I set off early yesterday morning on my first ever visit to Wales. Instead of driving, I chose to take the train - a full twelve hours after setting off from home, I arrived at Betws-y-Coed. I spent last night at the Swallow Falls Inn, a couple of miles outside Betws-y-Coed.

Swallow Falls Inn:

Swallow Falls is the highest continuous waterfall in Wales and is one of Snowdonia's most visited attractions. I visited the Swallow Falls this morning prior to setting off for the hills - they are literally just across the road from the Swallow Falls Inn.

To see the Swallow Falls there is a charge of £1 via an automated turnstile entry.
I was well-impressed with these falls. I haven't come across such an impressive waterfall in Scotland, and I've seen quite a few. Well worth a pound!

Swallow Falls:

Swallow Falls:

Swallow Falls:

Swallow Falls (slower shutter speed):

After visiting the Swallow Falls, I caught the S2 Snowdon Sherpa bus from the Swallow Falls Inn to Capel Curig. I did the following walk from, and back to, Capel Curig.

Hills: Pen Llithrig y Wrach, Creigiau Gleision (North Top) and Creigiau Gleision
Date: Friday 21st October 2011
Company: Just myself
Time: 5Hrs 30Mins

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From Capel Curig, I walked along the A5 to just beyond Bron Heulog. I then followed the Right of Way path heading towards the Llyn Cowlyd reservoir.

Start of path (just beyond Bron Heulog):


After a few hundred metres, I arrived at the Tal-y-waun farm and bunkhouse. A good number of free-roaming sheep, cattle and horses here.

Tal-y-waun farm and bunkhouse:

Looking towards Creigiau Gleision:

Looking towards Pen Llithrig y Wrach:

The ascent of Pen Llithrig y Wrach was pleasant – a nice easy grassy hill.
Pen Llithrig y Wrach is a Hewitt, Marilyn and HuMP. At 799m, it is the equivalent to a Scottish Corbett.

Ascent of Pen Llithrig y Wrach:

During the ascent it was nice to get a view across to Tryfan. I had hoped to ascend Tryfan this trip, however, the forecast isn't looking great for Tryfan – as it was really blowing a hoolie today and the high winds looks set to continue over the weekend.

Looking across to Tryfan:

Looking back from Pen Llithrig y Wrach:

On reaching the summit of Pen Llithrig y Wrach, I decided to change my walking plan. It had been my intention to ascend Pen Llithrig y Wrach in the morning and then ascend Moel Siabod in the afternoon. However, Moel Siabod had been in clag all morning and nearby Creigiau Gleision was clear so I opted to stay this side of the A5.

Looking towards Conwy from summit of Pen Llithrig y Wrach:

Conwy (zoomed):

Llyn Cowlyd reservoir and Creigiau Gleision from summit of Pen Llithrig y Wrach:

I had a couple of options for ascending Creigiau Gleision – 1) return the way I came and ascend Creigiau Gleision from the South end of Llyn Cowlyd reservoir or 2) continue the traverse of Pen Llithrig y Wrach and ascend Creigiau Gleision from the North end of the Llyn Cowlyd reservoir. I opted for the slightly longer option 2).

Llyn Eigiau reservoir and Llyn Cowlyd reservoir on descent from Pen Llithrig y Wrach:

Heading for the dam at the end of Llyn Cowlyd reservoir:

Looking back to Pen Llithrig y Wrach:

Descent towards reservoir:

Looking back at descent from Pen Llithrig y Wrach:

On reaching the dam, I walked round the top of it next to a wall.

Creigiau Gleision from dam:

Water supply pipe:

Llyn Cowlyd reservoir:

Pen Llithrig y Wrach from dam:

At the far end of the dam, I noticed a sign warning of potential flash floods. I followed a path for most of the ascent of Creigiau Gleision.

Ascent of Creigiau Gleision:

It didn't take long to reach the North Top of Creigiau Gleision. The North Top of Creigiau Gleision is a Hewitt.

Approaching the North Top of Creigiau Gleision:

Misty view from North Top of Creigiau Gleision:

From the North Top, I made my way across to the main summit, passing a band of quartz en-route.

Band of quartzite between North top and summit:

Approaching the summit of Creigiau Gleision:

No views from the summit of Creigiau Gleision – thick clag and gale-force winds.
Creigiau Gleision is a Hewitt, Marilyn and HuMP. At 678m, Creigiau Gleision is the equivalent of a Scottish Graham.

Summit of Creigiau Gleision:

From the summit, I chose to descend towards the Southern end of the Llyn Cowlyd reservoir and then follow the path back out towards Tal-y-waun farm.

Llyn Cowlyd reservoir from the end opposite the dam:

On reaching the A5, I walked back to Capel Curig from where I caught the Snowdon Sherpa bus back to Swallow Falls.