Welsh Walks

Glyder Fach & Glyder Fawr

Date: 4th August 2006
Distance: 6 miles
Ascent: 2500 feet
Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SH673604

Route Summary: Gwern Gof Uchaf - Cwm Tryfan - The Miner's Path - Glyder Fach - Glyder Fawr - Llŷn y Cwn - Llŷn Idwal - Idwal Cottage - A5 - Gwern Gof Uchaf.

Walk Summary: After our excellent walk on Snowdon the day before I was keen to explore some more mountains but the weather in the morning was dreadful so instead we went to Caernarfon Castle and later to Beddgelert as I wanted to revisit Gelert’s Grave.

It was while at Beddgelert that the cloud suddenly began to break up and the sun came out. As Lisa didn’t want to do another walk we went back to the campsite so that she could relax by the tent and I strapped my bag on and set off for the Glyders about 3pm in the afternoon.

After the climb alongside Tryfan Bach I managed to find myself on a very narrow path through the rocks and heather which was clearly not the path I was supposed to be on and in fact was contouring about 20-30 metres above the main path. However I eventually got on to the proper path before being faced with a steep climb in shifting scree up the Miner’s Track between Y Foel Goch and Glyder Fach.

There was then a surprising amount of scrambling on large rocks to make it on to the main plateau of Glyder Fach just above the Spiny Ridge. At this point some lower cloud began to drift ominously over and I hurried on to the summit in order to get a sighting of the route on to Glyder Fawr before I lost all visibility. I didn’t quite make it and having completed the required scramble up the unusual jumble of boulders marking the summit I was treated to a view of almost nothing.

Thankfully the low cloud did not last too long and shortly after getting on my way it cleared again. It was a fairly easy walk round to Glyder Fawr and along the way I was able to get some decent views along the impressive cliffs. Another scramble was required to get on to the top of Glyder Fawr from where I was treated to a much better view including the Snowdon Horseshoe which was now uncovered by cloud.

The landscape looking back to Glyder Fach was quite unworldly and as it was late afternoon/early evening there was hardly anyone else about. The descent to Llŷn y Cwn proved to be quite awkward on a slippery eroded path at which point I regretted not having remembered my walking poles in the rush to get out. Llŷn y Cwn itself was a beautiful spot, which I had all to myself, and I allowed myself a little break in the lovely sunshine.

After the descent to Llŷn y Cwn I was quite worried about the steep descent below the Devil’s Kitchen but in fact this proved to be fairly simple along an excellently paved stairway with just the odd scramble required. All the way down I was able to enjoy impressive close views of the cliffs above me and Llŷn Idwal backed by Pen yr Ole Wen’s excellent south west ridge.

This walk and the scenery almost rivalled the Snowdon walk of the previous day although in some respects it was better because of the sunshine and the lack of other people so late in the day. Frustratingly the spiky looking Castell y Gwynt which I had passed on the way between Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr was later classified as a Nuttall. I guess I'll just have to go back again one day.


Pictures

1. Climbers on Tryfan Bach

Climbers on Tryfan Bach

2. Looking across Nant y Benglog to Pen Yr Helgi Du

Looking across Nant y Benglog to Pen Yr Helgi Du

3. Looking down the Miner's Path into Cwm Tryfan

Looking down the Miner's Path into Cwm Tryfan

4. Tryfan from the top of the Miner's Path

Tryfan from the top of the Miner's Path

5. Llŷn Bochlwyd and Nant Ffrancon

Llŷn Bochlwyd and Nant Ffrancon

6. Castell y Gwynt from the top of Glyder Fach

Castell y Gwynt from the top of Glyder Fach

7. Looking back at Glyder Fach

Looking back at Glyder Fach

8. Approaching the top of Glyder Fawr

Approaching the top of Glyder Fawr

9. Llŷn Idwal and the Gribin ridge

Llŷn Idwal and the Gribin ridge

10. Snowdon from the top of Glyder Fawr

Snowdon from the top of Glyder Fawr

11. Y Garn from Llŷn y Cwn

Y Garn from Llŷn y Cwn

12. Pen yr Ole Wen

Pen yr Ole Wen

13. The path below the Devil's Kitchen into Cwm Idwal

The path below the Devil's Kitchen into Cwm Idwal

14. Looking back at the cliffs of the Devil's Kitchen

Looking back at the cliffs of the Devil's Kitchen