Welsh 3000s / 15 Peaks Challenge
The Welsh 3000s challenge is a huge undertaking which tackles all 15 of the 3,000 foot peaks in Snowdonia.
Welsh 3000 Mountain GuidesWe offer mountain guiding services to take all the risk and worry out of this huge undertaking. Our guides know the area like the back of their hand and will safely navigate you through the dark, over dangerous ridges, and help you complete the challenge in under 24 hours.
With a mountain guide by your side, you can focus on what’s important – completing the challenge! You’ll have an experienced guide with you every step of the way, so you can relax and enjoy this incredible experience.
The 15 Peaks
The 15 summits are spread out over three distinct mountain ranges:
- Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa)
- 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
- Garnedd Gwenllian
- Foel Fras
The route can be done in two directions:
South to North - Starting on Snowdon and finishing on Foel Fras
This is by far the fastest and easiest way. If you want to complete the challenge in (24) hours rather than days then this is the way to go. As Snowdon is the highest mountain and requires crossing the infamous 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 seven of the fifteen 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 who have a time goal, this is the way to go.
North to South - Starting on Foel Fras and finishing on Snowdon
Although you can certainly complete the 15 peaks challenge in under 24 hours if going in this direction, it is significantly more difficult. However, it is also perhaps more rewarding and lends itself well to a multi-day challenge. Doing the route in this direction means that the finish line for the challenge is right at the very top of Snowdon, and being at the highest point in all of England and Wales, it feels like a more fitting end. In addition, if you're doing the challenge in this direction, you can add some extra interest to the route by including things like an ascent of Tryfan's North Ridge or a descent from Snowdon via the Rhyd Ddu path for example.
Full Route MapWhen attempting the Welsh 3000 in under 24 hours, this is the full route which we take:
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.
If you'd like to know more, you can ready our report on how hard the Welsh 3000 challenge is.
Typically, the aim is to get from the first summit to the last in under 24 hours. This isn't an easy feat and requires a good level of fitness. You also need to factor in the walk to the top of the first summit (the starting line) and the walk back down to the cars after reaching the final summit.
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.
To find out more about our mountain guiding services for the Welsh 3000s challenge please see below.