The Pyg and Miners Tracks
Key: Mountain over 914m Peak over 600m Peak under 600m
Length: 11km Height gain: 725m Highest point: 1085m Approx time: 5 hours gpx file
This is a straight forward route up Snowdon. The only points of safety are to ensure that you keep to the Pyg track, and do not stray on to Crib Goch. The top part of the Pyg track where you join the Llanberis path up to Snowdon is also dangerous when there is a ice on the ground.
We shall begin from Pen y Pass, where the cafe has been taken over by Caban. Parking here now costs £10 for a day, so you may prefer to park in Nant Peris and use the park & ride, or walk up from Pen y Gwryd (road side parking with pay and display machines). Follow the Pyg track up to Bwlch Moch as in the Crib Goch route. The track is called Pyg, standing for Pen y Gwryd, which is the name of the hotel at the bottom of the pass. Do not turn up Crib Goch for this route, rather stay on the well defined path which is almost flat for quite a distance as you contour above Llyn Llydaw. There are good views from the path across to Lliwedd on your left, and up to Crib Goch and Crib y Ddysgl on your right, as well as Snowdon in front of you.
The path will start to go up in front of you, and another track will join you from the left. This is the Miners track, so called because it used to be used by miners during their day of work in the hills. This is the route which you will descend, and is worth noting. Carry on, heading up now but still in the same direction, and you will reach some zig zags with a wall by them. This has been maintained recently. Follow the path up to the finger stone (a large standing rock shaped like a finger), which is used as a marker for the beginning of the descent to the Pyg and Miners tracks. The last part of this slope is steep, and if there is snow on the ground you should consider whether you will be able to descend it safely. Now turn left, and follow the railway up to the summit.
The views have been described in other sections, so we will not go over this again other than to mention Glaslyn and Llyn Llydaw below you, by which you will descend. Make your way back to the finger stone, and walk down to where the Miners track joined you (marked by a standing stone). Now make your way down this track. The slope is steep, and the best route down is a zig-zag which will eventually bring you out at the blue lake of Glaslyn. This lake is surprisingly blue because of the copper content from mining. It is worth a look back towards Snowdon, which makes an excellent photograph in the right light.
The rest of the walk is very clear. You walk down past several old houses which were used by the Miners, and will be on what is almost a road. This will bring you to the reservoir of Llyn Llydaw, to a causeway. This used to be flooded when there was a lot of rain but has now been raised substantially. The Miners track is still obvious as it leads you back to Pen y Pass.