Mynydd Mawr From y Fron via Craig y Bera
Route Summary: Quiet route up Mynydd Mawr from Y Fron, the best route up in our opinion.
Quiet route up Mynydd Mawr from Y Fron, the best route up in our opinion.
|9.41 km||499 m||3 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Y Fron
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Mynydd Mawr From y Fron via Craig y Bera Route Map and GPX DownloadDownload file for GPS
Mynydd Mawr From y Fron via Craig y Bera Details
Even when you know an area really well, and a mountain even better, it’s satisfying to know that you’ve not quite wrung them completely dry of any novelty. The route up Mynydd Mawr from Y Fron, diverting to take in the pinnacles of Craig y Bera,feels contrived on paper, but works on the ground as you aim for the crags of Craig y Bera and follow their tops for a painfully short time before reality sets in once again. You can also ascend Mynydd Mawr from Y Fron by taking the descent route described below for a more straightforward walk.
1 The route starts off in the centre of Y Fron near Penygroes. Start from the ‘village green’ in the centre, from where you can clearly see Mynydd Mawr, or Mynydd Grug as it’s known in these parts. That’s Heathery Mountain to you – and if you try to tackle it direct from this end, you’ll know why. Keep on the road towards the mountain – or if the mist’s particularly bad – roughly east.
2 After 300m or so, you’ll find a junction to your left, which takes you up onto the moor, eventually, through some slate tips that are rather puny compared to the usual slate tips hereabouts.
3 Follow this track for just over a kilometre, as it deteriorates, all the tarmac disappears and you’re on a proper hill track. You’ll come to an information plinth, with a ruined building to your left and the small tarn of Llyn Ffynhonau down to your right with a clear path down to it.
4 Follow the path to the lake, and in front of the overgrown dam at one end. You’re heading for the enclosure noted as Bryn-castell on the map, and a straightforward bearing should find you there. The ground hereabouts is stunted heather, and while not exactly easy going, isn’t too difficult.
5 You may well need to keep that compass out, as you’ll need to try and get across towards the high ground to your right, rather than gaining any ground. I managed to contour along the 330m contour, and there was a path of sorts once you got across and into the valley on the other side. If you overshoot, you’ll hit a great big stone wall, so the navigation’s relatively straightforward. This is rarely visited ground, and I had the company of 5 circling Buzzards, who obviously nest on the nearby Craig y Bera. I was gutted I’d left the telephoto lenses at home!
6. Follow this stone wall, all the way to the top of Craig y Bera. There’s an electric fence parallel for the entire distance. The wall’s well kept, so we can assume that this is an anti trespass feature. It’s a shame as the ridge leading up would make an excellent walk from Dyffryn Nantlle.
7 The ridge, once reached, is a bit of a shock from the steep heather as you start getting a view and find yourself teetering on some sheer cliffs. I popped over to each little pinnacle on this section – well worth doing. It’s the first one, however, that’s the most exposed!
8 Make the most of this pinnacled section as the route hardly gets any better than this! It gets steep and you’re soon on the path from Rhyd Ddu. A steady pull brings you to the summit.
9 Chill a while here. It’s a fine spot, with extensive views in all directions.
10 The path off is indistinct, roughly North Westerly, but easy to follow once you’re on it.
11 This brings you down to the moorland where you follow the track left, and within 1km you’ll be back on the track you started on. Do we really need to tell you to retrace your steps to get back to the start?