Author Topic: Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach via Devil's Kitchen  (Read 351 times)

clyoung

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In the 80s I went on a primary school trip to Snowdonia and the weather was awful - we didn't get to climb Snowdon and had to turn back scrambling up to Devil's Kitchen. Last year I finally got to conquer Snowdon, this year it was time to get back to Cwm Idwal, with my eldest son, 14.


We were only in the area for a few nights so I was delighted when the weather forecast on our first morning showed near perfect conditions for the Glyderau. We set off from the Visitor Centre car park just before 10. The skies were still cloudy, with occasional outbreaks of sun, and the waterfalls were in full spate after the previous day's deluge. My DSLR was also still misted up!





It's an easy walk up to Cwm Idwal on a clear path and before long we could see the Devil's Kitchen (Twll Du) looming overhead. We choose to go round the left of the lake and then cut across the end. We later realised we could have walked further on up past the Idwal Slabs and then walked diagonally up to join the path climbing to Devil's Kitchen.





I ended up taking rather a lot of photos on the climb, as it gave me an excuse to catch my breath. There were good views back down to Cwm Idwal and across to Pen yr Ole Wen and the rest of the Carneddau. As we got higher, we could just make out the top of Tryfan.





At one point an older chap caught up with us, carrying a huge rucksack and proclaiming it his last walk here. While we chatted a jet went through the valley below us, flying incredibly low.


In 1984 the route up was a slippery scree slope. It now has large stone boulders as steps and the first mission for the day was accomplished surprisingly quickly. Devil's Kitchen itself was extremely wet so we took the path off to the left.





That leads up to a wall with a stile and then on to the col between Y Garn and Glyder Fawr. We were heading for the latter, up an unpleasant but not too challenging scree slope, and could look back to the former across Llyn y Cwn.





From the top of the scree slope it was a quick walk to the summit of Glyder Fawr.





The summit of Snowdon was in cloud and remained so all the time we were on the plateau. We had definitely chosen the right walk.





We didn't want to hog the summit so my son found us another rock formation to shelter by while we ate some lunch. It wasn't that windy for 1,000m up and although there were people dotted about it was quiet.


There was a large boulder field to cross on our way to Castell y Gwynt and Glyder Fach. I've seen it described as a moonscape and with all the odd rock formations I can see why.





We wanted to scramble over Castell y Gwynt and had a lot of fun trying but never made it to the actual summit. At one point I forgot the basic rule of never climbing up something you can't climb down but eventually, by repeatedly lowering my rucksack first to to my son, I was able to retreat.





I decided I didn't want the ignominy of returning to the path at the same point we'd left it and thought I could see an alternative way out. I ended up having to get down the groove you can see in this picture. A passing couple shouted instructions to me and I managed to get my feet in the right place. As we walked off it became clear the summit would have been easier tackled from the east.





Next up was Glyder Fach. Again it called for scrambling over large boulders. We reached what we thought was the summit then decided another high point a few metres away might be it. We went round to the eastern side to scramble up. My son had a vertigo attack but with the help of a kind chap's arm I was able to get to the top. I usually love it when we're the only ones on a mountain but today I was glad there were just enough friendly people around to help out, without it being too crowded.





Before we left the plateau there was one more thing we had to do - stand on the Cantilever. What people don't tell you is that although in the pictures it looks like a flat slab, it actually slopes towards the photographer, making it feel less secure than I'd expected to walk along. Never the less I managed a small jump.





My original plan had involved going up the South Ridge of Tryfan but I was pleased when my son said no way, as it saved me having to say it. Looking back at the pictures now I think I can see the route up but at the time, already tired, it just looked like a very steep bunch of rocks and scree. We also didn't want to take the direct route down the scree slope to Bwlch Tryfan, instead taking the long way round by heading down to the Miner's Path.





From Bwlch Tryfan we went over the wall and down to Llyn Bochlwyd. The walk out seemed to go on forever, despite us taking the direct route down to the car park.





In all, the walk/scramble took us just under 9 hours - you can see the route here. Having not quite fitted in enough Snowdonian cliches, we ended the day in Pete's Eats in Llanberis, with pint mugs of milkshake and hot chocolate and large plates of food.


Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach via Devil's Kitchen
« Reply #1 on: 21:17:44, 25/08/17 »
On a beautiful day, this is one heck of a fine Snowdonia outing.
A great start is to ascend the Kitchen path, up the horrid scree path to the newly crowned 1000m peak, Glyder Fawr, and then navigate with care to Glyder Fach.
The optional Cantilever visit is worth an inclusion, but my return route, would be down the Gribyn ridge, as it's a finer alternative to that horridly eroded slope down to Bwlch Tryfans Miners path.

I hate exposure, so the Bristly ridge way down, is not on the cards.

clyoung

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Re: Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach via Devil's Kitchen
« Reply #2 on: 21:23:44, 25/08/17 »
On a beautiful day, this is one heck of a fine Snowdonia outing.
A great start is to ascend the Kitchen path, up the horrid scree path to the newly crowned 1000m peak, Glyder Fawr, and then navigate with care to Glyder Fach.
The optional Cantilever visit is worth an inclusion, but my return route, would be down the Gribyn ridge, as it's a finer alternative to that horridly eroded slope down to Bwlch Tryfans Miners path.

