Yr Wyddfa Miner’s Track Ramble

Pen y Pass
Pen y Pass

Hi folks

It was high time tonight that I wandered up the Miner’s Track up to Glaslyn (Blue Lake), right below the great east face of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon to most of you). This is one of many paths up this great, if over-trodden mountain (over 500, 000 visitors a year…ack!). I didn’t have much time as this particular track tends to wind it’s way around the contours and I know how easy it is to be distracted by photo opportunities, despite the fact I already have so many, having been on Snowdon and it’s environs over 35 times now. There were still a few folk descending, and one group of girls who decided to tell me I was going the wrong way. I didn’t have the heart to tell them they were wearing the wrong clothes.

One reason I do love this path, is not far from the car park at Pen y Pass, you walk up a hill (s’funny, lots of them around here – dear me, I’m drowning in mountains), around a bend to the right and you see this in front of you.

There she blows!
There she blows!

I’m sure you will all agree, if you’ve never seen this view before, it will bowl you over, due to its spectacular awesome-ness. You start with Gallt y Wenallt to the left, the twin peaks of Y Lliwedd centre, Bwlch y Saethau, the mighty Yr Wyddfa and Crib Goch. Even better when there are no charity walkers blocking the view.

Anyway, the walking is plain sailing now for a while, nothing difficult. So I grabbed the shot and scarpered, aware of the time and fading light. And after five minutes to arrive at this view. Sigh. Such a tough life I have here, I’m so sick of these views.

Nice evening for a swim
Nice evening for a swim

There was not a single breath of wind (apart from my own occasional toot) so the water was glass-like, as you can see. It’s also a good idea now and again to look behind you. This will highlight to you the bending, twisting nature of this track and how conducive it is for nice photographs (leading lines etc). That’s Moel Siabod in the background on the right.


If you’re very lucky, you may even happen up on a giant crocodile’s head. This is looking over the east end of Llyn Llydaw towards what are known as ‘The Horns’. One can get a superb view from up there, and there’s a pretty perfect spot on a flat veranda, just made for a small tent.

Argh! Oh wait it's just a shadow.
Argh! Oh wait it’s just a shadow.

After crossing the causeway over the lake, I snapped (I made a funny; catch up, I was just referring to crocodiles) another photo over the lake towards Lliwedd.


Not far to go now until the path ramps up and I knew I’d get a sweat on. As you carry on, you reach an old mining building, hence the name of the track. As I’m nice, I did a colour and a black and white image. I’m so good to you people.



I rounded the next couple of bends, walked up the fairly steep hill  until it levels off a little, then made a bee-line for the waterway that runs down from Glaslyn. Again, I put myself in great peril just to take these photographs. That was sarcasm, if you missed it. Actually, it is pretty dangerous where I was.

Afon Glaslyn looking somewhat empty. Roll on winter...
Afon Glaslyn looking somewhat empty. Roll on winter…

I clambered further up as I wanted a shot of the waterfall, below. It’s bigger than it looks by the way. In winter or after lots of rain, I definitely would not want to be stood in this very perilous spot. Again, I do this for you readers.

A mere trickle. For now...
A mere trickle. For now…

It was not far off dark now so I had to move fast to get that final picture across Glaslyn to Yr Wyddfa. I followed the river up towards the old mill. I hit a wall. Literally. Normally, I’d just go around on the path, but because I’m an adventurous, live for danger type person, I decided to climb up and over the wall, just to the left of the river. First mistake. I checked the uber-boulder that was on the wall for movement. None. Okay, one foot here and left hand up here behind said boulder. Second mistake. Heaving on the boulder caused it to move. Unfortunately I was five feet off the ground. I figured it better to let go of the boulder as if I’d have brought it with me I feel I would have either a snapped lower leg or a caved in skull, depending on which way Newton’s Laws of gravity decided to propel me. Thankfully, the boulder stayed put and I was flung down, first landing on my right foot that slipped, causing me to twist weirdly to the left and backwards, so I ended up landing hard on my back, head down-hill and thinking, ‘Shit, that could have been worse, I could have broke the camera!’ Also, I could not have stood the indignity of being rescued by the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team (as I work with the Ogwen team, remember) and the permanent piss-taking that would have ensued for all eternity afterwards.

I picked myself up and found another way around. I set up quickly and took the below shot. It’s not amazingly composed, more of a rush job due to darkness. The lake sits at around 600 metres, so you have a nice 485 metres of vertical in front of you. Ladies and germs, I give you….Yr Wyddfa.

She's definitely not as tame as she looks...
She’s definitely not as tame as she looks…

I turned around back towards the old mill, grabbed one more shot looking towards Moel Siabod in the fading light and hoofed it all the way back to Pen y Pass car-park, with my head torch lighting the way. And I mean that loosely, I may have been better holding a candle in front of me. Not content with already risking my bruised body once, I ran all the way back.

Now don’t say I never do anything for you. Nos dawch pawb, maen un o’gloch!



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