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Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths


Postby simon-b » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:47 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Carnedd y Filiast (Glyders), Elidir Fawr, Foel-goch (Glyders), Glyder Fach, Glyder Fawr, Tryfan, Y Garn (Glyders)

Date walked: 17/06/2017

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After quite a few years going up and down the hills of Scotland and Northern England, it was about time I got round to visiting another superb British mountain region, one I'd perhaps been away from for too long. So it was, "Croeso i Gymru", and I was welcomed by some scorching Welsh weather. I arrived at a small cottage near Mynydd Llandegai, Bethesda, where I had booked a week, Friday to Friday. There was space to squeeze in two more people, and my friends Pam and Emily had arranged to join me on Saturday afternoon, leaving on Tuesday. I settled in on the first evening, with a beautiful view across the Menai Strait to Anglesey.

Saturday 17/06/2017: Y Garn and Elidir Fawr

Track_2017-06-17 150313.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Distance: 16.8 km
Ascent: 1368 m
Time: 6.6 hours


Saturday morning gave me a chance to get going on the Welsh 3000 footers, so I went for the two western ones of the Glyderau range, adding in another couple of Hewitts. Climbing from the Nant Peris side meant I shouldn't be down too late to meet my friends when they arrived, and I went for Y Garn first to avoid the slog up Elidir Fawr. I'd heard about the parking charges in the Llanberis Pass area, so I was happy to find a free layby on the A4086. After a short road walk, I was ascending next to the Afon Las. This was a nice walk in warm sunshine, with nice views of the Snowdon range and Llanberis valley in retrospect.

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Ascending by Afon Las, looking back to Llyn Peris and Llyn Padarn


After fairly rugged surroundings lower down, the route emerged onto gentler gradients on grassy terrain, but drama was added by the sudden appearance of Tryfan over the skyline.

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Tryfan from near Llyn y Cwn


I could have made a short cut to start the final assault on Y Garn, but chose to visit Llyn y Cwn, a nice spot below Glyder Fawr. Then I began the move to the summit. Rather than take the direct path up Y Garn's flank, I chose to follow the escarpment above Cwm Clyd, and was rewarded with great views.

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Llyn Clyd, Llyn Idwal, Llyn Ogwen and Pen yr Ole Wen from above Cwm Clyd


There were a few other people on the summit, which was basking in a rather higher temperature than I was used to on Scottish and English 900 metre peaks!

IMG_3977.JPG
Crib Goch, Snowdon and Crib y Ddysgl form Y Garn


A nice ridge walk (quite broad and grassy, but with good views) followed to Foel-goch. There were no other walkers here, but it was nice to see a few goats.

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Goats on Foel-goch


I spent some time wandering around this summit area taking in the views.

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Tryfan and Glyder Fach from Foel-goch


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Y Garn from Foel-goch


The main path between Y Garn and Elidir Fawr was quite well populated with walkers, but as I made my way up over Mynydd Perfedd things became quiet again. I reached Carnedd y Filiast, with a fine vista looking towards the sea.

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Menai Strait from Carnedd y Filiast


Then I was ready to double back and head for Bwlch y Marchlyn and Elidir Fawr.

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Elidir Fawr and Marchlyn Mawr Reservoir from Carnedd y Filiast


It was a very enjoyable final ridge walk up Elidir Fawr. Quite narrow and rugged, but nothing exposed or technical. Quite a few walkers were enjoying this bouldery summit, the weather still sunny and hot.

As I began my descent towards Nant Peris, I met three Welsh lads coming up that way, and seeming rather out of breath. They would be - they were attempting all their country's 3000 footers in one day. As I moved further down, a few other walkers were coming up that way too, slogging through the heat. One of them assured me, "The weather's like this here all the time", in a Welsh accent. "I'm sure it is", I answered.

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Descending from Elidir Fawr


This was generally not a bad way to go down, although there was one boggy section, even in this weather. I reached the road at Nant Peris and made my way back to the layby.

