The Northern Carneddau
Key: Mountain over 914m Peak over 600m Peak under 600m
Length: 14km Height gain: 970m Highest point: 926m Approx time: 6 hours gpx file
This route will take you from Aber Falls over the quieter side of the Carneddau, finishing in Bethesda. The majority of the walk is off paths, and in poor weather care needs to be taken with navigation.
Begin from the Aber Falls car park (GR 662720) and follow the signs to Aber Falls. When you reach the falls (after approximately 30 minutes) take the path to the left heading up a scree slope. Upon reaching the edge of the forest turn right on a gently ascending path which will take you to the top of the falls. There are a couple of places where care will be needed, since water can flow across the path making some of the rocks slippery.
Follow the Afon Goch right to its end, where it will fan out to several smaller tributaries. You will need to cross the river, and care should be taken whilst doing this. The river is not too wide, and looking around should provide a suitable place. You will be able to see the peak of Bera Mawr on your right as you walk up by the river.
From the end of the river head SSE to the summit of Carnedd Gwenllian (formerly known as Garnedd Uchaf). This is a walk up a grassy slope, and may be boggy if there has been a lot of rain. Carnedd Gwenllian is one of the Welsh 3000m peaks (of which there are 15). It was added to the list when the OS maps went metric, however some people discount it, and still refer to the 14 peaks challenege.
From Carnedd Gwenllian stop and look towards Yr Elen and Carnedd Llewellyn to the south before you head NE across the Carneddau to reach Bera Bach. If you want you can visit Bera Bach as well. These two mountains are unusual in that Bach translates as small in Welsh, and Mawr as big, however Bera Mawr is 13m lower than Bera Bach.
It is just a short walk from Bera to the next summit of Drosgl and then to the SW to the final peak of Gyrn Wigau. From here there are good views over to the Glyderau. The descent is likely to be quite wet underfoot. Head off the mountain to the SSW until you hit the path by the Afon Caseg which will take you into the village of Bethesda.