Welsh 3000s / 14 Peaks Challenge
A huge challenge which tackles all 14 of the 3,000 foot peaks in Snowdonia.
The 14 summits are spread out over three distinct mountain ranges:
- Crib y Ddysgl
- Crib Goch
- Elidir Fawr
- Y Garn
- Glyder Fawr
- Glyder Fach
- Pen yr Ole Wen
- Carnedd Dafydd
- Yr Elen
- Carnedd Llewelyn
- Foel Grach
- Foel Fras
The route can be done in two directions:
South to North - Starting on Snowdon and finishing on Foel Fras
is the fastest and easiest way. If you want to complete the challenge in hours rather than days then this is the way to go. As Snowdon is the highest mountain and requires a tricky ascent over Crib Goch, those wanting to complete the route quickly will descend this way and take on Crib Goch whilst their mind and body are fresh. The Carneddau mountain range is the largest of the three, containing six of the fourteen peaks, and once you're up on the plateau, it is relatively flat. Doing the route in this direction means that at the end of the day when you're feeling fatigued, the rest of the route is easy. For those wanting to set a personal record, this is the way to go.
North to South - Starting on Foel Fras and finishing on Snowdon
is the harder but perhaps more rewarding way. Doing the route in this direction means that you complete the challenge at the summit of Snowdon and being at the highest point in England and Wales, it feels like a more fitting end to all those months of training. In this direction, you can take your time and add in an ascent of Tryfan's North Ridge to add interest to the journey.
The distance between the first and last summit is 35km (22 miles) with about 3,200m of ascent. However, the walk to and from the first and last peak also need to be considered which adds an additional 10km and 1,000m of ascent/descent. Total distance then is about 28 miles which is a little more than a marathon.
This is a massive undertaking which requires much training.
For the most part, getting from summit to summit is relatively straightforward. However, getting from one mountain range to the other requires a descent to the valley floor which is then followed by another big ascent to get back up to the summits again.
Although it is achievable in several hours, most parties attempt to complete it over a weekend.
There is much preparation required for an attempt at the Welsh 3000s. Most parties will need a support group in each of the valleys. The support personal can provide refreshments and exchange equipment. For example, if camping, they can drive your equipment from one valley to the next to save you carrying it. At the very least, you will likely need a safe storage place. Some parties will opt to stay in a bunkhouse or B&B between days, so you will need some form of transport waiting for you when you reach the valleys. There are many variables involved so what preparations take place will depend largely on the needs of the party. Climb Wales is able to take care of all of this for you and this can be discussed when you when you make a booking.