High Carneddau from Llyn Ogwen – Carnedd Dafydd and Llywelyn
Route Summary: The classic circuit of the Carneddau from Llyn Ogwen
The classic circuit of the Carneddau from Llyn Ogwen
|14.99 km||982 m||around 6-7 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Glan Denau on A5
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High Carneddau from Llyn Ogwen – Carnedd Dafydd and Llywelyn Route Map and GPX Download
High Carneddau from Llyn Ogwen – Carnedd Dafydd and Llywelyn Details
This is the classic circular route up the main peaks of the Carneddau from Llyn Ogwen, namely Carnedd Dafydd and Carnedd Llywelyn, and makes for a challenging day out. This scramble is much better than the usual scramble direct from Ogwen, which we’ve included at the end of this route for those contemplating that ascent up Pen yr Ole Wen.
Carnedd Dafydd and Llywelyn from Llyn Ogwen Full Route Guide
1 Start off from the A5 near Glan Dena at the Capel Curig end of Llyn Ogwen (you can also walk here from Ogwen via the lakeside path or the road) and pass the hut before heading off up the hill to the right of the farm (Tal-y-Llyn Ogwen). There are some National Trust waymarks at this point – with the red arrows denoting the route you should follow.
2 The path continues, patchily uphill. The waymarkers are no more, and you’ll need to cross the Afon Loer at the ford noted on the OS map. This can be tricky if it’s been raining heavily and care is needed. The path continues upwards, crossing a wall before leaving the stream at around 620m height to head towards the mountain.
3 The path winds its way around, largely clear to follow, including an interesting little scramble or two.
4 Beyond the scramble, the path continues steadily upwards with excellent views into Cwm Lloer if you’re lucky, and eventually tops out onto Pen yr Ole Wen. There’s no shelter or a pronounced summit here, but worth stopping as it’s one of the 14/15 peaks as well as a fine viewpoint.
5 Continue along the ridge northwards, with the path often becoming vague and tricky to follow in mist, towards Carnedd Dafydd. The ascent is gradual, and barely a 100m in ascent, you’ll be at the 1044m summit in no time. We were grateful for the elaborate summit shelter today, which has four sections so you remain sheltered no matter which direction the wind blows.
6 The next section is one of the finest and loftiest ridge walks in Snowdonia, but we saw nothing in the mist. The path does become vague in places, and can be tricky to follow across the initial section, but easier once you reach Bwlch Cyfrwy-drum. From here you’ve a steady 130m or so to climb, and you’re finally on the summit.
7 As the summit is a featureless plateau, the descent from here to Bwlch Eryl Farchog (or to anywhere) will need some compass skills on a misty day to find the right path. Once on it, the path descends clearly for most of the distance before disappearing at the tops of some crags just above the col. Providing you’re at the correct crags (!), they’ll need scrambling down with care and it can be tough finding the best line down. The final and toughest section of the scramble is a flat slab, where we followed a crack in the centre in order to ease our way slowly down!
8 From Bwlch Eryl Farchog, the path descends extremely steeply (from the location shown above) and requires care along some of the more eroded sections. On a plus point, it does provide an excellent view straight down to Ffynnon Llygwy!
9 The path continues steadily now along the side of Ffynnon Llygwy, before inexplicably vanishing just before the reservoir road. It’s an easy matter to cross the final pathless section and follow the track down to the A5 far below. This section can be hell on tired feet at the end of a tough day!
10 Follow the A5 for 200m before turning up into Gwern Gof Isaf. Turn right at the track which now continues through Gwern Gof Uchaf campsite and emerges out on the A5 opposite Glan Dena.
The Direct Route up Pen yr Ole from Ogwen
This is the route straight up Pen yr Ole Wen from Ogwen. There’s no messing about with this one. We’ve tended to avoid it in favour of the rotue above which is just superior in every way. Starting off on steps opposite the Ogwen Cottage lulls you into a false sense of security before the path deteriorates as you get further up into steep scree and a bit of a free for all. You’ll then need to join the main route at point 5.
It cuts around 1km from the route, but as the going is tougher the overall walk time will be the same.
Take a look for yourself: