This day on the Slate Trail takes us through some more spectacular Snowdonian scenery...at 72km and with 2280m of ascent, it's a long day out that'll really test your ability to endure, but also provide you with a great challenge and a full day's worth of great memories!
Due to the early start, you may want to stay in or close to this remote village the night before, and make a weekend of it. Absolutely ideally located in the tiny village of Croesor, are Croesor Bach and Bwthyn Llwynog and there are loads of options a few miles away, from camping to hotels, in and around the Beddgelert and Aberglaslyn areas. We are able to offer a pick up (5.30am) and drop off service from and back to Beddgelert, at the start and the end of the day, for an extra cost.
Fully Guided and supported, we'll be leading you every step of the way, and have 4 checkpoints set up for you - providing you with your drop bag and a chance to replenish and change clothing/footwear if required. The day is split into 5 sections, varying from 8 to 21km in length.
Croesor to Bethesda - Meet 5.45am for a 6am start at the National Park Car Park in the centre fo the village. Postcode LL486SR
Leg 1 - Croesor to Llan Ffestiniog 16km/720m
A real toughie to start your day..expect to be walking quite a bit of this leg...it does allow time to take in some amazing scenery! The surroundings get wilder, and things generally more strenuous from Croesor... a good track up to Croesor Quarry, after that the remote Rhosydd quarry is visited and then we drop down to Cwmorthin Lake. Then we are on the road for the descent to Tanygrisiau, and beyond one final climb up to Llyn Ffestiniog, is our first stop of the day.
Leg 2 - Llan Ffestiniog to Penmachno 21.3km/880m
The toughest leg of the entire weekend now...initially a climb up through the little visited Cwm Cynfal, then we are crossing the wild, open moorlands of the Migneint...you’ll be grateful for your guides as the navigation can be tricky, as well as the going tough! A descent through quarry workings to Cwm Penmachno, before a final climb and subsequent descent through forest, to the village of Penmachno and checkpoint 3.
Leg 3 - Penmachno to Betws-y-coed 8.6km/150m
A doddle compared to the last leg! See it as a bit of ‘active rest’ ....descending on broad forestry tracks and minor road to the Conwy Falls cafe, at the A5. Then some undulating woodland sections has you at Betws-y-coed.
Leg 4 - Betws-y-coed to Capel Curig 9.5km/420m
An excellent section. Quite a hilly one, which your legs won’t appreciate at this stage of proceedings, but a pretty one nonetheless. A great riverside route passes the famous swallow falls and reaches the road at the ‘ugly house.’ Now, up steeply into the Gwydyr Forest, and on good woodland tracks, the views are fantastic, including the Snowdon Range and Moel Siabod, soon we’ll be droppin* down to Capel Curig for the final checkpoint of the day, and the challenge as a whole!
Leg 5 - Capel Curig to Bethesda 17.6km/110m
A long-ish leg to finish, but it’s really flat. We take the miners path into the Ogwen valley and the head of the Nantlle Francon Pass. A minor road descent beneath some of Snowdonia’s highest Mountains, then a section along the Ogwen cycleway will take you to the end of the challenge at Bethesda.