Martin on Cnicht

Martin on Cnicht

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Thursday 29 November 2012 – Y Garn and The Glyders

The Snowdon massif from near Glyder Fach

Is it really nearly five years since I did this walk?  It appears so, as I last recorded it on 1 January 2008.  Details of the route etc are given in that posting.  Since then I’ve been up Y Garn on one of Bill Birkett’s ‘Great British Ridge Walks’ – described here.

So it was a pleasure to be able to take advantage of a fine day after much rain.

There’s an annotated slideshow here, so I’ll be brief.

The kiosk at Ogwen has gone.  They are building a new ‘Ogwen Centre’, to be opened next summer.  Meanwhile, the toilets are still there, and the parking is free for the time being.

The warm rain in Manchester had fallen as snow above Llyn Idwal, so I enjoyed a day of glistening snow and glassy lakes.  Stupidly, I’d forgotten to pack my ice axe and crampons, so when I found myself unable to move backwards or forwards on a steep slope near the top of Y Garn, I was left with no option but to deploy the Yaktrax foot grips that lurk in my rucksack all winter.  One went on easily enough from the awkward stance, but the other one catapulted off down the icy slope.  At least it wasn’t me who slid down the slope, but this was a harsh reminder to don such footwear before it’s needed, not at the crux of a climb!

Several others were on the hill – a group of four climbers, a young lad who had lost his sunglasses, and a couple of chaps coming up from the south. 

The firm snow on Y Garn contrasted starkly with the softness of the Glyders’ covering.  Here I bumped into a few more folk – everyone was chatty today and of the dozen I saw there was just one other pensioner, the rest being people who’d simply taken the day off to go for a walk.

There were excellent views of Snowdon (see above), and crampons weren’t really needed in the softer snow of the Glyders.  However, once I’d removed my remaining Yaktrax I kept slipping on the black ice that’s a feature of the descent below the snow line back to Ogwen Cottage.  No damage was done though, and I was home in time to cook tea after a most pleasurable day out, as you will gather from the slideshow images.

Happy days…

Here’s the route – 12km with about 1000 metres ascent.

Y Garn and the Glyders - approx 12km, 1000 metres ascent, 5 hours

6 comments:

afootinthehills said...

I don't know Wales at all, but that looks like a great circuit with stunning photographs to illustrate the day Martin. Thanks.

Orchids and Nature said...

What a great walk in stunning conditions.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Gibson, and David - there are lots of short but interesting mountain circuits to be enjoyed in Snowdonia as days out from Manchester. This is one of my favourites despite not having been there for a while. It's often quite busy, which would upset some of the English bloggers, but I quite like chatting to like-minded folk on the hill. For those who want good climbing/scrambling with a minimal walk-in it's tremendous, with many routes available.

Alan R said...

Hi Martin,
Superb day out and photo's. I love this area. Spent many a day here and in some shocking weather. Tryfan was Sheila's first winter climb. She's always reminding me how scared she was.

Melinda said...

Hi Martin
You should let me know when you're out in Wales, perhaps we could meet up for a walk? Just back from 3 nights at our Capel hut myself (got 3 decent frozen walks in before the thaw came back!) Even did a bit of a winter climb in the Glyders with Andy last weekend.

Phreerunner said...

Alan, Tryfan was my son's first proper hill, one January when he was small. He loved it as he could never see far ahead, so he had no idea how far it was to the summit. We sunbathed on the top.

Melinda - my trips to Snowdonia tend to be at very short notice, but I'll let you know...