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Snowdonia Peaks

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Another Very Quiet Bank Holiday Monday May 30th 2016

Well another bank holiday walk in this very quiet and wilder side of the Carneddau Mountain area of Snowdonia. I first did this walk three years ago, (View Here) again on a very quiet warm and sunny May bank holiday and today's walk was a repeat of that day. Sunny, warm, a bit cool on the tops and very very quiet. Infact it was quieter that the previous visit as I only saw one other person on my route all day and he was going in the opposite direction. Considering all the cars parked in the different car parking areas around this part of Snowdonia, it was eerily quiet apart from the Cuckoo making it's call all day. Unlike three years ago I didn't get to see one this time but it or they were certainly making there presence felt, a great sound of spring. Another difference of this walk is that I decided to take a different path up to the first summit of the day, Crimpiau, and take in the gentle climb up to Llyn y Coryn, a small lake nestled a the foot of Crimpiau.
I left the car park in Capel Curig and headed across the A5 and over the stile following the good path through a field, then the woods under Clogwyn mawr and to a small wooden bridge over a stream. From here I headed away from the bridge and upto a col following a faint path and sheep trails. Some great views back towards Moel Siabod and the Snowdon Massif were to be had.
My Route For The Day
Morning View Of Snowdon from Plas y Brenin
Looking back to the start of the walk
Well laid out path through the woods
Clear view over to Moel Siabod and a distant Snowdon
My route from the bridge up to the col
Looking back down from the col
I soon reached some outlaying outcrops of rock that I couldn't resist having a play on, infact a lot of this walk gives you the chance to have quite a bit of cheeky scrambling if you fancy it. Nothing hard, just a bit of fun on the way and also a good way to keep your feet dry as it can be a bit boggy in places. In fact it was quite boggy between the various tops so it was a good excuse to put hand on rock which is always a good thing :-)
First bit of outcrop to get warmed up
View down to Llyn y Coryn
Llyn y Coryn and my route ahead
 From Llyn y Coryn I headed up some more rocks and the views started to open up with Moel Siabod, Snowdon and the whole of the Ogwen Valley laid out in front of me. a great sight on this blue sky day as I made my way up to Crimpiau and the splendid views down to the excellent Llyn Crafnant
Pano of Moel Siabod, Snowdon & Ogwen Valley
Another short sharp rocky scramble
A look back on my route from Crimpiau
Pano across to Craig Wen, Creigian Gleision & down to Llyn Crafnant from Crimpiau
 After taking in the views and silence, apart from the cuckoo's, it was a steppish descent and then  a steepish ascent as I made my way up on to Craig Wen, again taking advantage of the rocky crags of Castell y Gywant to get in more easy scrambling. From Graig Wen, it was up and over a couple of nice little scrambles that took me over Moel Ddefaid & Craiglwyn. It was turning out to be quite a fun way of keeping my feet dry as this part of the walk has more than its fair share of boggy ground. Not too wet to go knee deep but as I only had walking shoes and no boots I didn't fancy finding any bog monsters!
Looking back to Crimpiau
No Cuckcoo but I did manage to spot a Rock Pipit
The rocky face of Castell y Gwynt
Looking back down Castell y Gwynt
Summit view down from Castell y Gwynt.
Nice little scramble up to Craig Wen
A cheeky scramble
Craig Wen
Moel Ddefaid
Craiglwyn Summit
From here I made my way forward to the highest summit of the day @ 678 m (2,224 ft) Creigiau Gleision, again doing my best to avoid any boggy patches. Some great views to be had all round on this great day. A little hazy in places but a great day to be out.
Summit view of the Ogwen Valley and Llyn Cowlyd
Summit view of my route so far
Summit view of my route ahead to the North Summit
The North summit is slightly smaller @ 634m (2,080ft) but still has some excellent views, especially down to the dam on Llyn Cowlyd.
Llyn Cowlyd has a 45' (14m) high dam at its north-eastern end, which consists of a rock and earth embankment with a concrete core. A concrete and stone apron protects the dam from wave action, which comes from the direction of the prevailing winds. The dam, which was built some 300 yards (274m) downstream of a lower, earlier one, was completed in 1921, and was officially opened on 20 September 1922.
During construction of Cowlyd dam, electricity for the winches was provided by the North Wales Power and Traction Co. Ltd's power station at Cwm Dyli, near Snowdon. The remains of the pole route along the western shore of the lake can be seen today.
Stone for the dam came from an adjacent quarry, some ¼ mile to the north of the dam site. A short incline was constructed for transfer of stone, and it ran directly from the quarry down to the dam. Remains today suggest that this was poorly constructed, but its line is easily followed, and is clearly evident from, for instance, the summit of Creigiau Gleision. A later vehicle route also winds from the dam to the quarry. Remains of the winding drum can still be seen.
Construction workers lived in wooden barracks, a number of which afterwards found their way back to the Trefriw and Dolgarrog area to be converted into homes, and are still lived in.

North Summit
North Summit view down to the dam

An easy path to follow brings down to the shore of Llyn Cowlyd where a 2 mile walk along the shore line brings you to the southern end of the lake. Looking back it its a great view with Creigian Gleision on one side and the bulkier Pen Llithrig y Wrach on the other side. There was also the added bonus of a few of the Carneddau Wild Ponies on my path and one that looked in need of having his hooves seen too. Not sure if he was in pain or not but despite the condition he seemed to be coping OK.
View of the summits of the day
Llyn Cowlyd with Creigiau Gleision on the left and Pen Llithrig y Wrach on the right
Pipe line out from Llyn Cowlyd
Creigiau Gleision above Llyn Cowlyd
Wild Carneddau Ponies
Overgrown toe nail, ouch
Looking down back Llyn Cowlyd
A straight forward and pleasant walk back to the car ended what was yet another great day out in this very quiet part of Snowdonia. The views were now getting a bit hazy and the cuckoo seemed to have disappeared after calling out the most of the day.
One last look back at todays walk
Hazy view down the Ogwen Valley


  1. Brilliant blog Andy, absolutely love the Carneddau, your photo's and commentary do it real justice..

    1. Thanks Norman, appreciate it :-)

  2. Another fantastic walk and set of photos Andy. I've also done this route and it really is a cracker.

    1. Thanks Phil.
      As you say, it is a cracker and surprisingly quiet.

  3. Fabulous Andy, lovely weather you had too. Poor horse though I bet that's uncomfortable :(

    1. Thanks Donna, appreciated :-)
      Hope you're well