Terrific Tryfan

After failed attempts at the summit of Tryfan, most notably for my birthday in 2015, I finally made it to the top on Saturday. The Last time I attempted Tryfan the weather was the worst I’ve ever seen it in Snowdonia. That’s saying something too as Snowdonia isn’t renowned for it’s sunny climes. It was as wet as wet can be with 100mph winds and far too dangerous to head too high into the mountains. The weather on Saturday couldn’t have been more different. Dry, light winds, sunny and it had been that way for a week so the ground was dry too. The date had been set for a while and if the sunrise at home was anything to go by it was going to be a good day in the hills.

Sunrise

Sunrise

8 of us drove up in convoy to Llyn Ogwen where we got ready for a long day out.

Group Photo

Group Photo

Tryfan

We were soon clambering across the boulders from the car park towards the slopes of Tryfan.

Tryfan North Ridge

Tryfan North Ridge

At 917.5m Tryfan is one of the most famous and recognisable peaks in Britain, having a classic pointed shape.

The Peak of Tryfan

The Peak of Tryfan

After clambering over a stile at the base of it’s North Ridge, we started making our way to the top. The walk soon became a scramble and we tended to take the more interesting looking routes where we could turning it into an easy climb at times

Scrambling

Scrambling

The climbing was good with decent holds and nice grippy rocks thanks to the dry weather and the coarse texture of the extrusive volcanic geology of the Snowdon Volcanics Group. We stopped to regroup here and there and to discuss options for the next part of the route but it was generally a steady steep clamber ever upwards with a few bits of exposure on occasion.

It took a while to reach the summit, 2½ hours I think, but we weren’t rushing and we did stop a few times to take in the views. Of course, all routes tend to congregate at the summit so it was pretty busy when we got there with plenty of people waiting to clamber onto the famous monoliths of Adam and Eve. We stopped for some lunch in the sunshine and then a few members of our group took the obligatory leap.

Adam, Eve and Simon taking the leap

Adam, Eve and Simon taking the leap

Glyder Fach

After a break it was time to clamber back down off the peak and start making our way towards the next peak of Glyder Fach. Rather than take the more challenging rocky scrambling along Bristly Ridge we opted for the loose scree slope to the south of the ridge. This proved to be more a workout than a challenging climb as we powered our way to the top. At 994m Glyder Fach is the 6th highest Peak in Wales.

We obviously stopped for photos at the Cantilever Stone and then picked our way across the rocky hillscape towards the high point for the day and the summit of Glyder Fawr.

Cantilever

Cantilever

Group Photo on the Cantilever Stone

Group Photo on the Cantilever Stone

Glyder Fawr

We were treated some some spectacular views over to Snowdon from here, along with views out over the rest of Snowdonia.

Dramatic Snowdonia

Dramatic Snowdonia

Snowdon

Snowdon

The peak of Glyder Fawr is the 5th highest in Wales at 1001 metres and has an other worldly feel to it thanks to it’s strange rocky outcrops.

From the summit of Glyder Fawr we took the steep, loose scree slope down towards the small lake of Llyn y Cwm and then turned right towards the steps of Devil’s Kitchen and it’s amazing views out over Cwm Idwal.

Cwm Idwal Views

Cwm Idwal Views

Devils Kitchen and Cwm Idwal

The rocky steps down through the Devils Kitchen were all that stood between us and Llyn Idwal at it’s base. The dramatic views were accompanied by a dramatic mountain rescue unfolding in front of us as well. The Coastguard Helicopter was hovering over the slopes above the Idwal Slabs. From our vantage point on the steps of the Devils Kitchen we could just make out two people below the helicopter. After a while the a rescue team member was winched out of the helicopter down to the casualties. Apparently a pair of male scramblers were high up on East Arete scramble on Glyder Fawr when one slipped and tumbled about 200ft. Due to the possibility of serious injuries after such a fall, the mountain rescue team were deployed and requested back up from R936, the Coastguard Helicopter. Luckily, the scrambler was conscious and the injuries were not as serious as they initially thought. He was treated on scene by the winchman and team members, and then flown to hospital for further treatment.

Rescue

Rescue

We continued on our way down to Llyn Idwal and then along the eastern edge of the lake as it’s waters shimmered in the sunlight. We stopped briefly at Idwal Cottage at the end of our walk and then strolled alongside Llyn Ogwen to the cars.

A good day out in the hills. Only a 7 mile walk but with so much scrambling and climbing it had been a long day and there will be some tired legs. The drive back through Wales was a slow one but I arrived home in time for dinner, a Flavourly beer and the sunset.

Tryfan conquered at last. Here’s a few video clips and a slideshow from the day.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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