Distance: 13.2 miles / 21.2km
Ascent: 4000ft / 1220m
Terrain: Good paths over grass or stones, pathless grassy sections, easy (avoidable) scrambling
A visit to a popular waterfall, followed by pleasant walking around the wild and empty northern end of the Carneddau. You’re more likely to see wild Carneddau ponies than other people on this walk, with only the section between Carnedd Gwenllian and Foel Fras seeing any significant footfall. The easy scramble up Bera Mawr’s north ridge is best saved for dry weather but is easily avoided.
- From the Aber Falls car park (SH 662 720) south of Abergwyngregyn, follow the good waymarked path to the falls, then take a wide zig-zag path up the left (east) side of the valley to enter the valley above the falls.
- Continue easily along the valley with the Afon Goch to your right, passing by a large sheepfold. Bera Mawr rises on the opposite bank of the stream and your objective, the easy angled north ridge, can be seen on the skyline dropping down to meet it. The stream is soon contained within a short section of narrow, deep ravine. At a suitable point beyond the ravine, ford the Afon Goch.
- Head up to the bottom of the ridge, here a steep grassy slope studded with rocky outcrops. Trend left to avoid the steepest ground then head on up, moving back over towards the crest shortly before it turns rocky.
- Enjoy easy scrambling as you make your way up the ridge, leading directly to the impressive rocky summit of Bera Mawr. The rocks remain greasy after a wet spell so if this is the case, take the easier lines or avoid the rockier sections by moving left.
- Descend from Bera Mawr’s rocky summit pile and head roughly SSW over a gentle grassy slope to the nearby rocky top of Bera Bach, then turn left (roughly SE) to climb easily over more grassy slopes to the outcrop of Yr Aryg and eventually the unremarkable summit of Carnedd Gwenllian (formerly Carnedd Uchaf).
- Now follow a path NE, eventually joining an impressive stone wall that leads to the summit trig point on Foel Fras, highest point of the walk and the most northerly 3000’er in Snowdonia at 3091ft (942m).
- Continue along the path, now descending the NE ridge of Foel Fras to Bwlch y Gwryd before climbing again to the summit of Drum.
- From Drum, continue north along the ridge top to Carnedd y Ddelw, avoiding the track that now descends the flank of the ridge down on your left.
- From Carnedd y Ddelw trend westwards down slopes to cross the track and gain the ridge that runs westwards over a succession of little summits. At a col prior to the final summit (unmistakable – look for the odd collection of manhole covers!) turn right down steep, grassy slopes (vague path) to meet a track running across the field at the bottom.
- Turn left on the track and follow it, through a small parking area, onto the road. Follow the road back down to the Aber Falls car park.