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Altitude 644m a.s.l
The famous gully wall climb Mur y Niwl (VS) on Craig yr Ysfa. © Mark Glaister
This extensive mountain crag has many historic and classic routes, eg the splendid Amphitheatre Buttress (*** VDiff), all 960 ft of it, undoubtedly a contender for the best VDiff in the UK. Multi-pitch routes to 300m+, with Mur Y Niwl (VS) and Aura (E2) also worth doing.
A few hundred metres west of Helyg on the Capel Curig to Bangor road (A5) is the start of a tarmac access road (SH687603) which strikes directly up the hillside northwards. Parking is available at Gwern Gof Isaf, some 200 metres towards Bangor. Rapid entry is required by the Mountain Rescue Teams and the farmer, so do NOT park in front ofthe locked gate! Follow the tarmac road through several gates to a fairly level section. Just where the road bears left, fork off right along a narrow footpath over a rise to a contour above the llyn; this is the Ffynnon Llugwy, Spring of the Conwy. The path then strikes up the hillside to zigzags and Bwlch Eryl Farchog (Pass of Eryl the Knight). Either follow paths down to the base of the crags or continue up the ridge above the cliff to the top of the Amphitheatre. Approx one hour from the road.
MARTIN'S ADDITION: it is not 1 hour from the road, that's just silly. It's two hours to pretty much anywhere on the crag, either at the bottom for the ridge/gully lines or the ab for Pinnalce Wall. Secondly, we used bikes to get uyp the road, and locked them to a signpost at the dam. That saved some time, although there was a lot of pushing. It meant that on the way back it took 6 minutes from the dam to the A5. Awesome!
MISHA’s ADDITION: Best to ab in for routes on the Pinnacle / Mur y Niwl wall. Small spike at a flat area just left (looking out) of the ‘pinnacle’ works well as the ab lands you pretty much at the half way ab spike (just below the bilberry terrace) and the ropes pull through nicely. From there, 50m ropes get you to the bottom of Aura / Mur y Niwl and pull through fine. An hour and 20 minutes at a steady pace from the parking at the campsite (£2 fee) to the gearing up / abseil point.
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