Way back in February, I got the idea that I’d like to try sea kayaking. I’d had a taster quite a few years ago on holiday in south west France, but never got round to following up on it. Well time is moving on and I decided if I didn’t do something soon I’d never have the chance so I booked on a 2 day small group introductory course in Anglesey. After I’d committed myself I had another thought – I might as well extend the break and do some walking in the mountains of Snowdonia, so that’s what I did – I sorted out accommodation for three nights in advance of the course so I had 4 days to explore.
I packed up the boot of my car last Tuesday morning and set off for Capel Curig where I had booked a couple of nights in the Bryn Tyrch Inn. Arriving around midday I parked up and set out on a relatively easy walk I’d based on a route found on the Snowdonia National Park website which would take me up to the modest hill of Crimpiau. I started from the hotel rather than the car park near the chapel but returned to there and extended the route, looping back to the hotel through the Coed Bryn-engan forest.
We’d had several weeks of hot sunny weather with blue skies, but there was a change in the air in Snowdonia and although it was warm, cloud had moved in and visibility wasn’t brilliant. But that didn’t spoil the walk.
Initially the route followed well defined paths. After the prolonged dry spell the going underfoot was good, but it would normally be boggy in places. But the OS maps for Wales don’t show all the paths through the hills and mountains, even though they may we well worn and quite obvious in places. This makes planning a route tricky, but I was following one from the National Park and had printed out a copy of the route with a map and photographs. The second half of the walk moved into uncharted territory, but there were clear paths most of the way even though they weren’t marked on the OS map.
Crimpiau is a small hill, but there was a short, sharp climb to the top which required use of my hands in a few places. The main attraction is the magnificent view of the surrounding mountains of the Snowdon horseshoe, Moel Siabod, the Ogwen valley (the Glyderau, and Trefan)the Carneddau and Llyn Crafnant. On reaching the summit I could see all of these and more, albeit the visibility wasn’t brilliant. It would have been outstanding only the day before!
Return was along the ridge, passing Llyn y Coryn. It was wet underfoot in places and I reckon it would be quite boggy during much of the year with normal rainfall.
Looking down towards Capel Curig and the Snowdon horseshoe
Reaching the “centre” of Capel Curig there wasn’t much to see. A couple of walking equipment shops, a convenience style store (the café mentioned on various web sites appears to have shut), the Chapel and St Julitta’s church. I headed west on the road towards the Plas y Brenin Mountain Activity Centre, stopping off to take a look at the small church of St Julitta’s.
This old building was the original chapel after which the village was named. Originally named for Saint Curig, it’s dedication was changed when a larger chapel was built a short distance away at the junction with the A5 in 1883.
Reaching Plas y Bryn I crossed over the river bridge at the top of Llynau Mymbyr
and followed a path through the forest
that took me back to the A5 opposite the Moel Siabod café, a few hundred yards east of my hotel. I stopped for a brew before heading back to my car and checking in.