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Date & start time: Tuesday 3rd November 2009. 9.55 am start.

Location of Start : Roadside alongside Llyn Ogwen, Snowdonia, Uk ( SH 663 603 )

Places visited : Tryfan via the north ridge, the Bwlch, Glyder Fach via Sinister Gully, the Cantilever Stone and back via Llyn Bochlwyd to Idwal Cottage.

Walk details : 4.75 mls, 3050 ft, 6 hrs 5 mins including lunch.

Highest point : Glyder Fach 3230 ft ( 994m)

Walked with : Andrew, John and our guide Andy Teasdale.

Weather : Wintery with a bit of everything !

Tryfan and Bristly Ridge

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I'm in Wales for two days on a training course to learn more about and try out the latest ideas in mountain clothing,

courtesy of George Fisher management, Mountain Equipment and Gore-tex.

Day two of our Mountain course and we split into small groups and are joined by an experienced mountain guide.

We're going to tackle a grade one scramble up the front of Tryfan and then move on for a second climb up Glyder Fach via the classic Bristly Ridge.

The minibus dropped us at the foot of Tryfan . . .
. . . and it was straight into the climb.

My colleagues today are Andrew (in yellow) and John (in blue) from Trailventure and our PyB Guide today Andy Teasedale in red.

The north ridge of Tryfan faces the main road and looks down on Llyn Ogwen.

It can be climbed as a simple scramble or "hands-on" fell walk, but the wet conditions and slippery rock make our slightly different route more demanding.

John reaches the base of the main crags . . .
. . .Andy following a path , some of the way !

Really interesting rock structures as we climb.
The rope is there for the tricky bits.
Andrew concentrating on an early pitch . . .
. . . and waiting while the rope is passed back to John.

The Cannon, one of the named rock features on the way up the north ridge. ( That's me in green by the way ! )

Far below is Llyn Ogwen, Idwal Cottage and across to the left, Y Garn , the mountain that we climbed yesterday.

Leveling out before the last section, we have time to enjoy the view . . .
. . . and catch our breath before tackling the final summit climb.

One last gully, a chock stone and we are more or less there.

This is classed a Grade One scramble (the first and simpler grade) but due to the weather and the very slippery nature of the rock at the end of this Autumn season, we used the rope as protection on two ten foot pitches on the way up this exciting climb.

On a dry day, and if we scrambled regularly at this standard, it would not really have been needed.

At the top of Tryfan is a rather well known natural rock feature which forms the true summit of the fell.

The two rocks are known as Adam and Eve and stand along side each other at the top of the rocky climb.

Following in my wife's footsteps !!!!

One small leap for a man, one bigger leap for womankind.

I've always wanted to complete this step ever since Ann did it few years back and showed me the photo !

[ Hold your cursor over the picture to look back to the 1970's ]

Time for a snack.

We tuck into half our lunch in the shelter of the summit rocks and look across and up to Glyder Fach, shrouded in fast moving hill fog.

Far below us, and taking a more straightforward route up the fell was this rather unusually dressed gentleman.

Neither he or his two companions seemed fully equipped for the weather conditions he would find on the more exposed side of the hill !

Looking back at the summit I paused for a photo. Andy had commented on how unusually slippery the rock was this year.

No major slides but that was due to a high level of concentration as we stepped from rock to rock, both on the way up and down from the summit.

Hands out to balance as we descend Tryfan.

Below are Llyn Bochlwyd, Llyn Idwal and Llyn Ogwen. Y Garn that we climbed yesterday is in cloud to the left.

Best guess at our route up Sinister Gully

Bwlch Tryfan, the hause in Lake District terms, or just simply the low point between the two hills.

Our aim is to scramble up Sinister Gully ahead and return via the scree slope to the left, crossing the ladder stile on our return.

[ Hold your cursor over the picture to see the route ]

Looking back at our descent route from Tryfan.
Walking up to the base of Sinister Gully.
Time to put on the hard hats . . .
. . . and get tied onto the safety line.

Again, due to the nature of the scramble, the exposure and the slippery conditions we employed the rope as a safety device.

The three of us were clipped on to the lower end of the rope (at 3m intervals) and Andy free climbed the gully with the top end of the line.

Once a simple belay was set, the three of us free climbed the route in unison, thus saving time.

Andy heading up the steepest section.
Climbing onward, once the main scramble was complete.

Mmmm . . . that was good !

The top of the Bastion (?) Rock pinnacle towards the upper section of Bristly Ridge.

Top of the climb and thanks all round to Andy for a great ascent.

Where did that big white cloud come from ?

It's hail turning to sleet and time to get the waterproofs on . . . but saying that, I didn't bother.

Tough ain 't I ? . . . not really the G2 soft shell seemed to be coping with the wintery showers without problems.

Now Jonathon Livingston over there seemed to be coping fine as well, despite the hail and wind.

The worst of the shower passed, so we make our way over to the slippery summit of Glyder Fach.

This is Castell y Gwynt ( Castle of the Wind) as viewed from the summit of Glyder Fach.

Llyn Gwynant was just catching some sun as we look south.

The road below leads up to Pen y Pass and the Pen y Gwryd Hotel, hidden just below the foreground rocks.

I seem to be flying on the head of a swan . . . it's certainly windy enough.

The Cantilever Stone

Glyder Fach is also famous for providing glorious evening sunsets with this famous landmark in the foreground . . . but not today !

Damp on the lens reflects the weather conditions . . .
. . . as another heavy shower blows through.

We're making our way down now, following that wide scree slope seen earlier.

Bwlch Tryfan again . . . but from the other side of the wall.

The ladder stile as we cross our outward path and head on down for Llyn Bochlwyd seen below.

Plain sailing, or should that be plain walking now, as we make our way back to Idwal Cottage.

Photo call alongside Llyn Bochlwyd . . . myself, Andy Teasedale and Andrew. If you need a mountain guide here or in the Alps during the season,

do check out his website as he was a interesting chap, great on 'safety' without the hassle of the politically correct 'elfen '.

The rustic bridge means we are almost back to Idwal Cottage and the waiting minibus.

Could this be another wintery shower ?

A sudden downpour of hail as we drove back to base on white roads.

Looks like Winter came early today.

- - - o o o - - -

It's been a great two days in Snowdonia. Paul and I have learnt a lot, had chance to talk about the gear and to try it out in interesting weather.

- - - o o o - - -

Plas y Brenin do all sorts of mountain courses if you want to pass Mountain Leader qualifications or just try something new as we did today.

Paul went Rock climbing at Tremadoc, but at the centre you could also try canoeing, D of E, mountain first aid, and more.

Give them a call if you are interested.

All that remains is to give my colleague Paul the Garmin Dakota Gps and the instruction to find "home"

and we'll be on our way back to Cumbria . . . Does that thing find petrol stations too ? . . . great . . . we'll go there first.

Thanks to everyone involved for a great two days in Snowdonia.

. .

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon G10 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . new experiences and new knowledge under the belt

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