Y Garn and Llwybr y Carw from Nant Peris
Quiet route into the Glyderau from Nant Peris
|10 km||830 m||5 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Nant Peris
Pub and toilets in Nant Peris
Some sections on Llwybr y Carw are steep and can be difficult to find in descent, including one false path that leads to a difficult section of down scrambling. It may be a challenge in ascent, but feels harder than a grade 1 in descent (yes, we know it’s a hazard as we’ve found ourselves climbing down the chimney using every part of the body in order to keep ourselves from falling.)
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Large car park in Nant Peris
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Y Garn and Llwybr y Carw from Nant Peris Details
I recently did Y Garn, from Ogwen on my ML training. Yes, the paths from Ogwen are rockier and more exposed. The NE ridge is arguably the best walk direct to the summit, and reasonably quiet for an Ogwen walk.
Despite this, I’ve a soft spot for the more rounded side of these hills as it was here I ventured on my very first proper walk when i was about 14. It was all a big adventure climbing up from Nant Peris that May afternoon and topping out at Cwm Dudodyn. I Really had no idea what i was doing which would have been clear to anyone who’d seen me trying to scale the steep scree on the SE slopes of Elidir Fawr. I made it in one piece though, and learnt that rights of ways didn’t always mean paths (very valuable lesson that many people still go wrong on); most definitely a schoolboy error.
Y Garn and Llwybr y Carw from Nant Peris Route Description
Today’s walk wasn’t to recreate that walk, the slog up Elidir had put my normally energetic walking companion off. Instead, it was to be by way of the blunt ridge known as Esgair Ceunant.
The route starts opposite the Faenol pub, along the minor road to the camp site. Follow this minor road, turning left to avoid entering the campsite, and continue upwards for about ½ a kilometre. There is a cottage here and a path goes both left and right behind it. Keep left until you reach a wall where the path turns sharply right uphill. If you reach the farm, you’ve gone too far. Follow the path uphill, over some rocky sections and across into another field before zig zagging steeply uphill in the next. The path now levels out and you are walking alongside, albeit higher, than the noisy stream.
Keep an eye out for the footbridge, that’s the route up Elidir Fawr. You need to keep on the right hand side of the river, where in good visibility you can see the start of the blunt ridge. In poor visibility, you will need to continue along the path for a hundred metres or so, before a faint path takes you right (about due east). You should be aiming for the wall that’s a clear feature up the spine of the ridge, and which the path follows. The sheepfolds on the map (2 of) are a clear indicator you’ve gone too far on the path. Failing that, take a bearing towards the wall and handrail up.
There’s a very sharp pull to the ridge, where it levels off for some easy high level walking. It was very windy today, so we were able to shelter quite well at the group of sheepfolds that are found on top of the ridge (nice identifying feature to aim for). Views are extensive, across to the Snowdon range and down into Cwm Gafr – will look into wild camping there! Y Garn itself looks low and near – but you’re barely half way up.
Following the reasonably clear path – but difficult to find if you were seeking it in the clag – takes you to a fence that’s not marked on the map. You can cross it and follow the path to the ridge, or take a boggier right along the fence for a shorter but steeper route to the same path. We took this one, and it takes you to 750 contour above Cwm Cywion from which it’s a nice pull up to the summit along a stony path. It is steep in parts, but it does the job and gets you up towards the summit in good time.
It was cold and windy today, and as we stopped here we found ourselves cooling rapidly. So a descent to Llyn y Cŵn where there’s some shelter was called for. The path down is fairly badly eroded compared to other Eryri paths, as is the pull up to Glyder Fawr along the scree gully (this is a terrible path, possibly one of he worst in Snowdonia). We found some outcrops of rocks near the lake, behind which we could shelter from the wind and did a bit of small scale scrambling. The scree slope up to Glyder Fawr was looking too steep, and as my knee had seized up due to overdoing it on an exercise bike, descent was the only sensible option. We’d run out of coffee anyway.
So, the path down to Cwm Padrig (Llwybr y Carw – The Deer Path) has to be found, and it can be found as you descend from Y Garn just before you reach the lake’s outlet stream. The path is reasonably clear for most of the way, but it does split in two after 200m or so (we were practicing out pacing!) and you need to take the left fork. I’m still wondering where the right hand fork takes you (probably to Cwm Gafr).
The path now takes you down steeply to the road. It is eroded and required care. One section finds you on a ledge, where a difficult scramble down is possible (I’ve done it in the past – but can’t see how looking at it now!). If you reach this ledge, then you need to go back a few metres and take a faint path to the left between two stones. Beyond this the path once more becomes obvious, and you are soon past a footbridge and onto easier ground.
The path finally crosses a field towards a farm, whose track leads down to the main road. Turn right along the main road and hope that the drivers keep to the speed limit and are keeping an eye out for pedestrians (definitely the most dangerous part of the walk). You walk past the park and ride scheme here, which was well used today (and where we’d parked as the buses no longer go from Caernarfon to Nant directly).
You can extend this walk over to Capel Curig, see the Glyderau Backpack page, or over the Glyderau to Pen y Pass or Pen y Gwryd (Miner’s Track) rather than complete this short circuit.