Author Topic: Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau  (Read 1691 times)

Meekyman

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Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau
« on: 09:03:32, 29/08/18 »
Hello Folks,


I'm hoping to get to Snowdonia at the weekend and am interested in getting up onto the Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau.  Hoping to camp somewhere around Foel Grach or FFynon Caseg.


When looking at the OS map I can see a marked path that meanders past Llyn Eigiau and then through cwm Eigiau, , initially following the river and then heads up to Foel Grach.  When I see TR's of people walking in this area, they usually head straight onto the high ground from the path and not around Llyn Eigiau.  I like the idea of a slow steady ascent rather than what I imagine is an initial steep climb.[/size]

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Is there something wrong with the path through cwm Eigiau?  Excessively boggy?  [/size]

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Cheers[/size]

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Graham[/size]

pdstsp

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Re: Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau
« Reply #1 on: 09:21:16, 29/08/18 »
The path marked on the OS map is a lovely gentle start to climbing the Carneddau - follow the path to the ruins of the quarry markings and then head right at roughly SH70286 63620 - the bottom area can be quite (very) boggy.  Then just follow the course of the stream northwards - the path isn't particularly well defined in places but its a natural route .  If you keep going you'll hit Foel Grach, or you can take a left when you hit higher ground and head for Carnedd Llewellyn.  In good weather navigation is easy and the routes are obvious - of course in poor visibility the Carnedds are a different matter!  The walk in from the car park near Llyn Eigiau is one of my favourite ever - wonderful stuff.  I often then descend via Gledrffordd and Cefn-Tal-Llyn-Eigiau, eventually picking up the wall line and coming back to the car via the track to Llyn Dulyn - its often wet on the higher sections but its very beautiful.  Enjoy.

Meekyman

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Re: Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau
« Reply #2 on: 10:56:33, 29/08/18 »
Thanks for your reply!


OK, I guess I'll be testing the waterproofness of my boots then!


Cheers


Graham

pdstsp

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Re: Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau
« Reply #3 on: 12:36:52, 29/08/18 »
No problem. 

vghikers

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Re: Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau
« Reply #4 on: 17:26:51, 29/08/18 »
Quote
...follow the path to the ruins of the quarry markings and then head right at roughly SH70286 63620 - the bottom area can be quite (very) boggy.  Then just follow the course of the stream northwards - the path isn't particularly well defined in places but its a natural route .  If you keep going you'll hit Foel Grach, or you can take a left when you hit higher ground and head for Carnedd Llewellyn.  In good weather navigation is easy and the routes are obvious - of course in poor visibility the Carnedds are a different matter!

Agreed, it's a good line that we've used several times (in descent) using the stream as a guide. Just watch your position when the ground levels out at the expanse of Gledrffordd, the direction can be damned confusing in mist as you ascend again towards Foel Grach.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau
« Reply #5 on: 18:39:15, 29/08/18 »
There are few distinct paths below Craig Yr Ysfa, and on leaving the derelict slate quarry buildings in upper Cwm Eigiau, its just a relentless slog up some very saturated boggy ground, eventually leading to the small lake below Carnedd Lewellyn, Ffynnon Llyfnant.
Ive traversed this area a fair number of times, as its wonderful walking country, always quiet of walkers,  but its best avoided in mist, as navigation is far from easy, and its very easy to miss the Ffynnon Llyfnant route by a wide margin, as the terrain offers little to navigate by.


If you do not encounter the stream heading up the valley, then your off course, BIG TIME.

On traversing the valley, you should locate a fair amount of English Electric Canberra wreckage, that is strewn over a huge distance, mostly lying in the stream flowing from Ffynnon Llyfnant in the upper valley.

If you do not see any aircraft fuselage, then you are  off track, as the wreckage virtually marks the non existent route into the upper reaches of Cwm Eigiau.


The valley itself, is fairly narrow, and there are very few routes other than locating the river source, and following it up the valley towards llewellyn.


There is so much wreckage, mostly very small in size, over a large narrow area, that its almost impossible not to notice it, its so visible, and its surprising that its not been collected as the main crash site was removed not long after 1953.


The very first time i read about the air disaster, in Edward Doylerush publications on aircraft disasters in Snowdonia, i went to have a look at Ffynnon Llyfnan, its not an area of Cwm Eigiau that attracts many walkers, as its way off the beaten track.

The aircraft hit the cliffs of llewellyn in 1953, and a lot of the aircraft still remains, and a significant amount of the wreckage is strewn down the valley, almost indicating the very route the aircraft was taking in its final flight.


The wreckage is very confusing, in that a lot of small pieces are strewn over the hillside over a significant distance of over a mile or more, but in a very narrow area, mostly following the river course.

The biggest sections are in the small lake itself, and it never ceases to amaze me, the condition of one of the main landing wheels of the aircraft.

