North Wales

North Wales

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The Route Descriptions are in downloadable PDF format and need to be related back to a map. There are some GPX route files available some of which are armchair routes but most, if not all, of them have been walked.

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Welcome to QMD: Quality Mountain Days. Dedicated to helping you achieve quality days in the mountains. All walks are written up as basic route descriptions with some grid references. They are provided as a ‘Bare Bones Template’ for the walk. There are many interesting features and sites, wildlife and plants, viewpoints and alternatives, to each walk. Part of the adventure is finding these for yourselves.

Outside of Scotland Yr Eryri/Snowdonia is the mountaineer’s area of choice. Blessed with the best mountains south of the Scottish Border it attracts the serious mountaineers. Also the spiritual home to British Climbing with the famous Pen-Y-Gwryd Hotel where Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay trained for the first successful ascent of Mount Everest in 1953.

Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon Range

The Snowdon range is much overlooked in the desperate rush to join the hordes up Yr Wyddfa, the highest summit in Wales and England. This main Snowdon range is a historic site of heavy industry, the irony of which goes much unremarked. it is replete with old slate mines and quarry workings and most of the big tourist trails have some link to heavy industry. To get good QMDs in this exceptionally busy area you need to use your wits and plan carefully so as to get away from the marked paths and the crowds.

The summits of Yr Wyddfa

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GPX file of Snowdon summits

The Llanberis path, the Rangers Path, the Rhyd Ddu path, and the Miner’s path and Pyg Track all get extremely busy and are best avoided after 09:00 and there are far more interesting start points such as Nant Peris which will provide you with appropriate challenges including route finding.

Try to avoid Pen y Pass whenever possible and park and either walk up the mountain or use the Sherpa Bus. There is parking in Nantperis SH606582 and in the Gwynant area SH627507 .

Routes given below include the Foxes Path or Goat Track, which is a narrow track far more demanding than Crib Goch and all appropriate care should be taken. Similarly some of the descents, such down the spur off Gallt y Wenallt are steep grass slopes that can be very slippery, especially with tired legs.

Yr Wyddfa QMDs

The Route Descriptions below are in downloadable PDF format

GPX routes here.

The Rhinogs

The Rhinogs, on the south western side of Yr Eryri/Snowdonia north of Cadair Idris, have the reputation of being the most rugged ground south of Scotland, and it is well deserved. What they lack in height they more than make up for in rugged isolation. On a good day out in the Rhinogs, even in the height of the season, you will have the mountains pretty much to yourself if you get off the main trails.

The Summits of the Rhinogs

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GPX file of Rhinogs summits

They can be approached from either the west side or the east. When approaching from the west most people tend to use the car park at Llyn Cwm Bychan SH645314 and go up the Roman Steps. It is quieter if you go from the car parks at Coed Crafnant SH621298.

When approaching from the east the car park at Graigddu Isaf SH684301 is the most popular. However, if you want to do the Moel Ysgyfarnogod route below you can park at Cae Adda SH689354 by agreement with the campsite. There is an honesty box if the owners are not there. There are nine summits in The Rhinogs the highest of which is Rhinog Fawr.

The Rhinogs QMDs

The Route Descriptions below are in downloadable PDF format

GPX routes here.

The Arans

The Arans are located in the south east corner of Yr Eryri/Snowdonia along from Cadair Idris. were the home to the Gwylliaid Cochion Mawddwy/The Red Bandits of Mawddwy. They are surrounded by Robin Hood type legends. One much loved fable is that they used to come down the chimneys to rob houses, which contradicts the Robin Hood ethos. This whole area is much under-explored and there is plenty of scope of long days out. There is a lot of gentle rolling terrain with soft views.

The Summits of the Arans

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GPX file of Aran summits

Dinas Mawddwy makes a good base but if you want to park centrally among the mountains there is a car park at SH852187. There are 16 summits in this range the highest of which is Aran Fawddwy

The Arans QMDS

The Route Descriptions below are in downloadable PDF format

GPX route here.

