/ Welsh 3000ers - Food, getting it right
This year I am aiming for under 14 hours. I am fitter this year, as well as working outdoors, my bike has seem more action.
My issue is food. All 3 years I have 'hit the wall' on Tryfan. Mars bars & scotch eggs have got me through...Last year my body was existing on cubes of chocolate for the last few summits as it was refusing to use the carbs I had given it at Ogwen Cottage.
This year I want to do it properly, I'll give you an idea with my times from 2012
Breakfast of pasta and pesto.
0622 - Summit of Crib Goch (Chocolate raisin bar)
0702 - Garnedd Ugain
0717 - Snowdon Summit (Nuts and Raisins/haribo trail mix)
0835 - Arrive Nant Peris
Cheese sandwich, banana, choc biscuit, pint of orange squash
0847 Leave Nant Peris
1035 Elidir Fawr (Choc/raisin bar/ & trail mix)
1137 Y Garn (trail mix)
1234 Glyder Fawr (Scotch Egg)
Castle of Thorns
1313 Glyder Fach
1420 Tryfan (Mars Bar)
1522 Arrive Ogwen Cottage (couscous, musili bar, pint of orange, soreen)
1544 Leave Ogwen Cottage
1710 Pen Yr Ole Wen
1810 Carnedd Daffydd (trail mix, chocolate, musili bars...until the end)
1826 Carnedd Llewelyn
1945 Yr Elen
2015 Foel Grach
2035 Garnedd Uchaf
In addition I carry water over all sections and refil at NP/Ogwen.
That seems to be a lot of food, it's not what you eat on the day but in the 12 hours previous.
I don't think that is a lot of food for the 15 peaks! How much liquid did you take on? Your Pen yr ole wen - Yr Elen splits seem a liitle odd btw! - did you do the out and back from Carnedd Lewellyn?
ive done it about 5/6 times too, fastest was 10h.
I think that amount of food is fine, id skip the trail mix on y garn though
I usually get through about 4L of water including for the descent
also to correct - Carnedd Dafydd
I just ate bananas and home-made granola bars, + about 4l of water, replenishing from a stash at the foot of Tryffan. Slower than you, mind, in about 16 hours p to p, N to S. At the end, about 11:30 pm in PyP YHA, I couldn't bring myself to eat the meat stew I had made and left there. It was just too much hard work to chew. I could eat the blitzed and thus more like baby food squash stew I had also left there.
Good luck on your 14 hours attempt!
I ate two pizas and fish and chips the night before, and on the day I had 2 packets of digestives. Managed it in 18 hours but we got lost at night in a fog on the carneddau without a working compass which slowed us down a bit.
Might sound bizarre, but sandwiches. One half round every 30' on granary.
Fat - too slow. White starch - too fast. Sweet - too unappetising.
Something you can stomach, very regularly, will get you through.
Also your example plan has too much at breakfast (pasta at 05-something isn't fun) and not enough before Elidir Fawr.
Get up Crib Goch/Snowdon on last night's dinner and fuel up on the way back down to Nant Peris. In general fuel whilst descending.
You are right. I did Yr Elen first then up LLewellyn. Writing up times from a scraggly piece of paper.
Yes, more sandwiches possibly. It sounds off but pasta is about the only thing I can stomach at that time. I've been on many expeditions and often had pasta for breakfast.
I drink about 1.5 litres from start to Nant Peris.
4L from NP to Ogwen
2L from Ogwen to end.
Some depends on weather. 1st year I did it in shorts and t shirt although was poor vis on Carneddau. Second year it lashed it down with rain the whole time. Last year was dry but low vis on most of it so in terms of challenge, navigationally last year was the hardest.
yhm (check junk)
thats a lot of liquid though, that could hinder progress? obviously everyone is different but Ive never used over 5L even on a hot one
Perhaps you should take a more relaxed approach to food. I had a second sit down breakfast in Nant Peris - sausages etc - and a salad lunch in Ogwen followed by tinned peaches - just treating it as almost a normal day. So I was able to just coast along the top of the Carnedd feeling properly fed, peak to peak time well under twelve hours. Drank a lot of Isostar in water, hardly needed any supplementary energy bars.
