31st July 2016
The last of three splendid walks in North Wales 29th-31st July 2016
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
The evening before this walk I met two fine chaps in the pub and they had been up Cnicht. I expressed interest in such a walk, but as I said "I'd have to find it first". It is inconveniently placed at the bottom of Map OL17 and not well shown at the top of Map OL18. The guys showed me where the fell was and where to park, so Sunday morning: pack the tent and head for Croesor - just a few miles south-east of Beddgelert.
Car parking is free on the allocated space at Croesor, it is an interesting two mile drive up a narrow road from the junction on the A4085 near Garreg. You will notice from the first photo that there is no doubt which way to head off. I have bought "Walks in the Snowdonia Mountains" by Don Hinson - I wanted a modern guide to compliment the map on this unfamiliar territory.
The route is waymarked and the guide is to some extent superfluous because of that. Is Cnicht a mountain? It looks like one to me.
The walk is remarkably straightforward and only a fool could get lost (!). Clouds have robbed us of sunshine and this is a little disappointing after the last two days.
As it turned out, Molly could get under the stile and through a gap in the fencing. I am trying to teach Molly to climb and descend this type of stile, but it's not her favourite sport.
Snowdon (in cloud)
This is a simple and enjoyable fell walk, the only hazard being steepness, in places. Some folk with their heads up their behinds regard Cnicht as too little detached from Allt-fawr, some 4km to the east. Bugger the scientifically compiled lists! It looks like a mountain, it is climbed like a mountain, it hurts like a mountain when you slip and as far as I am concerned, at over 2,000ft asl - it is a mountain!
The Steepest Bit
The main path is visible leading off to the right and then up the crag. There is an alternative route up the left (out of picture) which I believe is less of a challenge.
Molly on top of Cnicht 2,260ft asl
View to Croesor & Portmadog
From the summit, the walk progresses along the ridge to the next little summit and then on to Llyn yr Adar.
Llyn yr Adar
In sunnier conditions and more charge in my camera battery, I would have walked around this little mountain tarn (llyn). However, the incentive was to keep moving and soon the route turned right (south-east) for Cwm Corsiog.
Easy going in this middle section of the walk, but some of the ground was quite boggy.
An eerie place, full of abandoned quarry debris. The buildings are falling down and in years to come all the walls will be on the floor, a sad reminder of years of hard work in often difficult conditions by men denied many of the workplace rights of today.
The walk heads up to Llyn Croesor and across the abandoned and disused dam which would have supplied water to Croesor Quarry, which is next on the agenda.
Croesor Mine Entrance
The slate was mined from this adit where sleepers still remain from the rail tracks. Vandals have broken through the bars and it is possible to enter the mine, but I wouldn't do that, would I?
Elsewhere on the internet there are some interesting accounts of the history of the various mines and quarries in this area. It's all downhill from here on the long incline to Croesor.
Cnicht from Croesor
Oriel Caffi Croesor
It is a pleasant way to end any walk when you find a cafe right at the end of your route. The Oriel Cafe is a great place to relax with a brew and maybe a choice from the food menu. Dogs are welcome and upstairs is an art gallery. They open from 12 noon to 6pm, which is ideal for late starters and most finishers.
Walkers: Molly The Dog and Me.
Route: Croesor Car Park, past the chapel, woods, waymarked path to Cnicht. Llyn yr Adar, Llyn Cwm-corsoig, Rhosydd Quarries, Llyn Croesor, Croesor Quarry, The Incline, Croesor.
Weather: Overcast, light drizzle on one occasion, improving to sunny intervals towards the end.
Time Taken: 4hrs 15mins over a distance of about 7 miles.
Refreshments: Oriel Cafe - internet search will find their information on TripAdvisor and/or Facebook.
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2016 ©