Capel Curig – 1. Crimpiau

In 2019, two years after my sixth ascent of Mount Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) – my final attempt at serious hill-walking, I returned to Snowdonia for a much milder walk up Crimpiau in the foothills of the Carneddau range. This was a walk of between 4 and 5 miles (7 km) with a total ascent of 1,000 feet (303 metres).

I parked my car in the tiny hamlet of Capel Curig, between Betws-y-Coed and Bangor. The village is shown to the bottom right of the photograph above. The path, signed to Crafnant,  began across the busy A5 beside a small church. From my viewpoint as I climbed from the road I could see, in the distance, the hazy silhouette of the bowl of the Snowdon Horseshoe.

The walk would take me through a variety of landscapes on its way to Crimpiau. These included native woodland, heathland and open moorland. My plan was to approach the summit (475 metres above mean sea level) indirectly, so as to include a view towards Trefriw.

As the next photograph shows, the path initially took me through some woodland.

Soon, however I was in open country, and, at one point, I paused at a bridge to photograph some of the great views around me. In one direction (below) I now had a good view of the Snowdon Horseshoe though a mid-morning blue heat-haze shrouded the details.

Snowdon Horseshoe

In another direction, looking across the small bridge, I had a slightly clearer view of Moel Siabod on whose far side the A470 Crimea Pass climbs from Betws-y-Coed to Blaenau Ffestiniog where I used to own a cottage.

Moel Siabod

It didn’t seem long before I could see to my left, the path leading up to Crimpiau’s summit – the path is shown in the image below.

I ignored it for the time being and walked another 250 to 300 metres for the view of Lyn Crafnant (shown below). The lake is about 100 metres below my viewpoint. The village of Trefriw, with its famous wool mill, lies a short distance beyond the far end of the lake.

Once I’d taken my photos, I returned to the path that led up to Crimpiau’s peak. At the top, there was no trig point as far as I could see, but there was a splendid rock that served the purpose of a marker. Looking across the rock to the left there was an easily recognised view of Moel Siabod towering above Llynnau Mymbyr, the lakes that pointed towards the Snowdon Horseshoe, hidden from view by the rock.

Crimpiau summit , Moel Siabod and Llynnau Mymbyr

The view from the other side of the rock (below) showed, faintly, the silhouette of the Horseshoe behind Gallt yr Ogof, Glyder Fach and Tryfan on one side of the A5 and, on the other, Foel Goch and the ridge leading up, I think, to Pen yr Ole Wen from behind Llyn Ogwen. Fond memories of previous walks up all of those peaks when I was fitter only a few years ago.

Gallt yr Ogof, Glyder Fach and Tryfan

From those beautiful views, I started my walk back to Capel Curig and Plas y Brenin where I’d be staying overnight before returning home the following day via Llangollen and Castell Dinas.

Author: writingandphotography0531

My name is Gerald Murphy. I am a retired local government officer. At the time of my retirement I was an IT manager and had associated responsibilities for training. I had previously been involved, in various organisations, with aspects of industrial training and management development. My main hobby is photography and, until 2016, hillwalking in Snowdonia. Sciatica has put an end to mountain walks and, as a carer for my wife, opportunities for photography excursions are now more limited. Since July 2022, I have started using this site as a photobook.

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