Walk from Aber to Llanbedr via Craig Eigiau
Route Summary: A linear route across the Carneddau from Aber to Llanbedr y Cennin via Creigiau Eigiau
A linear route across the Carneddau from Aber to Llanbedr y Cennin via Creigiau Eigiau
|22.89 km||1008 m||8 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Aber to Llanbedr y Cennin
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Walk from Aber to Llanbedr via Craig Eigiau Route Map and GPX DownloadDownload file for GPS
Summits and Places on this Route
Walk from Aber to Llanbedr via Craig Eigiau Details
Camping in the Rhinogydd is where I wanted to be this weekend.
The weather really wasn’t cooperating though and a severe weather warning was issued. So I had to salvage something from the weekend, and preferably with an overnight stay. Dulyn bothy seemed like the best solution, as we’d be able to dry out after the certain soaking we were in for.
We started off from Aber wondering why the sky was blue. On reaching the car park at the end of the minor road (SH675 716), we were again confused as to the profuse sweating that we were doing. Obviously we were over dressed for the day, so set off from here in baselayers only waiting for the rain. The original plan was to head for Drum on the Roman road, but the weather was so fine we decided to take a stroll up to Llyn Anafon and climb to Foel Fras from there.
From the carpark, follow the track right, past the National Trust Carneddau Sign. The track bends left, but a fainter track continues forwards before bending left and taking you up hill to the Cwm Anafon track. Follow this right, and you really need no instructions as it’s a decent track all the way up to the lake. The Afon Anafon cascades below you while the colourful heathery flanks of Foel Dduarth and Ganol dominate the left. It’s a spectacular valley, but in an atypically Snowdonian way. It’s not overly rocky, and is in fact quite green compared to many. It even has it’s own little forest clinging to the steep crags below Llwytmor.
Of course, it started raining half way up in that sort of indecisive manner. My walking companion donned his proofs, I hesitated as it was too warm. Of course, it stopped, but soon restarted and I had to give in far before the lake and start over heating again.
From the lake, you can follow a faint path that roughly follows the stream. It’s easily lost, so careful nav is needed in mist – fortunately the clouds were quite high today so we could see where we were going. That didn’t help us physically as we struggled up what was only a 200m climb to the main path between Drum and Fras. There’s something about attaining a ridge after a struggle. Somehow you feel elated and we certainly did as we completed a further 200m ascent to the summit without thinking. Well, actually i was thinking at one point that there was no way we were nearly at the summit and that we’d reach the skyline and see a further climb ahead of us.
So, Fras comfortably under our belts we stopped for a quick drink under the barest of shelter by the wall before continuing. Ironically, despite the poor weather, it was the first time for quite a while that we’d seen Garnedd Uchaf! The same couldn’t be said for Foel Grach and beyond, which was shrouded in impenetrable clag. Morale depended on finding the shelter on top, which I’ve missed in fine weather a few times as it blends into the hillside. Well today the mountain gods were feeling benevolent and visibility cleared enough for us to see it, barely 10 metres away.
It was here we saw the only people of the day, another pair mad enough to be out in this weather. Someone popped his head in and said hello too! The shelter however, isn’t the most salubrious of lunch stops but it does what it says on the tin. It’s a shelter, and it cut out the wind and kept us dry from the rain. All we had to sit on were wide pieces of wood, much more comfortable than rocks and less likely to wear the stitching on my trouser arse too.
Descent from here was going to be tricky. I knew there was a faint path as I’d clocked it on a previous walk, but had no idea where it started from. I had to take a bearing and time my walk before repeating the process to arrive at the track in the cwm below. It’s on days like this you realise how awkward it can be to take a bearing, especially when you’re located on the edge of the map! The only solution to that sort of problem is to get a site centred map or to print off maps and put them in a map case. Laminating printed maps is one idea, but it fails miserably when you are trying to do some seriously accurate navigation. It’s difficult to place the compass on unless you rest it on something and as they are lightweight they are just awkward to handle with a compass. Even the site centred ones can be a bit floppy compared to the proper OS laminated maps, so from a map case hater i am now looking to invest in an Ortileb one pretty sharpish.
The bearing we found ourselves on soon crossed a path going in the same general direction, though a few degrees off, but we took our chances and followed it. Before long, the cloud cleared (or we dropped out of it) and we could see Creigiau Eigiau and the flat moorland of Gledrffordd ahead of us and the path we were on snaking off in the right direction. Parts of the path were a little boggy, but considering the serious amount of rain recently (complete opposite to the same time last year) weren’t as bad as i’d have expected. The summit of Creigiau Eigiau is a bump on this plateau at 738m. but it is not really prominent enough to count as a top in it’s own right. The actual crags of Creigiau Eigiau themselves mark the edge of the moorland where it drops off into Llyn Eigiau and resemble a giant upturned sheep’s jaw with large blocky teeth jutting out of the moors. They would be worth exploring in better conditions.
The path to Melynllyn was now visible, so we made a beeline for this. Half way down we spotted some more walkers, definitely bothy bound so we sped up as we knew the bothy could be crowded and we needed to bag a decent space. On arriving at the track, two people were entering the bothy and we thought they’d gone apace to reach it that quickly. But, they were another two so we made a bit of a mad dash down the steep grass, stomping through rushes and ankle deep water as there was a bed at stake!
While it wasn’t quite Whacky Races, it wasn’t far off. A quick hello to the guys as i overtook them (I was told later I’d never been seen to move so quickly on a hillside!) and made for the last steep pull to the bothy.
The mountain gods had seen me though twice today, once on Foel Grach and then clearing the cloud on my descent. For the third time they came up with the goods and i had one of the four beds! The prize was mine! Fortunately, the others had a sense of humour and they were laughing about it. They’d been trying to work out why they’d been overtaken twice on the way there and when they saw the beds they knew why!
As always, bothy nights are a bit heavy. The company was diverse and sociable, the food better than freeze dried. Even went for a walk up to Dulyn at midnight. You can reach the bothy by following the track around as opposed to cutting across. You pass Melynllyn and Dulyn lakes and it’s a lot more pleasant to walk, but takes a little longer. We were all late to bed, but I’d drunk plenty of water so i was fresh for the morning. Managed to fry bacon in my pot, so had a real breakfast which really set me up for the morning.
The path down from Dulyn isn’t exceptionally clear and is quite boggy in places. The Right of Way shown on the map follows the general route and it can be followed all the way to Penygadair. Somehow though, we lost the path at the abandoned farmstead of Tan-y-bwlch and found ourselves on the leat towpath. This was a lot easier, but isn’t a right of way, but there are stiles over the fences so presumably walkers are welcome. So you need to keep an eye on navigation at this point as there are loads of footpath markers, but they must disappear as we missed them and failed to contour around to the old farmstead. We saw the track below with a gate to it, and it really was the easier option.
The track then continues down to a tarmacked road, and after a bit of road walking you reach Llanbedr y Cennin and the Bull Inn. This is a traditional country pub charging very reasonable rates for their beer. A couple who’d arrived at the bothy last night so wet and tired all they did was sleep arrived here an hour or so after us (they’d left half an hour before!) so got talking to them. Has to be said that bothying is definitely a sociable pastime. The road will take you to the main road, from where there are buses that can take you to Conwy and then on to Aber and the walk’s start.