”Because in the end you won’t remember that time you spent in the office or moving your lawn, climb that godamn mountain”

-Jack Kerowac

I didn’t sleep well last night my tortured brain cells decided to sing me some kind of mental anti lullaby despite going to bed early on purpose with the intention of getting up early-is, but regardless of this I’ve been telling myself for months now that I’m going to go and hike/climb up the mountain known as ‘Cnicht’. Even though I’m feeling really drained I’m determined not to waste my free time by staying on site, I’ve been here all week and living here makes me want to get out as much as possible, so after finishing my zombie apocalypse dream (I was winning of course) and forcibly peeling my eyes open I’m up and getting ready as fast as I possibly can. I am terrible in the morning and ‘crawling out of bed using my eyebrows’ is probably a good way to explain how bad. If I’m being honest the hardest bit of any of these adventures is just getting out of bed in the first place. Weirdly when I’m out I don’t want to come back, then again I work where I live…who would?

I load myself up with plenty of tea so I’m nice and alert when I get in my car and therefore have less chance of reversing over any oblivious first time hikers as I reverse out of Pen Y Pass and head towards Croesor. The roads on the way here are super small and twisty and the childish part of me (which is a huge part of me by the way) enjoys how it feels like being a rally driver, foot down through all the beautiful North welsh scenery. The roads get even more crazy and narrow as I join road that was apparently originally the old drovers track into Croesor. I used to think that having such a tiny car might have seemed bad at first but clearly it works really well for the mad little country roads which seem to make up so much of North Wales. I finally arrive in Croesor around 1pm and realise the cafe isn’t open. In my rush to get out I’d not bothered to bring water and food which isn’t really a good start for a trained mountain leader, but thinking the cafe would be open I kept driving. So I have to jump back in the car and head back to Beddgelert which I’d just driven past which is more that a little annoying. I finally get back to Croesor about 2pm which is far later than I’d intended but I reckon judging by guides and looking at the route I’ll probably be back by 6pm, just after the sun sets. And really thats not a terrible time to be out with the views the mountains offer. After a few failed attempts to find a parking space I realise there’s one just in the next road of the village. If this is how my navigation is going to be today I guess I’ll be dead by 3pm. I finally get parked up properly and I get my stuff on and head out walking up through the village until I come to a gate that heads through a rocky wooded area.

I’d come out intending on a bit of navigation but I drop that idea the moment a big wooden pole with ‘Cnicht carved into it and painted bright white appears. I guess I won’t be needing this map right now then! Heading up the grassy slopes towards the mountain I notice there’s a cave off to my left which I’ve already read a bit about. I don’t bother checking it out as apparently you can just about fit a hiker in there so it’s definitely not the kind of cave that I’m interested in. No chance of vampire troglodytes. If I’m going down a cave I want it to be like a scene from the horror movie ‘the descent’. Plus any time I’ve seen a cave that’s too accessible to the general public some dickhead decides to repurpose it as a toilet. In fact thats why I generally don’t like easily accessible trails or beauty spots either as people just ruin them with junk. Anyway back to talking about the mountain,

I was expecting Cnicht to be a Welsh name but apparently it means ‘Knight’ in ancient English which stems from the mountain looking like a knights helmet. If that’s the case the old English nights must have had some mega deformed pyramid heads, because to me it looks more like that. Cnicht is 689m high and forms part of the Moelwynion range of mountains. It’s also known as the Welsh Matterhorn which it apparently resembles, which maybe it does if it was a bad miniature copy, From my view down in Croesor it looked more like an angry rock nipple. But still looks like a lot of fun, and it’s got it’s own particular charm.

Before long I’m seeing the very distinct pointy summit of the mountain in front of me, it it does look like it could be difficult to ascend, though from everything I’ve read and heard about it apparently it won’t be. It’s not a particularly hard hike in fact and though the summit looks pretty severe it’s very easy and brief scrambling unless you approach it from a different side.

When I get to just below the summit it initially looks it could be quite hard work to ascend but as I get closer, it’s plain to see there’s plenty of choices that’ll get me to the top. I opt for the right hand side where theres a bit of a path and a scramble to choose from. Obviously I go for the scramble which is super short and I’m just starting to enjoy it when it ends. After this it’s basically walking about until I hit the summit. Typically for Wales…there’s no view, fairies have stolen it. Only joking, the tip of the mountain is in the cloud, however I can imagine the views are great when it’s not shrouded in clouds.

I still manage to get a few decent shots on my way down however, though it’s not great visibility, I’ll be back in summer with the proper camera to get some better shots I reckon.

When ascending with my music in my ears as I usually do as a kind of victory lap after sumitting one of my tunes sounds overly bassy so I take out the headphones thinking there’s an issue and there isn’t just turns out there’s a massive black Chinook helicopter behind me providing an unexpected baseline. It looks like they are carrying out either a rescue or some kind of training on the next summit over. I’m almost back though and I’m up and down in about three hours, even with taking loads of pictures.