The weather looked promising for this activation of two new summits for me. This is a route that is overshadowed by it’s more illustrious neighbours to the South but it is well worth doing, offering a mix of just about everything Snowdonia has to offer terrain wise and 22 SOTA points as well.
Parking is easy at the Gwern Gof Isaf campsite at SH 685 601. Pop in and pay the farmer his £2 and for your money you will receive a days parking and some great local advice on conditions and the route.
GW/NW-002, Carnedd Llewelyn – 1064m, 10 Points
Cross the road to the obvious track heading NE. Follow this to the bend where you will see the remains of a building on the right. Turn here. Initially there is not much sign of the path but you should soon pick it up, it becomes more obvious as you approach the reservoir. The final push up to Bwalch Ery Farchog is a bit steep in places but nothing too difficult. Once on the ridge, follow it to the left, NW along a fairly clear path. There is a short section at SH 692 635 that will require scrambling skills. It’s not too difficult, approach it to the right then traverse along a small ledge to the left and up. Just after this section there is a fork in the path, take the right fork, although it looks steeper it’s an easier path. From the crags of Craig yr Ysfa it’s an easy stroll across Penywaun-wen and up onto the summit of Carnedd Llewelyn.
We set up the station in the shelter of the summit cairn. By this time the wind was up around 30 – 40 mph and the temperature was well below freezing. I soon had seven contacts in the log.
Once we had packed up we headed back down to the ridge and on towards Pen Llithrig y Wrach. The down scramble at the crags was no more difficult than coming up but care does need to be taken.
GW/NW-013, Pen Llithrig y Wrach – 799m, 6 Points
From the bwlch continue SE to gain the height of Pen yr Helgi Du. This is a quite imposing ascent that looks far more dramatic than it is. Keep your nerve and stick to the path up and you will soon reach the top where it opens out onto the flatter summit plateau. Stick with the path and drop back down into Bwalch y Tri Marchog and then climb the final ascent up onto Pen Llithrig y Wrach.
Once we arrived at the summit we quickly set up the station and soon had four contacts in the log including a summit to summit contact with GW7HEM/P on Mynd Langorse which I was very pleased to get as SW-015 is well known as a difficult summit to activate on VHF.
By this time the weather was coming in and the wind was still ferocious so we didn’t hang around on the summit but headed back down to calmer conditions. There is the option to just take a bearing down the side of the hill but the fence marked on the map was fairly substantial where we crossed it at the bwalch so I was not sure we wouldn’t end up following it back North to the stile in the bwalch, rather we opted to follow the path back down and take a bearing from there. There is no obvious path ondown from here but the dyke running West to East is very obvious and impossible to miss. There is a good path along the South side of the dyke leading back to the access road and down to the A5.
Date – 16th February 2019
Postcode – LL24 0EU
Parking – SH 685 601.
Radio – Kenwood TH-D74
Antenna – MFJ Longranger
Band – 144 FM
Contacts – 7 + 4
SOTA points – 10 (+3) + 6 (+3) = 22
Group – Myself & Richard
Walking Route Summary