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Y Garn & Elidir Fawr

Y Garn & Elidir Fawr

Postby poppiesrara » Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:52 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Carnedd y Filiast (Glyders), Elidir Fawr, Foel-goch (Glyders), Y Garn (Glyders)

Date walked: 23/11/2014

Time taken: 5.25

Distance: 19.25 km

Ascent: 1325m

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A long high walk through misty autumn sun at the slightly gentler end of the Glyderau.

n glyderau.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Cwm Idwal is a stunning place, especially so with the llyn’s surface as still as this reflecting the surrounding crags, and it’s a lovely route up from there onto Y Garn’s north-east ridge – steep but on a sympathetically-stepped path. Great views down the valleys and some dramatic mists playing across the main Glyders to the south. The final few hundred yards above Cwm Clyd are on steep scree – just about firm enough underfoot, but probably no fun as a way down – but overall this is a terrific ascent route. Setting a pattern for the rest of the day, the clag was down over the actual summit, but there were more than enough views on the traverses below to compensate.
N Glyderau 001.jpg
Pen yr Ole Wen

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Castell y Geifr over the outflow stream from Llyn Idwal

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Glyder Fawr & the Devil's Kitchen

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Y Garn over Llyn Idwal

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Llyn Idwal

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Llyn Ogwen & Llyn Idwal

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Llyn Idwal

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Nant Ffrancon valley

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Glyder Fawr through the clouds

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Down the NE ridge of Y Garn to the Ogwen valley

It’s a good airy walk north along the tops from Y Garn – zigagging stone descents interspersed with gentle grassy uphills, a detour west along the – briefly narrow – ridge to Elidir Fawr’s pointy peak adding a little drama. Carnedd y Filiast at the end is much the roughest summit, perched on top of a huge pile of boulders – occasionally awkward to get up, really very awkward to get down the far side (the most obvious line pretty much straight north leads to some very steep ground). ‘Baggers’ heading to pick up the little north top from the main ridge must question the wisdom of having to do this both ways…
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Snowdon north ridge & the Moel Eilio range

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Cwm Dudodyn

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Towards Anglesey & Conwy Bay from Elidir Fawr

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Mynydd Perfedd

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Carnedd y Filiast over the Marchlyn Mawr reservoir

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Elidir Fawr

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Pen yr Ole Wen & Tryfan from Mynydd Perfedd

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Foel-goch & Y Garn from Mynydd Perfedd

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Elidir Fawr over the Marchlyn Mawr reservoir

I hadn’t been totally certain of the route down to the Nant Ffrancon valley from Carnedd y Filiast, this not seeming a popular route – assuming that at very worst it would be possibly to find a way down the gentler western slopes onto a mine road – but in fact a clear (if thin and muddy) path winds all the way down through the heather and rocks of the Fronllwydd ridge. Some short scrambly parts, probably better in drier conditions but nothing too difficult or dangerous, and it deposits you out easily enough right at the top of the slate quarries. Surprising on a Sunday to see here, within shouting distance, what looked at first to be a big crowd of very inactive quarrymen in a garish orange uniform, until – with the sight of a heavily-branded and very noisy truck ferrying more of them up – it became clear that these were here for the Penrhyn ‘Zipworld’ experience. Plenty of happy sounds coming from the breakneck descent and plenty of glowing reviews, but I’d still rather choke at paying £60 for a few seconds and no-one could really argue that this zips down through the most beautiful part of Snowdonia – I’ll stick to going down mountains the slow way! After a dullish but easy mile down the service road, today this was a very long (half the walk still to go after the final peak) but very beautiful route up the old valley road back to Idwal Cottage with the high Glyderau rising in front and fine views of the Ogwen falls.
N Glyderau 129.jpg
Tryfan & Glyder Fach from the descent of Carnedd y Filiast

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Northern Carneddau from the top of the slate quarries

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Pen yr Ole Wen

This was probably a better way to take in this set of peaks than the alternative from the Nant Peris valley – a much better ascent than the long slog up to Elidir Fawr, a far less knee-hammering descent, and rather shorter and more interesting to go out-and-back to Elidir than to the northern outliers. Blank out, or find an alternative to, that mile or so through the quarries though…
Last edited by poppiesrara on Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Y Garn & Elidir Fawr

Postby Riverman » Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:52 pm

Great report. I had hoped to do a similar route in February but the weather was so atrocious I scrapped Foel Goch and Carnedd y Filiast and bailed out somewhere south of Mynedd Perfed. I remember the route up to Elidir Fawr being quite steep. Really enjoyed seeing your photos - when I was up there I couldn't see a thing. You're right about Idwal - a really magical place.
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Re: Y Garn & Elidir Fawr

Postby DaveB1 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:24 pm

Great report and loved the pics. Wales is on the cards for several visits next year. Eilidir Fawr is one I've missed, looked like a great day. :clap:
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