Monday, 23 May 2016

Snowdon Horseshoe

Walk Summary
Arguably one of the most iconic Nuttall walks you are ever likely to undertake.
Craig Fach first summit of the day towards The Glyders.
At 608.75 misses out on Nuttall status by 830mm
64 photos (more than I usually like to include) but really could have done with more to give a full photo commentary of the route.
The other way is to watch a video of the full 5½ hour walk or better still acquire the skills, gain the confidence and take the care to do it yourself.
Many descriptions online tend to over big the route emphasising horrendous weather conditions and extreme jeopardy, resulting in me putting off this walk, waiting for perfect weather and a sense of anxiety leading up to and during the walk.
In some ways not a bad thing. You do need to be fully capable to attempt this route in any, even perfect conditions, but if you have the necessary skills making sure you have the equipment appropriate to the conditions, as well as knowing how to use it; all you have to do is take care and ENJOY.
Not a lot more to say about the route other than there is far more scrambling than I have ever done alone in any one route. A long way from my first hill on Simon Fell when I distinctly remember thinkin "... this hill climbing seems OK, but if there is ever a time when I need a rope I will not be going there".

Well I think scrambling was included in that maxim. Just goes to show unless you take that first step on a journey, you have no idea where you might turn up"
One final point worth mentioning is that the car park at Pen y Pass charges £10 for the full day, £5 for up to four hours. Quite a lot thinks I, but the car park was full by 11pm on a Monday morning so if the money goes to the National Park not a bad way of rationing parking spaces while at the same time contributing to a good cause. I am sure the record for The Snowdon Horseshoe is significantly below four hours, so for us mortals if you do not want to pay £10 you can use the S2 service from Llanberis at a cost of £1.50 each way.
Make sure you leave enough time to complete the whole circuit. I was sat in Snowdon cafe at 4:00pm, having a cup of coffee when I remembered the last bus back to Llanberis was 7:05pm. enough time to return over the Lliwedd Nuttalls but would there be enough time to nip over to Gallt y Wenallt?
Even where the path diverged back to Pen y Pass on the descent from Lliwedd Bach I was tempted to head west for the final Nuttall, However arriving back at the bus stop 18:55pm confirmed the made correct choice was made.
In terms of costs I am still in pocket. Yes it will still cost me another £3 in bus fare, but I will be returning to the area for Moel Siabod anyway.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date -23 May 2016
Walkers - Steve Smith

Accommodation - Coed-y-Llwyn Caravan Club Site
Start Point-   Bus Stop opposite YHA Pen-y-Pass (SH 64744 55610)
Finish Point Bus Stop opposite YHA Pen-y-Pass (SH 64744 55610)
Total Duration - 5hrs 24mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.43mph
Total Distance Walked - 7.74 miles
Total Height Ascended - 1295.94 metres

Peaks visited
Nuttalls (189W - 443E&W)
Crib Goch (135W - 388E &W)
Crib y Ddysgl (136W - 389E &W)
Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa (137W - 390E &W)
Lliwedd (138W - 391E &W)
Lliwedd East Top (139W - 392E &W)
Lliwedd Bach (140W - 393E &W)
Hewitts (138W - 317E&W)
Crib Goch (96W - 275E &W)
Crib y Ddysgl (97W - 276E &W)
Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa (98W - 277E &W)
Lliwedd  (99W - 278E &W)
Marilyns (158W - 1556E,W&S)
Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa (83W - 245E,W &S)
Lliwedd (84W - 246E,W &S)
Deweys (241W - 422E&W)
Craig Fach (49W - 102E &W)
HuMPs (366W - 2975E,W&S)
Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa (97W - 326E,W &S)
Lliwedd  (98W - 327E,W &S)
Historic County Tops (13W - 93E,W&S)
Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa (9W - 53E,W &S)
W: Wales. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
21st Foel Penolau & Moel Ysgyfarnogod
23rd Snowdon Horseshoe
25th Moelwyns Mawr & Bach and two other nearby Nuttalls from Tanygrisiau
26th The Ysgafell Wens, Moel Druman & Allt-Fawr from Tal-y-waenydd

OS 1:25,000 route map to follow.
GPX can be downloaded from

More Photographs
Descent route down Crib Goch. Like all mountains the job is only half done at the summit
Click on photograph to view slide-show