Mountaineers have, for decades, informally competed against each other whilst endeavouring to do the 15 three thousand foot mountains in Snowdonia. A more formal challenge, from Snowdon to Foel Fras, was devised by Dai Rowlands for the TA in the 1950s. This soon became an Army race, later to be joined by the RAF and civilian mountain rescue teams.
In the late 1960’s, Ron James, the warden of Ogwen Cottage Outdoor Pursuits Centre, along with Dr Ieuan Jones, proposed a new race open to all, starting at sea level at Aber and going via all 1000 metre summits to finish on the top of Snowdon. In 1970 a trial race took place, with 60 invited competitors. The first race proper took place in 1971.
The Army continued to be directly involved with the race until the 1990s, when the Gorphwysfa Club took over full organisation, with help from friends and other clubs.
The race is also known as 'The Snowdonia Summits Marathon'.