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Snowdonia Peaks

Monday, 13 May 2013

A Very Quiet Eastern Carneddau

I had been hoping to get out over the recent bank holiday as the weather was at last looking favourable. After working most Saturdays for the last few weeks and the weather still being stuck in late winter, it was good to get out again. Monday May 6th was the best day weather wise plus I was off, so a bit of forward planning and research led me to an area of Snowdonia that I hadn't been to. I have passed it, looked across to it and viewed it from across the surrounding mountains but not actually set foot on the area that offers splendid views of the surrounding mountains. The Eastern Carneddau, which include the summits of Crimpiau, Craig Wen & Creigiau Gleision, was to be the chosen area of the day and as it turned out, it was one of the quietest bank holiday Monday's I think I have had as I only saw three other people all day after I started walking!
The drive down was also very quiet and I got parked up in the car park behind Joe Browns Cafe at Capel Curig with the sun shining and only the summits of Moel Siabod and the Snowdon massif shrouded in cloud
The path I was following was straight forward with only a slight incline that took me behind a good and quiet looking campsite near to the Capel Curig Youth Hostel, one for the future I think. It also had a great view of my favourite Mountain, Moel Siabod
In fact, Moel Siabod was to remain a focal point throughout most of the days walking. The path snaked it's way round and through the edge of the valley with Crimpiau providing the backdrop to the left of me
It was warming up nicely & hat and sunglasses were to remain firmly on protecting me from the sun. I didn't fancy another spot of sunburn on me head like the last time I was in Snowdonia!
The path brought me to the top end of the National Nature Reserve with my first view of Llyn Crafnant Reservoir far below with the summits of Creigiau Gleision looming large on the left flank
I had my first rest of the day here just looking down the valley and wondering what it must be like to live in the house in such a remote place. Heaven springs to mind along with "must be hard in the depths of Winter".
After about twenty minutes I made my way up the to summit of Crimpiau and had my first views of the entire Ogwyn Valley laid out in front of me. A WOW moment if there ever was one! In fact I could see Moel Siabod, Snowdon Horseshoe, Tryfan, The Glyderau, Y Garn & the Carneddau all laid out in front of me as clear as a bell. Well, Snowdon was the only one with cloud around the edges
I also had a great view back down the valley to Llyn Crafnant
I decided that another rest was in order just to take in the splendid views that were on offer today. It was a bit windy up here but at least it was a warm wind and not the biting wind of the past weeks.
it was just a great place for a rest
I made my way off Crimpiau and made my way over and around to the west side of Craig Wen, keeping the views down the Ogwen Valley very firmly in sight
And although it was a warm sunny day, Adam & Eve looked quiet :-)
From Graig Wen, it was up and over a couple of nice little scrambles that took me over Moel Ddefaid
 and Craiglwyn
 From here there are some great clear views of my route so far
Down the Ogwen valley
And my way forward to the highest summit of the day @ 678 m (2,224 ft) and also where I bumped into the first other people of the day coming from the opposite direction on to  Creigiau Gleision
Dotted around the plateau between the two summits were one or two colourful ponds that had quite a bit of frogspawn in, but looked pretty lifeless after the recent cold spell. There is quite a walk between the two summits (3 really but one isn't marked on the map) of about half a mile with an easy to follow path.
There was also a great panoramic view Northwards to the coast of Conway Bay, Llandudno, Colwyn Bay and all land in between. A fantastic clear day
I made my way down to the second and smaller summit and started the descent down to the dam and looking back to the various summits of the days walk so far. This is where i bumped into my third and final person of the day, also coming from the opposite direction as me.
I picked up the path that took me to the dam at Llyn Cowlyd, the deepest lake in North wales, where the wind was whipping straight down the valley. Not a cold wind, more of a cooling one as it was quite warm with the sun beating down.
I hung around here for a bout half an hour just taking in the atmosphere of the place and the solitude. I was debating wether to go up and along Pen Llithrig y Wrach but my legs decided otherwise and opted for the more gentle two mile walk back along the shoreline under Pen Llithrig y Wrach. A good decision as I can always come back another day.
A great walk along the shore edge with a small incline at the end offered some great views back down the Reservoir where it seemed to just keep on going and with Creigiau Gleision looming over
A straight forward walk back through the moorland which was a bit boggy in places and \I was glad of the good dry spell we have had as this place can get very wet and very boggy. Some great views all round once again with Siabod in front and the Ogwen valley to my right making it very pleasant indeed
One last surprise I had was my first ever clear sighting of a Cuckoo. I had heard it for quite a bit during the day and I have caught a glimpse of one before but this time I managed to have a good look at one which just seemed to finish the day of perfectly :-)
So all in all another great day out in this great part of the UK. A good nine hours having a very leisurely walk, sitting, looking around and taking it all in. Perfect :-)

A short video of the views from the Summits of Creigiau Gleision and from Llyn Cowlyd


  1. Brilliant mate. Great pics and the weather looked better than we had on the Saturday. Great spot with the cuckoo!

    Where we going next? ;-)

    1. Cheers JC. Llangollen early June? :-)

  2. What a Superb day Andy, I was looking for inspiration for a walk this Sunday, I think I have just found it. If the weather is favourable Sunday I think I may copy this route. If not then I will be heading to the Brecons as they are closer. Either way this is logged in the to do list.

    1. Cheers Phil. When you do go I hope you enjoy it as it's a good quiet place. It's one of the reasons for the blog so folk can get idea's about places. I certainly have off other people's blogs.

  3. Looks like a stunning day in a beautiful area. I saw my first cuckoo of the year on the Bank Holiday Monday on the Sugar Loaf near Abergavenny.....Love the panoramic photos.

  4. Looks like a fantastic walk Andy, and a fantastic set of pictures to go with it. Love it.

  5. Thanks Lesley. Lets hope summer is just starting and not finishing :-)