Walking the Glyderau and Tryfan
If you want a change from Snowdon, then the Glyderau* range across the road are a good option for some of the best walks and scrambles in Snowdonia. There are also some easier walks in the range such as the Walk Around Cwm Idwal and the walks to Llyn Bochlwyd. Here’s a brief rundown of the main summits and a few walks in the Glyderau mountain range.
You’ll need the following maps if you intend to walk the Glyderau: OS Explorer OL17 Snowdon & Conwy Valley, Snowdonia BMC (British Mountain Map) , Snowdonia North XT25, Landranger 115 Snowdon & Caernarfon
Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach
These are the highest summits in the Glyderau at 1001 and 994m respectively. They boast the minor summit of Castell y Gwynt as well as the classic photo-op of the Cantilever. The northern cliffs provide ample opportunities for the scrambler with the best of the lot being Bristly Ridge. They’re often ascended via the Devil’s Kitchen by walkers, or less often the Glyderau are ascended from Pen y Pass.
The next highest mountain at 947m in height, but rather overshadowed by it’s taller siblings. The best route up Y Garn has to be via the NE ridge, with the ascent up Y Garn from Nant Peris not as exciting. Best ascended along with the main Glyderau or as part of the full Glyderau Traverse from Nant Peris/Dinorwic to Capel Curig or Pen-y-gwryd.
Elidir Fawr, Carnedd y Filiast, Mynydd Perfedd a Foel-goch
These are the first set of outliers of the Glyderau, with Elidir Fawr (924m) being the mountain that towers over Llanberis. There are also a number of other outliers, with the Marchllyn Circuit being the best route in order to climb up Elidir Fawr, Mynydd Perfedd and Carnedd y Filiast. Foel-goch on the other hand is a dog leg from this route, which if also extended as far as Y Garn makes a decent outing. More often, Foel-goch is ascended as part of a full traverse of the Glyderau starting at Elidir Fawr, though is more often than not bypassed by walkers keen to reserve their legs for the climbs to come!
This may be the lowliest of the main Glyderau range summits by height, but the most iconic and majestic of them all. Boasting too many scrambles to count, mostly beyond the comfort zone of the typical walker, but still with a few routes for the adventurous walker. Tryfan North Ridge is one of the classic scrambles in the UK, often coupled with Bristly Ridge to complete the Bochlwyd Horseshoe.
There’s also the Heather Terrace scramble up Tryfan – which is still a very challenging route up Tryfan and not easy by any stretch of the imagination! This finishes it’s ascent to the summit by following Tryfan’s South Ridge.
Finally, on the summit, you may or may not choose to jump between the monoliths of Adam and Eve to gain what’s known as the ‘freedom of Tryfan’.
Gallt yr Ogof and Y Foel Goch
These are the forgotten summits of the Glyderau, with few walkers visiting them alone. You can ascend them via Cwm Tryfan or Braich y Ddeugwm as a circuit in their own right. It descends to Capel Curig and you return via the old coach road.
*It’s Glyderau, not Glyders! The latter’s a plane without an engine.