Seems a lot of food to me and I've done it a fair bit now. Water is the key - keep properly hydrated and you shouldn't hit any sort of wall at the walking pace you're going at. I tend to stay of sugary things and made do with nuts, porridge, meat and thus avoid the ups and downs that come with a sugar diet.
Now too decrepit to actually climb or walk properly, I have come back to get my fix on these forums.
I did the 3000s twice in ’76 and have been amazed at the amount of food intake discussed. I had a bacon sandwich on the way through the Nant Peris campsite, carried a packet of biscuits and a chocolate bar and eat berries on the way up Pen Yr Ole Wen. I carried no water, but drank from the streams and made the mistake of not topping up enough the first time, ending up with my head in a stream coming off Foel-fras. Really filled up before PYOW second time round and had no problem.
I make my own energy bars for long bike rides & find them much better than commercial ones; my daughter swears by them.
Porridge oats, oatmeal, chopped dates, mixed seeds, rice crispies(these give texture and make the bars more pleasant to eat), crunchy peanut butter, honey and some marsh mallows (these are to make the bars hold together). I can't give exact quantities.
Just melt the marsh mallows, peanut butter and honey in a pan; stir in the rest of the ingredients, Allow to cool a bit then line a square baking tray with cling film and press in the mixture. leave in the fridge overnight then cut into whatever size you want.
You could perhaps replace some of the chocolate with something similar.
It sounds from your profile like you might well be fitter this year... which will help as long as you don't carry too much with you, anyway. If you haven't seen Clayton & Turnbull's book on the 3000s then I'd highly recommend it; entertaining and a little bit inspirational in places.
When we did it, it was from a biv on Snowdon so only had to carry a bivvy sack down to Nant Peris after a trail bar breakfast, then filled up on muesli with custard before walking down the road. The grazed on bars, nuts, fruit over the glyders. I think a sandwich (possibly onion bhaji and salad) going across the Glyderau, then down the west gully descent off Tryfan to the A5 a visit to a proper loo and another sandwich at Ogwen. It is pretty much plain sailing from there once PYOW was in the bag there's not a lot of up remaining. I think we drank water or some not too strong elderflower cordial (!) for a change. Mostly we grazed while walking whenever it seemed like a good chance, with a couple of 'regular' meals (i.e.breakfast, lunch) to fool the body into thinking nothing different was happening to a usual day at work!
IIRC I wore inov-8 trail shoes (315s) all the way although I might have worn boots across Crib Goch, can't remember; even with the sleeping bag (left with in the car by Ynws Ettws) it all fitted in a 25l pack, and we kept going without long stops at a pace we didn't think was pushing it. Occasionally we trotted some gentle grassy bits but not much running otherwise apart from the grassy downhills of the northern glyders. In the end I think we came in at 12 hours or so, probably because apart from a little hail and rain the weather was pretty benign. Was fairly tired at the end back at the car but nowhere near as tired as I would have been in big boots, big pack mode: I'm seriously impressed by anyone who can keep up that for many hours more!
We ended up doing it on the same day as Alex Ford over at OM so there are some photos over at his write-up, http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/outdoor-features/my-welsh-3000s-diary-by-alex-ford/2281.html
Have a great day - it's a wonderful route, isn't it?
You could well save a bit of time by coming off Tryfan via the north ridge and up PYOW via the path at Tal Y Llyn? I came off Tryfan last week via the south ridge and the ogwen path and it seemed miles. I've done Adam and Eve to the chippy in Bethesda in one hour dead so you can say 45 mins to the road. (drove to the chippy)
Water available at the little Tryfan camp site.
