Nantlle Ridge Circuit From Rhyd Ddu

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.

Download the GPX File for your GPS device

Distance, Ascent and Time 22.5KM, 720m,  7 hrs

OS Map Required Explorer 017BMC MapLandranger 115

Difficulties Steep, loose ascents. Sections of Grade 1 scrambling. Navigation over pathless sections.

Start / End Rhyd Ddu

Facilities Pub with excellent ales in Rhyd Ddu.

Public Transport Sherpa Buses and WHR to Rhyd Ddu.

The route in full on Mud and Routes

The Carneddau from Ogwen to Aber

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.

Download the GPX File for your GPS device here

Distance, Ascent and Time 19, 1050m, 8 hours

OS Map Required Explorer 017BMC MapLandranger 115

Difficulties Navigation in mist on Glyderau.

Start/ End Ogwen (or Glan Denau if parking is unavailable) to Aber

Facilities WC, Snack cabin, Parking.

Public Transport Infrequent Sherpa services to Ogwen.

The Route  In Full on Mud and Routes

Carneddau – Aber to Trefriw

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).

Download the GPX file for Aber_to_trefriw

Distance, Ascent and Time 27km, 1500m, 10 hours

OS Map Required Explorer 017BMC MapLandranger 115

Difficulties Navigation on pathless sections and high Carneddau. Some difficult downclimbing with packs.

Start / End  Aber to Trefriw

Facilities Cafe at Aber and Trefriw. Shop in Trefriw

Public Transport Sherpa Buses to Llanberis and Betws y Coed.

The Route In Full on Mud and Routes

Moel Ysgyfarnogod from Trawsfynydd.

This is a tough little route over a rarely frequented outlier.  As rough as it gets in Snowdonia. A Rhinog kilometer is what you encounter here, where each one takes twice as long.

If you look at the distance and think it’ll take three or four hours, you may want to reconsider and add a couple of hours to that!

Download the GPX File for your GPS device here

Distance, Ascent and Time 15.5km, 520m, 5 hours

OS Map Required Explorer 018Landranger 124BMC Snowdonia South,

Difficulties Rhinogydd…

Start / End Trawsfynydd

Facilities Shops, pubs, cafes, parking and WC in Trawsfynydd.

Public Transport Limited service available.

The Route In Full on Mud and Routes

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Moel Wnion Circuit and Aber Falls

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.

Download the GPX File for your GPS device here

OS Map Required  Explorer 017BMC MapLandranger 115

Distance, Ascent and Time 19km, 750m, 6 hours

Difficulties Navigation off path.

Start / End  Abergwyngregyn

Facilities Cafe, parking WC.

Public Transport Buses to Aber from Bangor and Conwy.

The Route In Full on Mud and Routes

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Tal Y Fan from Pen y Sychnant

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.

Download the GPX File for your GPS device here

Distance, Ascent and Time 14.5km, 550m, 4 hours

OS Map Required Explorer 017BMC MapLandranger 115

Difficulties Navigation in mist.

Start / End Pen y Sychnant

Facilities None – pubs in Capelulo

Public Transport Buses to Dwygyfylchi.

The Route In Full on Mud and Routes

Tal Y Fan from Rowen.

Her: “I’m going to the Hairdressers, it’s costing £60…”

Me: Splutters coffee across room

Her: “I’ll drop you off for a walk on the way”

Me: “Oh, all right then”

 Download the GPX File for your GPS device here

Distance, Ascent and Time 11km, 600m, 4 hours

OS Map Required Explorer 017BMC MapLandranger 115

Difficulties navigation from the summit in low viz.

Start / End Rowen to Capelulo

Facilities Hotel / pubs at start and end.

Public Transport Buses to and from Conwy start and end.

Route in Full on Mud and Routes

Tal y Fan From Aber to Dwygyfylchi

Another route up the shortest and most northern of the Carneddau.

This time via the roman road from Aber and over both Foel Llwyd and Tal y Fan before descending to Capelulo or continuing onwards to Conwy.

 Download the GPX File for your GPS device here 

Distance, Ascent and Time 14.5km, 550m, 4 hours

OS Map Required Explorer 017BMC MapLandranger 115

Difficulties Navigation in mist.

Start / End Aber/ Capelulo

Facilities Cafe in Aber, pubs in Capelulo.

Public Transport Very frequent between start and end.

The Route in Full on Mud and Routes

Mynydd Sygyn via Cwm Bychan

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.

Download the GPX File for your GPS device here

Distance, Ascent and Time 8.5km, 410m, 3 hours

OS Map Required Explorer 017BMC MapLandranger 115

Difficulties None.

Start / End  Beddgelert

Facilities Pubs, shops and cafes in Beddgelert. Cafe, toilet Bethania.

Public Transport Sherpa Buses to Beddgelert.

Route in Full on Mud and Routes

Mynydd Sygyn from Beddgelert

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.

Download the GPX File for your GPS device here

Distance, Ascent and Time 6km, 360m, 2 hours

OS Map Required Explorer 017BMC MapLandranger 115

Difficulties None.

Start / End Beddgelert

Facilities Pubs, shops and cafes in Beddgelert. Cafe, toilet Bethania.

Public Transport Sherpa Buses to Beddgelert.

Route in Full on Mud and Routes