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i närheten av Nant Gwynant, Wales (United Kingdom)
At the information centre at Pen y Pass they will tell you that the Snowdon Horseshoe is a difficult and dangerous trail. I would say it strongly depends on the weather conditions. The route may become a completely different story in bad weather conditions (rain, wind or low visibility), or in winter. Anyway, on that day, a bank holiday with perfect weather, there were dozens of people doing the Horseshoe, even some kids with their parents. Having other climbers ahead of you, specially when it´s your first time there, can be seen as an advantage.
At the Snowdon summit you may be tempted to go down the fastest possible way, following the Pyg or Miners tracks, but you will never regret to do the complete Snowdon Horseshoe. Its second half is quite easier than the first one, with only one peak to climb, Y Lliwedd, and then all the way will be downhill until Pen y Pass. From this last part of the trail you will have stunning views of the whole Horseshoe you are about to complete.
From the point where we left the car, 300 m South of Pen y Gwryd hotel (the small car park at Pen y Pass was full):
15.7 km - 1350 m of ascent - total time 8:35
From and to Pen y Pass:
12.5 km - 1200 m of ascent - total time 7:20
You clearly save time and effort starting at Pen y Pass.
You will find a very precise and detailed description of the whole Snowdon Horseshoe route on the website: http://www.trekkingbritain.com