This is undoubtedly one of the classic routes in Snowdonia. While many will do this with two cars, or even the ‘double’, the more elegant and pleasing option is to return via Cwm Pennant. This route descends via Cwm Dwyfor, but it is also possible to descend Cwm Braich y Dinas or Cwm Cipwrth, though the route isn’t clear on the map. I always look forward to the Nantlle Ridge.
It surprises me every time. When you think you know the ridge, then you find another aspect to it. Today, the scramble over Drws Y Coed felt like the first time across, and the descent took me to a forgotten valley and strange new aspects to familiar mountains.
This is one of the best walks in the area. If you want to get a feel for these spacious hills, then this walk provides all that. Of course, you could start from the North, or even from Bethesda or the remote Eastern cwms, and all of them excellent choices.
The main advantage of this one, is that you minimise ascent, and it’s a short walk considering the ground covered (shortest walk from Ogwen to Aber). The sun is also to your back, but a lot of the view is behind you. The ascent via the short scramble from Glan Denau is a more interesting ascent, meaning you can take it easy on the long, rambling descents to the north.
This is a different approach to these hills, one that does leave you with difficulty in returning to your start point, but buses do pass through Trefriw. It’s also a route that contrasts along it’s way. You start in a wooded valley, cross moorland and secluded valleys, before crossing the highest land over Llewelyn. To top this off, you find yourself scrambling down Craig yr Ysfa and up Pen yr Helgi du before you finish the walk with a leisurely walk along Llyn Cowlyd and a leafy country lane takes you down to Trefriw.
We split the walk into three days, only as we wanted an extra wild camp in on the Friday night. It would be easily doable over two, with the decision to split into two even days and camp high (where you have to carry water to) or a strenuous and an easy day and camp lower. I suggest the spots i camped, but i do not give exact locations for obvious reasons. The two spots we did camp at were barely large enough for our small two man tent (TN Voyager Ultralight).
It’s always exciting to be trying out new kit. Well, this time, it seemed I had more new kit than tested. New tent, new sleeping bag, new stove and pans and new rucsack. Oh yes, and the boots were new too. Mabye you’re ahead of me here in guessing the purpose of this walk, but i’ll tell you anyway. Gear testing. I needed to test it all out and get a general feel for it before trying anything too adventurous.
Still, I think starting a walk after a hard week’s work (when bed is all I wanted) was rather adventurous, and it turned out that the evening’s stroll would be harder than anticipated.
Another steady plod to the northernmost Welsh mountain. This is a pleasant enough route that’s almost an out and back, but with so many parallel tracks in the area you’ll find it’s easy enough to take a different return route. The images were taken during some particularly deep snow and was much harder to follow than the route given, we gave up when we reached snow that was nearly chest deep.
Anyone who read the first Sygyn route, may be aware I suggested an alternative route to these hills. Well, simply put, that’s what this is. I decided I wanted to see what the ascent from Cwm Bychan was like, as the direct ascent from Beddgelert was far too steep and overgrown with rhododendrons when I did this walk back in 2005. This is certainly a superior route to the first one.
A throbbing hangover is not a good start to a day on the hill, but sometimes you’re just determined to get up there. Mynydd Sygyn is an area that i’ve been looking at on the map for a while now, and it’s intriguing bit of low land between the Snowdon Massif and the boggier, less majestic Moelwynion. The highest point is Moel Y Dyniewyd at 382 m so it isn’t a seriously challenging climb, but it has to be the roughest terrain you can find at this level. The are is encompassed by the Glaslyn to the north and west, with Nantmor delineating the south, before the land rises again to similar terrain (Yr Arddu) and the heady heights of the Moelwynion themselves.