At 854m Arenig Fawr is one of the highest mountains in Wales. However it has not many visitors and the paths are intermittent in the upper areas. However this does make the walk all the more interesting and the views north towards the main Snowdonia region offers a different perspective to normal.
Arenig Fawr is one of the Top 500 Summits in Britain. In a listing based on height and a 500 foot drop on all sides, Arenig Fawr comfortably qualifies. The listing is excellent, put together by my brother, and featured in his excellent book. Anyway I had not climbed Arenig Fawr so a visit and stay in nearby Bala offered me the opportunity. I must admit I did not use his route from the south but started to the east on the quiet road near Llyn Celyn.
The climb past Llyn Arenig Fawr was very enjoyable. There is a steep climb from the reservoir which takes you n to the heart of Areng Fawr and from there it is a highly enjoyable walk to the summit. The main ridge offers some good views north to the Snowdon range, on the day I climbed it was easy to pick out the Snowdon Horseshoe and the Tryfan to Glyders ridge. I strongly suggest returning via the same route. Unfortunately I tried to be clever and opted for a more direct descent to the north west of the tarn. I ended up in a battle with thigh high heather and gorse with intermittent areas of marsh…not good.
This is a peaceful part of Wales. It is rare to come across a mountain not far short of 3,000 feet that is so quiet on a good . summer, weather day.
My erronous descent was made due to a rogue path marked on the map. I assumed the black dashes on the 1.25k map at Geli Deg was in fact a path so others must have descended that way. It is not a path but the remains of an old stone wall. Both ancient stone walls and footpaths on the ground are shown by the same symbol, short black dashes. Common sense should be used to tell which is which. I showed little.
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