Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Yr Aran~

7th September 2012

Yr Aran - "The High Place". A late start today as I waited for any sign that the local weather would improve. Low cloud had invaded from the night before and occupied the hilltops.

Cae Du Campsite

Cae Du Campsite

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....

Old Copper Mine Moel Hebog in mist
Old Copper Mines
Moel Hebog in Low Cloud

I was determined not to use the car today. I had wanted to ascend Moel Hebog, but not in cloud. I spotted an old mining area on the lower slopes of Yr Aran and decided to make that are an initial target for exploration. Start time - noon.

Sygun Copper Mines

Sygun Copper Mine

Heading north-east from the campsite, I passed the Sygun Copper Mine. Such is open for tours and many years ago The Ratcliffes enjoyed an hour or two at this location where they take you into some of the old workings - and then switch the lights off!

Dinas Emrys Mining Area
Dinas Emrys (l) and Nantgwynant (c)
Mining Area
Llyn Dinas Colourful House
Llyn Dinas
Colourful House overlooking Llyn Dinas

The plan failed by virtue of the fact that notices on the lane to the fellside prohibited walkers. Curses! I decided to follow the road (A498) to the start of The Watkin Path and use said path to visit the waterfalls above Hafod-y-llan, all the while hoping to see some sunshine breaking through the gloom.

Incline Waterfalls
Mining Incline from Yr Aran
Waterfalls and Derelict Farmhouse

One plan I have at this stage is to walk over the pass between Yr Aran and Snowdon and reach Rhyd-Ddu, from where I can walk, bus or train back down to Beddgelert. It all depends on the weather.

Top Waterfall


At the top of the cascades and finally the lifting cloud begins to break, revealing the south ridge of Snowdon.

Cwm Llan

Cwm Llan

The skyscape is now changing rapidly, this photo of Cwm Llan was taken at 14:30hrs. Snowdon summit may still be in cloud, but not for much longer. I've now decided to ascend Yr Aran via the western ridge.

Yr Aran

Yr Aran

It looks very inviting, doesn't it? Just enough time to explore a disused mine level.

Mine Level Copper Mining Area
In The Level
Open Shafts

Copper Mining Area, Yr Aran

Enter at your own risk!

Snowdon Summit

Snowdon Summit

Ultra-Zoom reveals the summit of Snowdon and I'm slightly jealous of those lucky so-and-so's up there just now!

Snowdon and Y Lliwedd

Snowdon and Y Lliwedd

Part of the Snowdon Horseshoe route, as walked on August 5th, this year.

Snowdon Pouchered

Plate 34. ROUTE 6

A rather poor attempt at "Poucherism". "There is at first a sharp descent to Bwlch Cwm-llan, where a rock-bound pool on the R. and an almost round little tarn on the L. will charm the eye. Thereafter the collar work begins....whence ascend the clearly marked track along the crest of Bwlch Main to attain the cairn on the summit of the peak."

Yr Aran Summit

The Summit of Yr Aran 2,451ft asl

Rhyd-Ddu and Llyn Cwellyn

Llyn Cwellyn

The view to the North-West of Yr Aran. Just in front of the forestry is Rhyd-Ddu, a popular starting point for Snowdon walks. The Welsh Highland Railway has a station at Rhyd-Ddu. The mountain behind the trees is Mynydd Mawr and across the reservoir is Moel Eilio.

Slate Quarry Quarry Reservoir
Slate Quarry
Quarry Reservoir

Quarry exploration time, but not before I establish that I didn't have enough water to climb Snowdon and I can't be sure that the cafe would still be open if I arrived there at around 17:15hrs. Better safe than sorry!

Slate Quarry Yr Aran
One of the Quarries
Yr Aran - North Ridge

A typical scene (left), common with many abandoned slate quarries. The upper reaches of the north ridge of Yr Aran look scramblable.

Cmw Llan

Cmw Llan

The descent route through Cwm Llan and I deviate left to look at more of the old quarries.

Quarry Building

Abandoned Quarry Buildings

The vertical positioning of quarry waste, as seen on Castle Crag (Lakeland), is prevalent here.

Slate Art
My Web Slate



Ruined property with the scars of Commando training on all walls.

Sunset on Yr Aran


I'm on the edge of the advancing shadow, Yr Aran with a little cloud on top. On walking past the waterfalls, I spotted a signpost for "Craflwyn". I hadn't planned a specific walk back to the tent, but Craflwyn is very close to campsite - so assuming there is only one such place, I set off optimistically hoping that the path would be obvious, as there is not one on the map.

Moel Siabod

Moel Siabod

Moel Siabod is the pointed peak in the distance beyond Llyn Gwynant.

Cae Du Campsite

Cae Du Campsite

A long distance view of Cae Du and I find myself among the copper mines which I saw much earlier in the day, when deciding where to walk.

Copper Mine

In The Copper Mine

This level goes nowhere and poses no serious risks. In the vicinity are open shafts - very dangerous!

Moel Hebog

Moel Hebog

Moel Hebog is well clear of all cloud, I could have headed over there and not been disappointed. But I'm not disappointed over here, so it'll be MH another day.

Sygun Mines

Sygun Mining Area

Rapidly reducing light and still a little way to go. The whole route is finger-posted across the NT land. The path finished at the roadside at Craflwyn Hall - an HF holiday centre. The route from there to the campsite is a little circuitous, so I took my boots off and waded across Afon Glaslyn and straight into the camping fields.

Walkers: Just Me.

Time taken: 8hrs over a distance of an undetermined (as yet) distance, maybe around 12 miles.

Route: Cae Du campsite, Sygun Copper Mine, A498 to The Watkin Path, waterfalls, west ridge of Yr Aran, Yr Aran summit, the quarries of Bwlch Cwm Llan, Cwm Llan, Plascwmllan, waterfalls, marked route to Craflwyn Hall.

Weather and Conditions: Starting dull, but becoming sunny and warm.

Greetings Count: Plenty of time on my own on this route. Three others at the top of Yr Aran, which was a bit of a surprise.

Richard's Refreshment Review: Beans on toast at the tent at 9pm.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2012 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....