Top 6 Winter Walks in North Wales

North Wales is home to one of the most stunning National Parks and highest mountains in the UK. The views from snowdonia stretch from Ireland to the Lake District. The Snowdon Horseshoe can be one of Britain’s biggest days out during this time of year and will be the preserve of experienced winter mountaineers only. The Glyderau too will throw up some serious challenges but with some judicious route planning can still be enjoyed by winter hill walkers in pristine conditions. But, it is the Carneddau which really comes alive in good winter conditions and takes on the feel of a mini Cairngorms. There is something magical about walking around and up these mountains when they are covered in snow. The place has a freshness, cleanliness and a greater sense of wilderness during the winter. You can wander alone, far from the beaten path and put your map reading skills to the test as the normal path could be buried under snow and the weather can change at a moment’s notice. Where to walk in Snowdonia Range Moel Siabod With unrivalled views of the Snowdon Massif and a charming ridge to the summit, Moel Siabod is an excellent place to start your winter exploration of Snowdonia. Most people will start their walk from Pont Cyfyng in Capel Curig. There is a small car park next to the A5 fully equipped with its own cafe. Moel Eilio This is another easy walk but with sensational views down the Lleyn Peninsula, across Anglesey and back into the Snowdon Massif. There are a few parking options, the easiest is to walk up from the many public car parks in Llanberis: public transport users will need to adopt this approach. There is room for one or two cars at the end of the tarmac on the road that passes the Youth Hostel (snow permitting of course.) Pen yr Ole Wen and Carnedd Dafydd The East Ridge of Pen yr Ole Wen and the trip around the lip of Cwm Lloer is one of the most popular place for winter walks. Roadside parking near Glan Dena on the A5 is usually quite easy. Head past the eastern end of Llyn Ogwen and follow a good track up into Cwm Lloer. From here the East Ridge of Pen Yr Ole Wen is obvious and is taken direct. There are three steeper sections and the first one contains a short scramble in summer which can be filled with ice in the winter (time for crampons). Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr The summit of Glyder Fawr is a fantastic moonscape of broken rocks in summer and this is enhanced greatly by a good snow covering in the winter. On top you will be 1000.8 metres above sea level and on Snowdonia’s fifth highest summit. High level walking with spectacular views in most directions around the lip of Cwm Cniefion will lead you across to Castell Y Gwynt. Castell y Gwynt is a bit of a tricky obstacle on the ridge walk. You can either go straight over it, navigationally easier but technically harder. Or try to traverse around it, which is navigationally confusing but technically easier. Whichever route you chose you’ll soon find yourselves on the summit of Glyder Fach. Most people don’t visit the actual summit but press on for a stop at the cantilever stone. In good snow cover the scree path down the south side of Bristly Ridge can be much more pleasant than in summer but some recommend heading south to join the Miners Path from Pen y Gwyrd near to Llyn Caseg y Fraith. Y Garn and the Northern Glyderau This is a wonderful walk with a real mountainous feel about it. It also reaches some parts of the Gylderiau which are rarely visited. The summit is distinctive and from its low shelter there are great views along the Gylderiau, across the Llanberis pass to the Snowdon massif and out across to Anglesey competing for your attention. The South Ridge of Snowdon It would be remiss of me not to mention Snowdon in the article. As mentioned before, under proper winter conditions the Horseshoe is a serious mountaineering route. Climbing Snowdon is a full- on expedition in winter: the final zig zags hold snow and ice for a long time and are desperately underestimated by large numbers of tourist walkers. Let’s try something different. The south ridge of Snowdon is one of the mountain’s hidden gems. It is a long, exposed but relatively broad ridge. The views in both directions are spectacular and crowds are rarely encountered before the summit.

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