Llyn yr Adar and Cnicht From Beddgelert
Route Summary: Longer approach to this popular mountain.
Longer approach to this popular mountain.
|19.61 km||874 m||7 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Beddgelert
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Llyn yr Adar and Cnicht From Beddgelert Route Map and GPX DownloadDownload file for GPS
Llyn yr Adar and Cnicht From Beddgelert Details
If you want to walk up Cnicht the long way, then this is certainly one of the longest routes you can do. Starting off in Beddgelert, you walk to Llyn Dinas before crossing to Nantmor and you could then take one of three routes into these hills either up to Llyn Edno, Gelli Iago or via Llyn yr Adar.
It had been raining a lot recently. This weekend was meant to mark a transition to drier, colder and more settled weather. Well, it didn’t, but it certainly was cold.
This walk is essentially an ascent of Cnicht from Beddgelert, and could be attempted in either direction, with advantages to both. The best view is gained of Cnicht by doing the route in reverse, but this route means that most of the distance has been completed by the time you reach Cnicht. I’d personally do both and see what you like!
The walk starts from Beddgelert, ideally by crossing the footbridge over the Glasyn and turning left. The path is straightforward to Llyn Dinas, with a short section of country lane in the middle. You pass the old Sygun copper mine, and soon reach the lake. It’s a nice spot for lunch, although it will probably be too early or crowded for that. Instead, follow the lakeside path to the right. You ford a stream (easy enough, even in spate) and follow the path into the forest. This path takes you over a knoll, at the top of which there is a shortcut path to your right, which I’ve ignored as I’m not sure how overgrown it is.
Go downhill with the path until you reach a stile to your right. The path is clear now through the forest, past an old abandoned homestead that’s both overgrown with moss, and littered by less considerate users of the area. Although this is just a short path across from Llyn Dinas to Blaen Nanmor, it is reasonably hard going. While it is path all the way, it keeps ascending and descending over rough terrain and you feel as if you are getting nowhere. You pass a house half way, Hafod Owen, that is literally in the middle of nowhere with no apparent access. Do not cross directly forward from the house where there is a path that needs the crossing of a drain overhung by rhododendrons (more of a pain than a hazard) and keep right instead on the track that’s not immediately obvious when you are stood in front of the house.
The path is straightforward from here, but make sure you read the map as there are paths crossing. Just keep going straight ahead and you soon arrive at a minor road. Cross this and through the farm gate that shows the right of way. The path goes directly forward, not along the farm track, and continues past some houses, where you must turn right at the last house to find a path that leads to a stile. Continue over the stile, and directly up through the crag, on a step like path. Most of the path from here is similarly steps in rocks, and can sometimes be lost where there is no stone. Just keep the stream to your right, and you can follow this up for most of the distance, before the terrain levels out and becomes more boggy.
You can follow the path towards Llyn Llagi that then takes a steep left up towards a path. Or, you can strike upslope earlier, and possibly miss out on the wetter areas. The path is quite good, but prone to being a river in wet conditions. Follow it up to a small flattish area, where there is a cairn. The grassy path left leads you towards Llynnau’r y Cwn, but a steep path right takes you up to Llyn yr Adar, and a not too distinct path that skirts around the eastern shore. Directly ahead, there’s a knoll which you navigate around, but it was my wild camping spot for the night. It was dry, although my preferred pitch was waterlogged.
Camping in winter is totally different to the summer. Other than the obvious fact that it’s colder, you have the long hours of darkness to contend with. It was a struggle setting up camp, as the damp made my hands cold, and it was not practical to do so with gloves. Coupled with strong winds and driving rain all night, I didn’t sleep an awful lot. On the bright side, it gave the Laser a good testing out, and it was not found wanting. It had to be pitched with the extra guys in place, and this not only made it sturdier, but kept the fly away from the inner. I also had to figure how to cook in the porch, which was OK with a little improvisation. The door can be used as a ‘wing’ by hooking it onto the side guy (which needs to be pegged at an angle towards that end of the tent), and the tent groundsheet pulls back a little to give you the space.
I did have a bit of fine weather around dusk and was treated to a decent sunset. Downside was that I was too cold to appreciate it and was wrapped up in my sleeping bag trying to warm up. The morning saw much more cloud than the Saturday. It was also showery, but I managed to break camp between them, and they stopped by mid morning.
From the knoll, it’s an easy walk up towards the Cnicht ridge. The path is wide and boggy, but as it was at its wettest today it’s more water than mud and not wet enough to bother decent boots. You can now keep either left or right, depending which path you wish to follow. I’ve preferred the left as it’s got more exposure down to Croesor and it also avoids some of the false summits (I think they’re classed as Nutalls) that you need to get past before you arrive on the summit itself. The view was varied today, with some cloud, but not enough so there was nothing to see – but it was murky so not the best.
Descent from Cnicht is steep. Today it was wet and slippery too, so it required great care on greasy rocks. It also didn’t help that I’d left some food at home, so I was rather light headed too (having skipped breakfast – again). It did mean that I would have to get to Beddgelert as quickly as possible, which meant that the return over Cwm Bychan was out of the question. The path off Cnicht is steep initially, but becomes easier towards the bottom. You reach a track near the bottom, where you must turn right to Beddgelert (or right for Croesor). This is an old byway that is on good track (stone) and brings you down to the minor road at Bwlchgwernog. Cross the track, and the road takes you over a couple of steep sections to the village of Nantmor.
After passing most of the buildings in Nantmor, including a chapel, you pass a track to your right (SH 598 461) that is the old railway. Follow this over a bridge and join a path that takes you right to Cwm Bychan, or left to Beddgelert. Now follow this and the riverside path all the way to the village, just taking care in the wet. There were signs that the river had recently been higher than the path, so be aware of this.