Overview:-Moel Llyfnant at 751metres
Has the status of a Marilyn a Hewitt a Nuttal and a Buxton & Lewis.
What can be said about Moel Llyfnant.
First of all the picture's shown and the title one say a lot. It is a lovely looking summit especially when seen from its southern side. Second it is a well isolated summit but very easy to access. From its top commands some great views of the surrounding summits for its height of 751metres. The mountain has large rock screeds dominating its southern sides and adding to these natural features there are two large groups of boulders that stand out on the summit ridge when seen from here. The northern side of the mountain is rather different. It is quite plain and bland with a very gentle looking slope. Also from this angle it is always over shadowed by the large neighbouring summit of Arenig Fawr.
Although not a Arenig in name it is still part of the Arenig range and area.
Arenig Fawr its large neighbour means big and it is at 854metres. The summit of Arenig Fach meaning small is on the northern side and is a lot smaller at 689metres compared to Moel llyfnant's 751metres. I would have thought Moel Llyfnant at 751metres to have been the Arenig Fach in reality but interestingly it is not…!
The summit of Moel Llyfnant is marked by a cairn mounted on top of a large group of boulders.
The Summit Views
There are many other main summits visible from here starting with Snowdon the list is as follows.
Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa, Moel Siabod, The Glyderau, The Carneddau, Arenig Fach, Arenig Fawr, The Berwyn’s, The Aran’s, Dduallt, Rhobel Fawr, Cadair Idris, The Rhinog’s and The Moelwyns.
That is a great view for a small summit. The visibility was not that good when I did it on the 2nd March 2008 and I therefore could not add all the above summits to this page or my Summits from Summits album if only i could have. The only one I was able to add with a great shot was that of the neighbouring Arenig Fawr summit and its ridge.
Moel Llyfnant although isolated is easily accessible via many different routes but my favourite is via a lovely mountain pass road from Bala through to Trawsfynydd. (See the how to get there section)
This mountain pass road has many places of interest along its winding route but has recently been marred in places due to areas of deforestation. When on this mountain pass road approaching from the Bala end there is a wonderful wayside waterfall on the Afon Lliw which is well worth a visit especially in full force. It is not the height but the width that sets the scene for this one.
Getting To Bala and The Routes:-Access to the A4212 Bala Trawsfynydd road for routes 2 and 3:-
From the midlands region as in Birmingham:-
The main A5 Road cuts its way through the North section of Wales and passes direct through from the M54 in Shropshire on the English side. The first Welsh town on this A5 road is Llangollen then continue west on the A5 through to the town of Corwen. After Corwen continue along the A5 until you reach the A494 sighnposted Bala. Take this left then follow through to Bala town. For the routes up Moel Llyfnant from the A4212 just before Bala town centre there is slightly crooked cross road junction. Take a right here sighnposted for Trawsfynydd. Follow along here and pass the water of Llyn Celyn and not getting it confused with Arenig Fawr, Moel Llyfnant is accessed from the following points.
START OF ROUTE-2 DIRECT FROM THE A4212 NORTH
START OF ROUTE-3 WITH ARENIG FAWR
Details from Bala to the mountain pass road are at the end of this section.
From the northern region as in Lancashire, Liverpool and Manchester etc:-
This route brings you in from these regions via the M6, M56 and Chester.
From Chester take the A55 west now a complete dual carraigeway. When on the A55 there is a junction for the A494 road to the town of Mold/Yr Wyddgrug. Follow the A494 to Mold and round the Mold bypass. Continue on the A494 to the town of Ruthin/Rhuthun. From here the A494 heads south west all the way and meets up with the A5 junction just west of Corwen.
From here take a right onto the A5 and then a left following the previous route through to Bala and then to the starting points as stated above.
Details from Bala to the mountain pass road are at the end of this section.
From South and Mid Wales region:-
Accessing from these areas is not difficult. The A470 is what I call the backbone road of Wales. This road is from Cardiff in the south to the A55 at Conwy in the north. If you are near this road then it is really the only route you can choose. The main let down on this road is the way it winds through Wales and not being dual carraigeway adds so much time on the journey. Using the A470 from the north is to head for Trawsfynydd. On the A470 from here the A4212 for Bala is signposted. Follow from here to arrive at the given parking spots.
From the south take the A470 Dolgellau towards Trawsfynydd. Just before Trawsfynydd the A4212 for Bala is signposted on the right.
Follow from here to arrive at the given parking spots.
Details from the A470 to the mountain pass road are at the end of this section.
