Llwytmor and Foel Fras from Aber
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A Northern Carneddau wild walk takes you over the Aber Falls and to Llwytmor and Foel Fras before descending via the picturesque Cwm Anafon.
Route Start Location: This walk starts from the carpark ar Bont newydd (SH 662 719).
|14.81 km||970 m||6 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Activivity Type: Hard Walk
Summits and Places on this Route
Cafe, parking WC.
Much of the route is pathless or along faint paths, so you will need good navigational skills.
There are two car parks here for Aber Falls, but can get busy at peak times.
Buses to Aber from Bangor and Conwy.
Llwytmor and Foel Fras from Aber
There are several routes into the Carneddau from Aber, and this one up Llwytmor and Foel Fras via Cwm Coch is one of our favourites. It takes in the Aber Falls as well as the wild Cwm Coch before a thankless slog takes you towards the higher ground. Once up there, the going is reasonably good if the paths aren’t always clear along these hills.
Foel Fras and Cwm Anafon from Aber Route Description
1 The track along the west bank of the Afon Aber (or is it Afon Rhaeadr Fawr yet?) before you cross a footbridge and you’re on the wide easy Aber Falls tourist path.
2 Good news is that you’re not on this for long. You will reach a sign that states path to the waterfall, and it points ahead for the easy path, and left for “Through Plantation”. Take the fork left, and it follows a comfortable track through the forest until it reaches the less-comfortable scree slopes above the falls.
3 The path now becomes a narrow rut through the loose, but coarse, scree. Try and keep to the path to minimise the erosion (there are signs to this effect). The path climbs sharply initially, but quickly eases. There are 2 main obstacles on this stretch of path. The first is a gully that must be crossed. It is technically easy, but icy conditions make it more difficult, as does the exposed drop to your right.
4 Soon after this, you come to a section of path that is smooth bedrock that marks the final section before you enter Cwm Coch. There is a sheer drop to your right, and to make matters worse, a stream crosses the path here, coupled with green slime. This part is tricky so take care.
5 The path now emerges above the falls by the Afon Goch (third name for the same river) where a narrow, sometimes indistinct path takes you upstream. It will take you about ten minutes to reach the settlement / sheepfolds marked on the map, and you will then need to start ascending the slope to your left.
6 There is no path, you’ll just need to put your head down and go for it. It’s a pure slog, and a bearing would be useful in most conditions to arrive at the summit of Llwytmor Bach. Aim off a little to the right, and if you miss it then you’ll at least be nearer Llwytmor.
7 If you’re lucky, you’ll emerge at Llwytmor Bach, which consists of a cairn and a small shelter, not even worthy of Nuttall status.
8 Llwytmor is a lump from this angle, and you may be able to pick up faint path that heads directly from Llwytmor Bach to the summit. Once you arrive there, you’ll find the summit is an unsatisfying plateau and you’re best to continue to Foel Fras.
9 After a short descent, the col between Llwytmor and Foel Fras is a wide and, sometimes boggy saddle. The path should be clearer now, if faint, and avoids the worst sections before a simple ascent on a rocky path brings you to the summit of Foel Fras.
10 Foel Fras is an excellent summit to view the Carneddau and views out to sea. On a clear day you can see as far as the Isle of Man and the Lake District from here. There are a couple of shelters and a trig point here as well, and a huge wall which can provide useful shelter.
11 From Foel Fras, a grassy path descends towards Bwlch y Gwryd, but you’ll need to leave this to follow the 14 Peaks route to Llyn Anafon. There’s nothing on the map, but on the ground, there is a path that travels virtually in a straight line to Llyn Anafon. The only problem is that it can be boggy in places and the path could be easy to lose in mist but following a bearing from the col to the lake’s outlet should take care of that.
12 The track down Cwm Anafon is wide and easy, being a driveable track to the lake. This is a beautiful valley to end the walk, and even better in summer when it gets some sunshine. If you’re lucky, the tops of Drum and Yr Orsedd will be bathed in a warm, amber light as the day draws on.
13 The final section of the track contours the hill that rises sharply to your right. There is also a path that drops to the left and both end up in the same place. The footpath left isn’t marked on the map and follows the Afon Anafon and then the National Trust boundary to arrive at the Roman Road Car Park. The main track continues, cruelly ascending before the final drop to the small car park at SH675 716
14 All that remains now is to walk down the minor road for around 1km to arrive back at the start.