The Carneddau mountain range provides a peaceful antidote to the busy Glyderau and Snowdon massif. A day out here is one where quiet contemplation and solitude feature strongly. Unfortunately for scramblers there are few good routes in this area. The main exception being the rather excellent Crib Lem Spur which is hidden away in Cwm Llafar. This superb grade 1 gains the ridge above the sheer ramparts of Llech Ddu by a devious traverse. Once on the ridge the position is tremendous and the quality of the scrambling is as good as it gets.
The rock is good quality dolerite with excellent friction, although the occasional loose block will be encountered.
There is one other very good walk/scramble which is worth mentioning: the circuit round Cwm Lloer then across above Craig yr Ysfa has some sections of easy grade 1 scrambling and gives a fine day out. And lastly, for a quick hit the Pinnacle Ridge on Braich Ty Du (grade 2) is a good option if time is limited.
This is mountain terrain so always Prepare Well and Know Your Limits. All scrambles are more difficult and potentially more dangerous if tackled in the wet. During the winter season (i.e. typically from late October to April) there is a chance that snow and ice will be encountered under foot. In these conditions the routes will be significantly more difficult mountaineering challenges requiring winter climbing techniques and equipment. Click the Safety & Access button below for more info.
The normal approach is from Gerlan which sits above Bethesda. There is a serious lack of parking here so please park further down the hill in Bethesda and walk up. The other two routes are accessed from the Ogwen Valley.
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. Scrambling is an activity with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in this activity should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.