HILL, DALES AND MOUNTAIN HIKING

31st December 2008: Bryn Bedd - Ysgafell Wen, (FNT) - Cnicht - Bryn Bedd    Web page by Bryan Benn

Start and Finish near Bryn Bedd 150m

Highest Point: Cnicht 689m

Distance: circa 14 kms

Weather: V cold, sunny and icy.

Vertical altitude gain: circa 800m

Time: circa 7 hrs 25 mins

Cnicht in silhouette before dawn The long spell of severe cold weather opened up opportunities I could not ignore. One was to walk the area generally known as the Moelwynion, with Cnicht it's most well known summit, albeit not it's highest. Normally the Moelwynion have a reputation for being very wet with bogs you can sink into knee deep. But in the curent deep freeze I anticipated, (and got!), a surface frozen solid. Returning from South of the Aberglaslyn Pass, (to get mobile phone reception!), I had a glimpse of Cnicht shortly before I was to start walking to that summit via Ysgafel Wen (Far North Top) and Cnicht (North Top). A three summit day!

31st December: Cnicht continued

Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen

I started early and the bottom of the valley was very cold indeed as I got onto a partly obvious and partly not obvious track heading in the general direction of the Ysgafell Wen.

31st December: Cnicht continued Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen

The sun was slowly rising as I stated my ascent, illuminating the obvious shape of Moel Hebog to the West of my route.

31st December: Cnicht continued Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen and Llyn Lyagi

The first main landmark on the steady ascent was the frozen lake of Llyn Lyagi, nestling under the cliffs of Craig Llyn-llagi.

31st December: Cnicht continued

Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen

The track, where I could find it, was well iced up in places as I headed up through an obvious gully. Not obvious was the track that went up the side of the steep slope to the right!

31st December: Cnicht continued Moel Hebog from route to Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen

I got to the top of the slope through the gully not realising I had missed the steep track on the right, and enjoyed the view back. Still dominated to some extent by Moel Hebog.

31st December: Cnicht continued Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen

The view North/North West from the track with the more distant mountains Snowdon and the others in the famous Snowdon Horseshoe.

31st December: Cnicht continued Llynnau'r Cwn seen from route to Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen

I realised I had missed the main route to Cnicht when I stumbled upon this small lake! With a very deep accumulation of frost on it's North side.

31st December: Cnicht continued Llynnau'r Cwn seen from ropute to Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen

Subsequently I found the lake was one of three that go under the name of Llynnau'r Cwn, or that could be the name of the small area they sit in!

9thDecember 2008:Beddgelert - Moel y Dyniewyd cont. continued Cnicht from near the summit of Ysgafell Wen (Far North Top)

My route finding error gave a great bonus as I climbed to the summit of what I later found was Ysgafell Wen, (Far North Top). The view SW to Cnicht across the hard frozen landscape on this normally wet and boggy plateau.

31st December: Cnicht continued View East from near Ysgafell Wen, (Far North Top).

A look East from near the summit of Ysgafell Wen, (Far North Top), took in the third small lake in that area,

31st December: Cnicht continued View West from near Ysgafell Wen

And a look West at Snowdon and surrounding mountains.

31st December: Cnicht continued Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen

A wider view West from near the summit of Ysgafell Wen.

31st December: Cnicht continued Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen

Looking more to the South of West could see Moel Hebog still trying to dominate the skyline.

31st December: Cnicht continued Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen

I took time to take in the superb views from the area I had stumbled on by accident. Before heading off in a virtual straight line towards Cnicht, something I am told would be impossible in the normal boggy conditions up here!

31st December: Cnicht continued Cnicht via Ysgafell Wen

So I strode out on this still superb winter's day, passing the small lake called llyn y Biswail as I got closer to the ridge leading to Cnicht's various summits.