Britain's Mountain Challenges: the Llech Ddu Spur

Trail magazine and the British Mountaineering Council present Britain's Mountain Challenges.

In this video we go in search of the Llech Ddu spur, which winds between the northern cliffs of the mighty Carnedd Dafydd in Snowdonia. Never heard of it? You're not alone. Requiring a 3-4km wild walk-in down the course of the Afon Llafar from the town of Bethesda, this is as remote as any spot in the National Park. There's also the matter of pronunciation to consider. To non-Welsh speakers Llech Ddu (trans: "Black Slate") can be a difficult phrase to pronounce (see Dan's various attempts in the video for proof) and as a consequence it's also referred to as the Crib Lem spur – a division that only adds to the confusion. Then consider that the route runs beside the climbing hotspot of the Ysgolion Duon (trans: "Black Ladders") and you've got a verbally tricky part of the world for those of us non-native to Cymru.

But whether you can pronounce the names or not, visiting this part of north Wales is an absolute must for any hillwalker and scrambler. That's because the Llech Ddu spur is one of the most dramatically situated, grandest and exciting Grade 1 scrambles you can undertake in the UK mountains. Don't believe us? Watch the video and see for yourself. Visit this place just once and you'll want to return many times to experience the sense of unique sense space, isolation and airiness only it can offer.