Pen Llithrig y Wrach and Pen yr Helgi Du

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The Carneddau Range in Snowdonia provides mountain walking for the connoisseur. The scale is more in tune with the Highlands of Scotland and the mountains here are like the Cairngorms in miniature. These are quiet hills, where you don't often meet other walkers, unlike the honey-pot areas of Snowdon and the Glyderau.

Routes 5417, 6044 and 6234 throw you straight into the action, visiting the highest peaks of the range. However, they avoid the south-east corner of the Carneddau, an omission corrected by this route.

Pen Llithrig y Wrach (The Slippery Hill of the Witch) and Pen yr Helgi Du (Hill of the Black Hunting-Dog) are the hills you may have been driving past for years without noticing them. No dramatic ridges or 'pretty' scenes here, though there is drama enough in the scale and prettiness is in the eye of the beholder.

The lack of conventionally pretty peaks means that these hills are less visited; consequently there are fewer well-trod paths. In clear visibility you should not have any difficulty following this route, but when a Carneddau mist descends (a not infrequent event) the navigation can become much more 'interesting'.

The ascent of Pen Llithrig probably requires more route-finding ability than the rest of the walk, but nowhere does this stretch competence too far; these hills are like the Cairngorms, but in a much more benign way. The way off Pen yr Helgi Du could also look challenging in bad weather, but a simple solution is given in the route description.

These are hills that remain in the memory. Once you have walked here, the next time you walk the Glyderau or Moel Siabod you will be able to answer the 'what hill is that?' question as you look towards these quiet but magnificent hills.

Wales - North Wales - Conwy - Snowdonia


Cafe, Great Views, Mountains, Toilets
4/7/2016 - Malcolm Watts

Now I know what these two hills are called, though their pronunciation is still a mystery! A great walk for a wet day or first day back on the hills. Thanks for the route and clear directions.