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Snowdonia Peaks

Monday, 24 September 2012

TRYFAN 23rd September 2012

We had decided that the Glyders and the Cantilever Stone would be on the agenda this Sunday and after checking the weather forecast we were hopeful of a good dry and quite a clear day. Setting off about 7.30am we made quick progress down a very quiet M56-A55 and soon found ourselves on the deserted A5 on the approach to the Ogwen Valley. We noticed that there was very heavy low cloud covering the Glyderau Summits of Fawr & Fach and it didn't seem to be going anywhere. So much for the forecast!! We pulled in to the cafe & toilet block at Ogwen Cottage and soon noticed that half of it, the cafe, was missing and the car park was closed off!! Luckily the toilets were still in use so all was not lost. It was here that I decided against doing the Glyders as there didn't seem much point with all the low cloud knocking about so we opted for another try at Tryfan after being rained off there a few weeks ago. So we got a parking place in the lay-by under this Iconic Mountain and by 9.15 am we were heading up!
There was a bit of wet ground here and there but nothing to be to overly worried about. In the main it was dry with just a small breeze, bright but overcast. With no rain forecast we were looking forward to a good day. At this point there was high cloud above Tryfan's summit so all was looking good. All the cloud seemed to be over Pen yr Ole Wen & the Carneddau
As we made our way through the maze of rock, the higher we got the more dramatic the views became and we were soon being drawn across to Llyn Idwal with the awesome back drop of Y Garn, Foel Goch, Mynydd Perfedd, Carnedd y Filliast and a distant Elidir Fawr, all just about staying clear of any cloud
The Cannon Stone was soon reached so it was time for a bit of a pose on the sticking out piece of rock. I wonder how many people have got photo's of this iconic piece of old rock
After a rest and all the posing was out of the way it was time to put more hands on rock as we still had some way to go as we made our way up and over the false summits/pinnacles. This is a great scrambling route and there are various lines of ascent. It is just basically picking your way and enjoying the feeling of bare rock on hands. There are more technical routes up and these need more than just hands and a head for heights. The use of ropes and how to use them come in use when tackling the more adventurous lines of ascent.
By this time the mist had started to roll in from time to time and views from the summit were not looking very favourable. At least it was still dry and the wind was coming from the east side so we were quite sheltered when we were in amongst the rock. There are some very steep gullies on the
east side that need care when passing by them as they do drop quite steeply
By now the mist had come right down and as we approached the summit stones of Adam & Eve all views of the surrounding mountains had dissapeared. The wind had picked up so we made for the shelter of some rocks while we had lunch and looked back on the last few hours and gave ourselves a pat on the back on completing this classic scramble. It is the second time that Jill has completed this and a third for me and it really is a great experience. After lunch we had the summit photo next to Adam & Eve and started to make our way down. The more brave take the leap from one to the other to become a "Freeman of Tryfan" Although I don't mind climbing 3000 feet mountains and standing looking down edges, I wimp out at jumping from one stone to the other that is only about 4 feet apart. There is quite a drop off if you get it wrong!!
We made our down through another maze of rock that led us down the south side where we joined the main path that comes up from Ogwen Cottage. We also started to come out of the mist and the views started to open up again and looking across to Bristly Ridge that is another classic snowdonia scramble that takes you up onto the summits of Glyder Fach & Glyder Fawr
Once we got to the wall where the path takes us down it's quite straight forward but there are one or two places where it gets quite muddy and care should be taken. The views down the valley and across to Y Garn and the Southern Glyderau certainly take some beating and make for a very pleasant descent.
There was also good views over to a distant Moel Siabod from the dividing wall
But the cloud was still covering the summits of Glder Fach & Fawr as seen from Llyn Bochlwyd, also known as "Australia Lake" due to the resemblance of its shape to that country.
While the massive bulk of Pen yr Ole Wen took centre stage
Following a stream we came to a cross roads in the path and we took the one that led us across the bank, heading under Tryfan, instead of the well laid out path that goes straight to the cafe & toilets down at Ogwen Cottage, as we had parked right under Tryfan.
The views back to Y Garn which was now cloud free
and down to Llyn Ogwen and the A5 where the car was parked
Tryfan was now more or les clear of any cloud and looking back up to it you can just make out the cannon stone where a few hours earlier we were posing and taking in the splendid views that this area has to offer
This had certainly been another great day out in this part of Snowdonia and it was also very quiet with not a lot of people on Tryfan. It took us around 6 hours as we had plenty of stops and took more care where we came across any wet patches. The weather was with us all the way today as it stayed dry and although the wind picked up on the summit it wasn't overly strong.
A short video showing the summit, stream crossing and the views of the Ogwen Valley



  1. Oh Andy I misssed this one on the forum, god knows how, it s a cracking TR mate. You never tire of it round there do you and I can see why now. I d love to have a crack at that scramblin route, it s right up my street :) Keep those TRs comin... ws it windy, the vid is very blustery :)


  2. Cheers Dave. No mate it wasn't too windy but the mic always makes it sound louder. Yes mate I do love it round there but I love just getting out and about.
    All the best mate :-)

  3. Hey Andy. An awesome place. It's a shame you didn't get the views. Then again, looking down from behind Adam and Eve is well scary, maybe better if you can't see the drop! ;-)