Walk 1186 - printer friendly version
Y Garn from Ogwen Cottage (Route A) Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 4.5 miles / 7.3 km
Ascent - 2110 feet / 639 metres
Grade - mod/hard
Start - OS grid reference SH649603
Lat 53.122704 + Long -4.0203408
Postcode LL57 3LZ (approx. location only)
An ascent of Y Garn is a rewarding experience offering superb views over the Carneddau, Ogwen Valley, the Glyders and Snowdon. This Snowdonia walk is short but should not be undertaken if you only have limited experience of mountain walking. The start is at Ogwen Cottage on the A5 Bangor to Capel Curig road (grid ref. 660603) where there is a small car park and refreshment kiosk.
Take the signed footpath to Llyn Idwal, which initially sets off in a south-easterly direction but soon turns south-west. The path has recently been improved and you soon reach the footbridge over the outlet from Llyn Idwal. Situated in a superb Cwm this lake is one of the "gems" of Snowdonia. Cross the footbridge and follow the northern shore of the lake. Leave the shore path and take the obvious route heading almost due west to begin the ascent of Y Garn.
The first section of path has seen some excellent improvements and it is not until you have gained a fair height that the path becomes loose. The route is obvious and you soon gain the final north-east ridge of Y Garn. As height is gained the view improves with Pen yr Ole Wen and the Carneddau to the north-east. To the north-west is the beautifully valley of Nant Francon with the northern peaks of the Glyders (including the famous Atlantic Slab) lining the valley. To the south Tryfan, Llyn Ogwen, Glyder fawr and Glyder Fach all vie for your attention. Quiet often summits can be an anti-climax - this is not the case with Y Garn. Occupying a superb position on steep crags the view now includes Snowdon and its satellites.
Descend over easy slopes just east of south towards the Devil's Kitchen (Do not attempt to descend the gully). Reaching Llyn y Cwn pick up the obvious path that descends in spectacular fashion to the shores of Llyn Idwal. The descent is rocky but generally easy although there are a couple of tricky sections. Do not continue all the way down to the lake side. Instead take the path that heads right towards the Idwal Slabs. (Note - this route can be problematic after heavy rain as there is an awkward crossing of a stream. In this case you need to follow the path on the western shore of Llyn Idwal). Assuming you have successfully crossed the stream it is a case of following the path beneath the Idwal Slabs to reach the footbridge you crossed at the start of the walk. It is then a short stroll back to Ogwen Cottage.