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Date: 10 Oct 2003
Start / Finish: Dolgarrog on the B5106. Good roadside parking near the Post Office.
Maps: Outdoor Leisure 17 Snowdon.
|Day 1||Creigiau Gleision & Pen Llithrig-y-wrach||10 miles / 4100 feet (16.1km / 1249m)|
|Day 2||Carnedd Llewelyn & Llwytmor||9 miles / 3080 feet (14.5km / 938m)|
|Day 3||Foel Fras & Drum||9 miles / 1150 feet (14.5km / 350m)|
Just S of Dolgarrog Post Office a footpath climbs W up some steps and crosses a road to enter an attractive woodland, where a good path zigzags steeply up to arrive at a stile by two large water pipes (what looks like a minor road on the map is actually these pipes with the yellow National Park boundary running along them). Following the pipes uphill a short way we took the footpath L which continues alongside the pipes to a cross track, where we turned R and followed it around to Coedty reservoir and around the base of Moel Eilio into the cwm. Passing a ladder stile and walking all the way to the dam of Llyn Eigiau in the hope of a good photo of the lake, we found that it is hardly visible at all from this side. Returning to the ladder stile a footpath leads SE over a low saddle to the access track of Llyn Cowlyd, where we turned R and followed it to the dam.
On the far side a path, barely visible at first, climbs SE to meet the ridge fence by a small pool. Turning R a path follows the fence to a corner and leaves it to climb past another pool towards the N top of Creigiau Gleision, where Llyn Cowlyd and Tryfan suddenly burst into view. An easy walk to the main top improved the view further. Descending SW we think we veered R off the path too early, but the terrain was not bad and we arrived at a pair of footbridges over the dam inflow, where we collected water. A final climb N to the summit cairn of Pen Llithrig-y-wrach and we had our first pitch, a small grassy area close to the precipitous cliffs above the Lake.
A clear moonlit sky heralded a fine breezy morning as we descended to the bwlch and climbed to Pen yr Helgi Du. Next is a splendid narrow steep rocky ridge above the cliffs of Ffynnon Llugwy and Cwm Eigiau, which is a bit of a scramble with backpacks, and gives great views down on either side. Crossing the bwlch and clambering up the rocks to Craig yr Ysfa, the mist annoyingly started to rise and engulfed the highest tops. Climbing to the windshelter on Carnedd Llewelyn in perishing windblown clag, we met three fellrunners in baselayers and running shorts - well that's one way to keep warm.
Taking the main ridge NNE over Foel Grach and down to the bwlch before Carnedd Gwenllian, we took the path L that follows a line of stones to rocky Bera Bach, where a short scramble brought us to the summit. An easy walk N leads to the lower but rockier Bera Mawr, where more easy scrambling is needed to reach the top. From here we walked SE on a thin contouring path, where we collected water from a small side stream, and planned to contour right around the cwm, but the far side was pathless and we decided to climb the short distance to the ridge and walk over Foel Fras. From the summit the NW ridge led easily to the little frequented Llwytmor for our second pitch.
Returning to Foel Fras, we turned L along the ridge to Drum and descended SE to Pen y Castell and the valley track at 724683. The track leads NE to Bwlch-y-gaer and a byway running SE that stops at a gate at 746687. S of this point there are two footpaths on the map that appear to cross the Afon Dulyn - they don't. We investigated both and there is no way through the jungle-like terrain and fences on the other side. Instead, where the byway ends, cross the gate and a short way beyond turn R and follow the track round to a little dam over the infant river, then continue on the track around Rowlyn-uchaf farm and out to the narrow lane. Where it forks, we turned R and followed it to cross the Afon Porth-llwyd and ascend a little to join the outward route.