The 14 Welsh Three Thousands, Saturday 13th June 2020

The Goal

The Primary Objective is to traverse all 14 summits on the Saturday. This can be achieved as a round trip starting and ending at Glan Dena at the east end of Llyn Ogwen, on foot all the way. Averaging a Naismith Pace, this can be completed in daylight with over an hour to spare.

The Easier Alternative is to spend both Saturday and Sunday bagging the 14 peaks. After traversing the first 8 peaks, the route crosses the A5 at the west end of Llyn Ogwen, so it would be very easy to finish on Saturday by walking to Glan Dena and traverse the 6 Carneddau on the Sunday.

Booking for the Weekend

Accommodation Available. All of the 24 beds available to visitors have been secured at the MAM's Glan Dena Hut at the east end of Llyn Ogwen, from Friday evening the 12th until Sunday the 14th of June 2020. Here are the Glan Dena Hut Details. All who book will be emailed with the hut key code in good time before the event.

Booking. Please complete and send as an email attachment this Booking Form to Mel Owen at mel.aac@blue-roan.org, after answering all of the questions, please. As soon as your booking has been provisionally confirmed it must be promptly supported by the full payment of £28.00 for each member taking a bed. [The MAM's overnight rate for visitors is currently £14, which they are convinced will remain unchanged through 2020]. Please send each payment by BACS-transfer to Mel Owen, Account 00973858 @56-00-55, identified by the lead booking name. You might need to act quickly, since in 2019 all 24 beds were snapped up within just a few weeks of the first Newsletter announcment. As soon as all beds have been taken, the money will be immediately transferred to the MAM, and members subsequently trying to book will be invited to go onto a waiting list in case of cancellations, of which there were some in 2019. Cancelled bookings will be promptly refunded, but only if and when the cancelled place is subsequently filled by another member.


Mandatory Stipulation: Everyone participating in this meet must accept full responsibility for their own actions throughout the meet, with specific reference to where they go, what they do, with whom they do it, and what they eat and drink.

Current Booking Position and Car Sharing to get to Snowdonia. You will see from this list of Places Taken how bookings are going, but you cannot be personally identified unless you give permission on the Booking Form, for legal reasons. The key intention is to allow you to get in touch with each other to share cars.

The Proposed Route

The route illustrated in this Overview Map shows all of the desribed options. The recommended one-day route is summarised as follows:
Glan Dena > Tryfan > Glyder Fach > Glyder Fawr > Pen-y-Pass > Crib Goch > Crib y-Dysgl > Yr Wyddfa > Nant Peris > Elidir Fawr > Y Garn > West End of Llyn Ogwen > Pen yr Ole Wen > Carnedd Dafydd > Yr Elen > Foel Grach > Foel-fras > Foel Grach > Carnedd Llewelyn > Glan Dena.

Solar Ephemerides. The sun will rise at 04.49 and set at 21.43. Perhaps more importantly, Civil Twilight will begin at 03.58 and end at 22.35. You will therefore have slightly more than 18½ hours of daylight. The only daylight of any use is that which is still in front of you! Those planning to traverse all 14 summits on the Saturday are strongly recommended to start out at 04.00. Fell runners and those planning to leave traversing the Carneddau until the Sunday might wish to start later.

Distances, Ascents and Descents. The following tabulates the basic fixed data for the shortest one-day round-trip:


Route SectorDistanceAscentDescent
Glan Dena to Pen-y-Pass4.473,2293,044
Pen-y-Pass to Nant Peris carpark5.982,9873,810
Nant Peris CP to West End of Llyn Ogwen6.163,5622,924
West End of Llyn Ogwen to Glan Dena13.54,7504,750
Totals30.1114,52814,528

Naismith's Rule. The original Naismith's Rule from 1892 says that one should allow one hour per three miles on the map and an additional hour per 2,000 feet of ascent. If you can average Naismith's pace all day, the proposed route will take you around 17 hours 20 minutes, and you will be able to complete it in daylight. Serious fell-walkers generally know how their pace compares with Naismith’s pace; mine was consistently faster for many decades until entering my mid-70’s, but alas no longer.

Timings. The following two tables, based on the shortest one-day round-trip, are for a Naismith’s Pace in the column headed ‘3 mph’, and the other columns assume that if your pace on the flat is different from Naismith’s then your ascent allowance will be similarly different in the same ratio. This first table displays the expected time taken for each defined sector. The second indicates at what time you should arrive at key points assuming an 04.00 start, with all figures therein being in 'clock time' (hrs.mins).


