There are some walks you never tire of. This is one of mine, the climb up to Cnicht from Nant Gwynant. You drive up a narrow road into the hills. You hope you don’t meet another car. You pass, in late spring and summer, rough hillsides dotted with bright rhododendrons. You remember – I do – a walk across those hillsides a few years ago to photograph the flowers.

There’s a car park at an old mining area and you walk back one quarter of a mile to start the route. Across marshy farm terrain then up this hillside. This is where the delights begin. Views back to Snowdon and you wonder – I do – how busy the biggest mountain will be and how glad you are being here not there.

It’s a joy to know such places where you go back and connect again. I know many. Some years ago I hitched a ride up to the mountain village of Lescun in the Pyrenees. Man and woman in front, two young girls in the back with me, one of them trying her English sweetly. The man’s joy was like a moment in a French romantic film. Here again, our holiday, back at Lescun, the fun starts, sun, family, smiles, walks, wine, this wonderful location.

Hill places are for me thematically similar. Not with the same excitement, but with the same pleasurable return.


Climbing Cnicht: Snowdon Views

Thursday May 19, 2016