This is an excellent climb on very smooth new tarmac. The views are very pretty and the landscape is much softer than in the mountainous areas to the north (such as the Llanberis Pass). It’s tough, but not too tough from the south. Done this way it rises in three distinct sections, easing gradually every time. A slight false flat at the summit sees you descend for a very long way toward Betws y Coed. This descent is very fast, but it feels safe as the road is very quiet most of the time and very wide.
If approached from the north the climb is less steep, but it does go on a lot longer, and is reminiscent of a typical Alpine climb.
The descent into Blaenau requires a little caution - it’s just the right angle to go really fast and feel ‘reasonably safe’, nonetheless the risk of catastrophe remains for the careless.
At 355m the Crimea Pass is quite high; during the winter months it is occasionally blocked with snow.
The normal starting point is Blaenau Ffestiniog, but, depending on your intended route, Betws y Coed is also a good option.