Snowdonia Mountain Challenges

Having so many iconic peaks, valleys and routes together in such a relatively small area has led to more than a few mountain challenges being created that take in some of the summits.


These are some of the more popular Snowdonia challenge events:


  • Welsh 3,000ers
  • Snowdon Horseshoe
  • Paddy Buckley Round


Welsh 3,000ers/14 Peaks


This challenge takes in all of the summits over 3,000ft above sea level in Wales - all of which are conveniently located in Northern Snowdonia. The summits are:


  • Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa
  • Garnedd Ugain/Crib y Ddysgl
  • Crib Goch
  • Elidir Fawr
  • Y Garn
  • Glyder Fawr
  • Castell y Gwynt  — if included
  • Glyder Fach
  • Tryfan
  • Pen yr Ole Wen
  • Carnedd Dafydd
  • Carnedd Llewelyn
  • Yr Elen
  • Foel Grach
  • Carnedd Gwenllian  — if included
  • Foel-fras


You may note that there are 16 summits listed there. That's due to something called 'relative height', which is part of the criteria that defines a summit. Castell y Gwynt is a pile of jagged rocks between Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach and Carnedd Gwenllian is a large bump on an existing ridge. However, most challenge participants include both of these summits just to be sure!

The total route distance is around 26 miles from the first to last summits, although it is closer to 30 miles once the approach to the start/finish from points of road access is included.


The challenge is most often attempted in one go, with the record currently standing at an astonishing 4hrs 19 minutes by Colin Donnelly in 1988.


A more relaxed approach is to attempt the route over two or even three days, camping in the valleys or even wild camping on the mountains themselves.


Snowdon Horseshoe


The Snowdon Horseshoe is the name commonly given to a route taking in the summits of Crib Goch, Crib y Ddysgl, Snowdon and Y Lliwedd around Cwm Dyli. The distance for the whole route is only around 7 miles - but the real challenge comes from the ridges themselves. Crib Goch and the connecting ridges are tough Grade 1 Scrambles with precipitous drops, and Y Lliwedd itself is a climbing frame of large boulders leading to a narrow ridge.


Paddy Buckley Round


This is an epic long-distance fellrunning route taking in 47 summits in Northern Snowdonia. It is around 62 miles (100km) in length and is normally attempted as a 24-hour challenge. The current record is 17hours and 42 minutes, set by Tim Higginbottom in 2009.


The summit list for the Paddy Buckley Round is (starting from Llanberis):



  • Elidir Fawr
  • Mynydd Perfedd
  • Foel Goch
  • Y Garn
  • Glyder Fawr
  • Glyder Fach
  • Tryfan
  • Pen yr Ole Wen
  • Carnedd Dafydd
  • Carnedd Llewelyn
  • Pen yr Helgi Du
  • Pen Llithrig y Wrach
  • Carnedd Moel Siabod
  • Clogwyn Bwlch-y-maen
  • Carnedd y Cribau
  • Cerrig Cochion
  • Moel Meirch
  • Ysgafell Wen
  • Mynydd Llynnau'r Cwn
  • Three Tops
  • Moel Druman
  • Allt-fawr
  • Foel Ddu
  • Moel-yr-hydd
  • Moelwyn Bach
  • Craigysgafn
  • Moelwyn Mawr
  • Cnicht
  • Bryn Banog
  • Moel Hebog
  • Moel yr Ogof
  • Moel Lefn
  • Y Gyrn
  • Mynydd-y-Ddwy-elor
  • Trum y Ddysgl
  • Mynydd Drws-y-coed
  • Y Garn
  • Rhyd-Ddu
  • Craig Wen
  • Yr Aran
  • Cribau Tregalan
  • Snowdon
  • Garnedd Ugain
  • Moel Cynghorion
  • Foel Goch
  • Foel Gron
  • Moel Eilio


There is also an option to complete the route over several days as a backpacking route for Snowdonia.