Bob Wightman

The Paddy Buckley Round

The following notes describe the round in reasonable detail. The names of tops are in bold type. Only clockwise notes are given as most seem to attempt the round this way.

Since these notes do not mention every summit visited on the round, not all the popups describing times to and from the surrounding summits are present nor are the light status markers as fine tuned as may be expected so it is possible that one section is marked as being dark with the next in full daylight with no dawn between.

The order of notes on this page will depend on the options you specify on the Calculator page.

Llanberis to Ogwen

From the road junction by the lower terminus of the Snowdon Mountain Railway follow the road leading north to a T-junction at the foot of the large quarry workings on the north side of the valley. Go to the right from the junction for a few metres and take the walled path (known as the “zig-zags”) which after a short distance is blocked so follow the diversion into the woods on the right until you can rejoin the path. Follow it until it crosses the first set of tramway workings via a metal bridge.

Drop down to the right and follow the old trackway along a level until it bears left to a winding shed at the foot of an incline. Continue up this for a good distance to reach a large level area. Turn right and go past the old buildings (keep them to your left) to where the track turns right. Go straight on to the foot of another incline. Follow this and its continuation (some gaps) to reach the top of the workings. Go right along a track which eventually joins a tarmacked road (this is part of the pump storage scheme) and follow this up to a sharp right hand bend. Go East on open land to the small summit of Elidir Fach then a short drop down on easy ground leads to the scree onto the summit of Elidir Fawr.

Traverse the summit, descending on the east side to gain a path which leads along the edge of the cwm containing Marchlyn Mawr, the upper pool of the storage scheme. When the main path begins to turn eastward, continue north on grassy terrain, cross the wall and go out to the summit of Mynydd Perfedd.

Return in a more direct line to rejoin the main path. Shortly the main path contours around Foel Goch but bear left and traverse its summit to rejoin the path which continues over Y Garn before a long descent down to Llyn y Cwn.

There is now a long steep climbe on loose, stony ground to the summit plateau of Glyder Fawr, the summit itself is a rough cairn amongst a jumble of rocks. The ground becomes very rough and rocky for the next mile or so, avoid Castell y Gwynt on the right then cut back left to the summit of Glyder Fach.

Continue along the edge to the north until the path drops down towards the east side of Tryfan. Take this and from the col, scramble over rocks to gain the summit of Tryfan - a pair of rock pillars named Adam and Eve. Now head due west down a rocky gully until a good path is reached which takes you down to the main A5 road. Turn left and follow this to Ogwen cottage.

Ogwen to Capel Curig

Cross the outflow of Llyn Ogwen and follow the path steeply straight up the front face of Pen yr Ole Wen. This is one of the biggest climbs of the round. From the summit the going is good past the large summit cairn of Carnedd Dafydd then a rough section along the top of the large cliffs of yr Ysgolion Duon (Black Ladders) to a climb on scree to Carnedd Llewelyn.

A long descent over first rocky ground then open grass slopes leads to the bwlch at Craig yr Ysfa. The last section to the bwlch is slightly tricky. The narrow ridge ahead needs a hands on approach but quickly leads to the summit of Pen yr Helgi Du.

The descent on the other side is easier and soon good ground leads down to a fence and a boggy area before the climb over open ground to Pen Llithrig yr Wrach. The descent from here heads for the southern end of Llyn Cowlywd before losing itself in a series of heathery slopes. Do not head for the lake but keep to the west and aim not to lose height until you can see the junction of the feeder stream and the artificial leats. Head for this junction and cross via the bridge to gain a good path on the far side. Follow this path (actually a bridleway) over marshy ground until just behind the first set of buildings. Bear left down an indistinct path to join the A5. Turn left and follow the road with care (no pavement) to the post office at Capel Curig

Capel Curig to Aberglaslyn

Along the A4086 to Plas y Brenin. Just beyond the buildings a public footpath leads down to a bridge across the river at the outflow of the Llynau Mymbyr. Directly opposite is a path through the woods. Follow this to the first fire road, turn left for a few yards then right to gain the continuation path out of the woods. Continue on the path almost directly to the summit of Moel Siabod. A long and grassy descent with brilliant running leads to the start of the Moelwyn ridge.

The route now generally follows the fence with the occasional detour to pick up the required summits. However the previous sentence doesn’t prepare you for the roughness and occasionally boggyness that this entails! Suffice to say that this is one of the harder sections of the round.

