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Covert Carneddau – Cwm Ffrydlas Circuit

By Dave Roberts   

on August 16, 2016    No ratings yet.

Covert Carneddau – Cwm Ffrydlas Circuit

Route Essentials

Route Summary

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


11.18 km


597 m


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

Start Location


Hard Walk


Weather Forecast:

Met Office Snowdonia Mountain Weather

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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. 

Covert Carneddau – Cwm Ffrydlas Circuit Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

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Covert Carneddau – Cwm Ffrydlas Circuit

This straightforward circuit along some quieter tops in the Carneddau makes a good choice for when the higher tops are shrouded in cloud, or you’re short of time. It starts in Rachub and takes in the summits of Gyrn Wigau and Drosgl before returning to Bethesda on a good track. You can optionally ascend Moel Wnion and Gyrn if you want to extend the day a bit.

Start the route in the Carneddi area of Bethesda by the Sior Pub. There’s a pubic car park behind this. The Sior was closed today, and appears to be open during the evenings only.

1 Start off past the pub, and for around 1km through the old slate quarrying village. This part of Bethesda is known as Carneddi, and you’ll be heading up towards Gerlan.

2 When you reach a junction take second left hand junction when the road forks (there’s a road sign here showing you that both routes are dead ends!). Follow this road, until it deteriorates into a track, ending eventually at the disused pumping station shown on the map, a derelict red brick building.


3 Head off to the left of the valley track, aiming for a stile on the skyline. The path is clear once found, and the going good. Cross the fence, then a wall, before heading uphill along the path.

4 The heading up Gyrn Wigau is a bit of a slog, but thankfully isn’t long and you’re soon on the summit. It’s a fine viewpoint, with the summit to the left (North) being the highest of thee two at 643m.


5 Continue along the ridge towards Drysgol, where a wide track leads to a col, and a faint path to the stony summit. You could easily extend your walk to explore Bera Bach and Bera Mawr, which are a couple of summits that need time to explore properly.

6 You can retrace your steps, or simply take a beeline roughly West to North West (take a bearing if there’s mist!) to hit the good track that descends to Bethesda. You can easily pick your way down, though there are a few stony sections that need more care, and best avoided by following the grassy slopes as much as possible.


7 The track descends into a wide and wet col, but it looks much worse than it is. You’ll get your boots wet, but nothing worse.  You’ll need to head initially towards the sheepfolds below the pimple of Gyrn, and veer left to contour underneath the small hill, ensuring you keep below the stony slopes. There’s a clear path, but it can be tricky to locate in the first instance.

8 Once on the path, continue downhill, contouring above Cwm Ffrydlas. The track is good, and eventually follow the wall and once you reach SH631 675, keep an eye out for a gate to your left. This opens onto a clear green lane that descends past some old quarrymen’s cottages to join the road at Carneddi a few 100m from where you started.

Local Information and Recommended Maps and Guidebooks

Route Summary:

This walk includes the Hewitt of Drosgl

This walk includes the 2 Nuttalls of Drosgl, Gyrn Wigau

Route Start Location:

11.18 km 597 m

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

Activivity Type: Hard Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


none noted


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:

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


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Dave Roberts

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2 thoughts on “Covert Carneddau – Cwm Ffrydlas Circuit”

  1. Hi, you may not have noticed but in the last part of your route description,Part 8 has what I’m sure is meant to be a 6 fig Grid Reference which has lost a digit. Otherwise looks good for a short winter day, once I’ve escaped the confusing streets in this area.

  2. Well spotted Cath! It was meant to be SH631 675 – and has now been corrected in the text above. This is ideal for winter – you can go as high as you want, depending on conditions and skill levels – and makes a good first winter hill walk in the snow as wel.

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