|Arenig Fawr from Arenig
|Estimated net time||3-4 hours|
|Drinking water||The stream draining from Llyn Arenig Fawr, by the dam, is likely to have water of OK quality.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (March 2013).|
|Parking||Room for a couple of cars at trail head, and more further along the road.|
|Start height||335 metres|
|Vertical metres||625 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||10.3 km|
Arenig Fawr trail head.
From the A494/A4212 junction in the village Bala drive road A4212 15.6 km west and turn left where signed for "Arenig". Drive another 3.1 km to where a mountain road goes up to the right. Park on the left hand side of the road, or a little further along the road, making sure you don't block any of the farm roads.
Start your hike by crossing the stile and follow the mountain road uphill. Follow this road 2.0 km to the dam at Llyn Arenig Fawr. Cross the dam and continue on the path up the ridge in a south-western direction. Cross the fence at approximately 600 metres, and continue west up to the next steep section at approximately 700 metres. The path gradually fades away up here. The route now gradually turns south and from 800 metres crosses a few small humps before the final climb to the summit, which is marked by a concrete cairn. You will also find a shelter and a memorial plaque.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
16. March 2013
After having enjoyed a hearty breakfast at the White Lion Hotel in Bala, after my morning hike to Mynydd Mynyllod, I set off for Arenig Fawr. I wasn't 100% sure about where to find the trail head but this solved itself very nicely when I met a man along the road by what turned out to be the trail head. He had just come down from the bothy by Llyn Arenig Fawr and confirmed my trail head.
The first 2 km of the hike, up to the lake, was very easy on a fine mountain road, but from here I started to get into more and more snow. When I got up to the fence at 600 metres, and had poor visibility and saw no traces of a path, I met another hikers just as I was about to dig out my GPS to check my way-points. It turned out this guy had ascended via the north-west ridge and was now descending via my ascent route. He confirmed he had been to the summit, so I concluded that this was the end of any navigational issues I might have had.
I followed the other hiker's tracks to the summit, where I had almost no views because of fog, and after having changed into dry clothes and taken a few photos I started my descent.
Back at the mountain road I was surprised to see a number of cars driving around, so when I got to where a number of them had parked, I asked what they were doing. A man told me they were hunting for fox, and added that they had lost track of the fox. Since this was something I turned around and took a photo of the set-up after having walked another few tens of metres, and didn't think any more of it. But a minute or so later the guy I had spoken with came driving, and asked me to delete the photo he had seen me taking (I had used a flash because of the white background to the dark cars and ground), and that he wanted me to delete it while he watched. The guy was polite enough, but clearly very concerned about me potentially having some less than beneficial intentions with the photo. I wasn't in the mood for any debate over a stupid photo of some cars and older men dressed in green clothes, so agreed to delete the photo. But deleting the photo turned out to be more complicated than what I had though, since I never delete photos from my camera; I do that from my PC. Hence it took me a minute or two to figure out how to get rid of the evidence, and my requester was happy. Having done a favour to him I thought it fair to ask a favour in return, so I asked him where to hike "that mountain over there" (some mountain on the other side of the valley had caught my attention), and he was happy to explain where to drive and potential routes. I thanked him and decided to have a go at this hill before heading back to my hotel. Hence I drove straight to Mynydd Nodol after having completed Arenig Fawr.