Tryfan & the Glyders via Y Gribin
by poppiesrara » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:26 pm
Hewitts included on this walk: Glyder Fach, Glyder Fawr, Tryfan
Date walked: 30/07/2011
Time taken: 4.25
Distance: 10.75 km
Ascent: 1100m4 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
From the Idwal Cottage car-park - empty at breakfast-time but overflowing a few hours later - a lovely stepped path heads up the trade route into the beautiful hollow of Cwm Idwal.
Having tried to find a circuit avoiding either of the notorious scree paths up to the Glyders, it was necessary to find a way up onto the crest of the Y Gribin ascent ridge: a path sets off quite clearly from the eastern shore of the lake, but it soon disappears. If tempted off by the number of cross-paths trending right towards Glyder Fawr, you end up with a very steep and testing scramble over grass, heather and intermittent rock. This looked like a wrong turn almost immediately, but somehow going back down seemed worse than carrying on, and it was fiercely tough – no clear ways and worryingly few holds; much the hardest thing I’ve seen in Wales, and making Tryfan later seem very easy indeed. Cresting the ridge and seeing a clear ‘motorway’ path coming in from the north made this feel even more foolish! (The safe route up seems to be straight east from the lake, heading for the far north of the ridge).
Once up there though, Y Gribin itself makes for a good route up to the summits, a narrowing grass ridge with views to the lakes either side and then an enjoyable scramble up the steep rocky southern end with plenty of choices (again I might have found one of the hairier ones, crawling along a short but very exposed protruding rib…).
The high Glyder ridge has its own character, bleak and rocky underfoot with three jagged and very bouldery peaks to clamber up to, and, even through a slightly hazy day that never quite unveiled Snowdon, glimpses of some fabulous views.
The descent to the east remains rocky and slow-going almost down to the col, but then the miner’s track contouring back across the face of the mountain towards Tryfan is a very good one. Tryfan itself rather belies its exceptionally steep façade when approached from this side, its popularity apparent from the multitude of paths that lead up through the rocks. While it’s an interesting and fun climb, there’s nothing very difficult about it at any point, and you emerge at the top (and into a picnicking horde – having seen three or four people all day until now, there must have been forty-odd sitting around the summit!) pretty quickly. One view of someone timorously attempting the ‘Adam and Eve’ manoeuvre was quite enough to convince me never to try it though!
After dropping down a reasonable corner-cutting way to the south-west, the path down through Cwm Bochlwyd seems to have undergone a lot of surfacing work quite recently and, while busy, it makes for a pleasant and very easy descent to the Ogwen valley.
With slightly better navigation, this seemed a very good route around the Glyders, even if you might be left wondering about taking on Tryfan from its more challenging side next time…
by ndhudson » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:42 am
by Red Peak » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:43 pm
Good luck with your two remaining Welsh Hewitts ...
by Rekrab » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:26 pm
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Nice to see veiws from Tryfan it was coudy when I went.
I'm back out tomorrow (probably in cloud again) for The Snowdon horseshoe.
by yokehead » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:30 pm
by skuk007 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:48 am
Fabulous scenery on those hills, I really must make time to visit them soon.
by Crawler » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:21 pm
We we did Y Gribin ridge we came up from Cwm Bochlwyd and it was just easy grass. Then we stayed below the crest all the way so didn't encounter your terrifying looking narrow bit. The Miners track is nice isn't it - surprised more people don't take that when they don't want to do Bristly Ridge
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by poppiesrara » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:01 pm
Crawler - it seemed clear that there were easier ways up to Y Gribin; probably worth another try... I guess the miner's track is quite a long-ish detour, which may be what sends most people along the steep path next to Bristly.
Mackenzie - looks a good alternative (although you didn't get as lucky with the weather, I see from the report...), although it'd be a shame to miss out on Cwm Idwal altogether when climbing these.
Cheers, Red Peak - I only learnt what a Hewitt was last year... just Gorllwyn and Drygarn Fawr left. It needs a dry week (and possibly wellies even then...), and a bit of enthusiasm for what looks a proper 'bogtrot' and I'll be there!
And ND - it's probably not quite as exciting as it sounds! But I won't spoil it...
by GarryH » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:05 pm
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