Start – Croesor car park at SH631446, Distance – 14km, Ascent – 1100m, Time – 5hrs 15mins plus stops.
A Snowdonia classic around Cwm Croesor. Starting from the remote hamlet of Croesor, the route starts on well-defined paths before veering off to climb the sharp south-western ridge of Cnicht. There’s some easy scrambling to be had by sticking to the ridge on the ascent, or it can be avoided if you like. Continue on the ridge to Llyn yr Adar, then bear right on vague paths across the head of the cwm and into the area of abandoned slate quarries. Thread your way through the quarries on good paths and then climb the northern slope of Moelwyn Mawr. The ridge between Moelwyn Mawr and Moelwyn Bach sits high above Llyn Stwlan and includes a few rocky passages to liven things up a bit. From the top of Moelwyn Bach, head down the western ridge to the woodland below and back onto the road to Croesor. A justly popular route, it’s still likely to be quieter than the honeypots of Snowdon and the Glyders. Route finding could be tricky around the top of the cwm in bad weather.

The approach to Cnicht from Croesor. A proper, pointy peak!

Looking up Cwm Croesor in the gloom from Cnicht. The evidence of quarrying activity is all around these hills.

On top of Cnicht, looking back down Cwm Croesor towards Porthmadog and the coast. The weather was warm but a bit hazy.

Looking across Cwm Croesor from Cnicht to Moelwyn Mawr.

From the head of Cwm Croesor, looking down in between Cnicht and Moelwyn Mawr. The paths were a bit vague on this section and navigation could be tricky in bad weather as it’s all a bit featureless.

Spoil in the old slate quarries at the head of Cwm Croesor. This place is very atmospheric and you can almost hear the distant echo of picks biting into stone. Or was it just some loose change rattling in my pocket?