Still, your times are great and I wish you luck taking even more off. The 3000's was one of the very memorable things I've done. It was the hottest few days of the year back in 2009 and training for Skye we opted to do the route backwards simply to take in the best scrambling - tryfan NR, Bristly and Crib Goch. We had a planned bivvy and carried all food and overnight gear for the 2 days. Took us 30 hours with the bivvy and route reversal, seemed fitting to finish on Snowdon summit. Good times.
We set off from the campsite next to Llyn Gwynant and up onto Snowdon via Bwlch Main when we did it. 15hrs summit to summit. Our main food break was at Ogwen cottage where we had noodles, pain au chocolat and a nice sit down. Trying to force down a double espresso Clif gel on top of Foel Grach was not my finest hour :P I really needed to eat more before I started feeling tired and shit.
Food is always tricky and a very personal issue on events like this. You've got to experiment lots to find the things you can eat even when you feel pants. For me it is golden syrup cake (squashed flat and cut into thirds aka "squashy cake"), pizza slices, high 5 gels, pain au chocolat. A good mix of carbs and fats is required for longer efforts in my experience.
Minimising faff and sit downs will probably save you an hour. Eating whilst moving is key. If you can jog downhills that will also save time but hammer your quads if you aren't used to it.
You'll ace it, best of luck
Food is personal, but from my perspective, far too much. I am reminded of Bill Adcocks (2:10 Marathon runner 60s/70s) when asked about nutrition during a marathon, he said "I wasn't going for a picnic".
I think so too. Bananas and home made granola bars were enough, and I didn't eat all I had. I wanted lots of water though, on a hot day. The hydration pack and stash of two big bottles behind the wall at the foot of Tryffan were very welcome.
We just went for the quickest way possible, N to S, and in that direction, it takes a big effort of will to make yourself head up to Crib Goch from the Pass, when you could just give up at that point. It is 5 pm-ish by then and you are knackered.
First time I did the route, in '89, we did all the Bristly, North Ridge type scrambling. Last year, I just wanted it done, but still managed to find a much more fun way up on to the Glydders than that slithery crap that is the main way. Just go slightly right and scramble up.
Don't under estimate the propensity of the knackered to go the wrong way, even on a ridge, or indeed anywhere!
Don't ever be tempted to take the direct way of PyOW down to Ogwen. It will sap your spirit, eat up your day and make you decide that you are stupid.
Too much emphasis on food IMHO.
Whether it's too much food is your personal judgement.
I think you need to question if your issue is nutrition -that's not to say that carrying your special food won't help psychologically.
Having walked the 3000's, you know the terrain, and you know how you felt over each section. You know that you've got a bit quicker since you did it the first time. You know how tired you felt at the end.
If you're at the same level of fitness, but unable to push harder than you've done, you'll get a similar time.
If you go faster, you'll get a quicker time, which is much more a function of hill fitness and effort.
Doing big hill days over a longer period you'll need to consider nutrition more carefully, but not for a day walk, unless you're a diabetic or some such.
Surely one goes down the north gully direct to the carparks?
The gully is quickest by far. IIRC the record from summit to road is about 6 minutes!
If heading north PYOW is quickest from ogwen cottage, but down the north ridge and up the wee scramble groove onto the east ridge is much more satisfying. If heading north south then I agree the descent from the carneddau to the cottage is deeply unpleasant.
There's a spring on the contour line heading south from dafydd that is good even in summer.
8.5..and self timed.. but someone beat it and the reigning record holder added 30 seconds for 'timing issues'..
