Ridges of Snowdonia
The best ridge walking
By Steve Ashton
Guidebook of the best ridge walks in Snowdonia. Routes from 8km to 60km for competent and experienced walkers. Walks include ridges in the Carneddau, Glyders and Tryfan, Snowdon range, Crib Coch, Nantlle, Rhinogs, Arans, Cader Idris and a Snowdonia 3000er traverse.
SeasonsAll year round walking, but winter in Snowdonia can mean just that.
CentresBangor, Betws-y-Coed, Llanberis, Capel Curig, Bala, Bedgellert.
DifficultyLong mountain horseshoes and traverses including some scrambling. Full and hard hillwalking days. The Snowdon 3000ers route is 37 miles and takes about 16 hours to walk.
Must SeeSnowdon Horseshoe, Glyders traverse, Moelwyns northern ridges, Cader Idris circuit, Snowdon traverse
This guidebook explores the best ridge walking in Snowdonia, Wales. A collection of horseshoes, traverses and circuits, as well as summits, ascent and descent options for knowledgable and experienced walkers. The routes range between 8 and 28km (as well as the 60km Fourteen Peaks Snowdonia Traverse), and collect plenty of summits along the way. Exciting mountain days walking Snowdonia's ridges, with practical details on the terrain, difficulty, scrambling, distance and timings are included. Each route includes clear route description and annotated OS overview maps.
The guidebook includes spectacular ridges with long views over Snowdonia and further into Wales in a number of areas: the Carneddau ridges, the Glyders, the Snowdon group, the Moelwyns, the Nantille area, the Rhinogs, Cader Idris, the Arans and the extroadinary, 60km Traverse that links the 14 highest Snowdonia peaks in three ranges of hills.
This guide is a unique exploration of Snowdonia's ridges, that combines route description with an exploration of the hillwalking experience. The aim, above all, to deliver some of the finest mountain experiences to walkers along Snowdonia's big and challenging walking routes.
A THE CARNEDDAU
A1 Northern Ridges
A1(a) Approach through Cwm Eigiau
A1(b) Descent to Aber
A2 Southern Ridges
A2(a) Descent to Ffynnon Llugwy
A2(b) Pen yr Ole Wen South Ridge
A3 Western Ridges
A3(a) Crib Lem (Llech Ddu Spur)
B THE GLYDERS
B1 Northern Ridges
B1(a) Braich y Ddeugwm Approach
B1(b) Bochlwyd Approach
B1(c) Kitchen Descent
B1(d) Y Garn Descent
B2 Main Traverse
C SNOWDON GROUP
C1 The Snowdon Horseshoe
C1(a) Crib Goch North Ridge
C1(b) Pig Track Descent
C1(c) Y Gribin descent
C2 Main Traverse
C2(a) Direct Approach to South Ridge
C2(b) Descent of Snowdon Ranger
C2(c) Direct Descent to Llanberis
D THE MOELWYNS
D1 Northern Ridges
D1(a) Ascent from Capel Curig
D2 Southern Ridges
D2(a) Cnicht from Nanmor
D2(b) Incorporating Moel yr Hydd
E THE NANTILE AREA
E1 Nantlle Ridge
F THE RHINOGS
F1 Main Traverse
G CADER IDRIS
G1 Circuit of Cwm Cau
H THE ARANS
H1 Main Traverse
I SNOWDONIA TRAVERSES
I1 The Fourteen Peaks
APPENDIX – Welsh words and Pronunciation
EMERGENCY CHECKLIST (1) Mountain Rescue
EMERGENCY CHECKLIST (2) First Aid
OS Landranger Series (1:50,000)
Sheets: 115, 124
OS Outdoor Leisure Series: Sheet 17
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As guidebooks go, it does a first rate job. Everything you need, where you need it. Marvellous.
I bought this to do some research for my Summer holiday this year.
As guidebooks go, it does a first rate job. It contains all the information: General descriptions of the various areas of Snowdonia, very detailed step by step route descriptions with OS maps, not only for the main ridges but also for several variations. Includes stunning photographs and a final section covering a complete transverse of Snowdonia.
Everything you need, where you need it. Marvellous.
What makes this book stand apart from the rest is Mr Ashton's wicked sense of humour. After each 'step by step' there's a rather entertaining, more readable description of the route.
Here's what I mean. Discussing the descent from Yr Wyddfa South from page 83:
"Unless you want to fritter away the rest of a perfectly good afternoon doing good deeds for people, do not descend directly to Bwlch y Saethau along with misdirected and ill-shod tourists heading for Beddgelert. Why? Because that slope is set exactly at the critical angle for human beings in unsuitable footwear. Normally, of course, most of these people will proceed downwards according to the law of acceleration down an inclined plane; but there's always a few who will discover that as long as they keep very still, they are able to hold position on the slope indefinitely... follow the path down to Bwlch instead - falling bodies permitted."
Some parts made me laugh out loud.
Even if you have no intention of walking in Snowdonia, it's worth a read. Go and buy it now!
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Steve lived in Snowdonia for 20 years, during which he wrote several climbing and walking books to the region. The best known of these is the highly influential and now classic Scrambles in Snowdonia, which was largely responsible for reviving interest in this esoteric sport.View Articles and Books by Steve Ashton