Geo-Trips :: Snowdon from Nantgwynant via the Watkin Path and South Ridge

Snowdon

A walk from Nantgwynant, Sat, 22 Jun 2019 by Gareth James

A largely circular walk of some 8-8.5 miles from the Pont Bethania car park in Nantgwynant to the summit of Snowdon.

The outward leg is via the Watkin Path, which climbs through woodland first, then follows the Afon Cwm Llan though the valley past the ruin of Plascwmllan, the Gladstone Rock and the remains of South Snowdon Quarry. The ascent then gets steeper but good paths exist to Bwlch Ciliau and Bwlch y Saethau, giving great views over Llyn Llydaw. The next stage of the ascent can be tricky, with steep scree slopes, though a better-made path is being constructed. The route then joins the Rhyd Ddu path for the final ascent to Snowdon't summit (and the crowds!)

Descent starts the same way, but the Rhyd Ddu path is followed until it diverges right whereas the South Ridge route continues on higher ground. Generally well-defined paths continue all the way (albeit with some scrambling required) to reach Bwlch Cwm Llan, where a path cuts across the hillside to join a former quarry tramway for a while, before descending to join the Watkin Path again near Plascwmllan.

On the map below, the grey line is the GPS track from this trip. Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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SH6250 : Pont Bethania over the Afon Glaslyn by Gareth James
Pont Bethania over the Afon Glaslyn

SH6250 : On the Watkin Path in Nantgwynant by Gareth James
On the Watkin Path in Nantgwynant

SH6250 : On the Watkin Path in Nantgwynant by Gareth James
On the Watkin Path in Nantgwynant

SH6251 : Bridge on the Watkin Path in Nantgwynant by Gareth James
Bridge on the Watkin Path in Nantgwynant

SH6251 : Derelict building in Nantgwynant by Gareth James
Derelict building in Nantgwynant

SH6251 : View over a track in Nantgwynant by Gareth James
View over a track in Nantgwynant

SH6251 : Watkin Path above Nantgwynant by Gareth James
Watkin Path above Nantgwynant

SH6251 : View back down the Watkin Path towards Nantgwynant by Gareth James
View back down the Watkin Path towards Nantgwynant

SH6251 : Industrial remains in Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Industrial remains in Cwm Llan

SH6251 : Disused quarry incline in Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Disused quarry incline in Cwm Llan

SH6251 : Hairy caterpillar on the Watkin Path by Gareth James
Hairy caterpillar on the Watkin Path

SH6251 : Lower end of former quarry incline in Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Lower end of former quarry incline in Cwm Llan

SH6251 : Gate on the Watkin Path in Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Gate on the Watkin Path in Cwm Llan

SH6251 : On the Watkin Path in Cwm Llan by Gareth James
On the Watkin Path in Cwm Llan

SH6251 : Industrial remains in Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Industrial remains in Cwm Llan

SH6251 : Weir on the Afon Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Weir on the Afon Cwm Llan

SH6252 : Bridge carrying the Watkin Path over the Afon Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Bridge carrying the Watkin Path over the Afon Cwm Llan

SH6252 : On the Watkin Path beside Plascwmllan by Gareth James
On the Watkin Path beside Plascwmllan

SH6252 : The derelict Plascwmllan by Gareth James
The derelict Plascwmllan
This derelict residence was once home to the managers of South Snowdon Quarry.

SH6252 : The derelict Plascwmllan by Gareth James
The derelict Plascwmllan
This derelict residence was once home to the managers of South Snowdon Quarry.

SH6152 : Gladstone Rock in Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Gladstone Rock in Cwm Llan

SH6152 : Plaque on the Gladstone Rock in Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Plaque on the Gladstone Rock in Cwm Llan

SH6152 : South Snowdon Quarry barracks by Gareth James
South Snowdon Quarry barracks

SH6152 : South Snowdon Quarry barracks by Gareth James
South Snowdon Quarry barracks

SH6152 : Watkin Path passing through the waste tips of South Snowdon Quarry by Gareth James
Watkin Path passing through the waste tips of South Snowdon Quarry

SH6152 : Snowdon from the Watkin Path by Gareth James
Snowdon from the Watkin Path

SH6153 : View south from the Watkin Path towards Yr Aran by Gareth James
View south from the Watkin Path towards Yr Aran

SH6153 : Bwlch y saethau and the Watkin Path by Gareth James
Bwlch y saethau and the Watkin Path
Snowdon's summit is seen in the distance.

