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Welsh Scrambles

Welsh Scrambles

Postby Broggy1 » Mon May 18, 2015 4:57 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Gallt yr Ogof, Glyder Fach, Tryfan, Y Foel Goch

Date walked: 17/05/2015

Time taken: 3.4

Distance: 14.2 km

Ascent: 1151m

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A free Sunday and another chance to hit Wales.

I’d briefly considered the high Berwyn fells as an option but after a couple of mates (both scrambling nuts) asked to join us we decided on this route. My third time up Tryfan and my second time up Bristly Ridge and Glyder Fach.

To satisfy the bagger in me we would take an alternative descent and add in Y Foel Goch and Gallt yr Ogof.

Tryfan – as others will attest – is a classic. The finest hill in the UK outside of Scotland? Quite possibly.
We were delighted to finally get a clear day to climb it after two attempts in wind, rain, ice and snow.

The scrambling up the North Ridge is all straightforward in the early stages and we have never been up the same way twice.

All routes eventually lead to the rock tower below the Northern Summit. Tackling this directly takes the overall difficulty briefly to Grade 2 but in truth it is not that hard with the use of knees and elbows etc.

I did the bypass path of this section once which heads round the Eastern Face of the Mountain and found it to actually be much worse on an eroded and exposed path followed by an awkward gully climb to regain height. To each their own I guess!

After attaining the North Summit the main summit is just a light scramble beyond where the rocks of Adam and Eve stand.

We’d never done the jump before due to the rocks being polished, wet and icy but this time (despite high winds) we were determined to have a go.

There is a convenient foothold on one of them which allowed me access and from there it was a leap over to the other and back again! I made a bit of a hard working coming down and duly noted afterwards that it was much easier to face inwards.

North Ridge.JPG
On the North Ridge

Tackling Final Tower.jpg
Me tackling the final tower

Looking down N Ridge 2.jpg
Looking down the North Ridge

Adam and Eve.JPG
Dan about to gain the freedom of Tryfan

Bristly Ridge on Glyder Fach was now ahead in its glory as we descended the South Ridge.

Last time I’d done Bristly I had taken the obvious gully on the right (which I hear is called Main Gully or Dexter’s Gully) – I found this doable but with a couple of tricky moves.

Today we decided to locate Sinister’s Gully (pretty much immediately on the right of the wall) and give that a try. While I found this to be steeper and perhaps more exposed than the other gully, I actually found it to be easier as the hand and foot holds are large, generous and obvious and in no time at all we were on the crest of the not so narrow ridge.

From here the scrambling is much more akin to Tryfan with only one slightly awkward bit descending into Great Pinnacle Gap and it eventually brings you out very close to the Cantilever Stone and the nearby jumbled pile of rocks that makes up the summit of Glyder Fach.

To Glyder Fach.JPG
Glyder Fach (and Bristly Ridge) from Tryfan

Bristly Ridge up close

Sinister Gully 1.JPG
Looking up Sinister Gully

Sinister Gully 2.JPG
Looking down first section

Sinister Gully 5.jpg
Me tackling the last section of Sinister Gully

Sinister Gully 4.JPG
Looking down from the top of Sinister Gully

Bristly Ridge.JPG
On the ridge proper now (not very narrow)

End of Bristly.JPG
End of Bristly Ridge

Looking down Bristly to Tryfan.JPG
Looking down Bristly Ridge to Tryfan

Like Tryfan, you could spend ages on this summit exploring and playing on the rocks.

cantilever 2.jpg
On the Cantilever Stone

Glyder fach summit.JPG
Below Glyder Fach summit

We now knew that we would be moving from the sublime to the less sublime and after a quick detour to bag the top of Castell y Gwynt we headed down initially rocky slopes before meeting a good path heading for Y Foel Goch.

Castle of Winds.JPG
Castell y Gwynt

Looking back to G Fach.JPG
Glyder Fach from Castell y Gwynt

Y Foel Goch.JPG
Y Foel Goch ahead

Plenty of wet patches were now found but they were all avoidable and it’s a pretty easy climb to the summit cairn.

Y Foel Goch 2.jpg
Me at the summit of Y Foel Goch

Tryfan and Bristly from Y Foel Goch.JPG
Tryfan and Glyder Fach from Y Foel Goch

Gallt yr Ogof is now ahead and again it’s a fairly easy walk with just a bit of bog hopping in the depression.

To last hill.JPG
Gallt yr Ogof ahead

Summit last hill.JPG
Gallt yr Ogof looking to Eastern Carneddau

We turned left not long after the lower second summit to descend quickly and roughly into Cwm Gwen Cof where we crossed the Nant yr Ogof and picked up the good path heading to Gwern Gof Isaf and back round the base of Tryfan to the car park.

Descending in Cwm Gwen Cof

Tryfan again.JPG
Tryfan and Tryfan Bach

A brilliant day this one and great to get my hands on some rock after months of bog trotting in the Pennines.

Tryfan and Bristly Ridge are truly exceptional and Foel Goch and Gallt yr Ogof offer a much quieter and peaceful return route (we never saw a sole after leaving Glyder Fach).

To make the day even better it really did appear we got the best of the weather as the Snowdon massif, Carneddau, Moel Siabod and Elidir Fawr group remained cloud topped most the day.
Last edited by Broggy1 on Tue May 19, 2015 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Welsh Scrambles

Postby Mal Grey » Mon May 18, 2015 5:14 pm

Nice one. One of the best scrambling combinations in Britain.

I agree about the bypass, found it less pleasant last time (after more than 10 years without visiting Tryfan) than the direct up the North tower, though the latter is quite airy in places.
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Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

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