Tryfan and Glyder Fach (North Wales) 8-9 September 2012

We have long been exploring routes with fairly steep paths, so we decided to try scrambling. We chose a classic grade 1 scramble: northern face of Tryfan. We climbed Tryfan from the east side many years ago when the boys were little, but this was a very straightforward route. The map below shows a GPS track of the scrambling trip. We climbed Tryfan, got down to the Bwlch Tryfan pass and continued scrambling up Bristly ridge, this is also a grade 1 scramble. We got to the summit of Glyder Fach and descended the Y Gribin ridge to Llyn Idwal - this is also a grade 1 scarmble. Finally we ascended to a cirque near Y Garn. We pitched our tent by Llyn Clyd.

The red and blue lines show our tracks on the 1st and 2nd days. The red arrow shows the direction of travel. The "P" and tent icons show the car park and the place where we camped.

So this was a very busy day, with a good vertical climb, but the weather was very good (lots of people on the mountain as a result), we prepared well for the trip: we had a rope and a harness for Sonya to negotiate difficult climbs, and we finished the trip without any problems. We climbed everything that had been planned while carrying full backpacks (as we were camping in the wild) - what more could one wish? And yet we were a bit disheartened as we did not expect the grade 1 scramble to be so difficult. Although climbing was actually fairly simple and the rope was only needed for the child, some climbs were quite steep, there were lots of them, navigation had to be done carefully and the exposure was stunning in places. When we were younger, we hiked in the mountains in Russia quite a bit, but our grade 2-3 (Russian scale) mountain trips were not as steep, or at least we did not climb this kind of routes without belay. So while we greatly enjoyed scrambling up Tryfan, we are not (yet?) ready for significantly more difficult scrambles. In any case, UK has a few scrambles of a similar level, and we will hopefully be exploring them soon.

The second day surprised us with very strong wind which was throwing us off our feet at the summit, hence after climbing Y Garn we went back down to the car park.

We got to Snowdonia late on Friday evening and camped at a campsite. The morning was quite misty and we saw a rare white rainbow above the lake! We left the car at a car park near the lake, crossed the road and started climbing.

The clouds lingered in the valley, but we quickly ascended above them. Our car is seen somewhere below.

Choosing the route up...

Sonya put on her harness and got short-roped to Victor. We didn't have a proper climbing helmet for her, so used a bike helmet instead.

First climb.

First climb's conquered!

Team members

This is the famous Cannon rock, every passer-by climbs on it.

A flat rock with quartz inclusions just below the Cannon rock. Just like snow in winter.

A view from Tryfan towards the west. The mountain in the centre of the photograph is Y Garn. We descended to the far lake, went round it and climbed up towards a cirque near Y Garn. There were two small lakes in the cirque, and we camped nearby.

These two pillars on the Tryfan summit are called Adam and Eve.

Bristly Ridge. The route from Tryfan descends to the pass and then climbs up the ridge. The climbs are breathtaking in places.

The Cantilever Stone on the Glyder Fach summit. People do all kinds of silly things here. We lowered Sonya on a rope, she really enjoyed it.

A pile of rocks near the Glyder Fach summit looks like a castle. It is actually called Castell y Gwynt (the castle of wind)

A view from the summit towards the sea.

Sunset. The lake in the distance is Llyn Ogwen, where we left our car, the nearer lake is Llyn Bochlwyd, we passed by it before ascending.

Running around in the morning.

We pitched our tent right next to the lake. The weather in the morning got much worse.

We climbed up Y Garn but the wind was so strong that we decided to descend down to the valley.

Ready to take off!

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