My first Tryfan ascent

Hewitts: Tryfan

Date walked: 23/04/2019

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 5km

Ascent: 680m

Easter Sunday, and spectacular warm sunny weather meant picking a hill to climb. I was originally thinking of going up Snowdon via a route I have not done, but my sister invited me round for a roast dinner late afternoon so didn't have time to drive to Snowdonia and do a full day walk up a 1000+m peak, so settled for a 3000+ footer that can be knocked off relatively quickly, that I haven't climbed before, and is highly recommended.

I drove from Salford to the Ogwen valley and of course with weather like it was on Easter Sunday the world and his wife is out, so finding a parking space was the first task. I ended up having to park on the roadside with two wheels on the pavement, I don't like doing that as a rule but I made sure I wasn't obstructing traffic and there was space on the pavement for people to pass.

I was close to the point where there is a gate, then a path which leads up alongside a stone wall to a wall of rock, where I turned left and headed steeply up the hillside. The route is basically a steep path which only requires minimal hand use for stability. I did go a bit off route a couple of times but it is easy and quick to see when you have stepped up the wrong way. It is a bit of a slog but I've done these types of ascents plenty of times and it is a case of not rushing and finding a sustainable pace.

Early on in the climb, looking SE along the valley, campsite lower left corner.

After what seemed to take a very long time, I reached a rock formation that looked like an erect penis.

The Cannon stone.

I climbed on to the rock and shuffled to the end, not quite with my legs dangling off the very end, but sitting with my left hand holding onto the tip.

Beyond the Cannon stone there was a bit of light scrambling before the steepness eased. Then from what I remember it was a combination of walking, and low level scrambling. I was making decent progress before coming across what looked at first glance like a formiddable obstacle. A big mount of rock and boulders straight ahead which had to be taken head on. This was the north tower, and was the start of the proper scrambling.

North tower.

Looking across to the other Glyders.

At about this point I met up with a small group which turned out to be a guide with three clients, and I sort of ended up tagging along with them. The guide somehow got the impression I either didn't know what I was doing, or was out of my depth, because he was giving me the same words of encouragement as his clients. It was a steep scramble, and it was the point where I had to pay attention to route finding and where best to put hands and feet to keep lifting myself upward, but I wasn't nervous, and to me it felt like an excellent introduction to scrambling techniques, enough to have to think about it, but not oh-my-God overwhelming. I understand this is a grade 1 scramble.

This scramble seemed to come in two stages., two steep four-limb-drive bits with a breather in between, but with a slight downclimb required, which really wasn't a big deal. After a bit of sustained (and enjoyable) scrambling I eventually reached the summit, and the Adam and Eve stones, which I didn't have a go at after I lept from a much smaller rock to another and lost balance nearly falling over, that is a sign that you shouldn't climb five feet up and try and do the same thing, at least not if you don't want to be carried back down.

The summit, Adam and Eve.



The world and his wife.

After having lunch and soaking up the views, I started to make my way down the south ridge to the col between Tryfan and Bristly ridge. I didn't have time to do Bristly ridge as well (next time) so from the col I turned right and headed down the well made path to the visitor centre. On the way down I looked back to admire the mountain I had just traversed.

Bristly ridge

Looking back to Tryfan

When I reached the visitor centre I used the toilet and felt the need to satisfy a sugar craving with a can of 7-up and a millionaires shortcake slice, which went down very nicely. Then is was just a matter of walking along the roadside to the car, with the fantastic view of the fin-like structure of Tryfan ahead of me. I could even see the Cannon stone from the roadside, approximately half way up the mountain.

Tryfan from the A5.

View of Tryfan from the A5. What a fantastic mountain. The Ogwen valley itself is fantastic. It looks like it should be in the Scottish Highlands, it is almost like a Welsh version of Glen Coe.

I can recommend the north face of Tryfan to anyone who wants to get into scrambling, as a good introduction. It teaches the basics without looking like it is going to kick you up the backside at any moment if you put a foot wrong.

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Comments: 6

South Downs circular (trying to rebuild hill fitness)

Attachment(s) Date walked: 14/04/2019
Distance: 21km
Comments: 1
Views: 64

The Minigaig

Attachment(s) Date walked: 09/06/2018
Distance: 50km
Views: 331


User avatar
Activity: Mountain Walker
Place: Wester Ross
Ideal day out: A bike & hike or a long walk to set up base campo. Taking aim at a summit or three, with some not too technical scrambling, a nice narrow ridge walk around a corrie where the gouging effect of past glaciers can be seen, and a (clear) view from the summit that covers thousands of square miles with no evidence of human activity.
Munro rounds: 12

Munros: 28
Corbetts: 4
Donalds: 1

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Trips: 2
Distance: 26 km
Ascent: 680m
Hewitts: 1


Trips: 1
Distance: 50 km

Joined: Feb 01, 2018
Last visited: Apr 24, 2019
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