My Back Yard

The Garden
Over the years, while on Crimpiau, Craig Wen or Clogwyn Mawr I’ve looked down on my back yard and thought it nothing but a dull tract of no great interest; an ovine utopia. That was when I lived over 200 miles away and my days were spent in more ‘exciting’ places. Back then it was important to get the most out of my time here and I thought that meant climbing the big mountains.

Things are different now I’m a resident of Capel Curig. I’ve been here about two months but it was only a week ago that I decided to have a look at the little valley that starts a few hundred metres from my back door. A compulsion to explore has driven me to visit this mountain sanctuary at least once a day for the past seven days, giving me an enormous amount of comfort and reigniting my passion for wild country.

So, what’s it all about, this haven of mine? I’ll tell you…

I close my door and walk uphill for two minutes before crossing two stiles and entering the valley through a tree lined gap in a dry stone wall. Then, as if a door had closed behind me, I am in another world.

Lumps and Bumps - A Summer evening on Clogwyn Pryfed



Dyffryn Mymbyr


This ‘other world’, not more than two square miles in extent has definite boundaries; to the left is the rock-studded ridge that leads inexorably onto Creigiau Gleision, to the right a collection of low hills and straight ahead the pass which takes me down to lovely Llyn Crafnant. Contained within are secret corners awaiting discovery, crags to climb and large boulders amongst purple heather on which to recline during the long summer evenings. Away from the serpentine path which meanders through the valley the ways, but for a few faint trails and sheep trods, are rough and trackless. Buzzards soar overhead and wild ponies graze in the meadows and beside the streams. The atmosphere is one of enchantment, magic and glorious isolation; a place to put your worldly worries in context and find solace in difficult times.

Once I’ve tired of contemplation I climb up on to the rocky hump of Pen y Geuallt, my own miniature mountain. I don’t look back until I get there, and when I do I look east to the Gwydir Forest over lakes and valleys and distant hills stretching out to infinity. Then, and only then do I turn around.




Out west is an incomparable view. The massive uplift of the highest mountains in Snowdonia forms a picture that will haunt me if ever I am in exile. From old Siabod to Carnedd Llewelyn the scene is one of awe-inspiring power and majesty.

As I write it’s mid-summer and all is green, the landscape regularly refreshed by the rain that comes down in frequent deluges. However, the weeks are just flying by and soon it will be the finest season of all, autumn. I can only imagine what wonderful scenes I will be able to capture in my little valley. And then there is the Gwydir Forest itself to explore with its many secluded lakes and all in my back yard.

What a privilege it is to call this place home…


Light in the back yard



Siabod's ever changing moods



On Clogwyn Pryfed



The Drama of Snowdonia


~ by nicklivesey on July 30, 2013.

5 Responses to “My Back Yard”

  1. Wonderful images, wonderful words, wonderful place.

  2. Simply gorgeous and so evocative. Magical light.

  3. Exceptional images and very evocative words Nick 🙂

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