How do I pronounce Welsh mountain words?

At MountainXperience we love working with clients in the Welsh mountains and as Welsh learners ourselves we know how tricky the language can be at first. But worry no more as we share with you some useful Welsh mountain words that you might find on local maps and also tell you how to pronounce them.

Mountain Bee Adventures

If you plan on spending lots of time exploring the Welsh mountains we highly recommend Mountain Bee Adventures’ Welsh Language and Landscape online interactive workshop where Branwen will discuss the words you see on the map, teach you some of the language and how they can help you to navigate safely whilst out walking. Find out more at

Snowdon Words

Yr Wyddfa – Snowdon
The highest mountain in Wales at 1085m (3560ft)

Copa’r Wyddfa – Snowdon summit
If you make it to the top of Snowdon you’ve been to copa’r Wyddfa!

Crib Goch – The red ridge
The famous knife-edged arete, a classic but exposed grade one scrambling route to Snowdon.

The large village at the foot of Snowdon and starting point of the Llanberis Path – one of the most popular Snowdon climbing routes.

Pen y Pass – Head of the pass
Found at the highest point of the Llanberis Pass at 359m above sea level making it an attractive place to start an ascent of Snowdon.

Y Lliwedd – Colourless peak
Connected to Snowdon, Y Lliwedd is a mountain popularly climbed as part of the Snowdon Horseshoe.

Eryri – Snowdonia
The mountainous region and national park.

Rhyd Ddu – Black ford
A small village to the south-west of Snowdon which is the starting point of the Rhyd Ddu path to the summit.

Snowdonia Words

Cadair Idris – Chair of Idris
The highest mountain in mid-Wales at 893m (2930ft), popular with walkers by itself it’s also known as one of the Welsh Three Peaks.

Carnedd Dafydd – David’s cairn
The third highest peak in Wales at an impressive 1044m (3425ft) often climbed with its neighbour Carnedd Llewelyn.

Carnedd Llewelyn – Llewelyn’s cairn
At 1064m (3491ft) it just pips its little brother to take the highest peak in the Carneddau range.

Glyder Fawr – Big pile of rocks
The highest peak in the Glyderau range at 1001m (3284ft)

Glyder Fach – Small pile of rocks
The slightly less tall neighbour of Glyder Fawr and home of the famous cantilever stone

Moel Siabod – shapely hill
The highest peak in the Moelwynion mountain range with the UKs national mountain centre, Plas-y-Brenin situated at its foot.

Pen yr Ole Wen – head of the white slope
​A popular mountain situated in the Carneddau range.

Tryfan – very high peak
Found in Snowdonia’s Ogwen Valley and forming part of the Glyderau range, Tryfan is one of the most recognisable peaks in Britain with its pointed shape and rugged crags.

Other Mountain Words

Cribyn – little ridge
A popular Brecon Beacons mountain

Fan Brycheiniog – Brecknock beacon
The highest peak in the Black Mountains

Pen y Fan – the top peak
The highest peak in south Wales.

General Words

A (very) brief note about Welsh mutations. You’ll see some words with two different versions (ie bach/fach, pont/bont). This is because they’re affected by a soft mutation where the first letter changes depending on the word before it. Mutations are designed to make series of words easier to pronounce when speaking. 

afon – river

bwlch – pass (or gap)

bach/fach – small

bryn – hill

carnedd – cairn

clogwyn – cliff

cwm – valley

ffordd – road

llwybr – path

llyn – lake

mawr/fawr – large

mynydd – mountain

mynyddoedd – mountains

pont/bont – bridge

piler triongli – trig point