With the easing of Covid restrictions here in Wales, we’re able to get back out into the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park.
Unfortunately this has led to the area being swamped with walkers, many of whom don’t stick to roads guidance when parking their cars. Being a mountainous area there are not too many car parks and those that there are become full by 05:00 hrs in the morning at weekend. The result has been roads, which are two lanes mainly have become blocked by inconsiderate parking.
This video was taken in March this year and it shows the extent of the problem then. When the National Park re-opened it was far worse.
For interest, this is the road over the Llanberis Pass. The car park at Pen-y-Pas that the driver pulls is popular because there are several trails that you can take from here to the summit of Snowdon. But it is the only car park, apart from a few small stopping points in the Llanberis Pass. There is a larger car park nearer Llanberis and car parks in Llanberis itself and from these you can use Park and Ride to Pen-y-Pas
So knowing this I decided that my first venture back in to the National Park should be to one of the less popular areas. I also wanted it to have not much of a climb, I haven’t done much walking since the lock-down started way back when, and I didn’t want too much of a walk.
I decided to park at Moel Siabod Cafe, it’s in Capel Curig and offers easy access to the nearby forest. My aim was to complete a simple walk, the Plas y Brenin Loop, which is an easy/moderate route consisting of forest track and some rocky paths. It takes in the Afon (River) Llugwy, Coed (Forest) Bryn-Engan & Llyn (Lake) Llynnau Mymbyr. With the added bonus of maybe seeing the Snowdon Massif if they’re not shrouded in clouds.
The map above shows my route, the numbers correspond to the 8 photographs below.
When you enter the forest the light changes dramatically . The National Park being mountainous sees more than it’s fair share of rain and low lying cloud. In consequence you find a lot of moss growing in shaded areas like woods and forests.
The initial path through the forest is a logging track so it’s hard packed stone capable of taking the weight of trucks carrying a heavy load, but soon it peters out to just a trail as you start to walk along the lakeside.
There are very few breaks in the trees but this little gap lets you shoot in the direction of St Curigs Church, Unfortunately it’s hidden in the dip of the mid-ground.
Carrying on through the forest you’ll see quite a few stone walls, all covered in moss. Where the light breaks through you get patches of light and shades of green
From 3 through to 4 there’s not a lot to photograph. The trail is narrow, muddy, rough and single track. Two people couldn’t walk side by side here, but eventually you get through the forest. There’s a small rise which brings you up above the lake and is an ideal spot for photographing towards the Snowdon Massif, which you can see in the photograph below.
On the opposite side of the lake runs the road from Capel Curig to the base of the Llanberis Pass. I’ve often stopped there and walked down to the edge of the lake, but the viewpoint is not as good as where I’m standing now.
I can also look back towards Capel Curig from here and you can’t do that from the opposite side of the lake.
Not the best photograph below but at extreme zoom for the 300mm lens you can see how the clouds swirl around the mountain tops.
Again the 300mm lens enable me to capture this old farm building at the far side of the lake.
My final photograph from the edge of the forest, looking back towards the Snowdon Massif.
That’s it. I took a slow walk back towards the cafe, stopping a couple of times for a drink. It was nice to get back to Moel Siabod Cafe, sit outside (Covid Restrictions) and have some lunch, before heading to the Ogwen Valley.
But that’s another story…..