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Tryfan North Ridge

Tryfan North Ridge

Postby yokehead » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:58 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Tryfan

Date walked: 21/12/2008

Distance: 3.8 km

Ascent: 546m

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Hadn’t been on any hills since early November so Wales was the target for me and Chaz to sort that out. For our first trip there I wanted a bit of adventure with some scrambling, bought a guidebook and decided on Tryfan North Ridge to start us off. The plan was to make this a day trip, so away from home at 5 am. Difficult getting to sleep, thinking ‘will I be able to do it?’ so only 3 hours sleep in the end.

It was great to see hills appearing out of the gloom on our journey as it started to get light, too much flat land around where we live! We got our first sight of Tryfan at 8.30, I’d seen photos already but seeing it for real was something else, and a bit daunting! What a magnificent pile of rock it is, it just shoots up steeply from the land, topped by a jagged crest saying ‘climb me, if you dare!’ The weather forecast had been for cloud but it was mostly clear when we arrived, unfortunately this didn’t last long and the cloud came down to about 700m.

what a beast, let's get at it

A great point about this hill, especially if the day is short, is that the climb starts next to the road. We parked right at the foot and set off at 9, easy to start by following the wall up to the base then slanting up and to the east. We soon got to the point where hands were required, and you need to use your hands from here most of the way to the top. After we had got about halfway along the northern edge we turned south and started climbing the ridge. It was a case of finding a route stage by stage, there is no single path and the terrain is quite complex lower down so there is plenty of choice. Up some rocks, onto a ledge, across some heather, onto more rocks. Gradually the heather recedes and you’re left with just the rock. The view back down to the car looks impressive.

steep looking down, car still there though

We were soon into the cloud so no decent views from now on, we continued until we reached a small plateau and were faced with a wall of rock that at first sight in the mist seemed impossible, I had read that this is the crux of the scramble. 3 lads were deciding what they should do; there is a path to the east that flanks this section. However a brief lift of the mist showed an obvious worn line up the rock just to the left so I decided to go for it.

now what, who put that wall there?

A few steps, up about 3 metres, and you’re onto a ledge. Climb a bit more then another ledge, and so on. This was the best part of the day for me, great climbing with plenty of holds up a reasonable slope. We made fast time to the top of this section where we met a couple of runners coming down, absolute nutters we thought with their running shoes and thin clothing! A climb down into a notch then up again and suddenly we were at the summit, the climb somehow seemed too short we had been enjoying it so much. We had a crack with the 3 lads, a few photos then hung around hoping for the mist to clear but no luck. We toyed with whether to do the Adam & Eve jump but decided against it because of the gusts of wind that were increasing (any excuse will do – next time maybe!).

Chaz just below the summit, the other lads following

Adam & Eve boulders at the summit, no jump today thanks

Onwards, we continued to the south, down to the col before the South Peak. Descending over the rocks is nowhere near as easy or fun as climbing. At the col I confess I thought we were at the next col between Tryfan and Glyder Fach, look at the map man! A check with compass and map and we were soon at the proper col where we sheltered behind the wall and had some well earned grub. Originally I had planned to then climb Glyder Fach via Bristly Ridge, some more scrambling, but the cloud was getting lower and the wind strength was increasing and we were feeling a bit tired now. So let’s call it a day, down the path towards Llyn Bochlwyd, then we turned north for a leisurely walk to skirt Tryfan and back to the road. After the more difficult climbing part I now managed to slip over a few times, the rock was very greasy here, but no damage done. A 4 hour journey home so in all 5 hours on the hill and 8 hours driving, not the best combination! Overall verdict on the scramble? I had read various walk reports saying this was ‘easy’ to ‘difficult’ but of course at the end of the day it is down to the individual and the route chosen. For me the scramble was hugely enjoyable and I didn’t feel apprehensive about any part of it except for a bit of a gulp before the ‘crux’ section but that turned out to be the best bit. I will do it again soon!

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Last edited by yokehead on Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Wales - Tryfan North Ridge Scramble 21 Dec 08

Postby canisp » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:00 am

Tryfan would definitely make it into the top five of my favourite Welsh hills.
Looked like a great day out with a good scramble, thanks for sharing.
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