I hate exposure, so the Bristly ridge way down, is not on the cards.


We were lucky with the weather.


I did suggest going down the Gribyn Ridge but my son didn't fancy it. Another day maybe.

clyoung

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Re: Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach via Devil's Kitchen
« Reply #3 on: 21:51:06, 25/08/17 »
On a beautiful day, this is one heck of a fine Snowdonia outing.
A great start is to ascend the Kitchen path, up the horrid scree path to the newly crowned 1000m peak, Glyder Fawr, and then navigate with care to Glyder Fach.
The optional Cantilever visit is worth an inclusion, but my return route, would be down the Gribyn ridge, as it's a finer alternative to that horridly eroded slope down to Bwlch Tryfans Miners path.

I hate exposure, so the Bristly ridge way down, is not on the cards.


I've just realised you were probably thinking we went down the scree slope to Bwlch y Tryfan. We actually went round the long way to avoid it, the path was fairly straight forward that way. Have a look at the track of our walk I linked to, it will make it clearer.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach via Devil's Kitchen
« Reply #4 on: 22:01:08, 25/08/17 »
I know exactly what you mean.
Until i took part in the annual 1000m Peak race, back in 2003, i was very nervous about going anywhere near the Gribyn, i read about it in Steve Ashton's books on scrambles in Snowdonia, and still i was afraid to go near.
This must be a grade 1 scramble i thought ,a less technical Crib Goch ascent, and if one has not got a head for heights, leave well alone.

Well back in 2003, i had no option but to follow the rest of the competitors and head up this Gribyn , and what a surprise,  there's a good path that snakes through the main ridge, and now i have no fear of it.

I can certainly share your sons fear, it does look a bit intimidating from the top, opposite Glyder Farw,   but take my word for it, its very safe.

I hope others here on the forum, can offer similar encouragement, as i certainly feared the Gribyn ridge, but of any non technical scramble in Snowdonia, the Gribyn is straight forward and safe.

clyoung

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Re: Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach via Devil's Kitchen
« Reply #5 on: 22:03:10, 25/08/17 »
I know exactly what you mean.
Until i took part in the annual 1000m Peak race, back in 2003, i was very nervous about going anywhere near the Gribyn, i read about it in Steve Ashton's books on scrambles in Snowdonia, and still i was afraid to go near.
This must be a grade 1 scramble i thought , and if one has not got a head for heights, leave well alone.

Well back in 2003, i had no option but to follow the rest of the competitors and head up this Gribyn , and what a surprise,  there's a good path that snakes through the main ridge, and now i have no fear of it.

I can certainly share your sons fear, it does look a bit intimidating from the top, opposite Glyder Farw,   but take my word for it, its very safe.

I hope others here on the forum, can offer similar encouragement, as i certainly feared the Gribyn ridge, but of any non technical scramble in Snowdonia, the Gribyn is straight forward and safe.


That's good to know. Probably worth using it as an ascent first.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach via Devil's Kitchen
« Reply #6 on: 22:10:27, 25/08/17 »
If your into cricket or football, there's a very large area of grass that cannot be observed from Llyn Blochwydd.


Its half way up the mountain, before the main ridge itself is reached, a superb wild camp area if there was one.
The ridge itself, is quite short, and is only very near the top, but the small path that ascends the main Gribyn, is very easy to follow, and cannot be lost.

Certainly best to go up the ridge first, as like coming down the side of Pen Llithrig Y Wrach in the Carneddau, looking down the ridge is very intimidating.

Good luck, and read the many reviews on the web, regarding this classic scramble, once you have done it once, its easy, unlike Crib Goch, which ive done a few times, but still scares me to bits.

adalard

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Re: Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach via Devil's Kitchen
« Reply #7 on: 09:27:35, 26/08/17 »
Great trip report and pictures, clyoung - sounds like you both had a fantastic day.  O0

clyoung

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Re: Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach via Devil's Kitchen
« Reply #8 on: 09:33:32, 26/08/17 »
Great trip report and pictures, clyoung - sounds like you both had a fantastic day.  O0


Thanks, we certainly did.

redeye

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Re: Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach via Devil's Kitchen
« Reply #9 on: 21:47:18, 28/08/17 »
Excellent  O0
I've never ascended the Devils Kitchen, always come down that way but just lately I'm wanting to do some walks the other way round to the norm, back to front as it is so may just decide on this one with a descent by Gribyn Ridge as I have ascended that a few times.
Great photos of a great looking day  O0

clyoung

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Re: Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach via Devil's Kitchen
« Reply #10 on: 21:49:06, 28/08/17 »
Excellent  O0
I've never ascended the Devils Kitchen, always come down that way but just lately I'm wanting to do some walks the other way round to the norm, back to front as it is so may just decide on this one with a descent by Gribyn Ridge as I have ascended that a few times.
Great photos of a great looking day  O0


I specifically wanted to climb the Devil's Kitchen, having had to turn back in past, but may well use it for descent in the future. It really is stunning up there.