Carneddau from the South

Key information: Carneddau from the South

  • Circuit the peaks and ridges above the stunning Cwm Lloer cirque. A wonderful day’s walking above thrilling cirques and cliffs.

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating89
  • Beauty33
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest8
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating89

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Your choice
  • Maximum Altitude: 1,064m
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous


This superb circuit climbs from near the head of Llyn Ogwen lake to the south of the Carnaddeau, straight up the hillside besides the Lloer stream to the base of the classic cirque of Cwm Lloer with the Fynnon Lloer lake nestled in its heart and hidden from the land to the south by the rocky eastern ridge of 978m Pen yr Ole Wen.

You turn west to climb this ridge (scramble in places) to the flattish top of Pen yr Ole Wen. This is a long and often steep climb, but rewards with marvellous views south to ever-thrilling Tryfan and the Glyderau behind it. (You can climb straight up the Yr Ole Wen ridge from the foot of Llyn Ogwen if you really want to beast yourself.)

You now turn right (north) to follow the rocky, barren ridge to Carnedd Dafydd, which is poised between two huge cirques, with the chasm of Llafor to its north. Next is a long swing around the ridge between these cirques, which is at times quite narrow and always spectacular, to even rougher Carnedd Llewelyn, the Carneddaus' highest peak at 1,064m.

Thence more fabulous ridge walking, including a scrambled descent and narrow ridge, south to the base of the high Pen Yr Helgi Du ridge; you can either climb to and descend along that ridge – preferable in good weather – back to the deep Ogwen valley; or drop steeply to the reservoir at the ridge’s foot then on a metalled track back to the main road. 16km, 6-7.5hrs, of amazing walking.

See our Carneddau page for more options, and our Snowdonia page for helpful practical information, photos ideas and any risks to consider.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.


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