Its probably quickest either way.. but going down PYOW via the north ridge is pretty tricky underfoot but also navving.. you can easily end up at quite steep crags following dead end paths.
interesting how people time it - i always time from the start of the first ascent (for me this is pen y pass car park) to the final summit. Personally I think its cheating to start / sleep at the summit of snowdon.
edit - not that it matters so long as its fun
I thought the record was set using the train.. then summit to summit.. but official timings are summit to summit. the loop version is a great day out, you cut the glyders in two.. saves a lot of logistics issues
Yes everything I've ever read inc the 3000's book is summit to summit. My own times were from car to car, the mountains themselves were the aim for us not the times so it didn't really matter to us. If pushing a timed crossing though it'd make sense to preserve energy and use the train, clock starts when stepping off the trig point in my eyes.
I'd reccomend the north to south route, prob most of interest to those wanting to do some scrambling and finish on the highest peak rather than start from it <as climbers this sort of made more sense to us anyway> Logistically its a pain though, 2 cars needed and a bit of running around. We broke it down to just enjoy doing a multi day walk of the 3000's camping at tryfan and nant peris. This way it isn't as daunting and you can travel a lot lighter which preserves even more energy. Never ended up doing it in sections in the end but the plan went something like this:
leave 1 car at the tryfan camp site and use the other to get you to the start, the small lane that climbs up above tyn y groes. Park up here and we have left a car here overnight without problems but perhaps better to retrieve it later.
After dropping off PYOW you can use the first car to retrieve the other car left at the start, drive both to nant peris, leave one and return to tryfan campsite.
After camping overnight you can now do the tryfan/glyder section finishing in nant peris. Use the car there to run round and collect the other from tryfan campsite.
Snowdon summit via crib goch on day 3.
Jesus listen to me, I'll be posting on UKhillwalking before you know it!
Actually I tend to agree with you. The challenge is surely to 'climb' all the 3000ft peaks not just to 'visit' them. You don't tot up the full height gain by going up on the train. I was just over fourteen hours for Penypass to the Aber road head. A satisfying day out with a group of friends. Did not do intermediate time checks.
I trifle pedantic I know but to climb all of the 3000s would mean returning to sea level after each summit. I know what you mean though, I think in reality there is the speed 3000s, the 3000s sub 24 hours and just the 3000s by any means. As long as we are having fun it doesn't matter as long as we are honest about which catagory we place ourselves :-)
<14 hours road to road is very impressive BTW>
describe the loop please
The way we did it was:
a)Drive to PyP (from Cornwall). Deposit bike.
b) Drive to Aber car park, via Tryffan car parks, where leave two bottles of water, then walk up to the lake. Camp there.
c)Do the W3000s the next day. Finish at PyP YHA.
d) Next morning, while wife still sleeps, cycle back to Aber car park and retrieve car and bottles on way back to PyP.
e) Retrieve wife from PyP.
f) Head for flesh pot of London.
Good planning with the bike. It's a nightmare logistically isn't it
Yes, it's am easy ride too. It seems to be all downhill until near the end. Forgot to say though that the retrieval part also involved walking up to the lake and back to get the tent and stuff which we had left there!
I did wonder if you'd carried it all with you!
Start in in Nant Peris or Llanberis > Elidir > Garn down the north ridge to Ogwen and then all the carneddau then traverse back from Foel Fras and descend the slopes of Dafydd down to the other end of llyn ogwen and straight up the north ridge then along the glyders to Fawr... down the pink spot path to Pen Y Pass.. up crib goch and along to snowdon.. then either descend to llanberis or drop down to Nant Peris, to add another scramble descend the ridge to the side of craig glas mawr... from carnedd ugain, very low grade 1.. just one chimney section.
i couldnt work out how it could be circular and indeed not, its not great hacing to do the carneddau twice, but suppose it saves having to have two cars
You just walk round, don't you? Eating whatever you carried with you. Seems like a lot of fuss about a day's hill-walking.
Just glanced at your food list. Cheese sandwich? Absolutely no. The fat needs extra water to digest it.
Fat's great.. just drink water.. you need water anyway. Many lakes fell runners swear by cheese to stop cramps.
But you are hill walking or slow running with access to water.
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