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Wednesday, 1 August 2018

3 days in the Glyderau.

My welsh Furths- the peaks over 3000 ft stands at 11 out of 15. This trip I bagged 2 more- Tryfan & Elidir Fawr. This would leave me with 2 still to do - Crib Goch & Carnedd Ugain. I'm not too sure if I'll take max over Crib Goch and will likely do it solo first then decide whether to take him over it. If possible I would like to take him over it, so he too can complete them, Ideally before he gets too old.

I parked in Capel Curig and took a familiar route out towards Foel Goch, the weather was overcast and I could see the higher tops were in cloud.. it was forecast to clear in the evening, which thankfully it did. It was dry and quite humid, the extended dry conditions necessitated carrying 5 lts of water which made for a heavy pack and a sticky climb into the higher Glyderau. Moel Siabod dominated the view to the west, its summit still in clag, soon I reached Gallt Yr Ogof and a moody Foel Goch came into view, I could hear laughter and voices up a head, It was a D of E group heading down. I could vaguely hear music playing and as they got nearer it got louder, imagine my surprise when I finally heard this was Classical Music- these were a sophisticated group of D of E,ers !

View to Moel Siabod.

A distant group of D of E, and the higher glyderau.

Climbing steeply to Foel Goch, Tryfan came into view. There were signs of brightness showing through. My original plan was to reach Glyder Fawr for a camp, then continue over Y Garn and out to Elidir Fawr, before dropping towards Lllyn Idwal then onto Pen Yr Ole Wen to camp, returning to Capel Curig via the Carneddau. With the forcecast for clear calm conditions over the next few days, my thoughts turned to bagging Tryfan. Up to now I'd put it off... partly due to it being in cloud on previous visits and I was worried about taking Max up. I needn't of been worried though as max coped admirably, and as long as you don't mind heights, the south ridge if a fairly easy scramble to reach the summit.

Thoughts now turned to a camp spot for the night, I considered a camp on Foel Goch as I'd not camped there before, in the end I headed to Glyder Fach and camped there, ready for an early ascent to Tryfan the next day.

Looking back to Gallt yr Ogof.

Gallt yr Ogof summit area.

Llyn Caseg - fraith, Y Foel Goch and Gallt yr Ogof.

Climbing towards Glyder Fach a herd of goats came into view, 3 of them came over to pose for a photo.. checking Max out at the same time.

Wild  Mountain goats.

I set up camp in a lovely spot overlooking Tryfan. The midges were out, so after setting the Trailstar up I lit a couple of midge coils to 'smoke em out'whilst I  enjoyed a whisky and coffee on a rock with enough breeze to keep the blighters away. By now it was clearing nicely the views were superb, I spent some time looking down on Tryfan scanning the south ridge and going over my line to the summit. As the shadows lengthened lovely orange light highlighted the surrounding hills. When the light is like this its like wearing high definition glasses, everything seems closer with crags and features appearing like you've pushed up the clarity slider!

Tryfan from camp.

Evening light from camp.

Lengthening shadows  and Llyn Caseg Fraith.

Returning to the Trailstar the midge coils had done their job and I got in to cook tea, watching the last of the light  whilst relaxing in the inner. I intended to get out for some night shots but I'd been up since 6 am, worked the morning before setting off, arriving in Capel Curig around 2 pm. The hot climb to my camp had taken its toll and I grateful of a good nights sleep.

Brew with a sunset view.

Camp on Glyder Fach.

Sunset from camp.

The next morning I awoke shortly before 4 am ready for an early start towards Tryfan. From my bed I could see some lovely pre dawn colour showing through. I lit the stove for my morning coffee/breakfast , Max looked at me to give him permission to go outside and hurried out once it was granted. After breakfast I packed up then continued on down to Bwlch Tryfan. Even at this early hour it was clear it was going to be a warm one. As I mentioned earlier the scramble up to Tryfan via the south ridge was a lot easier than I thought it would be and I only needed to help max up a few sections, the views were superb on the way up and in no time I was standing on the summit of Tryfan and for 5 mins we had it all to ourselves. From the summit I descended to explore around Llyn Bochlywd collecting very good water from just above, to keep Max and me hydrated whilst we ascended to Glyder Fawr via Y Cribin.

Max admiring another welsh sunrise.

Max and 'Adam and Eve'.

looking back to Glyder Fach  from Tryfan

Pen yr Ole  Wen from Tryfan.

