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Carnedd Llewelyn from Aber Falls via Llwytmor and Foel Fras

By Dave Roberts   

on December 12, 2011    3/5 (1)

Carnedd Llewelyn from Aber Falls via Llwytmor and Foel Fras

Further Details

Route Summary:

A long and wild walk in the Northern Carneddau to the summit of Carnedd Llewelyn

This walk includes the 3 Washis of Carnedd Llewelyn, Foel-fras (Carneddau), Llwytmor

This walk includes the 6 Hewitts of Carnedd Llewelyn, Foel Grach, Foel-fras (Carneddau), Garnedd Uchaf (Carnedd Gwenllian), Llwytmor, Drum

This walk includes the 6 Nuttalls of Carnedd Llewelyn, Foel Grach, Foel-fras (Carneddau), Garnedd Uchaf (Carnedd Gwenllian), Llwytmor, Drum

Route Start Location: Aber on the A55

16.15 km 1000m 6 hours

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

Activivity Type: 

Summits and Places on this Route


Parking. cafe and WC.


Route finding off path.

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 :

Aber Falls car park has plenty of spaces but can fill up early with visitors to the falls.

Public Transport:

Buses to Aber from Bangor and Conwy.

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Carnedd Llewelyn from Aber Falls via Llwytmor and Foel Fras Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Carnedd Llewelyn from Aber Falls via Llwytmor and Foel Fras

The approach to Carnedd Llewelyn from Aber is one of the longest walks up Wales’ second highest mountain, with he route via Aber Falls and Cwm yr Afon Goch being the wilder of these options compared with the approaches via Aryg and Drum. Ascending above the Aber Falls on a slightly exposed path is an ideal start to the day, before setting off directly up Llwytmor and then Foel Fras and on to Carnedd Llewelyn. You can then choose your return route down Yr Aryg ridge or towards Drum and Cwm Anafon.

There are many hills similar to Llwyd Mawr – or now incorrectly named Llwytmor on the maps – in Snowdonia, ignored as they’re either off the ridge or just not as glamorous as their usually more illustrious neighbours. I’m usually guilty of contouring Y Foel-goch in the Glyderau, and Yr Elen was for a long while too much hassle to walk out to but provides such a glorious walk to Llewelyn that it’s surely criminal not to

Carnedd Llewelyn from Aber Falls via Llwytmor and Foel Fras Full Route Description

1 The walk starts from the Aber Falls car park with an obvious path from the lower car park. Follow this along the riverside, it soon crosses over the river onto a lane (this is where the walk would start if you park in the overflow car park) where you turn right towards Aber Falls.

2 Continue on the good track for around 600m here are very easy and you’ll soon reach a sign that points left “Aber Falls via the plantation – 30 mins”.

3 Follow this track, and you’ll be ascending pleasantly uphill though most of the woodland appear to have been felled recently. That at least ensures the views are better.

4 Once out of the final section of ex-forest, the Rhaeadr Fawr (Aber Falls) and the smaller Rhaeadr Fach can be seen at their best. The smaller of the two appears to fall from a much higher height, but in broken cascades. Rhaeadr Fawr descends in a single, more spectacular fall. The path here becomes scree and loose, and is unpleasant in places. Fortunately it is a short section and you’re on a decent path above the falls soon enough. There is one section where a stream often flows across the path. It’s a scramble at the best of times and this can make it rather treacherous so take care!

5 You’ll now find yourself in the lower Cwm yr Afon Goch where the path levels out and follows the stream and past what were once settlements but now barely noticeable. The more modern sheepfold is much more obvious, and it is just past this that you should start the long plod uphill.

6 The best bet is to take a bearing for the summit of Llwytmor Bach from the sheepfold and make it as best you can towards the skyline. Most of the ground you need to cover on the way is covered in bilberry and can be heavy going. All the paths cross your way, and as soon as you’ve found one going uphill, then it vanishes into the bilberry. Finally – the summit of Llwytmor Bach gives relief, as the ground from here onwards is windswept and where it isn’t rocky only sports short grasses. There’s also an old shepherd’s shelter on the summit – scarce room for two, but cosy for one if you want relief from the elements.

7 from Llwytmor Bach there’s not much of a path to follow – and while it seems best to contour around – this’ll never bring you to the summit. So as soon as you can, head uphill towards the flat and non-descript summit of Llwytmor.

8 From the summit of Llwytmor there should now at least be a faint path to follow. This is hardly a motorway, but one that should be clear enough to follow on the final yomp up to the summit of Foel Fras, though careful compass work will be needed in mist if you do lose it!

9 The flat summit of Foel Fras is the first major peak of the day, sporting both a trig point and a sunken shelter that provides some shelter. The stone wall that crosses thes summit offers more protection from the wind, unless the wind’s blowing paralel to it as it often seems to do!

From Foel Fras – you can follow the wall and fence to Bwlch Y Ddeufaen here, or descent to Cwm Anafon and onwards to Aber.  Alternatively, you can continue on to Llewelyn.

10  From Foel Fras, you can follow the wall SW with the path becoming clear and wide, before threading and becoming a little confusing as you approach Garnedd Uchaf. From here you can follow the route from Rachub to the summit.

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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