This is a demanding 15 mile walk with some 5,400ft of ascent. You gain breath taking views of the Snowdon Horseshoe, the Glyderau, the very gradual appearance of Tryfan and then full views of the mountain as you reach the top of the Glyder Miners track and the Carneddau beyond. Go for a good clear day to enjoy this walk and at a normal walking pace with stops to admire this majestic area and for food stops you are going to take some 8 to 9 hours. It should go without saying that you should be properly equipped with skills and proper gear as well as levels of fitness to not only enjoy the day but also to avoid getting into un-necessary difficulties. This is still a demanding walk whatever the weather conditions.
You cross the road outside The Siabod Cafe, go over a wooden bridge and follow the track through the forrest. After 300yds take the right fork and then fork left past the barrier. Where the track turns back on itself carry straight on and after 10 yards take the smaller left hand side path. After 50 yards this path meets the main Plas y Brenin/Moel Siabod summit path. Turn left here and continue up the long climb onto the summit of Moel Siabod.
From the summit head off on a bearing of approx. 250 degrees to join the fence line with Snowdon seen directly in front of you. Keeping the fence on your left follow it down on the path until another fence joins from the left. Here you cross the style to join this new fence which you follow (either side – the choice is yours) towards Bwlch Clorod which is a long but easy decent. You will come to a small rocky ridge (Map OL17 ref. 679 543) and follow the path over it and here is a good place to have your first food break. Continue down to a fence over to your right, cross this and continue to decend in a north easterly direction. Here the path can be very boggy and there are a few options to take all with the aim to reach the junction of the A498 and A4086 at the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel.
On reaching the side of the hotel turn right on the path beside the main road and after 200 yards cross the road and go over the style to the foot of The Glyders Miners Track. Once over the style you follow the path over a narrow foot bridge and then follow the wall in a north/north easterly direction. You will pass one style on your left and carry straight on here, ever upward, to the next style which you cross over and continue to follow the rocky path up the hill. This is a long gradual climb which will test your reserves until respite is gained by reaching a large plateau. The path continues although at times not so clear and this will come to a crossroads marked by a cairn and here you turn left to begin the steep and rocky climb to Glyder Fach summit at 994m.
The decent is then a simple re-tracing of the steps back down to the plateau where lies Llyn Caseg Fraith. Keeping this on your left follow a wide, sometimes feint and boggy path in an easterly direction where you eventually begin to climb to the summit of Y Foel Goch. From here descend steeply south easterly to another smaller plateau. This is usually very boggy and best traversed by keeping to it’s left hand edge before you climb again to the last major summit of Galt yr Ogof.
The return to Capel Curig is an initially steep south easterly descent that then eases and turns more easterly. You cross two minor summits and boggy ground before a steep descent with numerous options towards Capel Curig. These paths lead to the farm and buildings at Gelli. At ref 719 585 turn right on a good track (keeping the farm on your left side). Proceed through the first gate and you will soon come to the A4086, so cross the road, turning left and then after a few yards turn right (through a gate) before coming to Plas y Brenin. Cross the bridge and turn left to follow the good forest track for approx. 1km. Follow the track round to the left to return over the wooden bridge and back to the start point at The Siabod Cafe where a nice welcome awaits you with good food and excellent service.
The route was created by Paul Hodges in March 2012 with a time of 4hrs and 54 minutes. I have done the route on two occasions with Paul and on the second occasion Mark, another walking friend was with us and I record the timings:
· 22nd July 2012 Good conditions and we did run sections of the route. Time 6.06.35hrs and I still hold second place in the challenge!
· 23rd Feb 2013 Very slippery frozen under foot conditions with flurries of snow for most of the day. Glyder Fach was missed out and it took 8 hours!
· 25th May 2013 Paul Hodges did the route in 3.53.16hrs. Over to you to beat this.