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The Welsh Three Peaks Challenge

Updated: Mar 26

Welsh Three Peaks

Following on from our post completing the British three peaks challenge, we also wanted to cover the Welsh three peaks. It is not as well known or popular a challenge but equally an amazing adventure and achievement.

You can choose to attempt these summits in 24 hours like the British three peaks or, like us, cover them in your own time, in your own way.

Now at the time of posting this, we have climbed two of the three peaks so will update this post once we have ticked off Cadair Idris. For now here are our adventures on Snowdon and Pen y Fan with a special bonus video for Cadair Idris.

Snowdon Yr Wyddfa - 1085m / 3560ft. The highest mountain in Wales. Located in Snowdonia National Park.

Route: Miners track up and Llanberis down

Snowdon has so many choices of route, we knew we wanted to descend the Llanberis Path down to the hotel, so it was ruled out for the ascent. We elected to choose between Pyg track and miners track depending on where the cloud layer was. With the low cloud, miners path up was chosen. It also gave us a chance to have a look at the various buildings the miners had built.

We tried to use the sherpa bus to get round to the start, but a no show by the morning bus shot that down. We were lucky enough to have two cars so drove one round (to be collected after).

With low cloud and light drizzle, we set off. The path at the start is exceptionally well made, up to road standard. And compared to both Ben Nevis and Skarfel Pike the incline is comfortable.

Skirting the first lake (Llyn Teyrn) and ruins of a row of buildings the incline picks up a bit toward the split lake (Llyn Llydaw). On the day the wind was mainly from a northerly direction, so this was the first exposure to a stronger breeze. On the north shore is the largest of the buildings, what appears to have been a warehouse. Fenced off for safety on the day.

As we climbed up to the last of the lakes (Glaslyn) the cloud was just above, giving the bowl the lake is in the feeling of being indoors, enclosed. Quite an odd feeling considering the location. On the north shore just after the last of the ruins, the path begins the more challenging route up to the Pyg track.

Unfortunately, this is where one of us injured a knee, and we debated turning back to extract vs. continuing to climb to use the train to extract the injured party. We elected to use the train for extraction. As this was a much shorter choice for the injured party.

As we climbed up onto the Llanberis Path the weather greeted us with much stronger wind, now we were exposed to it directly. But the Llanberis path is relatively benign in incline, so we were able to support our injured colleague to the train station. Beware, because most people using the train also buy a return, it took some time to extract via train. He has vowed to retry and complete the climb in the future.

The remainder of the party completed the short climb to the summit, for photos squinting into the wind/rain. The Llanberis decent was long and mostly easy on the knees but saves it's the steepest part for just before Llanberis itself.

Cadair Idris - 898m / 2930ft. Snowdonia National Park

To be completed. We have not yet climbed Cadair Idris and it is high on my to-do list so will update this post when we have achieved this peak. In the meantime, you can enjoy the following video from the awesome 2born2travel who is a member of my Facebook Group - Wild Camping and Outdoor Enthusiasts. Georgina kindly gave me permission to share her video...

Hiking and Wild Camping CADAIR IDRIS on New Year's Eve || WILD NIGHT OUT in Wales

Pen y Fan - 886m / 2907ft. Walking distance 9km

There are a few different routes you can take to reach the summit but the most popular and easiest route is the Pont a Daf path. It is well marked and paved but still uneven in places so good footwear is recommended. Although it is the smallest mountain in Wales it is still common for the weather to be changeable so plan ahead and check the forecasts.

You can read our blog post on Pen y Fan and the Dawn Pasty Challenge here.

Total height 2334m / 7657ft.

Total distance 17 miles / 27.4km.

Over To You

Now it is your turn to share with us your Welsh Peaks stories. Especially if you have climbed Cadair Idris or Snowdon on the Crib Coch pass. You can comment below or find us on social media @AdventureAccess using hashtag #AdventureWild.

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© 2021 by Sarah Skilton, AdventureAccessories.co.uk