Once you reach Llyn Edno, the worst is over. A couple more small summits need visiting before a long easy run (avoiding electric fences) takes you round to Allt Fawr. From here you almost cut back on yourself to traverse round the bowl of Cwmorthin, best to keep towards the llyn on the right as there is a steep sided gorge to navigate at one point. Shortly after the gorge, head down to the dam of Llyn Stwlan and the associated quarry workings.

Climb through the workings to gain the summit of Moel yr Hydd then follow the edge towards Moelwyn Mawr. Do not climb this but take a path that traverses its eastern flanks to gain the next col. Now take the obvious path up Moelwyn Bach before returning via the same route to the col and climb Moelwyn Mawr.

Head back towards the workings at Llyn Stwlan but keep slightly left and watch out for hidden air shafts! Cross the dam of ??? then make a direct line up the south flank of Cnicht. The long SW ridge soon eases and gives good running to a junction with a stony track. Turn right and follow this through several gates to emerge on a minor road.

Turn right then in a hundred metres or so turn left on another minor road and follow this over several rises to drop into Nantmor. Turn right at the next junction (A4085) and in a couple of hundred metres there is a car park on the right.

Aberglaslyn to Pont Caer Gors

Turn right out of the car park and follow the road to its junction with the A498 at Aberglaslyn. Turn left and just after the first bend there is a path leading through the woods. After about 100 metres of the path there is a junction, take the left fork and cross the stream and keep heading upwards. Eventually the line comes out to open land.

The next section to Bryn Banog is very rough but is better earlier in the year when the bracken is lower. From Bryn Banog there is a section of vague paths leading through and round a series of hillocks before a very steep shallow gully leads onto the southern shoulder of Moel Hebog. Turn right and climb easily to the summit. A steep descent follows first a fence, then a stone wall and ends at a boggy col where some care needs to be taken to find the driest line. The path leaving the col cuts through a curious slot before a rocky ascent leads onto Moel yr Ogof.

The path on the next section is easy to lose, at one minute it is well marked on the rocky ground then it seemingly disappears. There is a tricky initial descent off Moel Lefn before the ground becomes grassier but increasingly steep. As the gradient eases, keep to the edge of the forest on the right, following a gully down to the col. The next section over Y Gyrn is very trying. Keep to the right of the wall until the summit. Now thread your way down the steep west slope, the wall is a good guide, to gain the path leading up to the col of Bwlch y Ddwy Elor.

From the bwlch, cross boggy ground to gain firmer footing, head out left to claim the top of Mynydd y Ddwy Elor though it is hardly higher than the path you have left. The going is now increasingly steep up to Trum y Ddysgl on the Nantlle Ridge, the ground in front suddenly drops away when you reach the ridge.

From Trum y Ddysgl the ridge is followed northwards over increasingly rocky ground over Mynydd Drws y Coed to Y Garn which feels on the edge of all things. The descent is a short distance back from the summit. Cross the wall and follow the path for a hundred metres or so then begin to bear rightwards aiming for the junction of the stream and the bridleway leading into Beddgelert Forest.

Follow the bridleway into the forest, taking the first track left then ignoring any right turns until you come onto one of the main tracks which leads down to the railway crossing at Pont Caer Gors.

Pont Caer Gors to Llanberis

Cross the road and take the track leading to the old farmstead of Caer Gors, continue in the same line to the summit of Craig Wen taking care not to damage any walls. Now take the ridge northwards to yr Aran. The descent off this is very steep, go east from the summit before the path turns sharply to the left and drops down to the slate workings at the col.

From the col, head north for a short distance to pick up the Watkin Path, one of the main paths up Snowdon. Follow this over the barely noticeable top of Cribau Tregalan to the summit of Yr Wyddfa(Snowdon).

Follow the tourist path to the finger stone at the head of Cwm Glas and make a detour to the top of Crib y Ddysgl. Head due West and cross the railway then follow the Snowdon Ranger path along the top of Clogwyn dur Arddu until it becomes increasingly rocky on the descent to the col at the head of Cwm Brwynog. Cross the fence and take the path leading north onto Moel Cynghorion. The descent off this to Bwlch Maesgwm is fine runnable grass.

Leaving the bwlch is a steep climb onto Foel Goch, the going is then generally grassy along the undulating ridge until the final climb to Moel Eilio. From the summit of this, a long descent following the fence on the north ridge leads to a grass lane.

Turn right on this and join the end of the tarmac of Stryd Ceunant. Go down the road a short distance before taking a path on the right which joins a track then road leading past Llanberis Falls down into the village. Turn right then left at the T-junction, at the mini-roundabout by the Victoria Hotel turn left and go down the main road for a couple of hundred metres to the junction with the road leading to the quarries.