The Route More Trodden   10 comments


The next day was a revelation. Gloomy dark clouds were replaced by clear blue skies and warm sunshine. Breakfast outside to start the day albeit later than I wanted


Having finally fulfilled my promises to take TJS up Snowdon and Scafell Pike it was time to fulfil another promise and take him on one of the UK’s finest mountain walks. The circuit of Tryfan and the Glyders.

We were accompanied by TJS new special friend, the lovely E. 🙂


The weather was looking worryingly similar to the previous day with bubbling clouds and it was already very warm when we set out from the car. The classic route up Tryfan is its North Ridge, a fine introduction to the art of scrambling for budding mountaineers. Its also good practice for the art of brutally steep climbs right at the start of a hike. Compensation provided by the superb views



After the lung busting start you emerge onto the ridge and the fun begins. Its pretty much a hands on scramble right to the top. I was a little worried about how E might fare (and TJS for that matter) but she was a natural rock athlete. Many times I had to curb her enthusiasm for the harder options and stick to the well worn route which has more than enough steep pitches to keep everyone entertained



I should have taken my small camera for some more action shots (my hefty DSLR has to be packed away on the steeper sections) but I got some pretty good shots


Both TJS and E seemed to be loving the challenge of the scrambling and despite the BH weekend and sunny weather didn’t seem as busy as I expected



As we’d climbed there had been a freshening breeze keeping us cool. This also seemed to have cleared the air and the darker clouds seemed to have vanished. The views were much more expansive and it was turning into a real cracker of day


The final summit towers were just splendid in the warm sun. A great feeling to pull up on the warm rock. There is a sense of a real big mountain, almost alpine feel but with no real objective dangers with a little care. I’m a hell of a lot more cautious when I have the kids with me than when I’m on my own but they were equally cautious and responsible. It was almost a shame to arrive on the summit



The main summit was crowded and E made an aborted attempted to climb onto Adam /Eve. I declined the offer having done that and the leap from one to other in my youth when I was leaner and fitter.


We headed over to South Peak that was much quieter and sat down in the same spot me and THO had sat in a couple of months ago. Its a very nice grassy perch with a perfectly angled rock to recline against





Time to move on and down the wider but no less rocky south ridge. TJS seemed to slow markedly and admitted having some discomfort in one of his toes. He seemed to be struggling so I asked if he wanted to go back down. To his credit he battled on, not wanting to spoil the day for the rest of us


The classic route follows the North Ridge of Tryfan to ascend the Glyders via Bristly Ridge seen in the photo below. Its no harder than Tryfan but it is more exposed and feels a little more serious and committing. Being more circumspect and with TJS’s foot in mind, I suggested we leave it for another day although I wished we’d done it now as it was such a perfect day. Still, it will always be there


We took the traversing path out to the ridge which is very fine in its own right and gives excellent views back to Tryfan and the eastern end of the Glyders



As you approach the summit of Glyder Fach you get a splendid view of Bristly Ridge in profile


The summit of Glyder Fach always makes me think that some almighty being has been building some huge edifice somewhere and dumped all the leftover bits on the summit. Its a huge area of piled boulders capped by the impressive Cantilever Stone that E obviously wanted to climb


The perched rocks make for more fine scrambling but TJS was really struggling with his foot so we just avoided what we could and satisfied ourselves with the mighty views as the ever clearing weather just seemed to get better


As you approach the summit of Glyder Fawr the view down Nant Ffrancon is one of classic glacial U-shaped valley


The views of Snowdon were equally fine and my route from the day before perfectly outlined (follow the ridge in the shot below from right to left to the summit and then back across Crib Goch)



The summit of Glyder Fawr is a mass of tors and rock piles. The view from the summit presenting the two faces of the ridge, grassy to the west, rocky to the east



I’d decided that that descending via the path into Cwm Idwal was a better bet. TJS found the steep scree descent from the summit a tough one but you are reward with a visit to one of the UK finest spots seen here from the top of the Devils Kitchen. Under a blue sky and with vegetation still dressed in spring green next to deep blue water its a wonderful place


From below the surrounding towers of rock add a majesty unequalled outside some of the wilder parts of Scotland


The Idwal Slabs are a mecca for climbers and there were several people on its crags even at the late hour


Only downside is its proximity to the A5 (about a 15 minute walk) so its always busy but it’s huge and away from the main path you can always find a quiet corner. Its a wonderful spot


I’d left the other two behind so I could walk back to collect the car. The short off piste trip cuts a huge corner and affords a classic view of Tryfan with the North Ridge in profile on the left


The walk back along the road was a pleasure despite the traffic with the sky now almost completely cloud free and a deep shade of blue


I collected the waifs and strays and headed back to the campsite. We dined  on a truly excellent BBQ, washed down with ice cold beers,  amongst the happy convivial family atmosphere of the campsite where its seemed everyone was doing the same and waft of sizzling meat and wisps of smoke spread across the site


An appropriate point to mention the fantastic Rynys Farm Campsite. A real find. Some of the campsites in Snowdonia can be a little rowdy and overcrowded. Carol, the lovely owner has this one just perfect. Set amongst rolling fields in the forest above Betws-y-Coed they don’t pack the tents in and even though it was full there was plenty of space. Facilities were perfect, simple but clean with lovely touches like spare BBQ’s and kitchen stuff for anything you forgot. Best of all Carol promotes a friendly family feel that’s irresistible. Its a treat to pitch up somewhere the owners main focus is making sure everyone has a great time rather than just a commercial exercise. And of course a view to die for as well.


We watched the sun set to end a high quality day indeed


10 responses to “The Route More Trodden

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  1. Think you were up there the day before me, have to say I agree about Bristly Ridge, its a tough climb which was enough to stop me going on the Glyder Fawr. Next time I’ll ascend Glyder Fach the way you did to make a longer but easier walk


  2. Sound and looks superb. Your apprentices did well.


  3. Brilliant looking day and photos.


    • Almost unprecedented coincidence of a BH weekend and warm sunny weather. Apart from the soaking I got the day before! I love this part of Wales so it was great to introduce the kids to it


  4. It looks likes you, TJS and his “special friend” E had a great day. The weather was great. I have finally finished the post on mine and Dads walking holiday at Easter if you want to check it out. 🙂


    • Hi Miss A 🙂
      Welcome to my World! It was a great day and nice to be dry unlike the previous day. I’m heading over to your blog now to check up on your writing skills!


  5. What a beautiful day!


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