Sunday 6 April 2014

Tryfan, Glyder Fach and Castell y Gwynt

Saturday 15th March 2014 

An afternoon scramble up the north ridge of Tryfan, onto Glyder Fach and down Y Gribin 

Distance: 6.5km; Ascent: 940m; Windy with much low cloud; with Colin

After this morning's short walk we drove around to the Ogwen Valley where we had lunch in the car before setting off to ascend Tryfan.  It had been a while since I'd last scrambled up the north ridge and it was nice to return to ground that I used to be very familiar with ten or so years ago.

Llyn Ogwen
Colin headed off to solo an obscure rock climb whilst I ascended the reasonable path, past the Milestone Buttress, to the start of the scrambling where we met up again. The scrambling was pleasant, and it was nice to be scrambling again for the first time since I was on Skye a couple of years ago.

On Tryfan's North Ridge
Soon we reached the Cannon Stone - I wonder how it got it's name! ;)  We continued on up into the cloud to eventually reach the summit of Tryfan (Marilyn, Nuttall) at around the same time as a large party of climbers who had presumably been climbing one of the classic routes on the east face.

Inspecting the view from the Cannon Stone 
Adam & Eve on the summit of Tryfan
After a short rest on the summit we made our way down the south ridge to reach Bwlch Tryfan, where we dropped below the clouds.  By now it was very windy so we decided against our original plan of scrambling of up Bristly Ridge and instead opted to make our way up the unpleasant scree path to reach the summit rocks of Glyder Fach (Nuttall), just as the cloud was beginning to lift off the summits (although low cloud remained in the cwms).

Looking across Bwlch Tryfan to Bristly Ridge
Cloud lifting off Y Foel Goch
Looking down towards Nant Ffrancon from Glyder Fach
Tryfan from Glyder Fach
Looking NE from Glyder Fach
Pen yr Ole Wen and Tryfan
It was a short walk across the rocky summit plateau to reach the main objective for this afternoon: the impressive spiky rocks of Castell y Gwynt (Nuttall).  A pleasant short scramble took us to the highest rocks of the peak, which was my penultimate 2000ft peak in Wales.

Castell y Gwynt
On the summit of Castell y Gwynt
By now time was getting on so we opted for a reasonably quick descent back down to the valley by way of the pleasant Gribin Ridge down to the outflow of Llyn Bochlwyd.  We then made our way back to the road in fading light, reaching the car shortly after 7pm after a very pleasant afternoon :-)  That evening we headed round to the Llanberis Pass to stay in a nice Climbers' Club hut, where we enjoyed a pasta dinner followed by a couple of drams :-)

Looking down the Gribin Ridge
Last light of the day over the Devil's Kitchen


  1. Was up on Pen Yr Ole Wen yesterday and camped at Idwal YHA, beautiful views all day of Tryfan and the Glydderau, shame about Bristly Ridge, one of my all time favourite routes

    1. Indeed it was a shame to have to miss Bristly Ridge due to the strong winds. I've climbed it many times before, and I agree it is an excellent route :-) It'll still be there next time I'm in the area.

  2. Some great pictures Alistair! The clouds add a layer of drama, and I think you have enhanced the contrast or done some magic to make the rock quite stunning.