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Carneddau Traverse – Conwy to Capel Curig

By Dave Roberts   

on October 1, 2011    4/5 (1)

Carneddau Traverse – Conwy to Capel Curig

Route Essentials

Route Summary

Epic route along the Carneddau.

See the end of the article for local information about parking, public transport facilities, pubs and cafes.

Distance

29.36 km

Ascent

1663 m

Time

12 hours

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Start Location

Conwy to Capel Curig

Difficulty

Epic Walk

Hazards

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

Weather Forecast:

Met Office Snowdonia Mountain Weather

Check out our Best Mountain Weather Forecast?
Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need. 

Carneddau Traverse – Conwy to Capel Curig Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

View the full route map

Download file for GPS

Carneddau Traverse – Conwy to Capel Curig

Walk the Carneddau in one go – if you’re up to the challenge!

There’s nothing more satisfying than a decent traverse of an entire mountain range. This walk takes you loosely from Conwy over the Carneddau and down to Capel Curig and can be an ideal wild camping trip. Why not extend your trip by returning via the Eryri Way and a tough but doable 30k day?

Navigation can be tricky in some places, and you’ll certainly need to be able to take and walk on a bearing if the mists come down.

All in all, a satisfying day or two in the hills!

The Route 

Starts off just outside the walled town at a railway crossing bridge on the A547 Bangor road opposite Ysgol Aberconwy (streetview link – note that there are houses here now!). This route is easily followed up Conwy Mountain, past the hill fort and onward to Pen y Sychnant.

Follow this route to Tal y Fan, though you can easily take a direct route up the grassy slopes rather than following the path at SH736 735 before continuing onwards to Foel Lwyd and descending the wall to Bwlch y Ddeufaen. Alternatively, you can descend from Tal y Fan to Bwlch y Ddeufaen directly, but is slightly longer.

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Ascend the steep grassy slope up Drum by following the path on the western side of the wall. This provides a quick, if inelegant approach to the hills and you’re soon atop the ridge. The path from here is clear and you can follow the fence over Carnedd y Ddelw or lazily contour to the right and to Drum.

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The fence continues to provide a foolproof route as you cross a wide boggy col and ascend the whaleback of Foel Fras. There’s a handy wall here, so if it’s blowing  a hoolie, you can usually get respite by crossing the wall.

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The next section may need some compass work as the wall ends. The path is clear enough to follow, but any sort of lapse in concentration and you can easily lose it in mist so best take a bearing at this point. In clear weather there should be no problem!

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Once at Garnedd Uchaf, you can follow this route over Carnedd Llewelyn and Pen Lithrig before rejoining us at Bwlch y Tri Marchog.

Follow this route now in reverse by slogging up the final ascent of the day to the summit of Pen Llithrig y Wrach and steady descent to Capel Curig.

Local Information and Recommended Maps and Guidebooks

Route Summary:

Epic route along the Carneddau.

This walk includes the 6 Washis of Carnedd Llewelyn, Foel-fras (Carneddau), Pen yr Helgi Du, Pen Llithrig y Wrach, Tal y Fan, Foel Lwyd

This walk includes the 8 Hewitts of Pen yr Helgi Du, Pen Llithrig y Wrach, Drum, Tal y Fan, Carnedd Llewelyn, Foel Grach, Foel-fras (Carneddau), Garnedd Uchaf (Carnedd Gwenllian)

This walk includes the 9 Nuttalls of Carnedd Llewelyn, Foel Grach, Foel-fras (Carneddau), Garnedd Uchaf (Carnedd Gwenllian), Pen yr Helgi Du, Pen Llithrig y Wrach, Drum, Tal y Fan, Carnedd y Ddelw

Route Start Location: Conwy to Capel Curig

Distance
Ascent
Time
29.36 km 1663 m 12 hours

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Activivity Type: Epic Walk

Summits and Places on this Route

Facilities

Cafe at Aber and Trefriw. Shop in Trefriw

Hazards

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

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Parking :

Public Transport:

Sherpa Buses to Llanberis and Betws y Coed.

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Weather Forecast:

Met Office Snowdonia Mountain Weather

Check out our Best Mountain Weather Forecast?

Recommended Maps

Guidebooks:

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Dave Roberts

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