Taith Eryri (the Welsh name for the Tour of Eryri) is a long-distance footpath that works around the main mountain blocks of Eryri (Snowdonia). The route is a combination of existing paths, with the more ambitious sections of the Haute Route taking an unmarked route which requires good navigation skills.
The idea for a circular tour of Eryri (Snowdonia) is not new; Pete Bursnall undertook a feasibility study of a route around Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) in 2003 and 2004, which he called “Cylchdaith y Wyddfa/Snowdon Circular Route”. With Treharne-Jenkins, he wrote a low-level guide to a route around Yr Wyddfa in 2008 (Link: cylchdaith_yr_wyddfa) Pete Bursnall died in 2012; a young man whose life was cut short too soon. The intended route broadly follows his ideas, but takes in a wider view and adds a great long distance path to North Wales’ repertoire of walks.
Given the nature of it’s geography, the region does not lend itself to a tour similar to the French long distance paths (grande randonnées) such as the Tour du Mont Blanc or the GR20 in Corsica. However, the principle of walking around a central massif could be applied, and Eryri offers a much wider range of choices from low to high paths. On a passing visit to Pen y Pass a long time ago, former National Park Warden Sam Roberts mentioned the idea of a sequence of overlapping walks that could be linked together. He described these as ‘Cennau’r Ddraig – The Dragon’s Scales’.
Life’s a journey, not just a summit!
As recently as 2013, there were discussions continuing about “Cylchdaith y Wyddfa“, but these overlooked the possibilities of creating a route that embraced Eryri in its widest sense; a route that traversed the hills surrounding the central peaks of Yr Wyddfa without necessarily climbing any of them. There are currently too few ‘honey traps’ that draw the tourists into the congested central areas when by using existing footpaths and public transport, visitors could share the wider, wilder and more enjoyable regions of Eryri.
When you come to know the area better, there are many choices to explore Eryri, from the high-level routes where navigation skills are essential, to a range of lower level footpaths which are equally as enjoyable.
Once the route is finished, there will be a forum where you can share news and updates and claim an inscribed certificate when you have completed the Tour. The forum has information on the high and low-level routes and supporting information such as food stops, campsites and bunkhouses. You can also access GPX files for your GPS which will have been built on the ground rather than drawn on a map.
The work on mapping the path is ongoing, and will continue to take a while as the winter storms and rains ravage the paths.
Warning: Mountaineering, trekking and mountain walking are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement. Following the guides, suggestions and maps posted here will not prevent accidents from happening.