Author Topic: Easiest (non-scrambling) routes up Glyder Fawr & Carnedd Llewelyn  (Read 1011 times)

Ducky

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Hi All,


My wife & I will be in Snowdonia this coming weekend & wanted some route advice. We are experienced hikers & have reached a number of summits in the area over the past few years, including ones that involved scrambles & winter walks. However, we now have an infant with us so are sticking to summits that can be walked to. Also, we aren’t particularly interested in circuitous or multi-summit walks. We prefer to reach the summit of 1 mountain & make our way down the same way we came. I’ve listed the summits we’ve reached with our baby strapped on to us to give you a basic idea of how far we can stretch ourselves from a technical point of view. In light of this, are there any routes up Glyder Fawr & Carnedd Llewelyn that are non-technical & don't involve any scrambling beyond what we have experienced in the list below? Alternatively, we are open to other suggestions that would meet this criteria, just as long as it's not Mt. Snowdon. One preference would be that the summit would be the highest in its range. I suggested the above 2 summits as we haven’t been in those ranges & we have 2 full days to walk.


Thank you & I am looking forward to hearing from you. :)


Cheers,
Ducky


Snowdonia – Cadair Idris (Pony Path)
Snowdonia – Cadair Idris (Minfford track)
Snowdonia – Aran Fawddwy
Snowdonia – Glasgwm
Snowdonia – Arenig Fach
Snowdonia – Moel Siabod
Snowdonia – Elidir Fawr (I don't remember the route, but it was NOT Nant Peris)
Lake District – Old man of Coniston (Walna Car park)
Lake District – Red Screes (Kirkstone Inn car park)
Lake District – Stony Cove Pike (Kirkstone Inn car park)

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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The easiest approach to reach the summit of Carnedd Llewellyn, is from Cwm Eigiau carpark, which is above Talybont in the Conwy Valley.
95% of the route is on easy grass, but a word of caution must be given.

You have to be totally certain about the weather forecast and conditions, as taking a young infant into the high Carneddau can only be done when the weather will allow it.

Over the many years ive ventured in the Carneddau, i have never seen any young children or infants, simply because the weather is so unpredictable on their summits, and when the weather turns, there are no quick escape routes to safety.

On a beautiful summers day, with high cloud and lovely sunshine, then it is a very straightforward walk, with every possibility of taking a young child to the summit of Wales third highest mountain.
In fine settled conditions, its a very easy walk, but due to the Carneddaus great height, weather conditions can change very quickly, and there are no quick escape routes, so i cannot really recommend anyone taking a very young child to the summit of Llewellyn.

As for Glyder Fawr, the easiest ascent is from the corner of Pen Y Pass Youth hostel.

On your immediate left of the Youth Hostel building, you will see a style, and the summit of Glyder Fawr can be seen high up to your left

The route is very boggy, but on a fine clear day, its one of the easiest ways up the mountain.

An attempt from the Ogwen cottage side on the A5, involves a lot of scrambling, and takes the walker a lot longer than from the Llanberis pass side.

Both these walks are very straight forward in fine settled weather, but i simply cannot recommend taking a very young child up either of these mountains as the risks are too great if the weather turns suddenly.
« Last Edit: 12:14:56, 22/08/19 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

Ducky

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Thank you so much for such an informative reply. I really appreciate you taking the time to put that together. Obviously we wouldn't dare even venturing outdoors with an infant unless the weather permits, especially on the mountains. We’ve experienced firsthand how erratic & unforgiving the weather in Snowdonia can be, particularly on the mountains, & obviously wouldn't take even the slightest unnecessary risk.

With regard to the walks that you suggested, is the link "Walk up Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach from Pen y Pass" walk description on the mudandroutes website a fair description of what you described to get to Glyder Fawr? Obviously disregarding the circuit? Apologies but I can't post external links.

For the Carnedd Llewellyn route that you described, are there any links similar to the above one? I tried having a look but couldn't find anything. If none are available then what would I need to search for in GPS to get to the Cwm Eigiau carpark?

Apologies for all the basic questions. :-[ :-\

Cheers,
Ducky

fernman

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As for Glyder Fawr, the easiest ascent is from the corner of Pen Y Pass Youth hostel.

On your immediate left of the Youth Hostel building, you will see a style, and the summit of Glyder Fawr can be seen high up to your left

The footpatch actually goes through the garden on the left of the YH building, if I remember correctly.

