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Two Lakes Loop via Capel Curig, Wales
Trip Report

Two Lakes Loop via Capel Curig, Wales

 
Two Lakes Loop via Capel Curig, Wales

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Europe

Lat/Lon: 53.14842°N / 3.84109°W

Date Ridden: Nov 30, 1999 12:00 am

Activities: Mountain

Season: Winter

 

Page By: Andy Livo

Created/Edited: Jan 1, 2008 / Jan 2, 2008

Object ID: 265540

Hits: 4405 

Page Score: 76.66%  - 7 Votes 

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A New Years Eve Ride to Remember

 
Llyn Crafnant
 


Well I always see out the old year with a ride, this one in North Wales, taking in Llyn Crafnant and the formidable Llyn Cowlyd via Capel Curig. The weather was mucky from the start as you can see from the pictures. I arrived at 12 noon reckoning on doing this ride in 3 hrs. I thought that I had plenty of time for this 17 mile, 3117 ft ascent ride!! How wrong can you get!

I parked up the car just ouside Trefriw on the lane to Llyn Crafnant. Took all the gear, map, food, gel, water, gloves, waterproofs, lights etc. It was warm for the time of the year but I had packed for a "just in case" senario.
The ride round Llyn Crafnant was good on a wide forest track which dropped down to the head of the lake and past some cottages. It then ascended on a steep track past Crimpiau which was shrouded in cloud. By now it was chucking it down! I was going to get seriously wet again. Well riding in Britain that's par for the course. I still haven't found a way of keeping dry on a bike after 20 years at it!

 
Descent to Capel Curig
 

 
Did  as I Was Told
 


The descent to Capel Curig was brilliant. It really tested all I had as the front end tried to do its own thing on the slippery rocks. After a short while I flatted!! I do need to look at these tubless tyres. I fixed it and put more air in the back which made the back end bounce more. I just could risk another flat so soon in the ride. I reasoned that if I used my second tube and then flatted again I'd never get a patch to stick in this rain. End of ride!

On arrival at Capel Curig I took the wide trail which follows the A5 west. This was pretty grim. It became a mud bath and rather unpleasant. I crossed the road and picked up the trail to Tal-y-briach. As I climbed and looked at the map the two just didn't seem to make sense. I knew there was a big reservoir up there sandwiched between a steep sided valley but I couldn't see the route up. There was a man made chanel with water flowing but this wasn't on the map. The path went along this. I checked again and again on the map trying to work out the lie of the land looking at the peaks. This was hard as they were covered in cloud. Light was fading fast and I was thinking that if I could just find the lake I'd be OK as the route was pretty clear from there. If not I'd have to get back to Capel Curig and take the road. I made one last push up the hill to where I thought the lake should be and as I crested the brow there it lay, dark clouds shrouding the peaks on either side of it's shores. I breathed a deep sigh of relief and headed down the slippery rocks trying to steady myself as I slid rather than rode down!

At the head of the lake I could see the narrow lane to the right snaking over the top to get me down into the next valley and the car. By now I was exhausted. I got onto the lane which was steep. I was careful not to run over any sheep as the road sign said!!! There were hardly any sheep around. Even they were not daft enough to be out on the hills in this weather!!

Once at the top the light was nearly gone so I fixed my light to the helmet and went down the lane. This was seriously steep. I don't think I've ridden tarmac like this before. I dropped down into Trefriw and climbed up to the car.

Boy that was one ride. I was starving, cold and wet but felt alive. It had taken me 4.5 hrs rather than my estimate of 3!!

Images


Comments


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Viewing: 1-6 of 6

NHxcguyLooks like fun...

NHxcguy

Voted 10/10

I am sitting here reading your report and looking out the window watching it snow like crazy out there. We are supposed to get 12 inches of snow and some high wind conditions later today. I am very envious right now......A great way to ring in the new year though. Happy new year!!
Posted Jan 1, 2008 11:45 am

Andy LivoRe: Looks like fun...

Andy Livo

Hasn't voted

Happy New Year to you as well. Yes it is very mild really for the time of the year. At least I can ride. I guess that's pretty well impossible for you in those conditions. Soon be spring. Take care.
Posted Jan 1, 2008 12:12 pm

mrattleTwo Lakes or Tool Aches!

mrattle

Hasn't voted

Good all round exercise including, walkin, scramblin, carryin objects over styles, bog snorklin, even a bit of bikin. Seriously though, except for the drop at the end the ride was chunked into 100 yrd spurts, but 10/10 for scenary and location. We even found other bike tracks, which was pleasing to know we weren't the only looneys to try this route. Once is enough though.
Posted Oct 17, 2009 4:01 am

Andy LivoRe: Two Lakes or Tool Aches!

Andy Livo

Hasn't voted

Exactly!!! Never done it since. May do it on a summers evening on day. Thanks.
Posted Oct 17, 2009 12:10 pm

RayMondoA familiar region

RayMondo

Voted 10/10

My teething ground for climbing. I once stood at Capel roadside hitching a ride. After 2.5hrs at 0deg I was a tad chilly. When I got back to the Hostel I got hit by a nasty dose of hypothermia. I succeeded to achieve this a second time by getting rained on and then going through a storming blizzard on Glyder Fawr. Noticing that my lips had turned purple I spent the next hour in a bunk in a state of uncontrollable shivering going 7 on the Richter scale, leaving me feeling shagged. Nevertheless a great region.
Posted Nov 28, 2009 5:26 pm

Andy LivoRe: A familiar region

Andy Livo

Hasn't voted

Cheers Ray. Sounds like you got the full force of what Wales can be like. To be handled with respect!!!
Posted Nov 29, 2009 7:28 am

Viewing: 1-6 of 6