Back at the cottage, it wasn't long before Pam and Emily arrived. We had a very pleasant evening sitting outside the cottage in the June sunshine drinking wine. But not too much - we had big plans for Sunday, and an early start was called for. But not an early enough start for our 'plan A', as it turned out.


Sunday 18/06/2017: Tryfan, Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr

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Distance: 11.3 km
Ascent: 1046 m
Time: 8.2 hours


Setting off from the cottage at 7:45 am was early by Emily's standards; Pam and I didn't want to put too much pressure on her to get up earlier than she likes! But, on a sunny Sunday, we should have known it wouldn't have been early enough to have the privilege of a £10 parking space at Pen-y-Pass. All the laybys within a sensible distance were full too. So the Snowdon Horseshoe would have to wait until Monday. I should also have known to bring 'plan B' maps with me, as Llyn Ogwen was a relatively short drive away. But my route maps for Tryfan and the Glyders were back at the cottage :oops: Only one thing for it - back to Mynydd LLandegai, then through Bethesda and on to Llyn Ogwen.

Pam said it might be for the best that this had happened. Snowdon would be extremely popular on a weekend like this and we'd probably be queuing to get on the summit. She was right. It turned out to be a really great day. We Arrived at Llyn Ogwen with plenty of available parking space along the A5, and no fee :D

IMG_4023.JPG
Emily and Pam by Llyn Ogwen


And so our scramble up Tryfan began.

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Ascending Tryfan, looking back at Llyn Ogwen, Y Garn and Foel-goch


Again, it was a hot day, and such a steep ascent was fatiguing. Plenty of other people were taking it on as well, though.

IMG_4033.JPG
Moving on up Tryfan


I wouldn't say we took the easiest alternative all the way up. We made a direct scramble over the north top, quite tricky in places, which led to a fairly awkward descent into a gully (although easier than it initially looked), before making our final climb towards the summit. Once we reached the summit area, of course, the real fun began! Thankfully the hot weather meant the tops of the two summit boulders, Adam and Eve, were completely dry. But dare we make that jump between them? I climbed onto the easier of the two stones, looking at that gap between them. The jump should be easy, but that sheer drop on the left hand side, and the fact that you only have a small landing area to hit without slipping, does make the situation somewhat hairy :shock: It did take a while to summon up the courage, but I went for it. Job done! I also have to thank some 'jump veterans' who were there at the time, and able to give tips about the best way to climb on and off the boulders, as well as giving encouragement.

So, next it was Pam's turn.

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Pam ready for the Adam and Eve jump - will she, won't she?...

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...there she goes - freedom of Tryfan won!


Nice one, Pam :clap:

Emily chose to give Adam and Eve a miss. After a rest on Tryfan, we set off towards the Glyders.

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Heading towards Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr from Tryfan

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Descending from Tryfan, looking over to Llyn Bochlwyd, Llyn Idwal, Y Garn and Elidir Fawr


We were all feeling the heat, and the climb up Tryfan had been tiring. So we all chose to give Bristly Ridge a miss. The bypass up to Glyder Fach was still going to be a slog, though.

IMG_4049.JPG
Looking back at Tryfan while ascending Glyder Fach


The way up was loose and eroded in places, with plenty of scree, but zigzag paths with firmer footing can be found if you look for them. When the gradient eased, we had a reencounter with three lads from Cheshire we'd met while climbing Tryfan. They'd taken on Bristly Ridge, and it sounded like it had been and ordeal, particularly climbing onto it in the first place. Although Pam had found the bypass a trial in the heat, both she and Emily were glad we'd gone that way after listening to these boys.

We moved onto the summit area of Glyder Fach, and found the Cantilever Stone.

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Cantilever Stone, Glyder Fach


The actual summit requires a bit of a scramble over boulders to reach.

IMG_4054.JPG
Emily reaches the summit of Glyder Fach


After another rest, we began to make our way to Glyder Fawr. We had a look at Castell y Gwynt, but decided to bypass it on the south side. This involved a bit of descent, a boulder field, and reascent, but for a large part of the way there was a clear path.