To get to the Cwm Eigiau car park is relatively straightforward if you have a good sense of direction and a passenger who can hold a map the right way up.
The minor road leading to it is to the left of the distinctive black-and-white half-timbered Y Bedol Inn at SH766689 on the B5106 at Tal-y-Bont. It's on your left if you approach from Betws-y-Coed, and on your right if coming from Conwy.
There is a turning either side of the pub, you want the one on its left, by a stone parapet where the road passes over a small river.
On the minor road you go round more than a few horrible bends and up some steep gradients, when you will be praying you don't meet anyone coming the other way. Ignore a fork to the left at a junction. There are also one or two gates to pass through, another use for your passenger.
Eventually the road straightens out and becomes quite pleasant, with dramatic scenery ahead. Just keep going to the end of the tarmac and before it becomes a stony track you will see a parking layby on your right at SH732663.
Good luck!
« Last Edit: 18:29:56, 22/08/19 by fernman »

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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In fine clear conditions, with high coud, and long spells of sunshine, the ascent of Carnedd Llywellyn from Cwm Eigiau is one of my favorites.

Distances are very deceiving, but i cannot think of a better introduction to the Northern Carneddau and Wales third highest mountain, than a walk to Carnedd Llewellyn.

The only real difficulty, is the walk through the boulder field up to Llewellyns summit, but by the time you reach these, your less than ten minutes from the top, and the boulders are straight forward enough.

Ive just listened to the weather forecast, and Saturday looks almost a perfect day for an attempt on llewellyn.

Temperatures are supposed to increase considerably, and long periods of very warm sunshine are on the cards.

I think Llewellyn is a far more majestic mountain than Glyder Fawr, and if the weather forecast is accurate, you may be in luck.

Just try and be at the carpark in Cwm Eigiau as early as possible, because parking is limited, and being a Bank Holiday, every one will be there.

Good luck, the weather by the looks of things is on our side.

Ducky

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Hi All,

Thank you for all the informative posts. We had a wonderful weekend with glorious weather & also got to the summit of Carnedd Llewelyn.

Day 1 - We made our way to the Cwm Eigiau carpark from where we started off, but got hopelessly lost from there & decided to turn around. There were no other walkers & there were multiple paths so we didn't want to take any risks. Slightly off topic – We saw a rather large snake near the reservoir, which I later came to learn was an adder.

Day 2 – Our B&B host recommended a different route, which we used. It started just opposite the Gwern Gof Isaf campsite & followed a paved path upwards towards a reservoir / lake. From here the usual route is towards the right of the lake on a path that zigzags up the mountain to a ridge, at which point you are to turn left & follow the ridge to the summit. However, our host recommended that we turn left at the lake (instead of right) & walk up the gentle slope towards the ridge & then turn right & walk along the ridge to the summit. When we got there we didn't see any path for his suggested route so we decided to go for the first route (right of the lake) because everyone seemed to be going that way. It was a wonderful walk. There was one section just before the ridge that was steep, but not at all difficult. There was another section on the ridge which was quite steep & about 10-12 feet high that required use of hands & legs. This was the only real, albeit very short, obstacle, but we managed to scale it. It was an easy stroll to the summit from there & the views were breathtaking. We actually saw a gorgeous display of cloud inversion from the top. We made our way down using the route that our host suggested as we had a much better vantage point when viewing it from the top & it was much easier.

Thanks again for all the help!

Cheers,
Ducky

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Wicked, i am so glad you made the summit of Llewellyn.
I can see where you went wrong at the Eigiau carpark.


The route you took is part of the famous Welsh 1000m Peak Race, where runners and walkers start at Abergwyngregyn on the coast, make for the summit of Llewelyn, and Carnedd Dafydd, and then heading back along the Carneddau ridge, and joining the route you used to the summit of llewelyn.

When you entered the car park in Eigiau, there was a style on your immediate right,in the corner, just opposite the massive pothole, deep enough to damage most cars.

You should have used this path, and then followed it for around a mile, before reaching another style, and then bearing up Left, and joining the route that leads up the mountainside.


Ive never seen a big riggly snake, let alone a venomous one, are you sure it was an adder, not something far more dangerous.

Its ever so easy, when your familiar with the route, but i can certainly understand why you went wrong, as there are no waymarks or pointers.

You could not have had better weather for this magnificent walk, and you can probably now understand why i was so concerned about advising on the best weather conditions.

Route finding is pretty challenging, when you are unsure of your direction, and when the mist comes down above 3400ft, its anyones guess where you will end up, as i learnt to my cost some years ago.

I spent the best part of over an hour, going round in circles on Llewelyn's summit, totally lost, aiming for the summit of Foel Grach, but having to make for Ogwen.

