Moelwyn Mawr & Bach Walk

This is an enjoyable walk over the main peaks in the Moelwyns, namely Moelwyn Mawr and Moelwyn Bach. The walk begins just above the small village of TanYGrisiau, with a steep walk up an access track into Cwmorthin. This valley has seen its fair share of industry with abandoned slate mines everywhere you look, however despite this it still is a beautiful valley. Just before we reach the lake we head off left up a slanting path which eventually becomes part of the old inclines of Y Wrysgan Quarry and if we’re careful some of the entrances can be explored. Once past the quarry we follow a gently rising path which eventually joins another path at the col between Moelwyn Mawr and Moel Yr Hydd with sweeping views over towards Snowdon and its attendant peaks. Our itinerary now follows an old miner’s path underneath the cliffs of Moelwyn Mawr and above the damned Lake Stwlan and in no time we arrive at Bwlch Stwlan the pass between the two peaks of Moelwyn Bach and Mawr.

From here we take a steeply rising path to the left of Moelwyn Bach, avoiding the impressive northern cliffs of Moelwyn Bach, and soon we will be at the top of our first summit. The views from here look down on the Vale of Ffestiniog and down to the coast, views north are partly blocked by the bigger bulk of Moelwyn Mawr.  We then retrace our steps back to the pass. From there it’s an entertaining scramble (easy) over the minor top of Craig Ysgafn before the final steep pull onto Moelwyn Mawr itself. The views from this peak are considered some of the best in the whole of Snowdonia, and a wonderful place to just sit and wonder.

When it’s time to move on we make our way steeply down the east side of the mountain to reach the junction of the paths we met earlier in the day. From here there is a choice of routes – either back down past Y Wrysgan quarry, or if time and stamina allows up onto Moel Yr Hyd and/or follow another path to Rhosydd Quary, this is the quarry at the top of the Cwmorthin Valley. From there we make our way down the valley passing the old houses and a ruined chapel, past Llyn Cwmorthin (Lake) and back to the carpark.