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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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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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Here at CheapTents we love Google Maps and Street View. We are waiting with great anticipation for Google to roll out Street View for mountain trails, which we like to call “Sherpa Cam“. Yet there is still something better than Google Maps and that is Ordnance Survey mapping. The Ordnance Survey National Grid reference system can be used to locate an exact position anywhere in Great Britain. It can be frustrating though, if you want to view a grid reference on a map online. Fortunately the Ordnance Survey website has the answer! It is called Get a Map.

Ordnance Survey Get a Map logo

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Logo for the Coast Along charity fundraiserWithout a doubt the UK coastline boasts some of our most amazing scenery. Picture in your mind rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, tidal estuaries and abundant wildlife. Perfect places for walking! Oh, and there’s one more thing you might notice on a coastal walk… lots of water! Which brings us onto WaterAid, a Non-Governmental Organisation dedicated to providing clean water and sanitation for poor people, and who are holding a coastal walking charity fundraiser this September.

One in ten people worldwide do not have access to clean water. Over two and a half billion live without somewhere safe to go to the toilet. Every day 4,000 children die from diarrhoea caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. WaterAid

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Father’s day has become over┬ácommercialised over the past decade or three. This year we want to break with the idea of selling you something to give to your dad, we all know he has too many ties anyway!

Geek dad day 2012 june 17

So instead of the usual list of amazing fathers day gifts, this year we want to take a different track. Inspired by a Wired article I recently read encouraging father and child to go to science museums and spend quality geek time together, we here at CheapTents want to encourage you to get out into the countryside around you this GeekDad Day.

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Yesterday, mountaineer, Sir Chris Bonington carried the London 2012 Olympic Torch to the summit of Snowdon using the Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Olympic Torch on Snowdon

Sir Chris Bonington @ Snowdon Sumit

The summit 1085m above sea level saw a sizeable crowd gather to watch Sir Chris Bonington hold the Olympic flame aloft. Bonington who began his career 61 years ago climbing Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain, said that it was a “notable first” for himself to travel up the mountain using the narrow gauge railway constructed in the 80’s.

Moments before recieving the torch, Bonington tweeted:

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Here at CheapTents we love looking at maps! Whilst Ordnance Survey undoubtedly produce the best quality mapping in the UK, Google have provided us with their maps online for free. Combined with Street View and Google Earth, Google Maps is arguably one of the best things on the internet. Not only do Google do great maps, they also like a bit of a laugh and this year for April Fool’s day they have produced 8-bit mapping. For those of us who can remember computer graphics from the 1980s these maps are a bit of a flashback! Below are screenshots of most of England and Wales and East Warrington with Google’s 8-bit mapping. Below that is The Adventure Centre on 8 bit Street View. Awesome!

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