My car was back at Eigiau, and i had to phone a friend for a rescue mission, of collecting me at Ogwen for a lift back to Eigiau.

He saw the funny side of it,but not everyone would.

So glad you saw Llewelyn in the best possible weather.
« Last Edit: 22:01:17, 03/09/19 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

Ducky

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Thank you so much Dyffryn. Your posts were extremely helpful & I really appreciate that. O0 :)


Our host won the Welsh 1000 race very recently, which is probably why he recommended that route. I'm really glad that it worked out.


Quote
You should have used this path, and then followed it for around a mile, before reaching another style, and then bearing up Left, and joining the route that leads up the mountainside.


That is exactly what we did. Eventually we got to a waterfall / stream with a stone quarry, but it was at this point that the path completely vanished so we didn't want to take any risks.


We probably should familiarise ourselves with map reading. We've been in some pretty hairy situations in the past & regularly get lost because we like to avoid the crowds. I recall being stranded in a snow & hail storm on Helvellyn a few years ago. It started off as a bright & warm day, but the weather turned so suddenly that we were caught absolutely off guard on the summit. We managed to make our way down by sheer luck. This has happened to us so many times, but we can't take any more undue risks now that we have a baby tagging along.


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Ive never seen a big riggly snake, let alone a venomous one, are you sure it was an adder, not something far more dangerous.


I'm no expert, but I do think that it was an adder. It's quite possible that I am wrong though, because we only got a glimpse of it before it darted in to the grass. It was quite unsettling because we did have a baby & we often put her on the grass to feed or change her. Either way, I thought that the adder was the only venomous snake in the UK.


Thank you again for all the help. I genuinely appreciate that.

ninthace

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TI'm no expert, but I do think that it was an adder. It's quite possible that I am wrong though, because we only got a glimpse of it before it darted in to the grass. It was quite unsettling because we did have a baby & we often put her on the grass to feed or change her. Either way, I thought that the adder was the only venomous snake in the UK.

You are really lucky to see an adder.  They are quite shy and the best you can usually hope to see is the tail end disappearing.  I have only had one really good sighting in recent years.  Mrs N was some distance behind and I spent a fair time playing "Steve Irwin" trying to stop it slipping away until she had caught me up and seen it.  Add another use for walking poles.
Apropos your navigation problems, might be worth learning to pin point navigate, especially with a youngster in tow.
Solvitur Ambulando

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Its a pleasure, i always love to help those new to the mighty Carneddau.
Having the right weather turning up, just as you were contemplating this big mountain, was very lucky.
No wind, high clouds, and warm conditions, that"s the kind of weather we all would like to book for a make or break attempt on a challenging Welsh 3000er.

I do not see the Southern Rhinogs on your list.

An attempt on the summit of Diffwys from Tal Y Bont comes highly recommended.

Its all on grass, and pretty easy to navigate, as the way is never really in doubt, and the views from the summit back down through Mid Wales are mind blowing.

The Southern Rhinogs are easy peasy, its the Northern ones that i would avoid.

Ducky

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Thank you so much. I will definitely check that out for the next trip. We were actually contemplating Y Llethr, which I think might be in that range.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Now your talking, a traverse of Diffwys and Yr llethr is a superb outing, and if your park your car in the small car park just above Cors Y Gedol, you can do the circular walk.
You will probably have the area to yourself as well, as its a very quiet area of Snowdonia, seldom used by walkers.

Ducky

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I'm sold... Will make sure that we check it out.

vghikers

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Quote
An attempt on the summit of Diffwys from Tal Y Bont comes highly recommended.
Its all on grass, and pretty easy to navigate, as the way is never really in doubt, and the views from the summit back down through Mid Wales are mind blowing.

Seconded, it's definitely an area we plan to revisit - see our report for a pictures and a feel of the area.

We've seen a few adders and they seem to have a habit of basking perfectly still until you almost step on them, most disconcerting  :o

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Oh my    W  O  R   D !!!!!!!!!!!!!,  that's one serious report on my back garden.
Crumbs, the photographs really do the area justice, the whole thing draws you into the area like a very powerful magnet.

Its a shame really, that the Southern Rhinogs have been confused by just about everyone with their Northern cousins.

The most people ive seen on one of my walks, was five, which is pretty exceptional, i normally have the area to myself.

Avid walkers hear the name Rhinogs, and they suddenly shudder at the thought of what has to be the harshest environment anywhere outside the Scottish Highlands.

Yet the Southern area, from Yr llethr on towards Diffwys, and eventually Barmouth, are a bit like the Brecon Beacons, rolling hillside, with views to die for.