This is the beast of an ascent up Elidir Fawr that is not for the faint hearted with a sadistic 800m of largely slogging on a steep slope with the only respite being the summit. This classic walk returns over Y Garn and down via Llwybr y Carw to Nant Peris.
|Height Gained 1,088m||Distance 12km||Time 4 hrs 24 min||Download GPX File for GPS|
Distance, Ascent and Time 13km, 1100m, 4 hours
Difficulties Some navigation.
Start / End Nant Peris
Facilities Pub, usually closed in day. Toilets.
Public Transport Sherpa Buses to Nant Peris.
The Route The day started with little promise. The rain was drumming on the tent, and I had a hangover. Well, one of those groggy ones that annoy rather than mess your day. A few of us had decided to try this route today, as we were on a Meet from the Outdoors Magic site. It’s an informal affair, not like some regimented clubs where you have to do this or that. So we started from the campsite opposite the Faenol Arms on the road towards Llanberis. You soon come to a drive to the right (it goes past a barn), this is directly opposite the old quarry on your left.
Follow this track, which soon becomes a path as you turn left towards a secluded cottage. Veer right here, not along the river, and you soon see another farmhouse, marked ‘Fron’ on the map. You need to pass through a rather dodgy metal gate (sheet of metal, no hinges) and follow the wall uphill until you arrive at a gate to your right. Pass through the gate and you are now on the obvious footpath to Cwm Dudodyn.
In fact, an easier route would be to follow the minor road opposite the Faenol Arms, turn left after the bridge and at the footpath sign. This should take you to Fron farm and the route as outlined above.
This path pulls uphill at a fair rate before settling down at the footbridge. The path does continue to the head of the valley, but the footpath shown on the map to acheive the Elidir ridge at that point is horribly eroded and is best avoided. We cross the footbridge and make for the summit.
This section is a slog. No other word for it. And in mist, it was even worse! But there are worse ascents i know of, such as the start of the Nantlle Ridge. Before we knew it, we were up top. There was nowt to see, second time in two years I’ve been up and it was misty on both occasions. There is a fair view on a good day I can assure you! Dave took a picture of me and Dave on the summit. Yes, a party of 3 Daves, this could get confusing!
From Elidir Fawr the path is rocky and narrow, but easy to follow. You have an ascent free, high level stroll for 3km before you need to climb Y Garn. On this stretch, be careful not to take the path that contours right to God knows where, or the second path that takes you up Foel-goch. That is, unless you’re bagging, or feel energetic, in which case it’s worth the extra effort needed to go over Foel-goch. The path up Y Garn is steep and zig zags, but is over soon enough. All along this section you should get excellent views of Tryfan and the Carneddau, but not today.
Descend from Y Garn to Llyn y Cwn is hardly a feat of navigation considering the width of the path. This a truly magical spot, but was just a path in mist today. Once the path levels out (before the lake), turn right along the Llwybr y Carw path. Be careful not to veer off at this stage, as it is indistinct, and there is a clearer path that leads to contour Y Garn to your right. I wonder if this meets up with the path at the other end? It would make an interesting return trip.
The path will soon start to drop, and you will be descending at a rapid rate. It is generally easy to follow, but it’s nature requires care. It is often steep and loose, usually with more than one option. However, be careful at one point as the path stops in a sheer drop! A cool head, reveals a footpath to the left, meaning if you arrive at the ledge, you need to climb back a little to take this easy route. It is marked on the gps log, but the grid ref I think is SH 6213 5795. Only ‘I think’ as it wasn’t logged on the route, but is clear in the dog-leg on the GPS route we took to avoid it (So, basically, use with caution!!! If anyone can confirm this, I would be grateful).
The rest of the trip is a pleasant descent, albeit too steep for my poor knees. You do cross a river at one point too, which has some refreshing water. Mountain water tastes so good, but i’ve been hardened by drinking Eau de Cwellyn, fortified with cryptosporidium, so i’m probably immune! Seriously though, just use common sense and make sure any stream you drink from is above habitation, not below any very popular wild-camping areas (i.e. Llyn Bochlwyd, Llyn Adar or Llyn Idwal), running freely and clear. I’d never drink from a trickle, unless I was desperate (i.e. drink or die). You soon arrive at a cottage, and the walk is essentially over, bar a walk down their drive and a road walk to Nant Peris where the pub was shut.