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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Ashby

The Ten Tallest Mountains In Wales

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

Do you know the names of the ten tallest mountains in Wales? Perhaps you have even climbed one or more of them? Whether you’ve been up Snowdon or any other Welsh mountain once, ten times, or not at all, we think you’ll be interested in this blog. Here’s some essential information about climbing some of the highest mountains in Wales.


According to WorldAtlas and WalesOnline, the ten highest mountains in Wales are:

Snowdon

1085m

Carnedd Llewelyn

1064m

Glyder Fawr

999m

Y Garn

947m

Elidir Fawr

924m

Tryfan

915m

Aran Fawddwy

905m

Y Lliwedd

898m

Cader Idris

893m

Pen Y Fan

886m

All of these mountains are in Snowdonia, except Pen Y fan, which is in the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales. Let’s take a look at each one in a little more detail to help you decide if you’d like to attempt to climb any - or all - of them!


Snowdon - 1085m


Image: The Cantilever Stone near the summit of Glyder Fach, Snowdonia


The hike:


As you probably already know, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales. It is also the highest point in Britain outside the Scottish highlands. If you’d like to be able to say you’ve climbed Snowdon, you should know that the walk to the summit is between 10 and 14km (7 and 9 miles) there and back, depending on which route you take. There are six recommended paths, and all are classed as hard, strenuous walks.

Our Tip: It's best to climb Snowdon out of season. Avoid summer, particularly June and July, because it's too busy to be able to enjoy this amazing mountain at its best.


Y Lliwedd - 898m


The hike:

Y Lliwedd is another summit in the Snowdon region. If you want to climb Y Lliwedd, you can walk the Snowdon Horseshoe. For this route, you start walking from Pen y Pass, a popular starting point for Snowdon. Set out along the PYG track, traverse Crib Goch, and climb over the three pinnacles at the top. You then continue over Crib Ddysgl and on to the summit of Snowdon. You descend via an ascent of Y Lliwedd, and return to Pen y Pass along the Miners’ Track. Take note: this can be a very tricky climb with three Grade 1 scrambles!

Carnedd Llewelyn - 1064m


The hike:


The Carneddau are a group of mountains in northern Snowdonia. The range includes Carnedd Llewelyn, which is located in the middle, and Carnedd Dafydd. The Carneddau Range has 19 peaks, seven of which are over 914m. If you want to climb Carnedd Llewelyn, there are several access points and different trails starting from places including Betws-y-Coed, Pont-Cyfyng, Ogwen Valley, Bethesda, Aber Falls, Helyg, and Tal-y-Bont.

Glyder Fawr - 999m

Y Garn - 947m

Elidir Fawr - 924m


The hike:


The Glyderau range is a smaller mountain range than the Carneddau, with only five peaks over 914m. These five peaks are the sister peaks Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr - which are regarded as challenging ascents - Y Garn, Elidir Fawr, and Tryfan. You can access the Glyders from the Ogwen Valley and the Llanberis Pass. However, it’s a fairly rocky range with some sheer cliffs and loose scree, and you’ll need a map and compass to navigate your way.


Tryfan - 915m

Image: Summit of Tryfan


The hike:

Also part of the Glyderau mountain range, Tryfan is a rocky mountain that marks the line between hiking and mountaineering. Whichever route you take to the top, you’ll need to scramble and use your hands to climb. Therefore, Tryfan is only recommended for experienced and well-equipped hill walkers. The North Ridge route is a Grade 1 scramble from Llyn Ogwen, but even on this walk, there are steep sections of rock to challenge you.


Aran Fawddwy - 905m


The hike:

Aran Fawddwy is a dramatic and rocky mountain in the Arans range in southern Snowdonia. You can walk around 16km to the summit of Aran Fawddwy from the village of Llanuwchllyn near the southern end of Bala Lake. Or, you can start from Cwm Cywarch; this route is about 12km. Whichever route you take, it’s generally a challenging climb, but you’ll be rewarded with wonderful views of the surrounding mountains.

Cader Idris - 893m

Image: On the top of Cader Idris


The hike:


Also in southern Snowdonia, Cader Idris offers a challenging climb to a peak that offers spectacular views. There are three recommended routes of between 10 and 16km, but it’s not an easy walk whichever one you choose. All are designated hard or strenuous walks and take between five to six hours to get there and back. Some people say Cader Idris is more difficult than Snowdon.


Our Tip: You can park your car at the Dôl Idris (Minffordd) car park for a small charge (about £6 for the day). There's even a small hotel there, and you can book online if you want to stay overnight before or after your climb.

Pen y Fan - 886m


The hike:


Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons National Park is the highest point in southern Britain. The easiest way to climb Pen y Fan is via the Storey Arms, an activity centre at the foot of the mountain. Allow two hours to reach the peak at a comfortable pace; this is a route that even children can enjoy. If you want a challenge, there are other routes. Alternatively, you can park at Owl’s Grove car park and walk a stunning 16km route through a forest, along a river, abandoned reservoir, and glacial valley.


When you climb a mountain in Wales, you should always take the appropriate kit and be aware that the weather can take a downward turn in an instant. Stay safe on the mountain and don’t take any risks.


Ashby's Adventure Trails and Treks is a friendly hiking group in Coventry that puts safety first. Get in touch if you want to book a mountain climb with us.




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