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Complete Guide To The Snowdon Six

Climb Snowdon - Complete Guide To The Snowdon Six

The UK is home to an array of iconic mountain challenges. The Three Peaks, The Welsh 3000s and The Cairngorms 4000s are all epic walks that are well-known amongst UK hillwalkers.

But how about the Snowdon Six?

A fantastic challenge set entirely on Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon), the Snowdon Six pushes participants to the limits as they explore every metre of every trail on our favourite Welsh mountain. Sound like your cup of tea? Well, here is our comprehensive guide to the Snowdon Six.

What is the Snowdon Six?

The Snowdon Six is a wonderfully tough mountain challenge that sees you ascend and descend Yr Wyddfa three times. Each ascent and descent utilises a different path and, by the end of the challenge, you will have walked all of the mountain’s main trails. The six trails included in the challenge are:

  • • Llanberis Path
  • • Snowdon Ranger Path
  • • Miners’ Track
  • • Pyg Track
  • • Rhyd Ddu Path
  • • Watkin Path

As anyone who has climbed Yr Wyddfa knows, each trail provides a unique perspective on the mountain and involves its own challenges. The Watkin Path passes through historic quarries and culminates in a steep and loose climb to the summit. Rhyd Ddu offers breathtaking views of Moel Hebog and the hills of Nantlle to the south. The relatively relaxed Llanberis Path crosses the Snowdon Mountain Railway and, if lucky, allows for a brief stop at the Halfway House Cafe. Experiencing all these different routes is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the Snowdon Six challenge.

In what order do you do the Snowdon Six routes?

So, the challenge involves climbing Yr Wyddfa three times and covering all six main routes. But in what order? While you can arrange the paths in almost any order, the logistics of getting between the trailheads at the foot of the mountain mean you should think carefully about the sequencing. On the Climb Snowdon-supported Snowdon Six challenge, we use the following itinerary.

  1. Up Watkin Path – The Climb Snowdon coach will drop you, your team and our Mountain Leaders off at the Watkin Path trailhead. Your challenge begins on one of the most picturesque Yr Wyddfa trails…
  2. Down Miners’ Track – Having completed the first summit, it is time to descend via the historic Miners’ Track. You will have the opportunity to refuel at Pen Y Pass once you reach the bottom. That’s the first cycle complete!
  3. Up Pyg Track – The Pyg Track also starts at Pen Y Pass, so the second ascent begins as soon as you are ready to go.
  4. Down Rhyd Ddu Path – With the second summit under your belt, you descend via the quiet and peaceful Rhyd Ddu Path. A final refuel at the foot of the mountain and you are ready for the final climb.
  5. Up Snowdon Ranger Path – It is a short walk to the Ranger Path, and then you are on your way to the summit for the final time.
  6. Down Llanberis Path – As the legs tire, the last descent is down the forgiving Llanberis Path. Congratulations! It’s challenge complete.

How difficult is the Snowdon Six?

The Snowdon Six is a significant challenge, both physically and mentally. It features a similar amount of distance and ascent to the Three Peaks Challenge but none of the respite. Whereas the transfers between mountains during Three Peaks enable you to rest, relax and recuperate somewhat, there is no let-up with the Snowdon Six.

At the same time, participants also have to contend with the fact that there are plenty of opportunities to stop the challenge and throw the towel in. Each time you descend off the mountain and reach the foot of a trail, you know you could pack it all in and head to the closest pub or cafe for a restorative meal and beverage. It takes a lot of willpower not to succumb to that temptation!

The Snowdon Six is achievable for those with good fitness, plenty of determination and a love for the mountains. However, it should not be undertaken lightly. It requires some serious preparation and plenty of training.

Practical considerations on the Snowdon Six

Beyond the route, there are several practical considerations to factor into your planning.

Light – The Snowdon Six is a long challenge, often taking anywhere from 15 to 18 hours. This means daylight can be an issue and participants must think carefully about what time of year they do the challenge, what time of day they intend to start and finish, and their ability to navigate and walk in the dark.

Weather – As with all mountain challenges, the weather can impact the experience considerably. It often determines whether the challenge succeeds and how much you enjoy it. Most importantly, it influences safety. Be prepared for all conditions and recognise that the weather on the mountain is highly changeable. Check the forecast in advance and stay abreast of the latest developments.

Equipment – While the temptation may be to pack as light as possible, you must ensure you are adequately equipped with appropriate clothing, plenty of water, snacks, navigation equipment, suitable footwear, headlamps and an emergency blanket. If possible, you may want to consider getting a friend to meet you between ascents with food and water top ups.

Transport – Because you are starting and finishing on different trails, you need to think about drop-off and pick-up at the start and end of the challenge. Public transport is available at many trailheads. But make sure you check operating hours.

When Climb Snowdon organises your Snowdon Six challenge, we handle almost all the arrangements and communicate important information concerning kit, equipment and logistics before departure. This alleviates a lot of the pressure of organising the challenge.

The Snowdon Six with Climb Snowdon

Few people are better placed to organise your Snowdon Six challenge than the Climb Snowdon team. Based at the foot of Yr Wyddfa, we are experienced Mountain Leaders who spend most days on the mountain and have climbed it in all conditions.

Our local expertise ensures you get the most from your Snowdon Six challenge and gives you the best possible chance of succeeding in your attempt. We take the stress out of organising and keep you safe, motivated and on-track when walking Yr Wyddfa. Whether you are a small group of friends looking to take on a big challenge or part of a workplace team raising money for charity, we ensure your Snowdon Six event is challenging for all the right reasons.

Learn more on the Climb Snowdon Group Challenges page or contact the Climb Snowdon team if you have any questions.