CLIMB YOUR FIRST MOUNTAIN: CNICHT

Snowdonia (689m)

CNICHT Snowdonia (689m)

by live for the outdoors |

Wales’ Moelwyn hills seem to have many distinguishing characteristics – chief among them the stunningly sharp summit of Cnicht, which projects from the skyline like a barb from the village of Croesor and never fails to grab attention. What’s brilliant about Cnicht – which translates as ‘knight’ – is that for such a seemingly impenetrable peak it is also eminently doable by anyone with a moderate head for heights who’s keen to get their hands on rock. Scrambling warrants great care on any hills, but it’s tremendous fun and provides a day out with a hint of expedition. This is a great walk: short but incredibly rewarding, and also a fine challenge to put navigation skills to the test, enjoy some low-grade scrambling and explore some of Snowdonia’s quieter reaches. The clamber on to Cnicht is rough but straightforward, and if you walk the circular route, the link between the shapely summit and the remains of the quarrying industry at Rhosydd can be boggy and will take careful navigation, especially in mist. The final descent is painless enough, but even on the best of days you’ll be surprised by how long it takes. Challenging but fun, which is what hillwalking is all about!

WALK IT

How hard? You’ll take on a real mix of terrain with good paths up to Cnicht from the car park at Croesor, but slightly vague and boggy from there to complete the loop. There’s the option to get your hands on rock and scramble near the summit, but it’s probably lower than Grade 1 so feels more adventurous than technical.

Start point Car park in Croesor (SH631446)

Distance 10km/6¼ miles

Ascent 620m

Time 4-5 hours

Best map OS Explorer OL17 & OL18

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