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Walk 3047 - printer friendly version

The Carneddau from Llyn Eigiau Walk

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 10.0 miles / 16.3 km

Ascent - 3640 feet / 1103 metres

Grade - hard

Start - OS grid reference SH731662
Lat 53.177726 + Long -3.9002186
Postcode LL32 8SH (approx. location only)

The Carneddau provide some great mountain walks. Their western flanks are usually busy with walkers starting in the Ogwen Valley but in complete contrast the eastern approaches are far less trodden and offer a greater 'wilderness' experience. The start of this walk is the small parking area (Grid ref SH731662) which can be reached by taking the "interesting" gated road from Tal-y-Bont in the Vale of Conway. As the lane climbs higher you begin to get an impression of the wide open spaces that typify this beautiful part of the Snowdonia (Eryri) National Park.

After parking follow the track heading northwest towards Clogwynyreryr, a rocky knoll on the eastern end of the Cefn Tal-llyn-Eigiau ridge. As soon as the track turns right, head straight ahead over climbing up over unpathed ground with a wall on your left. Cross the wall at a convenient point and climb onto the ridge. Turn southwest and continue along the ridge climbing steadily to reach the secondary summit of Craig Eigiau (735m spot height) from where there is great view of the complete walk. Head due west from here to meet a clear path that has come up from the access road to Melynllyn Reservoir and follow this as climbs across an area of open mountain. The path swings towards north and leads to the broad col between Foel Grach and Carnedd Llewelyn.

Turn left along the main Carneddau ridge path, with good views north to Yr Elen, to reach the summit cairn and wind-shelter on Carnedd Llewelyn. This is one of the great viewpoints in Snowdonia (Eryri) and you will probably not be the only person sharing the view. In clear weather you will be able to enjoy a mountain panorama of quality including all the major peaks.

Care is needed to ensure you take the correct onward path. In clear weather this is not a difficult task but in cloud it can be problematic. Leaving the summit cairn head south for a short way taking care to locate a wide stony path that swings east and descends steadily. Care is needed as there are crags on your left. Once sure you are on the right path continue the descent towards Bwlch Eryl Farchog. In the latter stages of this descent there is an awkward slab to negotiate. It is imperative that you do not trend too far left on the next section as there are substantial crags that could be dangerous. It is possible to peer down some spectacular gullies and you may hear climbers shouting instructions as they scale the popular pitches on Craig yr Ysfa.

Reaching the Col, ahead you get a grand view of the next summit, Pen yr Helgi Du, which is soon conquered after an interesting ascent with some mild scrambling. Reaching the grassy plateau the highest point is marked by a beehive cairn. Turning east follow the descending path towards Bwlch y Tri Marchog. Ahead lies the final ascent of the route and lacking any interest it is a dull slog to reach the small cairn that marks the summit of Pen Llithrig y Wrach. Despite the uninteresting ascent the view is great especially east across Llyn Cowlyd to Creigiau Gleision.

Leave the summit of Pen Llithrig y Wrach on the clear path heading roughly north. This descends quite quickly at first before starting the level out at the 650m contour. You can follow the ridge path to reach the valley near Hafod-y-rhiw. However it is just as easy to make a more direct ascent into the valley over unpathed mountainside by heading downhill in a northerly direction to reach the small quarry (Grid ref. 719636). From here a grassy track leads via a stile to the main track that runs along the valley floor. Reaching this track, follow it north past the remains of the dam to reach the starting point.

Walk 3047 Route Map

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