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Cnicht Mountain in Snowdonia

The ridge shape of Cnicht

Cnicht is fondly known as the “Matterhorn of Wales”. This is due to its similarity, when viewed from Porthmadog, to the iconic alpine mountain of the same name. However, it was when I was hiking on Elidir Fawr that Cnicht caught my attention. When viewed from the north, the ridge like nature of Cnicht is clearly visible. A traverse of the ridge looked like a fun walk and after identifying its exact location on my map, I decided that Cnicht should be on my hiking list for Snowdonia.

Just after Christmas the weather was dry but there was quite a lot of low clouds. Tackling some of the higher peaks in Snowdonia seemed pointless since their summits were shrouded in cloud. At 689m, the lower summit of Cnicht could clearly be seen as I approached Nantgwynant along the A498.

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So you’re thinking of going on a trek and you’ve got to carry all you kit, and you’re wondering if you’ve got the boots for the job? The following guide will give you some advice and show you what to look for when buying the right boots for backpacking.

North Face Verbera Footwear Range

Hiking/Trekking Boots? Walking Boots? Arghhhhhh!!! Thankfully The North Face Verbera range covers walking and light/heavy trekking.

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Last September, whilst on holiday in Ireland I was able to get my hiking boots out and do a bit of hill walking. Knowing that I would have one day available near Sligo, I did an internet search to see what was around. There was no doubt that I’d have to have a crack at Benbulben (Benbulbin). Steeped in local legend, this 526m limestone hill looks hugely impressive due to the cliffs that surround most of the summit. Situated near to the coast, I imagined that there would be excellent views in all directions.

Benbulben has steep sides topped with cliffs

The impressive steep sided Benbulben near Sligo

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Cheap Tents logo on a sheep

Sheep Advertising Baarmy!

A new advertising campaign has sparked controversy in the walking community. In an un-ewe-sual bid to promote online outdoor gear shop CheapTents, sheep have been painted with the company’s logo. After teaming up with farmers located in popular walking areas, including the Lake District, the sheep can be seen now be seen on some of the UK’s most popular hiking routes.

The CheapTents logo, featuring a schematic picture of a tent with the letters “CT” on an insipid yellow background, has been painted on 1000 sheep and will remain there until the sheep are sheared next spring.

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After my last post explaining why we are doing a charity hike for St Rocco’s Hospice. I thought that the next logical step was to look at how we are training. However it seems that events have overtaken me with our local paper taking up the story and sending down a photographer.

Making Headlines

Resplendent in our St Rocco’s T Shirts, we strike a pose for the Warrington Guardian

It was quite a nervous experience on Tuesday (18th June) when arriving at our shop for the photo shoot with the Warrington Guardian. I was, being a “prima donna” disappointed to find that I had not been allocated my own changing room or make up artist, however I did remember the hairbrush to sort out the remaining few strands of my hair.

The photographer arrived and duly made myself, Martyn and Daniel pose with our St Rocco’s T Shirts in front of a tent, holding rucksacks and walking poles, in a set up akin to early big game hunters. Indeed, all that was missing to create such an image was a couple of dead animals, although Martyn does his best by looking like he’s just been stuffed! Paul the final member of the team managed to hide during all the fun, and missed out on getting his picture in the paper.

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This was an enjoyable 11 mile walk in Mid Wales. The main thing that stood out being the differing types of scenery which included farmland, pine forests and moorland. With about 400 m of height gain there’s not too much uphill!

Starting from the car park in the village of Llangurig, there was gentle introduction to this walk along a short section a flat road. Crossing over the River Wye, the single track road lead us towards Clochfaen. Once off the road, the footpath climbed up Pant-gwyn Hill. Looking back, the village of Llangurig with its church can be clearly seen. Llangurig is said to be the highest village in Wales.

The village of Llangurig in Mid Wales

Llangurig, the highest village in Wales and the start of our hike.

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Whilst on my recent hike to Carnedd Llewelyn I saw across the valley a mountain that had an intriguing pyramid shape. Looking on my map I discovered that it is called Elidir Fawr. Due to its interesting geometry I decided that it would be my next objective. So I returned to Snowdonia for some more hiking.

The summit of Y Garn from near Llyn Idwal

The summit of Y Garn can be seen in the background,
just right of centre


The route from Llyn Ogwen goes up Y Garn (947 m) then drops down to about 800 m as it passes below below the summit of Foel Goch before finally heading up to the peak of Elidir Fawr (924 m).

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At the weekend we were blessed with some sunny weather, so with the mountains beckoning I headed over to Snowdonia for a hike up to Carnedd Llewelyn. There had been quite a bit of snow previously and I was hoping that there would still be some left. From the valley I could see small patches of snow but most of it had thawed. Ever hopeful I left my crampons in my rucksack just in case.

Pen yr Ole Wen mountain, Snowdonia

The route up Pen yr Ole Wen is climbs steeply from the outset

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Snowdon from Cefn y Capel

Clouds on Snowdon

The weather forecast for last Sunday (18th November 2012) was looking dry and a hike in Snowdonia was on the cards. After consulting the map a couple of routes looked likely, either up Snowdon via the Pyg Track or up to Glyder Fach from Capel Curig. I decided upon the latter, having not taken that route before. Arriving a Capel Curing the weather was sunny and the air was crisp. Perfect! The route follows a fairly broad ridge most of the way up to the summit, so I thought that there would not be too much navigating to be done. After a little uncertainty finding the initial start point of the trail, I headed up in generally the right direction and soon found short sections of path to follow.

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Blue Plaque at 86 Crofton Avenue, Timperley

The blue plaque commemorating
Benny Rothman

It is hard to imagine now, that in the past, wealthy land owners would not allow the general public on their land. Yet without direct action taken by Bernard “Benny” Rothman and others, we would not be able to enjoy walking and hiking in the British countryside to the extent that so many of us do. As you may or may not know, Benny Rothman was instrumental in the 1932 mass trespass on Kinder Scout. A detailed account of the trespass, its place in British history and how it led to the formation of our National Parks and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act can be found on the Kinder Trespass website.

In April 1932 over 400 people participated in a mass trespass onto Kinder Scout, a bleak moorland plateau, the highest terrain in the Peak District.

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