Sectorat 2.5 mphat 3.0 mphat 3.5 mphat 4.0 mphYour own times
Glan Dena to Pen y Pass3hr 44min3hr 6min2hr 40min2hr 20min
Pen y Pass to Nant Peris cp4hr 11min3hr 29min2hr 59min2hr 37min
Nant Peris cp to West End of Llyn Ogwen 4hr 36min3hr 50min3hr 17min2hr 53min
West End of Llyn Ogwento Glan Dena8hr 15min6hr 53min5hr 54min5hr 9min

Fixed Pointat 2.5 mphat 3.0 mphat 3.5 mphat 4.0 mphYour own times
Glan Dena (start)04.0004.0004.0004.00
Pen y Pass07.4407.0606.4006.20
Nant Peris cp11.5510.3509.3908.57
West End of Llyn Ogwen16.3114.2512.5611.49
Glan Dena (finish)24.4621.1818.5016.59

These two tables may be printed out and carried with you to annotate as you go along. Their purpose is to help you estimate your speed and completion time.

Safety Reminder. Every walker should remember that hill parties should be no smaller than 4 for safety reasons; (the historic reason was that if anyone is injured, one colleague stays with the injured party and the other two head off together for help. Even though this practice predated the introduction of mobile phones, it is still sound advice, since mobile phone connectivity cannot be guaranteed.) However since most of my own traverses of the route have been solo, it is a case of doing what I say rather than following my poor example. Fell runners invariably solo anyway.

Party Cohesion. It is expected that when you all meet at Glan Dena on the Friday evening, and again when you join together for breakfast on the Saturday morning, that you will cohesively form groups of like-minded walkers, without needing 'management interference'. You could then all set out together at (say) 04.00 on the Saurday morning and confirm your proposed grouping as you all observe your relative speeds over the first leg to Pen y Pass.

Individual Self-Sufficiency. Each participant is expected to be completely self-sufficient for food and spare kit.

Expected Weather. The weather forecast for the weekend is planned to be posted here at the beginning of the preceding week and updated daily.

Recommended Route in detail

Glan Dena > Tryfan > Glyder Fach > Glyder Fawr > Pen-y-Pass

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From Glan Dena, traverse Tryfan and Glyder Fach. Each group may choose their own routes, but my own preference would be to scramble up the North Ridge of Tryfan and then up Bristly Ridge onto Glyder Fach. From there proceed to the summit of Glyder Fawr and descend it Southwards to Pen-y-pass.

Pen y Pass > Crib Goch > Crib y Ddysgl > Yr Wyddfa > Nant Peris

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The route up to Snowdon Summit over Crib Goch and Crib y Ddysgl is generally straightforward, obvious, and well-known to all. On descent, the best option is to follow the Llanberis path to the point where it turns sharp left to pass under the Snowdon Railway. Leave the path at this point to the right of a short wire fence. From there, the first line of descent is unnecessarily steep, so just a few paces further on you will find an easier descent. Head for the farm buildings clearly visible at the roadside which provides a bridge over the wide stream and passage through the dry-stone wall. A short road-walk takes you to the Nant Peris carpark which has Public Conveniences.

Nant Peris > Elidir Fawr > Y Garn > West End of Llyn Ogwen

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When the footpath from Nant Peris crosses the Afon Dudodyn by a footbridge at SH 613 599, head straight north for the summit of Elidir Fawr rather than north-west to the ridge. From there the route to Y Garn is straight-forward. From its summit start your descent in a North-Easterly direction and pick up the foot path to the West End of Llyn Ogwen.

If you feel that you've had enough for one day, walk along the A5 east-wards, along the south bank of Llyn Ogwen, back to Glan Dena, a walk of little more than a mile and a half taking 30 minutes.

West End of Llyn Ogwen > Pen yr Ole Wen > Carnedd Dafydd > Yr Elen > Foel Grach > Foel-fras > Foel Grach > Carnedd LLewelyn > Glan Dena

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If you are feeling tired at this point, please bear in mind that you are starting from an altitude of 990 feet and once you reach the first summit you hardly drop below 3,000 feet until you come off at the end, it is mainly just striding out, so do not give up too easily. I have completed this round trip on many occasions, consistently taking 6 hours without any running, 13 times in the last 8 years, even in late November between 09.00 and 15.00.

If starting this leg from the West End of Llyn Ogwen, the well-worn 'tourist route' up Pen yr Ole Wen is obvious and easy to follow. If starting from Glan Dena, take the footpath heading North across a ford over the Afon Lloer and then up to the left of it, following an intermittent line of square posts with white paint on their tops. Head for the obvious break in the dry-stone wall and then head left on the footpath up to Pen yr Ole Wen.