Access to the mountain pass road for routes 1 and 4:-
When heading in a south west direction on the A494 from Bala town centre you head along side the waters of Bala Lake or Llyn Tegid. At the far south west end just before the village of Llanuwchllyn there is a signpost on the right for Trawsfynydd.
From the A470 near Trawsfynydd:-
Heading either north from Dolgellau or south from Trawsfynydd there is a village on that really long streight section of road called Bronaber. Heading north take a right. Heading south take a left. Pass up through the log cabins of a holiday village then follow the signposts from here to Bala and stop at the given places.
START OF ROUTE 1 and 4.
Be careful on this road as it snakes left and right up and down and is very narrow in places. Another thing to be aware of is the cows and sheep that seem to enjoy sitting on the road. The road also has gated sections along it with the gates on sharp corners so beware. This is also a very dangerous road to use in heavy snow and ice so avoid in these severe weather conditions.
The links in the above sections are Streetmap Links to where you need to be at that point of the instructions.
Red Tape:- Routes to Access The Summit - Conditions and When To Climb:-Red Tape
Free to rome is available round most of the open areas except on various footpath routes through farmers property especially in the lower reaches. The footpaths in the lower levels all have signs showing the free to rome and where not free to rome logo on the gates and styles.
Although unlikely it is worth checking the countryside access map provided by the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) regarding whether or not any restrictions on movement in the area are in place.
The Routes To Access The Summit
There are various routes to access this summit. I have done this via four main routes that I have included on the following map section out of the 1:50 000 OS-Map sheet 125 Bala and Lake Vwrnwy.
These routes I have done are clearly dotted out in there different colours on this map.
The 1:25 000 map that covers the area is OS Explorer OL18 Harlech, Porthmadog and Bala / Y Bala.
Route-1 dotted in red has to be the most easiest closely followed by route-4 dotted in green. These two can be combined to create a circular walk and if this is done I advise you head to the summit via route-1 up the steep east ridge returning via route-4 down the gentle open moor land.
Route-2 dotted in blue is not complex just bland. There are no real features on Moel Llyfnat that cry out for anything and the only main view on this route is that of Arenig Fawr dominating the eastern side. Also this route is a same way there and same way back one.
Route-3 is the big route...!
Route-3 dotted in purple combines the complete ridge walk of Arenig Fawr and then heads down off the southern end of the ridge heading down into the col between Arenig Fawr and Moel Llyfnant. Once down in the col you can choose a number of ways to head up Moel Llyfnant. On this route you can head back via that of route-2.
Conditions And When To Climb
The lower reaches from the start of route 1 and 4 can be very difficult in foggy conditions. The footpath is not at all clear and the land under foot is really wet and boggy. Our recent day up there was clear and there were no problems about navigating. We did it via route-1 up and route-4 down.
There is no great technical difficulties on the route-3 with Arenig Fawr. The descent from the southern reaches can be steep in places but the area does not have the corries and cliffs as the Glyderau do. The biggest risk that adds to the excitement is the isolation and loneliness that goes with it.
The fog has already been mentioned as a primary factor in the weather conditions that can effect the routes. I have done these Arenig's in many different conditions and never had problems being as I have been prepared for it properly. The route's can be done at all times of the year just take care and precautions behave on the mountains and be prepared for the ever changing weather conditions that the mountains can throw at you ENJOY...!
Local Weather Links:-
LOCAL BALA BBC-Weather
Snowdonia mountain weather Tywydd mynyddoedd Eryri.
Bala is the nearest main town to here and there are cafes and shops for all day breakfasts before heading off on the hills and sandwiches, chocolate bars, crisps, drinks with the other requirements for up on them summits. Bala also has outdoor gear shops for that requirement if you have left something behind.
Camping and Accomodation with Useful Links:-
NORTH WALES INDEX TENT-CAMPING IN BALA
I have seen whilst on my travels along the mountain pass road people camping in tents but I am not sure about the rules on camping on the road sides. I can guess that camping out on the wilds in the free to rome area is ok. But yet again I am not a camping person bit of a bed and breakfast I am.
There are many local towns that can offer bed and breakfast.
Bala Bed and Breakfasts via This Link.
Bed and breakfast directory UK here.
Some various external links that may be of use:-
UK Accommodation Index:-
General Google Search Page:-
Snowdonia B&B Google Search Page
This site has lots of information available:-
Youth Hostel YHA Home Page:-
YHA Home Page
Snowdonia National Park Authority:-
National Park Authority
Snowdonia Guide Home Page
Countryside access map - Countryside council for Wales (CCW):-
countryside access map provided by the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW)