Scrambling, Scree and a couple of piles of rocks


The Glyderau is a group of mountains in the Ogwen valley Snowdonia. While incredibly close to Snowdon itself, the Glyderau are, for the most part, considerably quieter and offer just as memorable day out as their more famous cousin.



We started out on Tryfan’s North Ridge, for me one of the most satisfying scrambles in Wales. The beauty of Tryfan is that the route to the summit can really be as challenging as you make it. As long as you are willing to pick a line that suits your confidence levels and ability and not just blindly follow those in front of you, you are definitely able to pick a scramble that will be enjoyable enough to leave you wanting to race to the bottom and do it again.

Bristly Ridge and Glyder FachWe decided to stick, predominantly, to the more simple lines. The wind was relatively strong and there are sections which are relatively exposed. One of the more entertaining aspects of the North Ridge of Tryfan is that it’s very easy to lose perspective of how far up the ridge you are and after a couple of hours, it’s easy to think you are both lower and higher. Lower because you don’t seem to have made much progress in actual, horizontal, distance; however a quick glance over your shoulder to the A5 below will bring home how far you have gone vertically. Higher because each time you pick a line you seem to be heading towards the peak; however pulling yourself over the final stage of this section will reveal another peak behind it, and another one behind that. All in all, however it is a very exciting route, and one that should be attempted by anyone with a desire to get a bit hands-on-rock.

Disch on Rock 2

We then opted not to wait in line for our turn on the Adam and Eve stone, and instead headed down the far side of Tryfan to begin to tackle the Glyders. For those who have the energy, it is possible to head to Glyder Fach via what is known as “Bristly Ridge” another very entertaining and exhilarating scramble. However with our knees feeling a little sore, we opted to miss Bristly Ridge and instead head up one of the steep scree slopes to the top. It should be noted that steep scree slopes are not much better on the knees than scrambling.

03 view from glyder

Glyder Fach is one of the two Glyder’s on the Glyderau. The name “Glyder” is apparently derived from the word “Cludair” which means “heap of stones” and this is not an inaccurate description of the two mountain peaks.

02 Glyder

The rocks strewn carelessly across the Glyders are apparently the work of an ice sheet that retreated during the last ice age leaving the boulders behind. Both Glyder’s are covered in sharp, jagged, boulders that aggressively pierce the skyline from atop the mountains. They look other-worldly and foreign, and are a dramatic difference to the top of the neighbouring mountains such as Snowdon. This time, however we did do the traditional tourist shot. The photo below is me on the cantilever stone. The reason why it looks a bit odd is that the winds were so strong, I was genuinely fearful.

James on Rock

We didn’t spend a great deal of time on top of the Glyders, the scramble had taken longer than we had anticipated, and the rain had started falling. Rather than continue onto Y Garn, we opted instead to return towards the A5 via the nature reserve just west of the Gribin.

04 view from glyder fach

The Glyderau however have much more to offer, and I will definitely be returning to tackle more of the most enjoyable scrambles in Wales.

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