Aran Ridge south-west 2-day backpack

Pitch on GlasgwmA solo traverse of the Aran ridge from south to north, taking a new approach from the south-west to include Foel Benddin, our only unclimbed Dewey 500m summit in the range.

Foel Benddin is most inconsiderate in its situation and topology: forming a final spur off the southern end of the ridge, it is dauntingly steep on all other sides, difficult to access, pathless and rarely visited or mentioned. This route approaches the ridge around the south-western slopes of the Arans and uses a zigzag forest track on the flank of the hills to gain most of the height, leaving just a short out-and-back to gain the summit.

Conditions were strange on this trip: both days had superb clear views in unbroken sunshine, but overnight the wind increased from almost zero to very strong with gale force gusts over the hills, often making the ridge walking difficult and tiring. The whole route was deserted until I met a handful of walkers ascending the lower slopes near the end approaching Llanuwchllyn.

Full report & photos

5 thoughts on “Aran Ridge south-west 2-day backpack

  1. An excellent route, Geoff. I love the Arans, but I’ve never found the area around Llyn y Fign unoccupied in six or so trips. It’s certainly a popular pitch site. Using public transport certainly gives you more route freedom.

  2. Thanks Jim.
    I’m surprised to hear that about Llyn y Fign. A lake close to a summit is an obvious spot for a pitch and indeed we pitched there once, but I didn’t think the southern Arans were sufficiently walked to make it popular in that respect. In fact we’ve never seen anyone on Glasgwm at all.

  3. It sounds like I was just unlucky. Several of my trips were over weekends too, which will have a bearing. It wasn’t a problem as there’s good pitching south of the lake, near the crags. Incidentally, on all occasions, I never saw them again on the northern tops, so it might just be a popular place to wander up from the cwm for a quick lake side camp and head down again – certainly more accessible than Creiglyn Dyfi, where I’ve pitched in peace a couple of times.

  4. I love the Arans although its been a while since I walked down the ridge to the north. I camped on Glascwm a couple of summers back and saw no-one. Its fine spot for a camp although I was in the cloud most of the time I was up there. Interesting to see water in Llyn Bach, its always been bone dry when I’ve been up there. An excellent looking route this one.

  5. The Arans will always be a favourite, plenty of good grass for pitching and great views.
    Pity about the cloud on your pitch, a very fine spot that deserves a clear sky!.

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