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Snowdonia Peaks

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Cnicht & Moelwyn Mawr 2-4-2017

Back to a favourite part of Snowdonia for a re-visit and also a first visit, as CNICHT & MOELWYN MAWR were the days targets. I have been up Cnicht about half a dozen times over the years and never tire of this great little mountain and its surroundings with all the old slate quarries and small water pools dotted about the area. Moelwyn Mawr on the other hand was new territory as this was the first time to the summit. It had eluded me on a couple of occasions as time was tight so when I saw this as another facebook group meet up I thought the time was right to put it straight. Again, like last week in the Lakes, the weather was just about perfect with sun and blue skies for the most part. As with mountains though, the weather can change in an instant and without warning on the summit of Moelwyn Mawr, it did just that, when the mist rolled in, the wind picked up and it went decidedly chilly for twenty minutes or so. We did manage to take in the splendid views before being obscured but it just goes to show that you can't take anything for granted on the mountains as it can change with a blink of the eye. Fortunately no harm was done and it remained dry and warm for the rest of the descent.
We started at the main car park in CROESOR about 9.15am and headed on the waymarked and easy to follow path up through the woods and in to the clearings before heading towards the pointed profile of Cnicht that has the nickname, "The Welsh Matterhorn", despite being considerably less in height than the more famous namesake but the profile sure makes for a great mountain sight. It's like when you're a kid and you draw what a mountain looks like and from this side there's no better view of it. The more height gained the more the views became more clear with mountains and coast being the focus through the walk. From the seaside town of PORTHMADOG to the highest summit in Wales, SNOWDON and all inbetween on this good clear day.
Our route for the day
The pointy profile of Cnicht
Looking across to Moel Hebog above Beddgellert
Down towards Porthmadog on the coast
Looking down on an old slate quarry
The Snowdon Horseshoe looking all clear
Despite some damp conditions over the last few weeks there wasn't much in the way of wet and boggy ground, a few patches here and there but nothing to write home about, yet :-) , as we made good progress reaching the bottom of the very light and simple scramble up to the summit. In fact there are two tops to Cnicht, the true summit being the first before you descend and re ascend to the next one along the ridge before heading down the bank towards LLYN yr ADAR

Looking down on the Croesor Valley
Across to Moel Hebog & the Nantile Ridge
Admiring the views back down the valley to the coast
Scrambling to the summit
Summit view over to Moelwyn Mawr and more old slate mines
Summit view of the second summit with Moel Siabod in the distance
Summit pano view of Porthmadog, Hebog Range, Nantile Ridge & Yr Aran
Summit views over to the Snowdon Massif
Summit views down the Croesor Valley all the way to Porthmadog on the coast
Looking back at the two summits of Cnicht
 We had a breif rest stop on the summit for the group to regroup and to take in the panoramic views before making our way to Llyn yr Adar and heading down in to what can only be described as a bogfest!! As I mentioned earlier, it had been relatively dry up to now but that was soon to change. The col above the valley sits between the two mountains with a couple of minor tops thrown in for good measure so any rain/snow fall, all seems to gather in this area before making it's way down into the valley and as it's also a quiet part of the world, any paths can soon disappear under water, moss, undergrowth and anything else that decides to grow here, making it a bit hap hazard finding a dry route in any direction. More guess work than following anything but all good fun and at least no one got swallowed up, although that would of been funny :-)
Llyn Yr Adar
The descent route across the bog fields to Moelwyn Mawr
Moelwyn Mawr on the left & Cnicht on the right
Bog fields to Moelwyn Mawr
On the approach to the disused slate quarry
After safely navigating the bog fields we got on to more solid ground and had a bit of time looking round the old quarry. I love snooping round these and could spend a lot more time going in and out of the buildings and looking at the old workings that show how hard the life must of been back then. Very interesting places and also interesting to see how the old buildings were built and the work that must of gone into them. All good stuff. We made our way up one of the steep inclines that must of been an old pulley system
Rhosydd Quarry
Rhosydd Quarry
Rhosydd Quarry
Rhosydd Quarry with Cnicht as the backdrop
Rhosydd Quarry incline
Rhosydd Quarry incline
Looking back down the Rhosydd Quarry incline
After another short rest and regroup it was on the upwards slog and on to Moelwyn Mawr accompanied by some of the local moto cross bike riders. I have come across them here on a couple of occasions and they all seem friendly enough as they go about there business in what is effectively their own backyard, if they are indeed locals. They certainly proved to be no threat to anyone and just seemed to be enjoying the area as much as anyone else. It certainly looked fun and being an ex road biker I know the joy of two wheels :-)
Snowdon Horeshoe over the Cnicht descent ridge
Looking across to Cnicht from Moelwyn Mawr
The smaller Moelwyn Bach
Moto bikers on Moelwyn Mawr
Group summit photo (courtesy of Robin)
Summit pano of Cnicht, Snowdon , Carneddau & Moel Siabod
Moelwyn Mawr descent ridge
Views for miles on Moelwyn Mawr
Out of nowhere the clouds roll in
So this is where the weather changed for twenty minutes or so, so we moved on down the ridgeline as the wind was doing it's best to blow us off!! well not that bad really but it did pick up and had a chill to it. Extra layers went on, only to come off again as we got further down the ridge and onto more flatter ground. A great decent route but looks a bit tiring going up this way as it is quite steep and long, a bit tiring on the old legs.

Moelwyn Mawr and the ascent ridge
Looking across to the old quarries, pools and bog fields
The descent off Moelwyn Mawr
The descent off Moelwyn Mawr
Hello :-)
Across to Cnicht
On flatter ground near to the car park.
A short video from the summit's of Cnicht & Moelwyn Mawr

All what was left to do now was the easy walk back down the lane to the car park where we said our goodbyes to those that had to get going home while a few of us went to the local pub for a last chat and rest before we all went our separate ways back home. Before I made my way home, I called into see the cottage that we used to use every year for a weekend break. A cracking place tucked away down a single track lane next to the Afon Croseor and below a ridge line that for me offers the best views of today's walk and shows off the pointy profile of Cnicht at it's best. Great memories of some great times spent in this area.
Our little cottage
The view from above the cottage. Snowdon on the left, Cnicht centre & the Moelwyn's on the right.
 Thanks to all from the WFP group. Until the next time

Group pub photo ( courtesy of Robin)

Cheers :-)

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