OverviewYr Elen (Helen) is an outlier of Carnedd Lywellyn in the Carneddau range of Northern Snowdonia. It is a lovely hill with smooth grassy slopes on the south side and it encircles a rugged north facing Cwm known as Cwm Caseg.
It is less walked than the other hills here because it stands alone on a spur away from the main Carnedd ridge.
You can climb from Bethesda, or walk down from Carnedd Lywellyn along a narrow but easy arete.
On the north side are a few easy winter climbs. The south side can be excellent skiing because it is very grassy and a good angle so only 30-40 cm of snow are necessary for excellent conditions.
The background of the name is unclear, with the personal name "Helen" or "Eleanor" being one possibility, perhaps after Eleanor de Montfort, princess of Wales and wife of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. Another is the leech (from Welsh gelen, leech), perhaps in reference to the way in which Yr Elen appears to be attached to the side of the remaining Carneddau.