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Cnicht and the Moelwyns
by poppiesrara » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:35 am
Hewitts included on this walk: Cnicht, Moel-yr-hydd, Moelwyn Bach, Moelwyn Mawr
Date walked: 23/03/2011
Time taken: 4.5
Distance: 15.25 km
Ascent: 1150m2 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
It was a beautiful, near-sunburning day and Cnicht was just the mountain to fit with it. Despite what the map might have you believe, the path up from Croesor is extremely clear and well-signed in the lower stages; further up you can find your own way along the obvious and constantly-interesting ridge scrambling over or skirting round the steep and rocky crops. Just after a tiny notch at about 600m up, there is a steep and quite exposed climb (pictured below) where pure walkers might feel a little uncomfortable but even that is not too hard, and before you know it you are on the sharp little peak. Even on a hazy day, there were good views from there, to the north especially.
From Cnicht, the descent to the north is contrastingly gradual and easy, before an often invisible 'track' cuts back south-east towards the main Moelwyns. While it's hard to follow the actual path, the going isn't too difficult anywhere though (plenty of slight switchbacks and an occasional bit of bog aside) and making a beeline for Moel-yr-Hydd and Moelwyn Mawr on the skyline (or perhaps in mist just following a bearing) worked perfectly well. The ruined Rhosydd Quarry is quite a desolate and haunting place, but its workings do at least provide you with a nice clear and firm route of ascent up to the foot of the (rather soggy) climb of Moel-yr-Hydd. The views around here really open out in all directions, with the first sights of the rocky ridge between the two Moelwyns tempting you onwards even as the legs start to tire.
After a longish but easy enough climb up Moelwyn Mawr (while the tallest, perhaps the least characterful peak on this walk), the next mile or two along the ridge is constantly testing, a steep descent and then little rocky ramp up to Craigysgafn, then a quite hairy drop to Bwlch Stwlan that seems a lot, lot further down than the 100m-odd it really is. That looked as if it would be a terrific ascent route though - perhaps that would be the right way round for this walk if leaving Cnicht for another day? Everyone seems to write that the path up Moelwyn Bach 'isn't as bad as it looks', and that's perhaps true (it appears almost vertical and wholly relentless from Craigysgafn) but it's still tricky enough - loosely surfaced for something so steep and then almost scrambly for the last few metres before it levels off to the summit. The route you are taking fills the eye before and behind for most of this section, but it's still with a little breath of pleasure (relief?) that you reach the cairn.
It's a long but fairly easy (mainly grassy apart from a few marshy patches just before the woods) path down to the lane and back to Croesor, concluding a terrific route with a final view back up to the classic profile of Cnicht:
Highly recommended - do it now before the crowds start to hit that very tempting Cnicht path!
by susanmyatt » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:26 am
by ChrisW » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:09 pm
by MIKE LEVER » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:40 pm
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