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Snowdonia Peaks

Friday, 18 January 2019

A Glyderau Round 14th December 2018

With the weather being as it was, I thought I'd take advantage and visit an area, which if happens, is a great place for witnessing a cloud inversion, as the landscape makes for perfect conditions for the clouds to come rolling in and off the tops and into the Cwm's below. The forecast was pointing to a good dry day, with sunshine and low level mist in the valleys with the wind blowing around the summits with quite a significant wind chill well below freezing, excellent :-) It was also a chance to tackle a route I'd not done before, going up the Bristly Screes while also continuing on to Y Garn and down into Cwm Idwal from there.
Parked and booted, I started from the lay-by opposite Llyn Ogwen around 8am just before sunrise and made my way straight up the paved well laid out path. This took me on to more softer ground as I followed a stream, the main outflow of LLYN BOCHLWYD , of which I had to cross at some point to get to the main path that led to the shore of Llyn Bochlwyd that lies in the Cwm right under Glyder Fach. Up to now, the weather wasn't quite how the forecast reported, with no sign of any low lying cloud. In fact, the cloud was at this point high lying right across my intended targets of the main Glyderau Mountains. Still it was early......
My route for the day
The start of the walk
Following the waterfalls with Glyder Fach in the cloud
Following the waterfalls

Cwm Bochlwyd with a now clear Glyder Fach
Looking back as the sun hits Pen Yr Ole Wen
Llyn Bochlwyd
Although the sun was now clearing the clouds away, the wind had a bite to it and it was good to get in the shelter of the cliffs and rocky outcrops each time I had a rest. The paths here are on the main well laid out but there are a few rocky and potentially boggy sections as I headed up and around Llyn Bochlwyd. The boggy sections were mainly iced over and care was needed on some sections of the path that were covered in ice. No spikes were needed on any point of the walk, just a bit of care to avoid the patches of ice. The last couple of hundred metres or so went through quite a large rocky/boulder section that took me up to the wall that comes off the mighty TRYFAN and goes up the opposite side to BRISTLY RIDGE
Looking back on Pen Yr Ole Wen and down the Nant Ffrancon
The shark of Cwm Bochwlyd has lost it's teeth
Looking back down as the sun catches the mountains
Looking up the rocky way to the wall
Looking up to Tryfan from the wall
Looking up to Bristly Ridge from the wall
I took shelter here from the wind for about ten minutes before I made my way up Bristly Screes which is to the left of Bristly Ridge. It is mainly a big scree slope but with a path of sorts that sticks closer to the rocks. The first time I have been this way as I usually take the miners path that brings you out near the small Llyn Caseg-fraith before heading up to Glyder Fach. I have also done the scramble upBristly Ridge a few years ago so the screes are new territory for me today. I was expecting quite a lot of loose stones and it to be quite hard going but in fact, because of the freezing temperatures, it was all fairly solid and good going. Steep, yes but with good foot and hand holds it was a very enjoyable way up with some great views opening up behind me. What wasn't in the forecast was the bright sunny blue sky day that was on the cards now. The wind was there, especially in the exposed areas and when I topped out you could feel the difference alright as the wind whipped across the summit plateau. The views were good and the ground covered in a layer of ice meant careful placing of feet as I made my way to the Cantilever Stone
The way up the Scree, sticking to the left of the rocks
Looking back down on Tryfan and the wall
On the way up the scree
Looking back down the scree in to the Cwm
Looking across to Y Garn and the outer summits of the Glyderau
Looking back to Tryfan with the Carneddau in the background
On the approach to the Cantilever Stone
The Cantilever Stone
Looking across to the Carneddau from Glyder Fach summit plateau
It was turning into a fantastic day with sun, blue sky, frosty ground, a biting wind that was kept at bay with warm layers and a distinct lack of other people. Up to now I had only seen half a dozen or so and as I ventured across the rocky moonscape and onto Glyder Fawr, I saw another four people all going in the opposite direction to me. As I reached the summit of Glyder Fach, I found a good place out of the wind to have a spot of lunch and another chap joined me so we had a good natter about days out for about 40 minutes or so.
Castell y Gwynt (castle of the winds) with Snowdon on the left and Glyder Fawr on the right
Looking down on to Llyn Bochywd and down the Nant Ffrancon towards Bangor and a distant Angelsey
On the path up to Glyder Fawr
Looking back to Glyder Fach from the path to Glyder Fawr
On the approach to Glyder Fawr
On the approach to the summit with a clear Snowdon to the left
Summit look back to Glyder Fach
My route off the summit towards Y Garn
So after a good rest out of the wind and a good chat, I made my way down the scree path that brings you out at the small Llyn y Cwn before heading straight up the grass bank of Y Garn. By now the sun had warmed up quite a bit and the biting wind across the summits had subsided enough to make the going feel very pleasant. The nature of the scenery had also changed from a cold icy winter feel to a more brown grassy autumn feel to it that you'd think was two very different days. The summit of Y Garn has some great views down the Ogwen Valley with it's Llyn's and high mountains on all sides. One of the best views in this part of Snowdonia.
Llyn y Cwn below with Y Garn straight up
Y Garn on the left, Pen Yr Ole Wen centre and Tryfan on the right
Llyn y Cwn
Llyn y Cwn below my way off the Glyders
Looking back on my route across the Glyders
Summit view down the Ogwen Valley with mountains and lakes
Y Garn Summit bolt
Y Garn summit pose
From here it was all down hill with a small detour to visit the two Llyn's directly below Y Garn as I hadn't visited these before. Cwm Clyd is a hanging valley above the main CWM IDWAL (click here) and the area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) with some very rare alpine plants that only seem to grow in this area. A great place to have a look round and up at the impressive face of Y Garn that also attracts climbers all year round.
The way down off Y Garn
Pano of Tryfan, the Glyders and Llyn Idwal
Llyn Clyd below Y Garn
Llyn Clyd below the crags of Y Garn
The Ogwen Valley and Llyn Idwal
Back on the main path and a good steady downward trail that brings you out just above the shore of Llyn Idwal which is a great place to just sit and take it all in. A popular pic-nic spot that has a path all the way round so you can enjoy a mountain feel without having to go up to any summits. A great place for walkers, climbers and folk that just want to chill and relax on the shoreline especially in the warmer summer months. The easy laid out path takes you down to the Ogwen Valley car park and visitor centre with toilets and a small snack bar.
Coming in to Cwm Idwal
Cwm Idwal
Llyn Idwal & Cwm Idwal
Ponies with Y Garn as the backdrop
The path leading away from Cwm Idwal and into the Ogwen Valley
Looking back along the path with the Glyders high above
Back where it all started
 A short video of the views from Y Garn summit and also of Cwm Idwal

Well another great day in this great place. No inversions going on but at least it was dry and clear with some great views along the way and very quiet so no complaints from me.
Cheers :-)

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