Wales is less compact than the Lakes and therefore less easy to engineer decent rounds.  The classic long round is the Paddy Buckley, with another classic 24 hour challenge in South Wales and Yiannis Tridimas' unrepeated Meiryionedd Round in mid Wales.  Much shorter is the Welsh 3000s with a record time peak to peak of 4 hours and 19 minutes, but what it lacks in distance, it makes up for in quality.  I've spent less time in Wales, preferring to travel to Scotland, but Wales is more rugged than the Lakes and like Scotland offers a juxtaposition of sea and mountains.

Having reccied the Paddy Buckley, I fancied an alternative that maintained a natural line but included Crib Goch and Mynedd Mawr.  I will be flamed for this, but I find the bump bagging of the Paddy Buckley a bit contrived and wanted to include both the magnificent North ridges of Tryfan and Crib Goch.  This led to my own round, although I did complete a winter Paddy Buckley to make a winter triptych of the three classic rounds.

Fleetwood Welsh Round, 63 miles, 26,700 feet, 24 hour time limit
Quality: ♪♪♪♪♪    Effort: ▲▲  Scenery: ♣♣♣♣  Seriousness: !! 

Although the route is a bit easier than the Paddy Buckley Round, it includes the dramatic North Ridge of Crib Goch and the pinnacles, as well as the fine summit of Mynedd Mawr.  I opted for the North Ridge of Tryfan as this is one of the finest ridges in Wales.  There's less 'bump bagging' but it does miss out the Moelwyns, Yr Aran and the Moel Elio ridge.  I completed the round solo and finished in very dramatic circumstances with an electric storm in the dark over the Crib Goch pinnacles.

Crib Goch from Glyder Fawr

Paddy Buckley Round, 63 miles, 28,000 feet, no time limit
Quality: ♪♪♪           Effort: ▲▲  Scenery: ♣♣♣♣  Seriousness: !! 

This is one of the three classic 24 hour rounds, although unlike the others, there isn't actually a time limit - its just generally acknowledged to be 24 hours.  Its generally acknowledged to be the hardest of the classic three rounds being rough under foot for the most part.  I completed the round in fairly unclement weather in December in a time significantly exceeding 24 hours.  It made the third of the classic rounds in the winter and all within 12 months.

The quarries on Elidir

Welsh 3000s, 30 miles, 13,000 feet, 24 hour time limit
Quality: ♪♪♪♪♪    Effort: ▲▲    Scenery: ♣♣♣♣  Seriousness: !!  

This is my favourite shorter challenge and I've done it six times now, both North to South and South to North.  The record times are recorded peak to peak, but you have to get up to the first peak and off the last which adds considerable distance.  My best time is 6 hours 35 minutes peak to peak, done solo in average weather, so I reckon I could do better, if not anything approaching the record time of 4 hours and 19 minutes.  The route takes in classic rocky ridges with a couple of testing descents and ends on the rolling grass of the Carneddau and a descent towards the sea.  My last traverse was with my son Ben who was then 6 and did marvellously well to get round in about 18 hours start to finish.   

3 May 2008 - account and photos of walk with 6 year old Ben

Ben on Glyder Fach

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