Walk Along The Far End of the Carneddau

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Route Summary:

Distance
Ascent
Time
5.9 km 441 m

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

Start and Finish:

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Hazards:

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Walk Along The Far End of the Carneddau Route Map and GPX Download

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Walk Along The Far End of the Carneddau Details

As walkers, especially hill walkers, our heads are easily turned when we hear any large and dramatic mountains being mentioned. The Aonach Eagachs and Tryfans, the Scafells and the Snowdons, Ben Nevises and the Buchaille Etive Mors– all the glamorous big names of the hills. We rarely think of those shorter hills, those foothills of the larger ranges that are often ignored in the rush to descend to the pub at the end of a hard day.

So it was with the micro-range of Foel Dduarth, Foel-ganol and Yr Orsedd. None of these are peaks of any classification. They’re not lofty enough to be true mountains, Yr Orsedd topping out at 559m and with little renascent between them and the main range they don’t classify as one of the Marilyns. However, they do form a wonderful ridge that makes a wonderful start or finish to any traverse of the Carneddau that ascends towards Drum or Foel Fras.

However, as it was an evening and soon to get dark, this unknown little trio would be the only target for the walk.

1 The walk starts at the tiny car park above Aber at SH 675 716, which has limited parking. You can set off in a number of directions, but we headed for the gated path opposite the enterance and up the grassy track, heading directly uphill towards Foel Dduarth.

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2 The track soon finds a much larger track, which you follow left. You can head directly uphill if you feel particularly sadistic, but follow this track instead, keeping an eye out for a right hand turn after 300m or so.

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3 This winds its way through the gorse to the large enclosure shown on the map. This has tall walls and is visible from a distance, especially if you miss the initial path and need to find another way.

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4 The path uphill can be seen in the grass behind the enclosure. It sets off clear, but you’re soon better off heading directly uphill rather than following the path to the bwlch and back tracking.

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5 The summit, or rather the blunt end of the ridge, is a lofty spot with views across Anglesey and down into Cwm Anafon. The bwlch is not much of a drop, and strangely has a series of unexpected manholes as well as a good track up from Cwm Anafon.

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6 Looking along the ridge – the next peak of Foel-ganol looks like a real mountain, and is a steep 100m pull to the top.

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7 Another drop to a wide col before the final pull up to the highest point of Yr Orsedd, which looks like a sharp ridge from here. Not rocky, just one of those steep grassy ridges that make for good walking if not scrambling. You can extend the walk from here quite easily to Drum and the rest of the Carneddau, or descend down the easy ridge to the north. You could take an easier option if you wanted and the main path is only 200m from the summit of Yr Orsedd, which you take downhill to the Roman road.

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8 We took the easy ridge with its faint path, down past the quarries and along the slope for a while before the path petered out and we had to join the Roman road. Take this left and after 2km or so you’ll be back at the start, just make sure you turn left and follow the wall towards the final section.

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader.
Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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