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Y Garn, East Ridge scrambles!

Y Garn, East Ridge scrambles!


Postby rich_e » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:28 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Y Garn (Glyders)

Date walked: 30/05/2016

Time taken: 3

Distance: 6.5 km

Ascent: 640m

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After an entertaining morning on the huge Zip World zip wire at Bethesda our Day 3 walk for the long bank holiday weekend was an afternoon on the Grade 2 scramble up the East Ridge of Y Garn. Unsurprisingly, given the weather, trying to park at Ogwen Cottage in the early afternoon was a challenge and an ice cream to start was a welcome reward!

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Tryfan from over the road at Ogwen Cottage


The route from Ogwen Cottage heads up the well-marked path to Llyn Idwal before crossing the footbridge over the outlet from the lake and following its northern shore around the beach on the path heading up to Devil's Kitchen.

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Path up to Llyn Idwal, East Ridge of Y Garn rises slightly to the left of centre in the picture above


Once you've reached Llyn Idwal the path passes through a gate and a route then has to be chosen across open ground to reach the base of the rocks at the bottom of the East Ridge.

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Through the gate leave the path after approx 30m and cross the open ground to the base of the ridge


After reaching the first significant rocky outcrop we picked up a faint path to the left (in ascent) and as we continued upwards this became progressively more distinct leading from one small section of scrambling to the next.

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Scrambling on the lower section of the ridge


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The way up, final buttress is visible in the top left


This first portion of the walk is a series of short but enjoyable scrambles up rocky steps separating large grass and heather covered terraces with no significant difficulties.

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By now Llyn Idwal and the people enjoying the sunshine on the beach were well below us. We could see a number of groups heading up the usual northeast ridge path of Y Garn over to our right but we appeared to have the whole of the East Ridge to ourselves! The pattern of ledges and steep rocky steps continues up three quarters of the ridge before the path heads left and climbs gently towards the base of the final rock buttress.

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Gentle rise to the buttress ahead on the left...


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View for lunch!


After a quick lunch break on the slopes below the buttress it was time for the exciting bit!

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It looked possible to join the ridge around half way up but we started on the slab at the very end of it


We started by climbing a steep slab on the left of the buttress, starting in a groove to the right of the slab before traversing left and climbing up to reach the true ridge line. When you finally scramble (or crawl in my case) up on to the ridge you get a better view of the route ahead. The initial part of the buttress undoubtedly felt like more of a climb than a walk and the ridge itself feels impressively narrow (hence my crawling!).

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Our start - initially up the groove in the centre and then across to the left


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Looking down from the ridge proper after the initial climb


A blow by blow account of the scramble is probably best avoided but suffice to say this was unsurprisingly a different prospect from the Grade 1 routes we’d done in the preceding days. It’s relatively short but there were no obvious escape routes, there’s an unavoidable exposed step around a corner, a very narrow (bum down!) shuffling section, and a couple of tricky steps to negotiate where it’s advisable to keep your eyes on the job in hand (rather than look down!). All that said, it’s a brilliant experience and in the end it’s over far too quickly!

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Narrow section ahead, route up in the background


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Hollie getting a move on!


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Looking down the final scramble off the ridge


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Looking down the East Ridge from above


Once on to the main ridge, and after a brief lie down on the grass (to let the heart rate drop a little!), we continued up to the summit of Y Garn.

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Summit of Y Garn from the top of the East Ridge


This was my first time on the Y Garn summit and there’s no doubt it’s a good one. The views in all directions are superb and we were lucky enough to have 5 mins to ourselves – in perfect weather on a Bank Holiday Monday no less!

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Down the Ogwen Valley from the summit


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Towards Snowdon from the summit


For descent we took the northeast ridge path which heads back down to Ogwen Cottage.

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Looking down the northeast ridge path


It’s relatively steep towards the top but there’s a clear path throughout and it was lovely walk in the sunshine back to the car.

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East Ridge profile


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Buttress at the top of the East Ridge close up


Views across to the East Ridge were excellent on our way down and my partner in crime was itching to go again! Great short walk for a sunny day.

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rich_e
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Location: Congleton, Cheshire

Re: Y Garn, East Ridge scrambles!

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:59 pm

Cracking report and pics. :clap: :clap:

I've lost count of the number of times I've been atop Y Garn, and I can't for the life of me think why I never thought go go up or down the East Ridge - I've now checked and it's described in both "Suicide in Snowdonia" (Steve Ashton) and "Scrambles & Easy Climbs in Snowdonia" (Sparks et al).
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Alteknacker
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Re: Y Garn, East Ridge scrambles!

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:48 pm

Brilliant report of a superb route - one of my favourites. The photos capture the character of the ridge and the scrambling so well. Thank you!

HMHT
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HalfManHalfTitanium
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Re: Y Garn, East Ridge scrambles!

Postby BobMcBob » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:33 pm

Marvellous. I've just been reading up on this route and am now definitely looking forward to giving it a go ASAP thanks to your photos. Cheers :)
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Re: Y Garn, East Ridge scrambles!

Postby ChrisW » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:46 am

Perfect weather on a bank holiday and the summit to yourself for 5 minutes .... you must have a lawn full of 4 leaf clovers HMHT :lol: :lol: Looks like some really enjoyable scrambling too :thumbup:
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ChrisW
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Re: Y Garn, East Ridge scrambles!

Postby rich_e » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:22 pm

Thanks for the comments everyone :D

I'd seen references to this route a few times online but we picked it out of North Wales Scrambles by Garry Smith. If you've only time for a quick outing I think it's a great option - there's a bit of everything and its enjoyable throughout!
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rich_e
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 9
Munros:43   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:115
Wainwrights:157   Islands:3
Joined: May 13, 2016
Location: Congleton, Cheshire

Re: Y Garn, East Ridge scrambles!

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:03 pm

rich_e wrote:Thanks for the comments everyone :D

I'd seen references to this route a few times online but we picked it out of North Wales Scrambles by Garry Smith. If you've only time for a quick outing I think it's a great option - there's a bit of everything and its enjoyable throughout!


It's also well described in Steve Ashton's Scrambles in Snowdonia although the first time i did theroute (early 1980s) it was prior to that book... just looked like a good line so I tried it! (stupid really...)
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HalfManHalfTitanium
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