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Yr Aran & Y Lliwedd

Yr Aran & Y Lliwedd


Postby poppiesrara » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:54 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Y Lliwedd, Yr Aran

Date walked: 26/06/2011

Time taken: 5

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1520m

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A really interesting route, albeit with a lot of climbing, taking in the two rugged peaks south of Snowdon and a large part of the lovely Watkin Path.

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From the car-park in Bethania (where, judging by other reports, the pay-&-display may well be permanently out of order!), there is a choice of two routes to start the Watkin ascent of Snowdon; of these, the old route (as on the map, a surfaced track skirting the wood) is much shorter, but the new (waymarked on the ground, a new path winding between the trees and falls) rather better otherwise. Either way, in its lower slopes this seems a much more pleasant and varied path than the other main Snowdon ascent lines, rising gently through a green valley past spectacular falls and then into the vast hollow of Cwm Llan scattered with ruins. The departure west to climb Yr Aran is a different experience – extremely steep and quite difficult in places as it cuts up past the old quarry to the ridge. Although still gruelling, the going on a clear path is better from there, especially as the route becomes surfaced as the wall veers away north and the traffic from Snowdon cuts in. It’s hard to think of this as the least steep angle as you climb, but the later views of Yr Aran prove it so. Possible to imagine this as a great viewpoint for Snowdon on another day, but a rather misty one this time!
4 Afon Cwm Llan falls.jpg
Afon Cwm Llan falls

6 Plascwmllan ruins.jpg
Plascwmllan ruins

7 Plascwmllan from ascent of Yr Aran.jpg
Plascwmllan from ascent of Yr Aran

9 Y Lliwedd.jpg
Y Lliwedd

14 Yr Aran.jpg
Yr Aran

22 Bwlch Cwm Llan & Snowdon South Ridge from Yr Aran.jpg
Bwlch Cwm Llan & Snowdon south ridge from Yr Aran

Descending from Yr Aran is the only slightly unpleasant part of this route, the drop to Bwlch Cwm Llan is steep and quite slippery and precarious in places and then there’s a very wet area to cross just west of the mines before rejoining the Watkin Path. Beautifully built in slate steps in this area, this climbs at a sympathetic gradient up to the jagged edge between Snowdon and Y Lliwedd, and some terrific views of the lakes below. The much-maligned scree path up to the summit didn’t look too bad from here – I hope so, for the sake of the tiring pensioners that made up most of the traffic on this path... – but descending it still looked a bit hairy. Conversely, the climb to Y Lliwedd, while quite a long section of half-scrambling, is not at all difficult – many simple enough routes, short steps and no exposure.
32 Yr Aran.jpg
Yr Aran

33 Cwm Llan quarry, Snowdon behind.jpg
Cwm Llan quarry, Snowdon behind

40 Beyond Yr Aran to Tremadog Bay.jpg
Beyond Yr Aran to Tremadog Bay

42 Goats on north face of Y Lliwedd.jpg
Goats on north face of Y Lliwedd

43 Llyn Llydaw & Glyderau.jpg
Llyn Lydaw & Glyderau

45 Y Lliwedd.jpg
Y Lliwedd

46 Llyn Llydaw & Moel Siabod.jpg
Llyn Llydaw & Moel Siabod

47 Yr Aran.jpg
Yr Aran

54 Llyn Llydaw & the PYG Track.jpg
Llyn Llydaw & the Pyg Track

Even with a little mist about, the views from Y Lliwedd are wonderful and the rocky path across the three tops a real pleasure. Extending this for another mile or so over a long succession of grassy rises and subpeaks to Gallt y Wenallt is slightly tougher than you might imagine though, with plenty of climbing already in the legs – but still a lovely area.
62 Lliwedd Bach.jpg
Lliwedd Bach

65 Moel Hebog.jpg
Moel Hebog

70 Y Lliwedd.jpg
Y Lliwedd

74 Moel Siabod over Gallt y Wenallt.jpg
Moel Siabod over Gallt y Wenallt

77 Glyderau.jpg
Glyderau

83 Crib Goch from Gallt y Wenallt.jpg
Crib Goch from Gallt y Wenallt

After an initial pathless drop by the river and some quite rocky falls to the old copper mine, there’s a really good grassy path heading back to Cwm Llan alongside the wall, and then down and over a slab-bridge in a beautiful spot below the falls to rejoin the Watkin Path home and end a terrific and challenging route.
88 Falls & copper mine workings descending Gallt y Wenallt.jpg
Falls & copper mine workigns descending Gallt y Wenallt

94 Llyn Gwynant.jpg
Llyn Gwynant

98 Afon Cwm Llan falls below Y Lliwedd.jpg
Afon Cwm Llan falls below Y Lliwedd
Last edited by poppiesrara on Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
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poppiesrara
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Re: Yr Aran & Y Lliwedd

Postby Crawler » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:39 pm

2 very nice hills there - love the goats photo too :D That scree at the top of the Watkin Path is truly awful to come down! Did you know that the wider lower part of the Watkin Path was the Khyber Pass in the Carry On film?
Crawler
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Re: Yr Aran & Y Lliwedd

Postby colgregg » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:50 pm

Y Lliwedd is a superb summit and a pleasant resting spot after suffering the hustle and bustle of Snowdon if you are doing the horseshoe.
colgregg
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Re: Yr Aran & Y Lliwedd

Postby poppiesrara » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:24 pm

Thanks. Well, Crawler, I know now! But can't say I recognised it... Kind of comforting to know that the scree is actually that bad; fear of it stopped us completing the 'normal' Snowdon Horseshoe from Crib Goch last year.
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poppiesrara
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Location: Leicestershire

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