/ Ice climbs near Cnicht

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Cornish boy - on 30 Jun 2012
I've just come back from spending a few days in the Cnicht region of Snowdonia [getting drenched!] and noticed a long, fairly straight cascade of water pouring down into Llyn Llagi [I think] and wondered if it's a recognised ice climbing route when conditions allow. If so, does it have a name and what grade is it? I only saw it from the road to the west so am guessing that it flows into the above llyn. Cheers
JDSwain - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Cornish boy: I know the line you're on about. Don't think its a recognised route but i spoke to a bloke who lives down at the road there and he said in very cold winters in goes at about III i think. But doesn't come into condition very often.
smuffy on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Cornish boy: Which side is it facing? Does it get any sun or total shade? Sounds interesting, lets hope we get a good winter to go with this superb summer we're having!
Cornish boy - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to smuffy: Thanks for your replies guys. I reckon that it faces west [possibly slightly north-west] and is low in altitude [below 600m] so probably comes into condition rarely. This would back up the local bloke's comments. Grade III would seem about right too, in my opinion. However, if we get a good winter it could be a beauty. Surprised that nobody has said they've done it though.....unless it's a well kept secret!
highclimber - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to Cornish boy:
> (In reply to smuffy) Surprised that nobody has said they've done it though.....unless it's a well kept secret!

Probably because it rarely, if at all, comes into condition long enough for anyone to climb. is it much of a walk in as this could be another factor that would make it a less favourable option to say Idwal and it's almost roadside location!
nigel n - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to Cornish boy:
The stream was climbed by Dafydd Davis and myself in the 1980s at about grade 2 - it is in the Welsh Winter Climbs guidebook written by Malcolm Campbell. However, as Jack Henson lived in Nantmor it was probably climbed much before this. In a very cold spell it is well worth doing though probably a bit easier than it looks.
Cornish boy - on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to nigel n: Cheers for that info Nigel. Good to hear from somebody who's actually done it. I had another good look at it this weekend [from near Nantgwynant]and can't wait to have a crack at it if we get a good winter. Was the ice thick enough to place ice screws when you did it? There looked to be a section about two thirds of the way up that I'm not sure if I'd fancy soloing!
nigel n - on 11 Jul 2012
In reply to Cornish boy:
Hi again. I think we climbed it in 1986 which was a superb winter so it would have been well formed. Also, we were doing many of the harder winter routes in Wales at the time so were going well. Its always hard to grade this kind of thing as most difficulties can be avoided but if you are happy on (say) the Idwal stream it should not be too much of a problem. Dafydd did it in the mid '90s - I have always meant to do it again myself but have been frustrated by snow on the road(!) and by short lived conditions. Hopefully this winter!
smuffy on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to Cornish boy: Given that you soloed Sargeants Gully last winter I would suggest that this at Grade 2 is well within your capabilities.
Mike Peacock on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to Cornish boy: I think it would be quite easy. It looks steep from afar but the angle is quite gentle; it makes a decent scramble. Few pics here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikepeacock/sets/72157629139780182/detail/
smuffy on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to Mike Peacock: Great photos Mike and really quite suprising as it does look a lot steeper from afar, as you point out. Looks like it could be fun if the ice gets fattened up and not just a small frozen channel down the centre.
gingerdave13 - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to Mike Peacock: is cnicht a worthwhile excursion, seems somewhat off the beaten track but i have heard a bit of a bugger to nav unless a clear day.
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Mike Peacock on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to gingerdave13: Definitely! An approach up the SW ridge is great, with a small bit of scrambling to gain the summit if desired. You can then explore the Croesor/Rhosydd plateau with its various lakes and quarries and head onto Moelwyn Mawr.

Another alternative is a loop from Beddgelert along the Aberglaslyn Pass to Nantmor, then through the back roads and up the SW ridge. Descent to Geli-lago and back via Llyn Dinas. Moel Meirch and Yr Arddu (the western ones) are both worth an explore - lovely wild area. Navigation isn't straight forward, but I never think it's that tricky if you keep an eye on the map.

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