Cwm Glas Spur

Difficulty: Hard

Distance: 9 km

Time: 7Hrs

Total ascent: 900 m

Technicality: Some low grade 1 scrambling. 

Terrain: Grassy mountain tracks. Very little constructed pathways. Some steep & exposed ground.

Navigation: Keen eye for following faint tracks and route finding through hands on terrain. In poor visibility, good navigation skills with map and compass essential.

Parking: Park in LLanberis and bus into Nant.

Accomodation: Camping in Nant. Plenty of options in Llanberis.


1 SH 622 570. Park in Llanberis. Snowdon garage offers all day parking for £4 in summer and there are a number of public car parks. Catch the Sherpa bus to Cromlech Boulders and walk back down the pass facing traffic in single file. Cross the bridge at the entrance to Blaen y Nant, then straight over second bridge about 50m ahead. From the second bridge, aim roughly SW uphill to the crossing point in the wall at about 270m height. Turn right and follow the wall NE, and to gain the foot of the ridge

2 SH 618 566. You should now be comfortably on the base of the spur. The route finding from here is pretty straight forward. Take your time, enjoy the views and pick your way up the ridge in a SW direction. There is a track for the bulk of the ridge, but you can easily be distracted by the odd playful section of rock. There are some steep craggy areas either side of the spur at different points so care is advised.

3 SH 612 561. The last section of the spur. Here you will encounter the brief hands on section of the walk. It isn’t much, but there are one or two steep moves and a little chimney to scramble up. It can feel exposed. Ideally, keep central to the ridge, with the option of moving slightly to the right and skirting up the side. A good point of reference is Garry Smith’s ‘North Wales Scrambles’ guide book. If you are not a confident scrambler, please buy it and take a look. It might even give you some inspiration for further adventures! Once you gain the top of Cyrn Las, enjoy the quiet before heading roughly west and contouring the top rim of Cwm Hetiau at about 850m until you reach the Llanberis Path, which you will follow leftwards, down to Clogwyn Bridge.

4 SH 607 561. Do not pass under the bridge, keep going straight forwards and leave the Llanberis Path, following the faint track that runs N/NW, keeping Clogwyn Station and the trains to your left and the steep drop down into Cwm Hetiau to your right. Cwm Hetiau means Valley of the hats and is so called because when the original open topped train carriages used to pass through the bridge, people's hats would be blown off their heads and down into the valley below. The local children would return them - for a small fee, of course! The walk from Cloggy station down along the ridge-line here is perhaps one of the finest stretches of walking on all of Snowdon Mountain. Scramble over the top of Llechog Buttress then as the train track curves left, stay on the ridge, heading NW. Keep to the left of the fence above the steep ground.

5 SH 596 580. Shortly after passing Tryfan (no, not THAT one!) you reach the beginning of the end of the route and start to leave the ridge line. Descend initially down a steep grassy slope, punctuated with rocky patches, taking care not to stray too far to the right and the craggy ground below the ridge line. Head roughly NW as the ground levels out, keeping to the left of the wall. Look for a crossing area near the sheepfolds. The ground approaching the sheepfolds can be quite boggy. After reaching Derlwyn and the 416m spot height, desend SW down a steepening to rejoin the Llanberis Path. There are some sheep tracks dotted through the bracken, but take care as there are also a few rocky steps.

6 SH 579 592. At Caffi Pen Ceunant, swing a right through the cafe grounds for one last escape, into the woods of Coed Victoria where you can enjoy a final reprieve from the crowds. Take your time - listen out to hear if the buzzards are around and look to Elidir Fawr and Dinorwic Quarry as they show above the tree line, before re-emerging to the road opposite the Royal Vic Hotel where you can nip in for a debrief and a well earned pint. This isn’t a route to be ‘bagged’ or ‘conquered’ or ‘stomped’ up. It is a walk to be enjoyed.