Southern Snowdonia’s biggest mountain has a distinct wildness which marks it out as a special objective for the keen hillwalker. Despite this Aran Fawddwy has never been a popular peak – one likely explanation is the linear nature of the mountain range which contains it. The potential for a circular route is rather limited if you want to take in all the highlights of the area. The best solution seems to be a combination of a circuit and a section of there-and-back linear walking to take in the northern end of the ridge.
The walk starts in the rather beautiful Cwm Cywarch and skirts round beneath the steep ramparts of Craig Cywarch then kicks back in a north west direction over sometimes boggy ground, before gaining the top of Aran Fawddwy. A brief foray northwards from here to Aran Benllyn should not be missed.
The circuit finishes via the Drysgol shoulder and then a very useful straight descending path which quickly drops you back in the bottom of the valley a short walk from the starting point.
The ridge can also be approached from Llanuwchllyn to the north - this gives an excellent, but fairly strenuous there-and-back route.
This is mountain terrain so always Prepare Well and Know Your Limits. During the winter season, typically from late October to April, there is a high probability that snow and ice will be encountered under foot. In these conditions ice axe and crampons are essential. Click the Safety & Access button below for more info.
The normal starting point at the southern end of the ridge is at the Blaencywarch farm at the road head in Cwm Cywarch.
Safety & Access
Enjoy the Mountains Safely. Here are a few words of advice from Snowdonia’s Mountain Safe Partnership.
1. Prepare Well
have the right equipment with you for the best and worst-case scenario! You’ll need a map and compass, torch, food and drink, whistle, first aid kit and a fully charged mobile phone.
2. Have the latest weather and ground information.
Check the Met Office Mountain Weather forecast for Snowdonia before you set out and be prepared to turn back if the weather worsens – the mountains will still be here for you to enjoy the next time you visit.
3. Dress appropriately
the weather and temperature can change dramatically between the foot of the mountain and the summit. You’ll need strong walking boots, several layers of clothing including warm ones, gloves, a hat and waterproof jacket and trousers.
4. Know where you're going
Plan your route before setting off and ask for local advice. Have a map and compass and know how to use them and choose a route which is suitable for you and your group’s experience and fitness level. Find out how long it should take and when it gets dark.
5. Know your limits
whilst being very enjoyable, getting out into the mountains can be hard work – challenge yourself but be aware of the fitness levels, and experience of the group as a whole – not just your own.
The publisher of this website accepts no responsibility for the way in which readers use the information contained therein. The descriptions and recommendations are for guidance only and must be subject to discriminating judgement by the reader. Advice and training should be sought before utilising any equipment or techniques mentioned within the text or shown in any of the photographic images.
Hill walking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.