Llyn Bochlwyd.

Llyn Bochlwyd.

After pottering around the shoreline we set of on a hot climb to Glyder Fawr, the midges were out in force to make sure we kept the pace up. As we got higher we picked up a breeze which allowed me to slow the pace a little to marvel at the views.

Pen yr Ole Wen from Y Cribin ascent.

Y Garn and Llyn Idwal.

Y Cribin.

Tryfan from Y Cribin ridge.

After an enjoyable scramble over Y Cribin the angle eased and the summit of Glyder Fawr came into view. From here it is easy walking to the summit with fantastic views over towards the Snowdon horse shoe and back towards Glyder Fach and Castell y Gwynt - also known as The Castle in the wind.

Glyder Fawr summit area.

Snowdon horseshoe from Glyder Fawr.

Crib Goch and Snowdon.

From the summit I continued a little west to a rock formation I nicknamed 'The Rooks' and to visit a camp spot just below where I'd camped a few years ago. I decided to have lunch here.

Descending towards Llyn y Cwn I collected water from a spring that I came across, it yielded lovely clear cool water. After collecting 5 ltrs. max drank his full then we continued down towards the lake. Before moving on, I decided to mark the location of the spring.... but it was already added in Viewranger as a POI.. in fact I'd marked it on my last visit nearly 2 years ago, the fact it was still flowing after weeks of very dry weather makes it a good reliable water source. Once down at Llyn y Cwm I allowed Max to cool down for a good 10 mins. before commencing the relentless climb to Y Garn. As expected it was fairly busy and Max as always beat me to the summit.

Joining the crowds  to Y Garn... Spot Max.

From Y Garn we continued North leaving the crowds behind. Descending steeply towards Bwlch y Cywion we climbed following the fence line to Foel goch. There were excellent views across to Elidir Fawr from here and after a short break we descended South before picking up the path Ascending to Elidir Fawr.

Elidir Fawr.

Mynydd Perfedd and Carnedd y Filliast from Foel goch.

The walk out to Elidir Fawr is a very nice one with excellent views down into Cwm Dudodyn with the Snowdon massif beyond. As we gained height Marchlyn Mawr Reservoir came into view.

The following is copied from Wikipedia.

Marchlyn Mawr reservoir is a high level lake in Snowdonia behind Elidir Fawr mountain. It is used as the high level water source for Dinorwig power station, a closed loop pumped storage hydroelectric generating facility. It is said that nearby lies the cave containing Arthur's treasure, a source of bedazzlement to the wanderer who sees it, and the pilferer who touches it. The lake itself lies between 2 mountains Carnedd y Fillast and Elidir fawr and lies at a height of 636m above sea level and the reservoir took four years to build (from 1975- 1979). The reservoir holds about 9.2 million cubic metres ( 320 million cubic feet) of water. From the reservoir, a 10.5 metre (32 ft) diameter tunnel leads to the power station, 670 metres (2,200ft) away.

Marchlyn Mawr Resevoir.

A short ascent from here gains the summit and the wind shelter. Elidir Fawr has terrific 360 views, it feels quite exposed separated from the other main summits in the area. By now I was feeling a little hungry so I got out the stove and made my starter for my evening meal... A very nice Goan chicken soup. shortly after finishing I was joined by 2 adventure racers who asked if I minded if they joined me. They were in training for what they said was the welsh bob graham round, although I cant remember the name. They were hoping to reach Tryfan but if not, would stop for the night around Llyn y Cwn. I showed them the position of the spring not far from there ( a much better proposition than taking water from the lake) they thanked me, and I wished them luck. By now it was around 6.30 and I began to think of a pitch for myself. Plan was to head towards Carnedd y Filiast and drop in the first descent spot. As I neared the column a lovely flat grassy pitch was too good to pass on, so Trailstar out.. time for camp 2.

View from Elidir Fawr.

Camp near Elidir Fawr.

The next morning I awoke to strong winds and clag, swirling mists gave brief views of the north wales coast and surrounding hills. A quick route was planned to get back to Capel Curig then after breakfast we struck camp and headed back towards Y Garn.

Heading back towards Mynydd Perfedd.

Y Garn.

Shortly before Y Garn I took the descending path towards Llyn Idwal from where I descended to the A5. After a shortish walk I picked up the Nant y benglog back to Capel Curig and the end of another trip.

Llyn Idwal.

Thanks for taking the time to read.


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