from Bwlch Glas, then bear left from the standing stone. You are now on the final leg of your walk up Snowdon. Walking at a leisurely pace, you can expect to be on the summit in under 15 mins. From the summit, on a clear day, you will be rewarded with fantastic views. Sometimes (just sometimes!) you can even see as far as Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Lake District.
If the train is running, then the top Visitor Centre will be open. If trains are not running due to poor weather then the centre will be closed, regardless our team will be ready to welcome you as you reach the highest point of Wales.

After taking a few moments to realise what you’ve achieved, you will be heading back down via the Llanberis path, descending back to event base at the Royal Victoria Hotel. From the summit area, you will need to travel back towards Bwlch Glas, where you will see one of our team pointing you in the right direction.
Do not cross the railway line (that’s the Snowdon Ranger path) and do not gain any more height (that takes you towards the route to Crib Goch). Descending the broad Llanberis Path will take approximately 2.5 hours to reach Llanberis village – more if you’re taking more rest stops or need to take it slowly down the rockier/steeper sections.
There are two short steeper sections on this path where you can zig-zag as you walk down to ease the angle slightly. After the first slope you will cross underneath the railway for the first time.

After this you will descend the next steep stepped section (Allt Moses). Approximately 20 mins from the base of this section you will reach our team at the Halfway House café where you can rest and enjoy a quick drink. You are now approximately 1/1.5 hours from the hotel on good tracks. Cross beneath the railway one last time before reaching the final gate. When you exit the mountain at the final gate, you will meet one of our team to check you off the mountain. The final part of your day will be the steep road descent past the charming Snowdon Café, why not stop for some fresh made lemonade before heading back to the hotel.

Pyg Track
Here is the link to the official Snowdonia National Park route map.

The Pyg Track is a popular path, its rugged nature and the stunning mountain scenery, all along its route to the summit, will maintain your interest throughout. The details below give you a description of the ascent, with total distance and approximate time it will take you to complete:

• Distance: 8.5 miles / 14km
• Ascent: 723m
• Time: 6 hours
• Start Point: Pen y Pass car park
• Grid Ref: SH 647 577

Look up from the Pen Y Pass car park and you’ll see an imposing peak. This is not Snowdon, but one of the narrow ridges leading to the summit, called Crib Goch. You will see the path start in the upper corner of the car park.

The start of the Pyg Track is strenuous, with large engineered steps and boulders. This way of building paths is called ‘pitching’ and gives a very hard-wearing surface for the thousands of visitors to the mountain each year. But the large stones do need careful attention and balance so as not to turn an ankle!

You will use a lot of energy in the first 40 mins or so, so set off at a steady pace. Too fast and you’ll be panting after 10 minutes of the first steep section! While you catch your breath, there are lovely views down the heavily glaciated valley of the Llanberis Pass, towards the lakes of Llyn Peris and Llyn Padarn. Stop and admire on your way up to Bwlch y Moch. From here is a wonderful view to Llyn Llydaw (actually a reservoir) below, with Y Lliwedd’s dark cliffs looming above, as well as a view to Snowdon’s summit if you have a clear day.
The route from here will continue steadily contouring (keeping to one level) and then gradually rising as you journey deeper into Snowdon’s cwms (mountain valleys).
At times there will be sections of bedrock to clamber over and having a free hand is useful to steady yourself on sections of rock. Sometimes the path is loose underfoot from erosion (from water or the passage of 1000s of feet).

Take care when walking on larger boulders or slabby sections of rock, especially if they are wet. This is where good footwear, with rugged soles, will help to provide friction on slippery rocks. The views towards Snowdon’s summit will become more and more impressive the further you walk, and you may even be able to see tiny figures of people standing on the summit cairn on a clear day.
After another hour of continual effort and gradual climbing you’ll reach a path junction: ‘The Intersection’. This is where the Miner’s Track joins up with your Pyg Track.
From this point forward, you’ll notice a distinct change in the steepness of the path. You’ve been walking for approximately 2 hours now, and the path is getting rockier and steeper all the while. This also means you are getting nearer to your goal and, in clear weather, there’s no mistaking where Snowdon’s summit is as it towers above you.
From ‘The Intersection’ point, you have another hour of walking – and this will be one of the toughest parts of the ascent.

People will have worked hard up to this point, but the steepest part is yet to come. The path becomes indistinct at times above this point, especially in low cloud. It’s very important to keep an eye on your leaders and group companions – as there are some short sections of easy scrambling to negotiate.
As you reach the final zig-zags there are stone baskets and an obvious turn in the path to the right. You’ll see people taking on food and water at this point, and it’s a very good idea to do this before the final 10-minute climb to the ridgeline. Once you’re at the visible ridgeline above you (it’s visible in clear weather only!), it’s a further 15-minute walk to the actual summit. You will find one of our team stationed here to help direct you onwards.

A lot of people will be feeling the effort of walking this far now, but the steepness does ease off once you get to the summit ridgeline, called Bwlch Glas.
The path is wide here, so there’s no danger of ‘falling off’, but it’s wise to keep to the ‘mountain side’ of the path when you can. Having now walked for approximately 3 hours, you will arrive at a large stone finger post which marks the top of the Pyg Track.

Here, you will turn left for a less steep final ascent to the summit. Look to the east (behind you) and you will see where you have come from, along the Pyg Track, and also the very sharp ridge of Crib Goch. From here, the 15 min walk (max.) will bring you to the summit steps of Snowdon, man-made steps that guide you up to the summit cairn.
It is a must, so take the opportunity to visit the very top of the highest mountain in Wales (and higher than any mountains in England, too!) Make sure you have extra layers to put on in colder/windier/wetter weather and do take on board more food and water.

Remember you are only halfway, and you’ll need energy for the descent, too!

After taking a few moments to realise what you’ve achieved, you will be heading back down via the Llanberis path, descending back to event base at the Royal Victoria Hotel. From the summit area, you will need to travel back towards Bwlch Glas, where you will see one of our team pointing you in the right direction.
Do not cross the railway line (that’s the Snowdon Ranger path) and do not gain any more height (that takes you towards the route to Crib Goch). Descending the broad Llanberis Path will take approximately 2.5 hours to reach Llanberis village – more if you’re taking more rest stops or need to take it slowly down the rockier/steeper sections.

There are two short steeper sections on this path where you can zig-zag as you walk down to ease the angle slightly. After the first slope you will cross underneath the railway for the first time. After this you will descend the next steep stepped section (Allt Moses). Approximately 20 mins from the base of this section you will reach our team at the Halfway House café where you can rest and enjoy a quick drink. You are now approximately 1/1.5 hours from the hotel on good tracks. Cross beneath the railway one last time before reaching the final gate. When you exit the mountain at the final gate, you will meet one of our team to check you off the mountain. The final part of your day will be the steep road descent past the charming Snowdon Café, why not stop for some fresh made lemonade before heading back to the hotel.

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