I tackled the first part of the route, the Carneddau Ridge, in high summer, and that was not the best of times, as the ridge is short of water and so all water must be carried, therefore do the route on a good cool Spring day and travel light, taking a bivouac, enough food and plenty of water. I would advise getting a good evening meal and then starting high up, so ascend from Aber [on the North Wales coast] and camp overnight in the hills so as to get a good start. People do camp wild on the ridge.
The first hill is Drum, a ridge of about 2500 feet with a stone shelter on top,which is where some people camp, but generally the best feature of Drum is the views, which to the south reach over the Menai Straits towards Anglesey and eastwards to the Conwy valley. But there is to be no lingering on such a journey, so you descend the col to begin the steep, grassy ascent to the next summit, Foel Fras the first of your Munros. I recall once pausing to brew some tea on the slopes,but the wind played havoc with my flame, so I contented myself with a cold drink.
From then it is a short hop to Carnedd Uchaf, now renamed as Carnned Gwenllian after the daughter of the great Welsh prince Llewelyn. This is a pleasant summit that involves little descent and ascent from Foel Gras. Next comes the higher summit, Foel Grach, which is a straightforward ascent on, but from it you can see the bulk of Carnedd Llewelyn, Wales' second highest mountain at over 3400 feet, swelling to the south of you. This part of the ridge is rockier than the early bits are and Carnedd Llewelyn is an impressive summit. The view to the north reaches over the Carneddau moorlands, to the east the rolling moors of Denbighshire in the distance, and to the south and west Snowdonia and its mountains. The summit of Snowdon itself peeps tantalisingly over the next range reminding you of your goal.
The outlier on the ridge is Yr Elen, which can be reached by a detour from Carnedd Llewelyn, but on my six hour walk along the ridge the condition of my companion, who had given me cause for concern, led me to abandon that detour in order to descend as soon as possible. I had trusted his fitness, but I did not know that he had spent the previous night drinking and was dehydrated as a result. And on a scorching summer's day as well! As we were slower than I had expected because of this problem, we had run out of water too early, and that made the last lap difficult.
Carnedd Llewelyn leads on to Carnedd Dafyd, named after Wales' patron saint and then by a short [only six feet long, but very narrow] ridge you gain access to Pen yr Oleu Wen, the final peak on this stage, which at 3211 feet is one foot higher than any English mountain. The steep path down winds among rocks, but we found a very welcome spring of clear fresh water, which gave us both a boost about half way down.
For most of the year a kiosk, known as the Tea Shack, is open at the point where you reach the road. This is an ideal place to get drinks and a burger, and you can fill your your water bottles in the stream that gushes out of Llyn Ogwen ahead of the next stage in the ascent.