The route from Pen yr Ole Wen over Carnedd Dafydd is obvious. When heading northwards towards the south face of Carnedd Llewelyn, leave the path at its lowest point to contour left to the col between Yr Elen and Carnedd Llewelyn, and then ascend Yr Elen. Your next objective is not Carnedd Llewellyn it is Foel Grach. Traversing left too soon to save gaining unnecessary height will leave you crossing a difficult boulder field, so it is better to ascend part way up Carnedd Llewelyn until you can find clear ground on your left. Note the possibly useful shelter just below the summit of Foel Grach to its north (good for an emergency bivouac). Carnedd Uchaf/Carnedd Gwenllian is often referred to as the 15th 3,000 footer, but although its altitude exceeds 3,000 feet, the height drop from it is insufficient for the equivalent of true Munro status, however, it is always topped anyway. Do not head directly for the Foel-fras Trig Point until you are nearly there, since the going is much less rocky following close to the wall. Return to Foel Grach omitting Carnedd Gwenllian and this time climb to the summit of Carnedd Llewelyn. You then have a choice of routes down to Glan Dena:

  1. The shorter straight-line option, on which the time and distance figures are all based, assumes that you descend Carnedd Llewelyn’s South Face and continue southwards checking the map and eye-balling the most obvious descent route to Glan Dena, noting two clearly marked gaps shown on the map through drystone walls.
  2. The significantly longer option is perhaps physically less demanding and technically more comfortable since it is on good footpaths all the way, which is why I have always preferred it when doing this route. Descend Carnedd Llewelyn in a South-Easterly direction on the footpath past the top of Graig yr Ysfa and along the Bwlch Eryl Farchog ridge and then continue down to the East bank of the Ffynnon Llugwy reservoir. From near its Southern end you find yourself on a good landrover track which runs in a nearly straight line down to the A5, which is a blessing if daylight is fading. Once you reach the road, you may either follow it to Glan Dena, or, if you don’t like road walking, head through the campsite and follow the good footpath which runs parallel to the road.

Please Do Not consider descending from Foel-fras to the Aber Falls carpark. You will reduce your return walk from 5.37 miles by 1.48 miles to 3.89 miles and reduce your net ascent by 700 feet. You will also need to have bagged the summit of Carnedd Llewelyn on the way out. Taking everything into account and assuming a Naismith’s Pace, you will have saved yourself only 40 minutes. And having reached the Aber Falls carpark you will need to rely on dubious mobile phone coms to either phone for a taxi, having researched their numbers in advance, or phone Glan Dena and persuade a very tired colleague who has neither already crashed-out nor celebrated with alcohol to make a 39 mile round trip to pick you up.

The full route description is also available as an A4 PDF sheet for printing

Mobile Phones. There is rarely any mobile phone reception in the valleys, although there is frequently line of sight to a mobile phone mast from the tops. If you've a mobile phone please carry it with you in case of emergencies. Glan Dena has an (allegedly-unreliable) built-in Mobile Phone, 07745 833 067.

Absence of Civil Liability Issues

Although the AAC(UK) and all of its members have very comprehensive Civil Liability Insurance provided through the ÖAV, members booking accommodation on this meet are doing just that, booking accommodation, nothing more, and it is entirely up to them where they go, what they do, and with whom they do it, while staying at the booked accommodation, accepting full responsibility for their own actions.

The AAC(UK) Ltd requires every Meet Sheet to include the following:

Participants should recognise that hill-walking, mountaineering and climbing are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. They should be aware of and accept the risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement. Participants should therefore take care to only participate in activities that are within their abilities and experience, and for which they have the appropriate clothing and equipment.However, this meet is intended only for AAC(UK) members who are planning to traverse the 14 Welsh Three Thousands . No excursion leadership is being provided, you will all be proceeding in unguided peer groups that you form amongst yourselves. As is standard practice when mountaineering, all are expected to be completely self-sufficient, carrying their own spare kit and food. For legal reasons, I am obviously forbidden to suggest that drinking water is readily available from streams.

Meet Organisers are required by the AAC(UK) Ltd to add to Meet Sheets the advice that: "During the meet a sheet or hut book will be made available, in which you must record your intended route each day, including the model, colour, registration number and intended parking places of cars, and log yourself out and back in again," [even though no cars will be used and the route is fully defined herein.] I am also required to declare that: "The meet organiser is not responsible for organising, leading or approving activities undertaken during the meet, unless he/she explicitly agrees to lead a party." […although this will not happen!]