SH6153 : Llyn Llydaw from Bwlch Ciliau by Gareth James
Llyn Llydaw from Bwlch Ciliau

SH6153 : View over Cwm Llan from Bwlch Ciliau by Gareth James
View over Cwm Llan from Bwlch Ciliau

SH6154 : Last stretch of the Watkin Path to Snowdon's summit by Gareth James
Last stretch of the Watkin Path to Snowdon's summit

SH6154 : Watkin Path to Bwlch y Saethau by Gareth James
Watkin Path to Bwlch y Saethau

SH6154 : View from the Watkin Path to Y Lliwedd by Gareth James
View from the Watkin Path to Y Lliwedd

SH6154 : Upgrades to the Watkin Path by Gareth James
Upgrades to the Watkin Path
The upper section of the Watkin has been little more than a scree-covered slope,... more

SH6054 : View back down the Watkin Path towards Y Lliwedd by Gareth James
View back down the Watkin Path towards Y Lliwedd

SH6054 : Snowdon's summit and its queue by Gareth James
Snowdon's summit and its queue

SH6054 : Snowdon Mountain Railway near the summit by Gareth James
Snowdon Mountain Railway near the summit
Rack locomotive No. 6 Padarn approaches the summit.

SH6054 : Snowdon Mountain Railway near the summit by Gareth James
Snowdon Mountain Railway near the summit
Rack locomotive No. 6 Padarn approaches the summit.

SH6054 : Snowdon Mountain Railway at Summit station by Gareth James
Snowdon Mountain Railway at Summit station
Rack locomotive No. 6 Padarn arrives at the summit; diesel loco No. 12 George... more

SH6054 : Snowdon Mountain Railway at Summit station by Gareth James
Snowdon Mountain Railway at Summit station
Rack locomotive No. 6 Padarn is seen at rest at Summit station after the climb up... more

SH6054 : View SW to Bwlch Main from Snowdon by Gareth James
View SW to Bwlch Main from Snowdon

SH5654 : Welsh Highland Railway near Llyn Cwellyn by Gareth James
Welsh Highland Railway near Llyn Cwellyn
... as viewed from near the summit of Snowdon.

SH6054 : Heading for Bwlch Main by Gareth James
Heading for Bwlch Main

SH6053 : On Bwlch Main by Gareth James
On Bwlch Main

SH6053 : On Bwlch Main by Gareth James
On Bwlch Main

SH6053 : Parting of the paths on Bwlch Main by Gareth James
Parting of the paths on Bwlch Main
The left-hand path continues over the south ridge of Snowdon, to the right is the... more

SH6053 : View to Snowdon's summit from Bwlch Main by Gareth James
View to Snowdon's summit from Bwlch Main

SH6053 : Descending from Bwlch Main on Snowdon's south ridge by Gareth James
Descending from Bwlch Main on Snowdon's south ridge

SH6053 : View over Bwlch Main to Snowdon by Gareth James
View over Bwlch Main to Snowdon

SH6053 : Descending Snowdon's south ridge by Gareth James
Descending Snowdon's south ridge

SH6152 : View over South Snowdon Quarry and Cwm Llan by Gareth James
View over South Snowdon Quarry and Cwm Llan

SH6052 : Ladder stile on Snowdon's south ridge by Gareth James
Ladder stile on Snowdon's south ridge

SH6052 : View towards Clogwyn Du by Gareth James
View towards Clogwyn Du

SH6052 : Small lake on Allt Maenderyn by Gareth James
Small lake on Allt Maenderyn

SH6052 : View towards Yr Aran by Gareth James
View towards Yr Aran

SH6052 : Disused quarry near Bwlch Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Disused quarry near Bwlch Cwm Llan

SH6052 : Descent towards Bwlch Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Descent towards Bwlch Cwm Llan

SH6052 : View into Cwm Llan from Bwlch Cwm Llan by Gareth James
View into Cwm Llan from Bwlch Cwm Llan

SH6052 : Path through Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Path through Cwm Llan
The physical route of the path here seems to deviate notably from the route shown... more

SH6152 : Ruined buildings at South Snowdon Quarry by Gareth James
Ruined buildings at South Snowdon Quarry

SH6152 : Ruined buildings at South Snowdon Quarry by Gareth James
Ruined buildings at South Snowdon Quarry
The larger building was the barracks.

SH6152 : About the join the old tramway route in Cwm Llan by Gareth James
About the join the old tramway route in Cwm Llan

SH6152 : On a former tramway in Cwm Llan by Gareth James
On a former tramway in Cwm Llan

SH6152 : View to Plas Cwm Llan by Gareth James
View to Plas Cwm Llan

SH6252 : The derelict Plascwmllan by Gareth James
The derelict Plascwmllan
This ruined building once housed the managers of the South Snowdon Quarry.

SH6151 : Former quarry tramway and stone embankment in Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Former quarry tramway and stone embankment in Cwm Llan

SH6151 : Desending a quarry incline to Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Desending a quarry incline to Cwm Llan

SH6251 : Descending a quarry incline into Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Descending a quarry incline into Cwm Llan

SH6252 : The derelict Plascwmllan by Gareth James
The derelict Plascwmllan
View to the former home of the South Snowdon Quarry managers.

SH6251 : Derelict building in Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Derelict building in Cwm Llan

SH6251 : Taking a dip in the Afon Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Taking a dip in the Afon Cwm Llan

SH6251 : Scrambling up the Afon Cwm Llan by Gareth James
Scrambling up the Afon Cwm Llan

SH6251 : Path descending to Nantgwynant by Gareth James
Path descending to Nantgwynant

All images © Gareth James and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.

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