With a total distance of just over 30 miles and 4000 metres of ascent this a good challenge for any fit walker and is perhaps one of the best walks in Snowdonia. The route ascends all the peaks over 3000 feet starting with Snowdon (Yr Wydffa) and finishing with Foel Fras in the Carneddau.
Traditionally the challenge begins at the summit of Snowdon and ends at the summit of Foel Fras, this is approximately 24 miles between summits. Getting to and from these summits adds another 8 miles to the day – and that’s 8 miles which are not counted as a part of the challenge. It’s like doing the London marathon – but walking for two hours first!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
This 24 hour challenge, will start just before daylight ascending the Snowdon Massif and continuing on towards the Glyderau and the Carneddau.
All routes taken are weather dependant and subject to change on the day
WHAT TO EXPECT
Mainly on paths with some grade 1 scrambling over Crib Goch and Tryfan. There is some boggy ground and some steep ascents and descents, a pair of walking poles may be useful for these.
This is the determining factor whether we can complete all the mountain summits as this may prevent parts of the route being walked. You will be advised of any route variations prior or during the day.
This is a long, strenuous day and Paul Poole Mountaineering and the accompanying Mountain Leaders will make decisions prior and during the route to ensure your safety is the priority of the day. Weather, route choice and timings during the day will be considered.
You will be accompanied by a total of 2 Mountain Leaders to ensure appropriate decisions are made on the hill, 1 will accompany you across Snowdon and the Glyderau and then a 2nd will compete the challenge with you across the Carneddau.
TIMING OF THE DAY
Support will provided for you to complete the challenge during the 24hour period and as a way to ensure your safety it’s essential that you complete the 1st 2 sections within these times
Snowdon Massif (Pen y Pass to Nant Peris) - Max 7 hours
Glyderau (Nant Peris to Ogwen Valley) - Max 9 hours (16 hours in total)
These cut off times are based on practical experience of the challenge and prevent problems like exhaustion on the remote final section. Your attempt will stop at that point.
YOUR PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE
This is a long and physically challenging day in the mountains, normally done in about 16-20 hours and you ideally should be a regular mountain walker. You certainly won’t be running the route, but the ability to maintain a steady pace on a variety of terrain will aid you in your attempt. Crib Goch and Tryfan are Grade 1 scrambles and so you need to be comfortable on these. There are cut off times throughout the whole day, this is based on experience of the route and appreciation of how long each section could take. This will be adhered too during the day to ensure your safety.To give yourself the best opportunity to complete this day, prior training in the hills and mountains is essential.
You should ensure you are appropriately equipped to spend a long day in the mountains. In addition to this you will be able to leave a spare bag in the support vehicle which will meet us at two points during the day where you can repack your bag, pick up spare clothes to change and refuel.
It is worth considering changing your base layers and socks at each support meet, this can ease hot spots and discomfort and feels refreshing, wet wipes also help here! If the forecast is for heavy rain for instance, a whole dry fleece / primaloft jacket will also be of benefit to aid the day.
THIS IS A RECOMMENDED KIT LIST
Comfortable summer mountain walking boots
Rucksack - approx 25-30ltrs with a waterproof liner
Suitable walking trousers
Spare warm layer - should ideally be a fleece / primaloft type jacket suitable for summer mountain conditions.
Gloves /Fleece Hat - although its the summer, we’ll be starting early and finishing late, so it can be quite chilly at these times
Sun hat - it does appear in Snowdonia sometimes!
Headtorch + spare batteries, a considerable time could be spent walking in darkness, so a suitable head torch is essential
Walking poles - will certainly help the knees on the up and down bits!
Water bottle - Fluid intake is very important, so I would recommend carrying 2 litres on the hill for each section. We’ll supply additional fluid at the support stops
Personal First Aid kit and any personal medication
Toiletries including sun lotion and lip protection from the sun and wind
Food and snacks for the day - this is a crucial part of success! Think about what you eat prior to the day and what works best for you on long mountain days. A steady supply of “fuel” is needed throughout the day and is better than the traditional breakfast, lunch, dinner approach, a range of snacks that you can eat constantly will keep your “fuel tank” at the right level. You can restock your rucksack with snacks and fluid at each support meeting point. It’s worth considering having further food in the support vehicle that you can eat during these short stops.
TRAINING FOR THE DAY
It is important that you consider a fitness type programme in the build-up to the event. This will not only increase the likelihood of you completing the challenge, but also will allow for a fuller, more enjoyable and safer experience. If you are a regular mountain walking then keep heading into the mountains prior to this day, you may need to be walking almost constantly for over 15 hours! Although you would not generally walk in the mountains for 15 hours, some 7-10 hour days in the hills should definitely be included in your preparation.
Alternatively if time is limited, create a walking circuit near you, that perhaps takes about an hour to complete, within that journey add into it a steep section too and walk up and down this. Over a period of weeks slowly increase the frequency of your walks and perhaps the number of times you tackle the steep sections. It’s important not to go too fast, but rather maintain a sensible pace on both types of terrain. For example it maybe walk the route twice a week, building up to completing it 4/5 times with several loops of the steeper parts on each circuit.The part that always catches people out if they are not used to it is carrying a rucksack, so as the weeks progress try the walks with your packed rucksack on. Don’t forget to pack your fluid too, as this is likely to be the heaviest item you carry!