Something different on a busy day….
The Snowdon Massif lends itself to so many routes, whether short, long, circular, linear, walking, scrambling, climbing…it’s one of my favourite areas to explore. Now it’s been estimated that over 500k people visit the summit of Snowdon in a year, even with the train delivering a high number of them at the top, that’s still a significant amount of walkers / climbers on the mountain. Over the years I’ve sussed out a good variety of walking routes routes over and around this iconic mountain that avoids the crowds either until he summit or when we have to cross a major path - I’m sure many of those who have been on a ML assessment with me will agree with that!
This is the type of circular route that I might do on a busy Bank Holiday that not only avoids the crowds, but simply means I can park somewhere! It’s a cunning little journey in the Llanberis Pass.
At the southern end of Llyn Peris is a large lay-by with ample parking, it’s also below Ben’s Bunkhouse - a good place to base yourself, although it’s not Ben who owns it, but Rob….
From here the footpath along Afon Nant Peris passes the old quarry and you’ll see where the river is diverted underground to Llyn Padarn because of the hydro power station that uses Llyn Peris. Pass the footbridge that crosses into Nant Peris and follow the signposted track that traverse up the slope, this can get pretty overgrown with ferns in the summer! Carry on following the signs that are well spaced, but fairly easy to spot. As you bump into the wooded enclosure, follow it round and then follow the fence that goes directly up the hill - apologies, it’s a little brutal this bit! You’ll need to ascend a few hundred metres of height gain, you’ll know when you’re in the right place as there is a superb ‘platform’ in the slope that sticks out proud. From here the fun starts and you can work your way up the rocky rib all the way to the summit of Llechog. There are a number of rock steps on the way that all feel like Grade 1 if you tackle them direct or alternatively you can avoid them on the flanks. Don’t forget to take in the views of the Pass, it’s a completely different perspective on the valley and one of my favourite views! On arrival at the summit you might even bump into the train!
From Llechog you have several options to get back to the car, either head North or South along the ridge.
Heading South will give you a shorter journey back to the car, walk along the rise to the 610m ring contour, there are a couple of styles, cross the last last one and you’ll easily pick up the faint path path down into the Pass. This fades a little lower down, but follow your nose and you’ll end in in familiar terrain from earlier.
Alternatively from Llechog head north along the ridge, the train track is relatively easy to avoid, funnily enough the railway company aren’t too keen on you playing chicken with their trains! You’ll join the crowds on the Llanberis Path just past Clogwyn Station, but soon after leave the the path and head up onto Gryn Las. As you approach the ridge summit heading towards the Llanberis Path, it will seem unlikely that you will be able to descend this way, however follow the faint path and all will be revealed. There’s a small 10-15 narrow gully that needs to be negotiated, it’s simple, but as always a little care is needed. Follow the path down, above the area of Clogwyn Mawr the path heads down into Cwm Glas Mawr, this is where you need to follow the fainter path which brings you into Cwm Glas Bach.
From here you can venture back to the woods from earlier - there’s a really nice little marked footpath through them or take a higher traverse above the woods. Not a long day, but one with continual interest and from Gryn Las you get a completely different view of Crib Goch, worth the effort just for that!