IMG_4055.JPG
Castell y Gwynt


Before too long we were joining a few other walkers on the summit of Glyder Fawr, the day's highest mountain, in warm sunshine over 1000 metres above sea level.

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Snowdon from Glyder Fawr


So then our descent began, over quite steep sections with loose stones to begin with, but nothing too difficult, down to the flatter section near Llyn y Cwn. The steep section which followed near Twll Du (the Devil's Kitchen) was largely on made paths which eased the going, but hands were needed on one or two short sections. We made a slight detour to look up at the impressive gully of Twll Du.

IMG_4079.JPG
Twll Du, the Devil's Kitchen


A pleasant walk by Llyn Idwal took us on our way to Idwal Cottage - some lovely spots by the stream around here - and then it was a short stroll along the A5 back to the car. We'd all ended up with quite a suntan by the time we reached the layby.

Back at the cottage again, we had another really nice evening with a bit of wine. But once again, we had to think about next morning's early start and the day to come - we weren't going to be late this time!
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby dav2930 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:43 pm

Looked a brilliant trip Simon. Weather like that is lovely but phew, it doesn't half sap your energy doesn't it? I once attempted the Welsh 3000's in a similar heatwave and got so hot and exhausted I had to give up at Ogwen.

The round of Tryfan and the Glyderau is one of my favourites, an absolute classic. That's quite a scramble up the north ridge of Tryfan, well done all. And that was very brave of you and Pam jumping from Adam to Eve (or is it the other way round?), something I've never done. Great views and great photos of them... :clap:
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:05 pm

I can confirm that the weather in Wales is always like this. Always. Unless you're there, of course... :lol:


Great couple of days, those, despite the relative proximity to "civilization" and the busy nature of the hotspots, the hills of Snowdonia are some of the very best in Britain.

Thanks for sharing an enjoyable report.
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby trailmasher » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:12 pm

Nice one Simon and well done the girls :clap: great report and photos of a good first couple of days out in the Welsh hills :clap: They are fine hills to be in and having lived there for 12 years before moving to the LD I have walked on many of them but in those days was never one for 'bagging 'em' I just did them for the pleasure of it :D

Also a bit of daring do there on Adam and Eve, again, well done :clap:

Must know what happened on the other 5 days so looking forward to further reports :wink:
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby simon-b » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:36 pm

Cheers, dav. Well, Wales is closer to the tropics than Scotland or the Lakes, so no surprise it's energy sapping in Snowdonia! I'm not sure which is Adam and which is Eve either, and I have to admit neither Pam nor I made a particularly elegant landing.

Thanks you, Mal, absolutely some of the very best hills. Close to civilisation is a feeling you get, particularly among the 3000 footers on the south-west side of the A5, but you also feel pretty high above it!

trailmasher wrote:...I have walked on many of them but in those days was never one for 'bagging 'em' I just did them for the pleasure of it :D
Must know what happened on the other 5 days so looking forward to further reports :wink:

Thanks, tm. At school, I once had a wild camping trip on the northern Carneddau, but I couldn't remember which of the peaks we might have 'bagged', we just had fun on the hills. So I came back this time as if with a clean slate, apart from Snowdon - I do remember doing that! It was a good week, although the weather didn't stay like that all the time.
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby Sgurr » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:24 pm

Very interesting report for me. Husband did the Welsh 3000ers when he was younger, so apart from Snowdon they are amongst the final Marilyns I have yet to do. We are going down in August for his last 4 in Wales, and then October hopefully for my last 5 there. They do look a bit exhausting. Were there a lot of 78 year olds up there? MY consolation is that they must all have paths as they will be so popular (with the exception of Tryfan which is probably a bit like Skye)

Then we will have 4 on Lewis, 2 on islands off Lewis and the St. Kilda sea stacks which we don't intend to attempt.
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:31 pm

Well one on winning the freedom of Tryfan to both you and Pam :clap: Looks like you had stunning weather hopefully there is some left for August when we make our way back to Wales following a few years absence. The North ridge of Tryfan looks awesome but I think we'll err on the side of caution and manhandle Hughie up the South ridge. As for the leap, I think I'll pass :lol:

Sgurr wrote:We are going down in August for his last 4?


