Yr Elen is a mountain in the Carneddau range in Snowdonia, Wales. It is the ninth highest mountain in Snowdonia. The average annual temperature of the peak is around 4 Celsius. It lies on a short ridge running WNW off the main north-east to south-west ridge of the Carneddau, just over one kilometre from Carnedd Llewelyn.
It is usually climbed from the main ridge of the Carneddau, as it is only a short walk from Carnedd Llywelyn. It can also be climbed from Gerlan, near Bethesda, following Afon Llafar then heading up the slopes of Yr Elen, but this involves walking through wet valleys and a number of rivers that are difficult to cross. In drier times, ascent can be made via the crossing of Afon Casseg and then up the "front edge" of the peak. The views from this point north-west, over to Bangor and Anglesey, are stunning on a clear day, especially with a summer's sunset. This is well worth the arduous ascent.
The etymology of the name is unclear, with the personal name "Helen" or "Eleanor" being one possibility, perhaps after Eleanor de Montfort (d. 1282), Princess of Wales and wife of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. Another is the leech (from soft mutation of Welsh gelen, leech), perhaps in reference to the way in which Yr Elen appears to be attached to the side of the remaining Carneddau.
There's a trail leading to the summit. Yr Elen is one of the 17 peaks along the Welsh Three Thousands.
By elevation Yr Elen is
# 12 out of 3092 in the Wales Mountains # 12 out of 572 in Snowdonia National Park # 9 out of 731 in Gwynedd # 12 out of 3083 in Wales
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