A grey day with cloud slowly descending over Snowdonia drew us to these two modest hills. It was a wise choice. We escaped the cloud and enjoyed another rain free day.
After parking opposite the chapel in Drws-y-coed, a pleasant switchback path guided us gently up Mynydd Mawr. We were the only people on today's hills. From the summit ridge we enjoyed fine views across the precipitous crags of Craig y Bere to the Nantlle ridge (pictured).
Lunch on the 698 metre summit was followed by an amble north west towards the disused quarries and mines of Moel Tryfan. The descending layer of cloud pursued us relentlessly.
Moel Tryfan (pictured below) is a HuMP (hundred metre prominence). Jon 'collects' them. It's a fine hill with a distinctive rocky prominence. Charles Darwin visited on 26 June 1842. The hill has played a part in the development of the Glacial Theory, as it has been established that during the Ice Age, 20,000 to 30,000 years ago, the Irish Sea ice and the Welsh ice vied for position in this area.
On our approach to the huge cleft left by the mining, we came upon a rock labyrinth reminiscent of that in Kate Mosse's eponymous book. Sue then proved it was actually a maze, by wrestling her way to the centre.
A short walk down to the small village of Fron, past grotty farms and fly-tipped debris, as well as copious remnants of quarrying activities, got us back to the B4418 at Nantlle, from where a short walk found us back at the car.
We'd enjoyed an excellent 15 km circuit, with about 700 metres ascent, taking around 5.5 hours.