If you pass a couple with a bad tempered West Highland Terrier and moping teenager in tow that may well be us
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby pamfox » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:04 pm

It was a great first day of walking Simon, very hot and just a little bit challenging. I'm so glad we did the job with Adam and Eve but can't promise I'll be doing it again :shock: It's the scariest thing I've done since we climbed on the summit stone on A'Chir ridge. Tryfan was harder than I thought but good practice for Crib Goch. Rocks, rocks and more rocks :crazy:
A good training day for us.
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby simon-b » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:40 pm

Sgurr wrote:Very interesting report for me. Husband did the Welsh 3000ers when he was younger, so apart from Snowdon they are amongst the final Marilyns I have yet to do. We are going down in August for his last 4 in Wales, and then October hopefully for my last 5 there. They do look a bit exhausting. Were there a lot of 78 year olds up there? MY consolation is that they must all have paths as they will be so popular (with the exception of Tryfan which is probably a bit like Skye)

Then we will have 4 on Lewis, 2 on islands off Lewis and the St. Kilda sea stacks which we don't intend to attempt.

Sgurr, Anthony's post straight after yours hints at an alternative to Tryfan, if you don't fancy the awesome north ridge (you might fancy it!). These hills won't be so exhausting when it's not as hot, of course. Another thing is that, although steep, none of these mountains are particularly remote. So perhaps more like Glen Coe than, say, the Fisherfields.

Cheers Anthony. I'd had more than a few years' absence, but I'm so glad I went back. So you and Grace won't be passing Hughie to each other across Adam and Eve? He might complain about missing out!

Thank you Pam, and thanks again for coming along. That jump was a bit scary! Great that we did it, though. Next time we go to Wales, you'll be the guide for Cadair Idris.
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby Sgurr » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:20 pm

Thanks simon
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby BobMcBob » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:03 pm

That is a great photo of the jump across Adam and Eve. Took me 3 trips up there before I had the guts to try it, and then I discovered that for someone my height it is nothing more than a big step :D Serious kudos to anyone who actually has to jump it.
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby BobMcBob » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:07 pm

Sgurr wrote: They do look a bit exhausting. Were there a lot of 78 year olds up there? MY consolation is that they must all have paths as they will be so popular (with the exception of Tryfan which is probably a bit like Skye)


I've seen all ages on Tryfan, from 4 to 84 (really). If you don't fancy the scramble up the north ridge, walk up to Llyn Bochlywd and then ascend Tryfan from the south. There's still some scrambling but it's much easier and there's even a path for most of the way.

I wouldn't say it's anything like Skye, doesn't have that remote and dangerous feel to it, but that may be because I know it so well. But it is right by the main road and usually heaving with people.
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:37 pm

Glad to see that Adam and Eve was jumped! How can one say one has summited Tryfan unless one has done this...??? :roll:
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby simon-b » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:00 pm

BobMcBob wrote:That is a great photo of the jump across Adam and Eve. Took me 3 trips up there before I had the guts to try it, and then I discovered that for someone my height it is nothing more than a big step :D Serious kudos to anyone who actually has to jump it.

When you see exactly where that mere step is though, Bob...
IMG_4379.JPG

...remembering just what size those tiny looking boulders up there really are :shock:

Alteknacker wrote:Glad to see that Adam and Eve was jumped! How can one say one has summited Tryfan unless one has done this...???

Fair point, AK. But I'm not sure all the runners / speed hikers queue up for that jump every time there's a 15 x 3K race, any more than they'd all push the crowds out of the way to touch the highest point on Snowdon. Or do they? :?
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Re: Freedom of Tryfan and further Glyder Furths

Postby BobMcBob » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:37 pm

simon-b wrote:When you see exactly where that mere step is though, Bob...


Oh absolutely, I wasn't saying it's not terrifying, just that if I'd actually had to have both feet in the air at once I don't think I'd have done it at all.
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