But there were vocal residents in the form of flitting sparrows, chirpy robins and tweeting tits.
The route up Cnicht (pictured) from here requires no description. From this direction the 689 metre summit justifies its 'Matterhorn of Snowdonia' tag. It's a straightforward hour and a half's stroll, with ever more expansive views and some very easy scrambling up the final slopes to the airy summit.
The sun was bright; as we strolled along the easy ridge, with improving views across to snow-capped Snowdon, we pondered today's breakfast TV's 'happiness' survey. 5.3 out of 10 was (I think) the average, but hey - it was carried out before 8am - it must be skewed...
Our average was 8.5, marked down as a result of cloud on Snowdon's summit, and problems with our shadows invading our nicely framed images.
Half an hour beyond the summit, a cairn alerted us to a thin path to the east that snaked its way for fifty minutes or so over occasionally boggy ground to the abandoned quarry of Rhosydd. This occupies a huge area and has one wondering about what the place must have been like in its heyday.
I felt a 'Jim Perrin Moment' coming on, and scratched fervently in my notebook (edited out of this report!) during our lunch break at the top of the tramway incline behind the quarry buildings.
The route up Moelwyn Mawr is simple from here. There are no technical difficulties and the walker is afforded many excuses to pause whilst the whole of Snowdonia gradually appears on the wide horizon, with Cnicht now in Snowdon's foreground.
A thin veneer of ice below the 770 metre summit required care, and served as a reminder to stash my Yaktrax crampons in my day sack as a precautionary measure over the winter months.
We lingered on the summit, spotting seven walkers on Cnicht's fine ridge, the only people seen all day. From here, an easy knife edge then grassy slopes lead down the WSW ridge of Moelwyn Mawr, along Braich-y-parc, to join the road to Tan-y-Bwlch near a gate on the edge of Croesor.
The 12km walk with 930 metres ascent took us just over five hours.
It was a lovely little excursion in great weather.
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