Aran Fawddwy - The Highest Mountain in South Snowdonia Walking

There's far more to southern Snowdonia than Cader Idris. Take the Arans, for example, a dramatic ridge with a summit higher than its better-known neighbour, but a fraction of the fame and footfall. This is a fine traverse of the Aran ridge from the east, taking in the main summit of Aran Fawddwy as well as Aran Benllyn and Erw y Ddafad-ddu. On this walk you'll get the best views of Creiglyn Dyfi, the source of the Afon Dyfi, and the wild eastern crags of a quietly spectacular mountain range.

Enjoying some easy scrambling up to the summit of Aran Fawddwy with Erw y Ddafad-ddu and Aran Benllyn in the distance.  © GrahamUney
Enjoying some easy scrambling up to the summit of Aran Fawddwy with Erw y Ddafad-ddu and Aran Benllyn in the distance.
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Detailed description

1
SH9054321343 Walk down the road to the bend, and go through the gate on the right. Keep the river to your left and stay on the track beyond the zigzags until a fence line can be seen coming down from the summit of Foel Hafod fynydd to the west. Leave the track here, cross the stream and climb up through rushy ground to the fence that leads to the summit of Foel Hafod fynydd.
The summit cairn on Foel Hafod-fynydd looking back along the ridge to the east.  © GrahamUney
The summit cairn on Foel Hafod-fynydd looking back along the ridge to the east.
© GrahamUney, Jun 2015

2
SH8777722748 From the summit cairn on Foel Hafod fynydd a path goes west down the grassy slopes towards a col above Creiglyn Dyfi. Steep grassy slopes lead up broad slopes via a path to the summit of Erw y Ddafad-ddu at 872m.
Aran Fawddwy from Foel Hafod-fynydd  © GrahamUney
Aran Fawddwy from Foel Hafod-fynydd
© GrahamUney, Jun 2015

3
SH8651323368 Just to the west of the summit is a fence with a path running alongside it. This fence runs north-south along the entire main ridge of Aran Fawddwy. Go north along the path for about 1km. The going is rocky in places, and the summit of Aran Benllyn lies just off the path to the east, overlooking the crags on the eastern flank of the mountain.

4
SH8672724223 Regain the path alongside the fenceline, and turn back south along the ridge. The path going south actually bypasses the summit of Erw y Ddafad-ddu, and you can do the same, keeping the fence well to your left. The path brings you around the western flank of the upper slopes of Erw y Ddafad-ddu, and into a corner. Cross the stile here and climb via the path to the summit of Aran Fawddwy at 905m.
The summit trig pillar on Aran Fawddwy  © GrahamUney
The summit trig pillar on Aran Fawddwy
© GrahamUney, Jun 2015

5
SH8622022331 Follow the path south-westwards for 500m to a rocky knoll. Here the paths splits. Go left, south-eastwards down to the cairn and narrowing in the ridge at Drws Bach. Keep alongside the fence going eastwards now, over Drysgol and down into a broad col where the fence veers off to the right. Due east is the summit of Gwaun Lydan at 632m.

6
SH8806621227 Descend pathless slopes to the north-east to cross the Llaethnant (the river flowing down from Creiglyn Dyfi - the upper waters of the Afon Dyfi). Once across the Llaethnant turn right until it is possible to regain the track you came out along, below the zagzags. Follow the track back to your car.

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Further Routes

by GrahamUney



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