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Snowdonia Walk
Pen yr Ole Wen from the Ogwen Valley

Nat Park - Snowdonia - Western Carneddau

County/Area - Conwy

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km    Ascent - 2600 feet / 788 metres

Time - 5 hours 10 minutes    Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SH649603
Lat 53.122704 // Long -4.020341
Postcode LL57 3LZ (approx. location only)
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Pen yr Ole Wen from the Ogwen Valley Photo from the walk - Pen yr Ole Wen from the Ogwen Valley Photo from the walk - Pen yr Ole Wen from the Ogwen Valley Photo from the walk - Pen yr Ole Wen from the Ogwen Valley Photo from the walk - Pen yr Ole Wen from the Ogwen Valley Photo from the walk - Pen yr Ole Wen from the Ogwen Valley
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This is a short but relatively demanding Snowdonia walk that offers fine views of the Glyders, Carneddau and sections of the Snowdon massif. It starts from Ogwen Cottage (Grid ref. SH649603) where there are refreshments and toilets. Parking is limited but alternatives can be found close by.

From Ogwen Cottage walk north along the A5 towards Bangor crossing the outflow from Llyn Ogwen. Cross the road and locate the stile just across the bridge where a National Trust sign has a useful diagram showing the first section of the route, which could be missed quite easily. Having located the rocky "gully" scramble upwards to join a well maintained path that climbs quickly towards the summit.

The flagged path disappears about one third of the way to the summit. From this point onwards the path is rougher and there are sections where a number of alternatives make navigation slightly tricky. However continue upwards across sections of scree and along paths with some short scrambles for variety to turn a large crag on its right hand flank. Once this has been passed the worst of the ascent is over and the path becomes less steep.

The views throughout the ascent are superb especially across to Ogwen Valley to the Glyders but also down Nant Francon towards Bangor and Anglesey. Reaching the domed summit area of Pen yr Ole Wen it is better to ignore paths going half left, instead continuing on a wider path that follows the edge of drop down into Nant Francon on your left. Note that because of the domed nature of pen yr Ole Wen's summit that the best views are away from the true highest point, which is marked by a small cairn.

Having reached the summit you do however get better views along the main Carneddau ridge to Carnedd Dafydd and Carnedd Llewelyn. From the summit head just south of east to pick up a clear path that descends along a crag with steep drops to Ffynnon Loer below. The route is clearly defined for the most part. Nearing the level of the lake there is one section where you need to negotiate a rocky gully, which is not easy to avoid.

Reaching the outflow stream from Ffynnon Loer (Grid ref. SH 664 620) turn right and follow the stream downhill to Tal y llyn Ogwen Farm. Just before reaching the farm turn right at a yellow waymark to take the path that follows the north shore of Llyn Ogwen. At times this path is not easy to follow but it is better to keep away from the boggy areas nearer the lake maintaining height and following the electricity supply for the farm. As you near the end of the lake the path has a couple of short sections of scrambling before you reach the A5 where you turn left back to the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1088 The Traverse of the Glyder Ridge from Ogwen - hard - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 1186 Y Garn from Ogwen Cottage (Route A) - mod/hard - 4.5 miles/7.3 km

Walk 3019 Y Garn & Carnedd y Filiast from Ogwen Cottage - hard - 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk 2417 A Glyderau trio: Glyder Fach, Glyder Fawr and Tryfan - mod/hard - 6.5 miles/10.6 km

Walk 1137 Y Garn from Ogwen Cottage (Route B) - mod/hard - 4.5 miles/7.3 km

Walk 2680 A circuit of Llyn Idwal from Ogwen Cottage - easy - 2.8 miles/4.6 km

Walk 2650 Tryfan, the Glyderau and Y Garn - very hard - 8.0 miles/13 km

Walk 2820 Carneddau traverse from Llyn Ogwen to Bont Newydd - mod/hard - 14.0 miles/22.8 km

Walk 1150 The High Carneddau from the Ogwen Valley - hard - 10.0 miles/16.3 km

Walk 1215 Tryfan & Llyn Ogwen from the Ogwen Valley - mod/hard - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

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