Yr Elen is the twelfth highest peak in Wales yet it is rarely featured as the objective of a walk. This is a great route and apart from the summit of Yr Elen you are likely to have the mountains to yourself, just 1km from Carnedd Llewellyn. You will need good boots, mountain kit, Food drink and OS Map 17 and a compass. A 7 mile walk which will be a great day outing.
The start is a small lay-by (Sat Nav LL57 3UB) at the end of the lane running south-east from the village of Gerlan, which is located to the east above Bethesda. After parking cross the bridge over the Afon Lafar to take the signed right of way heading past the water works and along its southern bank towards the Carneddau.
You climb steadily with the view ahead including the northern flanks of the Carneddau with Yr Elen clearly in view. You reach open country where you continue on the path to reach an isolated cast-iron railing. Descend left to cross the Afon Lafar to gain the northern bank. Head just east of north across boggy ground and grass aiming for the sheepfold which remains unseen until you have crested the north-western ridge of Yr Elen.
From the sheepfold contour east trying not to lose height to reach the south bank of the Afon Caseg. The going is pathless and you will encounter some more boggy areas so just grit your teeth and keep going! Having reached the Afon Caseg you will be able to use sheep trods and make better progress upstream. The valley narrows as you gain height and as the route turns south you will reach the small tarn of Ffynnon Caseg, which is beautifully located with the crags of Yr Elen soaring upwards above you.
The onward route needs care and should only be completed if you can see where you are going. From the small ruin on the northern shore of Ffynnon Caseg head north-north-west up the ill-defined ridge towards the crags above. The going is steep over grass and stones. You are probably unlikely to locate the feint path so just take care and if in doubt trend north to reach the foot of rockier terrain clearly in view above. Here you should be able to find the narrow path that leads through the crags with some scrambling up the east ridge of Yr Elen to reach the summit plateau.
The descent leads north from the cairn, dropping steeply through rocky terrain onto the north-western ridge. Keep south of Foel Ganol and descend over grass to cross boggy ground to reach Afon Lafar. Cross where convenient and head back down the path to the start.
If you want to do any mountaineering with me or be guided on some fab walks, just get in touch on 07534 387152 or using the links below;