Moelwyn Mawr and Moelwyn Bach from Croesor

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The Moelwyn Hills (the 'Moelwynion' in Welsh) lie to the south-west of the Snowdon Range. The highest mountain in the group is Moel Siabod, but it is the two mountains above Blaenau Ffestiniog that give the Moelwynion their name – Moelwyn Mawr ('Big White Hill' in English) is the highest at 770 metres with Moelwyn Bach ('Small White Hill') alongside at 710 metres.

The most popular way to the Moelwyn summits is from the east (Walk 6045), starting from Tanygrisiau near Blaenau Ffestiniog and tracing the pathways and inclines of the old slate quarries. Less well known, but quieter and less affected by the old quarrying industry, is an approach from the west, starting at the tiny village of Croesor.

Croesor is better known as a start point for the popular way up Cnicht (Walk 379), but the village is ideally placed for an approach on the two Moelwyn peaks from the west. Being a less frequented route, the paths are not as obvious as the Tanygrisiau route, but navigation is simple enough.

The grassy West Ridge of Moelwyn Mawr is the way up. The path is steep in places, but not excessively so; however, some may feel a little more secure by using walking-poles. The way to Moelwyn Bach involves crossing the intermediate rock peak of Craigysgafn, with a steep descent where you may have to put away the walking-poles to use your hands, but Moelwyn Bach follows on without any drama. From there, a saunter down another grassy ridge takes you back to a quiet road and on to Croesor.

The best way to get to know a mountain (or two in this case) is to walk them by different routes. If this is your first visit to the two Moelwyns, you will probably want to return to try the other side next time. Whichever way you go, you are guaranteed a great day out.

Wales - North Wales - Gwynedd - Snowdonia


Cafe, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, Mountains