The wheel, and Dunlop tyre look like they almost fell from the sky yesterday, the preservation is remarkable considering they have been there since 1953.


This route is far easier in decent, than ascent, because like all areas of upper Cwm Eigiau when your approaching the main ridge itself, navigation in poor weather is challenging.
« Last Edit: 19:05:33, 29/08/18 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

pdstsp

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Re: Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau
« Reply #6 on: 20:14:26, 29/08/18 »
Yes, but in good weather it's very straightforward.  As I said in my first response - it is a different matter in bad weather.


I must admit I normally gain height above and to the East of  Ffynnon Llyfnant before cutting west to Llewellyn, and I've not seen the Canberra parts.


You are right there's an element of slog but the views behind are pretty good and it's not the longest of slogs.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau
« Reply #7 on: 13:03:52, 30/08/18 »
I can see the route you have taken, more of a direct assault in the Foel Grach direction, but on recollection, this is more boggy and tricky to navigate, even in fine weather, as your walking up much steeper ground.
If you keep to the middle of the valley, using the river flowing from Fynnon Lyfnant, then its a fair bit quicker, and all you have to do, is bare off right once you reach the main Carneddau Ridge.

One of my favourite parts of Snowdonia, but ive only dared traverse them in thick mist twice.

Navigation at such a high altitude is very challenging, and as the terrain looks almost identical,  finding the direction for Foel Grach is far from easy.


Some years ago, i thought i was heading in the Foel Grach, Carnedd Uchaf direction, but found i was on very steep ground above the Fynnon Caseg valley.


A few weeks later, in fine weather, i returned to see where i had gone wrong.


Instead of baring off to the right, i had gone straight on in the Gerlan direction, and as i was totally blind due to the heavy mist, i eventually had to go to Ogwen, and phone a friend for a lift back to the Conwy Valley.


Navigating even with map and compass, would have taken ages, as you simply had no feature to take a bearing from, just going around in circles in the highest land south of the Scottish Highlands.


Heavy mist, with virtually zero visibility plays strange tricks on very familiar ground, that you can navigate with ease in good visibility.


Best to enjoy the Carneddau in fine weather, then you can appreciate their beauty and remoteness at your leisure.
« Last Edit: 13:16:51, 30/08/18 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

Meekyman

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Re: Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau
« Reply #8 on: 10:30:13, 04/09/18 »
Thanks everyone for your input.


I was only ever going to head into this area in "good" weather.  Not what I had at the weekend....low lying cloud/hill fog/mist, so camped elsewhere in Snowdonia and kept my head out of the clouds. 


Reckon I'll save these hills for another trip.


Cheers


Graham

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau
« Reply #9 on: 17:30:50, 04/09/18 »
I would suggest that you attempt the Carneddau from the Bethesda (Gerlan) side.
Approach Yr Aryg and Bera Bach, and once you gain the main 3000ft ridge leading from Foel Fras off to your left, its a very straight forward walk to Foel Grach and Llewellyn.

Distances are quite deceiving in these high mountains, so as you suggest, try and pick a nice sunny day, preferably in early summer, to allow plenty of daylight.

Its not that the Cwm Eigiau side is not as rewarding as the Gerlan route, but its far easier to park in Bethesda, and the walking terrain is gentler and more spectacular.

Now if you really want a walk to remember, try ascending Carnedd  Lewellyn via the Caseg Valley.

That is one of the best walks in Northern Snowdonia.

Totally secluded, and almost guaranteed to have the area of Snowdonia to yourself.



Which ever route you go for, the Carneddau are magnificent.

Owen

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Re: Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau
« Reply #10 on: 15:59:36, 07/09/18 »


Navigation at such a high altitude is very challenging, and as the terrain looks almost identical,  finding the direction for Foel Grach is far from easy.


Some years ago, i thought i was heading in the Foel Grach, Carnedd Uchaf direction, but found i was on very steep ground above the Fynnon Caseg valley.


A few weeks later, in fine weather, i returned to see where i had gone wrong.


Instead of baring off to the right, i had gone straight on in the Gerlan direction, and as i was totally blind due to the heavy mist, i eventually had to go to Ogwen, and phone a friend for a lift back to the Conwy Valley.


Navigating even with map and compass, would have taken ages, as you simply had no feature to take a bearing from, just going around in circles in the highest land south of the Scottish Highlands.


Heavy mist, with virtually zero visibility plays strange tricks on very familiar ground, that you can navigate with ease in good visibility.






I know Cwm Eigiau quite well I have stayed at The Rugby Mountaineering club hut often. Can't say I've found the place any more difficult to navigate around than other open mountains, you either know how to navigate or you don't. It's not the terrain that's the problem.

sussamb

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Re: Carneddau via Cwm Eigiau
« Reply #11 on: 18:06:34, 07/09/18 »
... you either know how to navigate or you don't. It's not the terrain that's the problem.

Very true  O0
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