I arrived at the Cwm Eigiau roadhead carpark, albeit a little later than planned, and was surprised that there were no spaces left. I had expected this tucked away corner of the Carneddau to be less popular than this but perhaps quiet areas in the mountains are becoming increasingly difficult to find.
With more daylight I would probably have added Pen y Castell to the walk but the afternoon really only offered the option of a quick up-and-down of Craig Eigiau if I wanted a relaxing walk. I started up the track leading to Melynllyn and as I turned the corner the highest tops showed off their snowy summits. My objective was over 200 metres lower and held a lot less snow cover.
|the northern Carneddau|
At the fence which rises meridian-straight up towards Foel-fras, a faint path leads away leftwards from the track towards the ridgeline of Craig Eigiau. It led up amongst the snowfields which, if steeper, would have needed crampons to safely cross.
My leisurely pace gave another walker the chance to catch me up and he said that he was heading for Carnedd Llewellyn, admitting that he may have left it a bit late in the day to reach the summit as it was almost mid-afternoon with only a couple of hours of good daylight remaining. Although in his fifties, he said that his mother had coerced him into attending chapel earlier in the day, hence his late start. Pleasantries completed, we wished each other well and he continued ahead of me.
Craig Eigiau’s summit ridge has some interesting terrain with rocky outcrops to explore. The summit itself was a smooth sloping shelf of rock which, from a certain angle, replicated the outline of the main Carneddau ridge in front of it. The clear skies allowed good views from the sea to the tops and after the obligatory summit shots I turned to retrace my steps.
|Craig Eigiau summit rocks|