Cnicht is one of my favourite hills. After having had its head in the clouds for most of the week, today it beckoned us on. From Porthmadog you can see why Cnicht is sometimes known as the Matterhorn of Snowdonia, a description analogous to Shutlingsloe's status in Cheshire. George Borrow was more flowery with his words about Cnicht, describing it as 'the conical peak impaling heaven'. Wow!
A leisurely start saw us leaving the well signposted path from Croesor at around 10.30 on a bright day with a cold northerly wind. After a while we found a sheltered spot for a tea and cake break, before stumbling up the final 200 metres to the summit. There was snow, and a tricky scrambly bit, but as you can perhaps judge from the lower picture, we made it safely to the cold, windy summit. It had taken about an hour and three quarters. My guide book, admittedly a little ancient, quotes 'The record for the ascent and descent is held by Mr Showell Styles, who accomplished it in winter in 1 hour 18 minutes!'
Good old Mr Styles!
Not being inclined to return down the precipice, Sue and I continued along the ridge to the north eastern summit and on to Llyn yr Adar. At this point there is a grandstand view towards Snowdon and a number of the other high peaks of Snowdonia, but today they were very reticent in their grey caps.
Soon we were meandering around the head of Cwm Croesor towards Llyn Cwm-Corsiog. It was boggy at times. An excellent sheltered spot was found for lunch. Then we headed to a tramway, from where a good path leads back to Croesor, avoiding a couple of steep inclined planes.
Back at 2.30 or so, we finished our flask of tea on a comfy bench before heading back to base, with some good views towards a distant, snow laden, Snowdon, the wind having finally released parts of that massif from the cloud.
Julia arrived back a little later, having enjoyed a sunny day on the Lleyn Peninsula .