Featured post

Snowdonia Peaks

Friday, 15 November 2013

Cnicht 10-11-13

This is a walk that goes straight out of the front door of our little hideaway to the pointed mountain that has the nick name, The Welsh Matterhorn It isn't really that pointed, only when viewed from the direction of Porthmadog and the front door of the cottage but in reality it's more like a ridge that takes you on to the disused quarries of the Croesor Valley and round to the bulky Moelwyn's Fawr & Bach and various other paths leading in all directions exploring this great quiet area of Snowdonia.
I have done this walk before, once a couple of years ago and also in July of this year and I had wanted to do it last year, when we again stayed at the same cottage, but on the Saturday evening we had a right old thunder storm that produced quite a bit of hail and snow on the tops and by morning it had frozen so that put paid to that as I didn't have my spikes with me! This year however was to be quite the opposite weather wise and the walk was done in the most perfect of conditions with a sunny blue sky day with very little in the way of wind. Quite spring like really and I'm glad that I left early when it was a bit cooler. In fact it was at 7am that I made my way out of the door just as the sun was getting up. I decided to leave early as I wanted to be back by midday as we were to have a bit of a drive round in the afternoon and visit a place where we used to take the kids on holiday many years ago! Anyway, 7am and off I went out of the door and along the lane to the woods where you go up onto the ridge at the back of the cottages and have the first full views of the Welsh Materhorn, the Moelwyn's, Moel Hebog and back down to Porthmadog
The hail storm last year
An icy looking Cnicht from last year
My route for the day, a straight there and back
Cnicht and the Moelwyn's about 7.30am
The sun starting to light up Moel Hebog
The sun just catching Cnicht
 The ridge along the top of the woods provide some great views all round and also a great way to watch the sun come up and to light up the valley and surrounding mountains. The path is easy to follow and in recent years there have been a few marker posts put up along the way to help guide you round some properties and through the woods that can get quite boggy after rain. After about 40 minutes you reach another old white washed cottage just before the main path that comes up from the village car park at Croesor.
Info sign
Path comes from behind the house and pass the outbuildings
Old Stone cottage with Cnicht in the background
Looking back at the cottage with a blue sky background
The main path from Croesor car park
On to Cnicht
The path is easy to follow and you soon get a sence of the wilderness this place has to offer. Away from the crowds the silence is pure golden with only the sound of the streams and birds filling the air. With the sun getting to work on the clouds it was turning out to be just one of those mornings where nothing else seemed to matter. It was just a joy to out in this wild and rugged place
Clouds breaking up as the sun gets to work
A sunny Moel Hebog
Clear view back towards Porthmadog
Old ruins in the valley
It was warming up nicely now as I was coming out of any shelter from the ridges. The Croesor valley was in the shade from the bulky Moelwyn Mawr for most of the time but I was now in full view of it and it really was a very pleasent day with little or no wind. It was quite a contrast a little further north as the Snowdon Massif and the Carneddau range were in cloud for most of the day. It turned out that they were getting there winter coats on as the first snow of this years winter were falling. So while I was basking in the spring like sunshine and removing layers, anyone out and about across the valleys were no doubt putting extra layers on to keep out the elements.
Croesor Valley in the shade of Moelwyn Mawr
Looking back along the ridge towards Porthmadog
Looking down on the Llyn's that I want to explore another day
Snowdon Massif & the Carneddau with their winter coats going on
The last scramble up to the summit of Cnicht
From here it was just one last easy scramble up to the summit and to take in the views. I reached the summit at 9.30am so just over two hours of pleasant walking. No one else around and how fitting that it should be so silent on top on this day, remembrance day. Just so silent, I stayed around the summit for about an hour as I went across to the second summit where I had a rest and a bite to eat and took in the fine views and solitude of the place.
Cnicht summit view down to Porthmadog
Summit view over to the second summit
Summit view over to a cloud covered Snowdon
Summit view to a distand Moel Siabod with a sprinkling of snow
Second summit view of the main summit of Cnicht
Panorama view of Cnicht, Moel Hebog, Nantile Ridge, Snowdon Massif & Carneddau Range from the 2nd summit
Moelwyn Mawr and the old quarry's of Croesor
I left the solitude behind me as I made my way back down the same way as I came and this is when I saw the first person of the day, well in fact between now and by the time I had reached the old stone cottage I bumped into another 13 walkers on there way up so I guess I made the right choice in setting off early. If anything the views back down were getting a bit better as the clouds from above had all but gone as the day was getting warmer. Most people I passed were in tee shirts and it was hard to believe that there was snow falling across the valley.
The way back down

Good clear views over old mine buildings
Clear view back to Cnicht
The main path into Croesor
On pass the old cottage
Cnicht & The Moelwyns through the field of bracken
A steady walk through the woods and along the ridge back to the cottage with views over to a now clearing Snowdon showing of her new white winter coat
Through the woods and over walls
Back through the grounds of the old house
Through more fields
The hole in the wall
Back along the ridge
Snowdon now clear of cloud
Snowdon Horseshoe with a new winter coat
One final panoramic view of Moel Hebog, Snowdon Massif, Cnicht & The Moelwyn's
After a brew and something to eat we decided that we would go for a drive and visit Black Rock Sands where we used to take the kids when they were small when we used to stay at the Greenacres Holiday Park just outside Porthmadog. We haven't been here for about eighteen years and it's changed a bit in that time!! A lot bigger and most probably a bit better although with the amount of caravans there now, it looks like it could get very busy. Still it was good to see it again and also have a walk along the long stretch of beach. A lot colder by the sea than up in the mountains though!!
Black Rock Sands
Part of Greenacres Caravan Park
Sun going down over black Rock Sands
Finishing the day off in style :-)

Another great day out in this rugged part of Snowdonia :-)

Video from the summit of Cnicht


  1. Bostin pics mate. Lovely area.

  2. Superb photos, and one of my favourite summits. I've camped on that flat ground with my kids just before the final scramble up, great memories.

    1. Cheers Phil. Becoming a favourite area of mine as well :-)

  3. I shall definitely add Cnicht to my "to do" list after this report, looks excellent!

    1. Cheers mate. It's certainly a excellent area, glad you like it :-)