Carnedd Dafydd via Braich Ty Du from Bethesda
Route Summary: A route up the little known Braich Ty Du ridge into the Carneddau from Bethesda. One for the completists only.
A route up the little known Braich Ty Du ridge into the Carneddau from Bethesda. One for the completists only.
|6.03 km||881 m||3 hours ONE WAY|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Bethesda - Carnedd Dafydd
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Carnedd Dafydd via Braich Ty Du from Bethesda Route Map and GPX Download
Carnedd Dafydd via Braich Ty Du from Bethesda Details
There are a number of walks into the Carneddau from Bethesda, but the route up Braich Ty Du is rarely mentioned. It’s a wild and largely pathless walk up Pen yr Ole Wen’s broad northish ridge that lacks the grandeur of the Cwm Llafar and Caseg approaches, but nevertheless makes an alternative circular route in combination with one of the more popular routes. It would also make an interesting winter approach for those looking for a less technical route. The route described does not include Pen yr Ole Wen, but as the route requires a fair bit of navigation, anyone undertaking the walk should be able to work out how to get there!
Carnedd Dafydd via Braich Ty Du Route Description
1 The walk starts at Braichmelyn at the Ogwen end of Bethesda, at the junction of the A5 and B4409 (near the Austin Taylor factory – SH626 659). Follow the A5 towards Capel Curig until you reach the junction to your left marked ‘Braichmelyn’ and a Snowdonia National Park Marker.
2 Follow this road for a 100m before turning right up Rhes James / James Street past typical Quarrymen’s cottages. You soon come to a farm yard, pass through this to the gate at the far end and enter the forest. It’s a pleasant change to start a walk in woodland, with the only navigation required when you cross a wide forestry track. It’s not immediately obvious, but turn left and then the continuing path to your right becomes clear.
2 You’re soon out of the woodland and onto the open hillside. Navigation depends strongly on handrailing the wall that can lead you most of the way up, but initially it’s best to strike for the high ground ahead. There is a path that contours, but it is not apparent on the ground. Once onto this first section of high ground, you’ll come to the stone wall that should be followed.
3 It’s steady at first, before crossing the boggy area around the Afon Berthen at SH641 643.
4 You’re now on the broad ridge, with a small uphill pull leading to another level area before the ridge becomes seriously steep if you follow the wall. A path veers off to the left that avoids the steeper section. Once you’re past this, all that remains is to climb a uniform slope to the ridge above. You can continue on the ‘ridge’ to Pen yr Ole Wen, but by now you realise there’s not much of a ridge left and you’re best aiming for the bwlch at Carnedd Fach.
5 Once on the ridge it’s an easy pull up to Carnedd Dafydd. From here there’s a number of routes you can take back to Bethesda. You can directly descend down Moel Meirch, but would lead to a short and unsatisfying day. Much better is to continue to Carnedd Llewelyn and either descend Yr Elen or continue onward to descend the Aryg Ridge back into Bethesda.