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Craig-las & Craig-y-llyn

Craig-las & Craig-y-llyn

Postby poppiesrara » Tue May 10, 2011 1:12 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Craig-las, Craig-y-llyn

Date walked: 08/05/2011

Time taken: 3.25

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 845m

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An unexpected gem of a half-day walk on a day with a very uncertain forecast, climbing over two little peaks on a cliff-edge looking spectacularly over the sea. Easy and enjoyable walking through quiet green valleys at either end of the morning, and - despite glowering clouds on a gusty wind - periodically terrific viewing conditions too.

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From the lane north of Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, a clear track and then grassy path leads all the way up the col west of Cyfrwy and the high Cadair Idris range. There's a shorter alternative, with a decent-looking track cutting the corner from south of the Nant Hafotty up to the peaks - if in a hurry and definitely not continuing on to Cadair, you wouldn't lose too much by heading up this way, but the walk up the valley, especially beside the tumbling Afon Cadair on the lower slopes, is pleasant and quick going. Once on the top (where some very powerful gusts and a darkening sky in the distance put paid to thoughts of taking in Cadair Idris itself, this day at least...) and on the gentle climb to the summit of Craig-las, the views really open up of the mountains to the north and the sea to the west.
10 Tyrrau Mawr.jpg
Tyrrau Mawr

11 Tarenhendre over Afon Cadair valley.jpg
Tarrenhendre over Afon Cadair valley

12 Cyfrwy.jpg

14 Afon Cadair valley.jpg
Afon Cadair valley

17 Arenigs.jpg

26 Barmouth over Llynau Cregennen from Craig-las.jpg
Barmouth over Llynau Cregennen from Craig-las

27 Diffwys & Y Garn from Craig-las.jpg
Diffwys & Y Garn from Craig-las

28 Craig-y-llyn from Craig-las.jpg
Craig-y-llyn from Craig-las

29 Cyfrwy from Craig-las.jpg
Cyfrwy from Craig-las

30 Tarrens from Craig-las.jpg
Tarrens from Craig-las

From here, the next peak of Craig-y-llyn, which seems an innocuous grassy lump from below, takes on its true character, with impressively steep cliffs to the right all along the ridge to the flat summit area. Quite a steep climb up beside the fence, but more great views as a reward - especially to Barmouth Bay and the Mawddach estuary, and the little lakes below to the west.
32 Barmouth & Mawddach estuary over Llynau Cregennen & Bryn Brith.jpg
Barmouth & Mawddach estuary over Llynau Cregennen & Bryn Brith

36 Craig-y-llyn.jpg

43 Cadair Idris.jpg
Cadair Idris

44 Craig-las from Craig-y-llyn, Y Garn behind.jpg
Craig-las from Craig-y-llyn, Y Garn behind

45 Mawddach estuary from Craig-y-llyn.jpg
Mawddach estuary from Craig-y-llyn

46 Rhinogydd from Craig-y-llyn.jpg
Rhinogydd from Craig-y-llyn

50 Llyn Cyri from Craig-y-llyn.jpg
Llyn Cyri from Craig-y-llyn

The next mile or so is the only slightly awkward part of this walk, with the descent to the cairn at Twyll yr Ogof being a little marshy, and then the drop to the farms in the Nant-caw valley being (despite what the map might have you believe) virtually pathless. Once in the close-cropped farmed fields, you can use the stiles ahead to guide you on, but it takes a bit of compass work to thrash through the short heathery patch before that. There's then just another easy mile back east beside the river to the starting point, and the memorial to Mary Jones "who, in the year 1800, walked from here to Bala... to procure a copy of the Welsh Bible". 25 miles each way by my reckoning, making this - really pretty simple and very pleasant - walk feel even more of an easy option...!
52 Craig-las & Craig-y-llyn.jpg
Craig-las & Craig-y-llyn

57 View to Rhinogydd over Llyn Cyri.jpg
Rhinogydd over Llyn Cyri

58 Diffwys ridge.jpg
Diffwys ridge

59 Nant-caw valley.jpg
Nant-caw valley

61 Birds' Rock.jpg
Birds' Rock

63 Mary Jones memorial at walk start-point.jpg
Mary Jones memorial at walk start-point
Last edited by poppiesrara on Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Craig-las & Craig-y-llyn

Postby ChrisW » Tue May 10, 2011 10:40 am

Great report and pics poppiesrara - stunning scenery, so many great views I can't pick one out as a fav' - that really looks like my kind of walk, beautiful :D
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Re: Craig-las & Craig-y-llyn

Postby Red Peak » Tue May 10, 2011 1:32 pm

Fantastic report and photos as usual, poppiesrara. The views towards the coast look stunning!

You're certainly getting through these Welsh peaks at a fair ol' rate. I always thought the peaks around Cadair Idris would mean an overnight stop for me as I'm based in Lancashire. But a quick look on Google maps revealed that Dolgellau is only just over 100 miles away so they're quite do-able as a day-trip. Are you driving over from Leicestershire each time?
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Re: Craig-las & Craig-y-llyn

Postby colgregg » Tue May 10, 2011 11:08 pm

That's a pretty comprehensive photo tour of your walk. It looks like you had the area to yourself. I walked the hills to the south of Llanberis a couple of years ago (Foel Goch, Foel Gron, Moel eilio) and saw next to no one apart from a distant view of a constant procession of walkers heading in the opposite direction on the Snowdon path. It looked like it was going to be very busy up there that afternoon!!
In fact it goes down as one of my favourite short walks with, for what seemed like very little effort, fantastic all round views of Snowdonia, Anglesey and the North West Wales coast. If you haven't already done it then mark it down as a must do next time you are in the area.
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Re: Craig-las & Craig-y-llyn

Postby poppiesrara » Fri May 13, 2011 7:22 pm

Thanks all.

Colgregg, yes - walked the Moel Eilio ridge, half in snow, at the start of the year (when there looked to be more people there than on Snowdon!). A lovely walk.

Red Peak - generally day-trips, yes, although have a few stopping points a bit closer - most of Wales is within two hours or so with a good run. Got a bit of time on my hands this year (and may never have again, who knows), and like a challenge, so am going for 'the Welsh Hewitts in 12 months'. And if the Cadair range is only 100 miles away, then I can't recommend it enough on a good day - great walking terrain and terrific views, quite different from those further north. And after that, you could probably start looking at the Beacons too, not that much further!
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