Sunday, 30 March 2014
Trail 100 #28
3000ft #17 & #18
Despite losing an hours sleep to the clock change we arrived bright and early at the Ogwen Cottage car park just after nine. The Vistor’s Centre has been rebuilt since our last visit.
We followed all the rock climbers up as far as the Idwal slabs and then had the path to ourselves as we climbed the Devil’s Kitchen. This is a gash in the cliff where a waterfall gushes down the mountain side to Llyn Idwal. The steep rocky scramble passes to the left of the cleft and climbs to Llyn y Cwn.
Llyn y Cwn is a small mountain lake nestled at the foot of the huge Glyder Fawr (3,283ft/1001m).
An ideal place for a breather, a snack, a photograph and watching the other walkers struggling up the scree towards the Glyders. Once replenished we set off for our first summit – Y Garn (3,107ft/947m).
The path can be clearly seen first crossing the grassy slope and then over the steeper rockier ground as you approach the top. The summit is very rocky, but easier than the top of Tryfan (3,010ft/918m) whose distinctive summit is just visible on the left.
Leaving the summit of Y Garn you can see the path as it passes over Foel Goch (2,641ft/831m) (the nearest pointed hill with the Menai Straits and Anglesey beyond) and along the ridge to Elidir Fawr (3,031ft/924m).
The path to Foel Goch is easy and grass covered and comes to an abrupt end when you reach the cliff edge. The view from this smaller mountain is stunning – looking down into the Ogwen Valley (Nant Ffrancon), across to Elidir Fawr or back to Y Garn – there are 3,000ft mountains in every direction.
We stopped for lunch near the col before attempting the ridge to Elidir Fawr. Like all the Glyders the summit is rocky and you make your own path to the top. From the top we could see around Snowdon (3,560ft/1085m) and make out the distinct pyramid of Moel Hebog (2,569ft/783m).
Looking East from the summit of Elidir Fawr this spectacular view shows the sheer scale of the mountains with the cut-off ridge at Foel Goch and the huge mountains beyond. The big black cliffs of Pen-yr Ole Wen (3,209ft/978m) are the same height as Scafell Pike. Behind are Carnedd Dafydd (3,425ft/1044m) and Carnedd Llewelyn (3,491ft/1064m). Our route takes us over Foel Goch and down to the foot of Pen-yr Ole Wen and the car park.
We plunged down the steep scree covered slope into the cwm below. Then followed the contour around until we could see Llyn Idwal and the main path back to the car.
Starting at the Ogwen Cottage car park (SH648604).