Tryfan and the Glyderau

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Tryfan must be one of the most easily recognised mountains in the UK. Approaching from Capel Curig it rears up from the busy A5 road and looks like the kind of mountain a child would draw, with steep sides and a pointy top. Tryfan demands attention and usually gets it, judging by the number of cameras pointing that way in a normal day. Tryfan is also deservedly popular with walkers, especially the more adventurous walker who enjoys easy rock-scrambling.

The summit of Tryfan is famous for its twin rock blocks known as Adam and Eve. Jumping from one to the other is said to confer the Freedom of Tryfan on the person jumping, though nowadays the Right to Roam included in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act gives the same freedom without having to risk your neck!

Tryfan isn't the end of the story, though. Beyond Tryfan is the plateau of Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr, usually called the Glyders, or more correctly in Welsh, the Glyderau. The plateau has an almost magical quality, with a weird collection of summits and high spots built up from chaotic piles of stone. The most amazing is Castell y Gwynt (Castle of the Winds) and although a walk in the mist might not be recommended as a rule, in those conditions the plateau becomes mysterious and enchanting.

This route includes the best that Tryfan and the Glyderau have to offer. The term 'classic route' is perhaps overused, but the route is one of those classic ridge scrambling days. The main attractions are the North Ridge of Tryfan followed by the North Ridge of Glyder Fach, better known as Bristly Ridge – both of these are easy scrambles (Grade 1). The classic route then traverses Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr before descending to Llyn Idwal via Twll Du, otherwise known as Devil's Kitchen.

There are alternatives to the route given. You could descend by Y Gribin, another Grade 1 scramble, giving a shorter walk, but more time on rock. Alternatively you could extend the walk to include Y Garn (see Walk 5125), making an already big mountain day even bigger. The scrambles could be avoided altogether, approaching the summit of Tryfan via Heather Terrace and bypassing Bristly Ridge by the slope rising alongside. These alternatives are described more fully either in the route description or the Additional Info' section.

Whichever way you decide on, you are guaranteed a day to remember.

Wales - North Wales - Gwynedd - Snowdonia


Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Tea Shop, Toilets