Moel Siabod

Moel Siabod lies just to the west of the Snowdon range in the Capel Curig area. Truly speaking it is part of The Moelwyns Range but has a singular status all of its own. Moel Siabod itself is a good introductory mountain with some scrambling routes on the south face on Daear Ddu above Llyn y Foel. The Moel Siabod Cafe is close by as is Bettws y Coed and Plas y Brenin (good meals). There is parking at Moel Siabod Cafe and at Capel Curig behind the shops SH720581.

The Summits of the Moelwens

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GPX file of Moelwyns summits

Much overlooked is the area to the north of the Moel Siabod Cafe up around Craig Wen and Creigiau Gleisiau (The Llyn Cowlyd Circular). There are 17 summits in The Moelwyns the highest of which is Moel Siabod.

Moel Siabod QMDs

The Route Descriptions below are in downloadable PDF format

GPX route here.

The Glyders

The Glyders are epic and contain one of the UK’s most popular mountains, Tryfan. Tryfan is the epicenter of UK scrambling and home to the Tryfan Dash Fell Race. The saying is that you can go up the north face 100 times and do it differently each time. The area around Glyder Fawr when approached from Llyn Idwal is similarly endowed but less busy as it takes a little more dedication. The classic route is the circular up over Tryfan, Bristly Ridge, the Glyders, Y Garn, and back. Tryfan has Cannon Rock and on top the twin pillars of Adam and Eve. The Cantilever Stone on Glyder Fach features in many photos as does Castell y Gwynt. Parking is typically at Idwal Cottage SH649603or on the many Laybys on the main road SH658602, SH665604, SH671605 . There are 13 summits of which the highest is Glyder Fawr.

The Summits of the Glyders

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GPX file of Glyderau summits

The Glyders QMDs

The Route Descriptions below are in downloadable PDF format

GPX routes here.

The Carneddau

The Carneddau range are the northernmost range in Yr Eryri/Snowdonia . They are typically approached either from either Idwal Cottage SH647604 in the south or the Coedydd Aber car parks here SH663718 and here SH675716. There is a lot to explore in the Carneddau and they have the greatest number of highest summits in Snowdonia along with some good scrambling. There are 24 summits in the range, the highest of which is Carnedd Llewelyn.

The Carneddau Summits

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GPX file of Carneddau summits

Carneddau QMDs

The Route Descriptions below are in downloadable PDF format

GPX route here.

Moel Hebog

The Moel Hebog range lies to the north west of Yr Eryri/Snowdonia and is less popular than the north. The range is split by the Cwm Pennant valley with the Nantlle Ridge on the west side and the Moel Hebog summits on the east. The range is easily reached from Rhyd ddu, Beddgelert, and Nantlle. The Nantlle ridge contains Mynydd Graig Goch, of Huw Grant fame, which was reclassified as a hill and then re-reclassified as a mountain. There is parking at Rhyd ddu SH571525, in Beddgelert Forest SH573502, Beddgelert SH587481, and Cwm Pennant SH540492. There are 11 summits the tallest of which is Moel Hebog.

Moel Hebog Summits

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GPX file of Moel Hebog summits

Moel Hebog QMDs

The Route Descriptions below are in downloadable PDF format

GPX route here

Cadair Idris

The Cadair Idris range sits at the south western border of Snowdonia National Park. The town of Dolgellau is just at the foot and Abermaw is on the other side of the Afon Mawddach. Cadair Idris means ‘The Chair of Idris’, one of the great Welsh Warrior Poets, and the mountain is rich in folklore and legend. Be warned, it is the most popular mountain in Snowdonia after Snowdon. The Cadair Idris range has 16 summits, the highest of which is penygadair. There is decent parking at the foot of the Pony Path SH697152.

Cadair Idris Summits

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GPX file of Cadair Idris summits

The Pony Path is a long and arduous descent without much to keep you interested except for the plaque near the end/start remembering William Ramsbotham. When you’ve finished it’s worth stopping for a pint in the Gwernan Lake Hotel.

Cadair Idris QMDs

The Route Descriptions below are in downloadable PDF format

GPX route here.

The Berwyns QMDs

The Eastern Berwyns PDF

GPX Track here

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