As is the way with my days off these days, there is no rush ever. Jan works long days and even longer nights in an intensive care department and there is NO shift pattern at all to allow a person’s body clock to plan the week. Her need for sleep catch up is vital, so I have learned not to expect a 7am leap out of bed, and instead to respect her body clock readjustment time. It doesn’t stop me getting fidgety however if the light looks amazing, and the day is going by :-)
It was Sunday however, and for Jan a rare Sunday off, so whatever! The weather forecast was for brightness, light cloud, zero chance of rain and plenty of sunshine later. We could do a lazy leisurely hill walk later with no worries about the elements or timings. I didn’t really absorb the additional information I skimmed through on the mountain weather forecast though, which indicated freezing level at summits and 45mph winds. Nevertheless we threw in our Paramo’s and Rab wind proofs just in case, along with two flasks of steaming hot coffee.
At about 2pm we started the one hour drive towards the distinctive pyramid shaped mountain called Cnicht. I haven’t done it for couple of years and I love the mountain (approximately 2200 feet). I have done it from the very meandrous North side and also from the shadowy East facing quarry valley of Cwm Orthin, which was today’s plan as I wanted to show Jan the old quarry workings. However, as part of her prep for some bigger mountains in the next few weeks she said she’d prefer a steep ascent, so we headed for Croesor on the brighter West side instead. This was a first for me too which was nice, making our way up the classic West ridge.
We decided to have a cuppa and a sandwich in the cafe in the tiny, sleepy hamlet of Croesor but the cafe was so asleep it was closed! I was really surprised, this being the Easter break and a car park packed with walkers’ vehicles. We started up the long, bouldery woodland track before exiting right up towards