Author Topic: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...  (Read 920 times)

Glyno

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Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« on: 13:04:55, 11/08/17 »
Had a brilliant time yesterday exploring Snowdon's deserted northern flank. Starting from Pen y pas and skirting Crib Goch's north ridge then entering Cwm Glas and the absolutely idyllic Llyn Glas - quite possibly the best site for a wild camp I've ever seen.
A short, steep ascent brought me to a col just below Garnedd Ugain and the hordes plodding up the Llanberis Path.

Llyn Glas with Crib goch's Pinnacles in the background:





Llyn Glas and Clogwyn y Person (The Parson's Nose):





Thanks for looking :)
« Last Edit: 13:09:31, 11/08/17 by Glyno »

Penygadair

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #1 on: 13:57:19, 11/08/17 »
Great pics Glyno. O0    I must give that area a try.

clyoung

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #2 on: 13:58:16, 11/08/17 »
Looks great - it's on my long list to try!

fernman

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #3 on: 16:24:22, 11/08/17 »
Nice to see those two little trees are still growing on the island! If you camped by the lake you'd have to be up early, though, because you'd have all the early people doing Crib goch staring down at you.

So what was your route down into Cwm Glas, then?

Glyno

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #4 on: 17:24:23, 11/08/17 »

So what was your route down into Cwm Glas, then?



I went UP into Cwm Glas
East to west, Pen y pas to Llanberis:



In hindsight, I should have kept closer to the foot of Crib Goch's north ridge and stayed higher in Cwm Uchaf (below Crib Goch)
« Last Edit: 17:27:41, 11/08/17 by Glyno »

fernman

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #5 on: 18:14:17, 11/08/17 »
Got it! I am guilty of reading more into your OP than it says.

It looks very much like the reverse of what I attempted in 2002. To the south of Gyrn Las I climbed down from where there was a little cairn on the rim of the cwm. After spening a night there I rounded Llyn Glas and headed east to cross the north spur of Crib Goch where there is an obvious notch in the ridge. This is where you went further north, towards Dinas Mot, before turning southeast.

But you made it to Bwlch Moch whereas I wasn't happy traversing the loose, pathless slopes, so I bottled out and turned back to Cwm Glas where I followed the stream from the lake down to the road.

Glyno

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #6 on: 18:21:12, 11/08/17 »
If I were to do it again (and I probably will), this is more like the route I'd take (again, east to west):



adalard

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #7 on: 09:53:20, 12/08/17 »
Great photos, Glyno! Especially love the effect of the light in the second one.  O0


It looks a beautiful location, which I was reading about only recently funnily enough. Was there any scrambling involved to get up to the col or would you say it was within the capabilities of a walker who doesn't mind the occasional ungraded clamber or use of hands? i.e. me!  ;D

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #8 on: 11:49:49, 12/08/17 »
I am always amazed at how quiet Cwm Glas is, compared to the other routes up Snowdon, and the surrounding mountains.
The whole llanberis Pass, can be bedlam with holiday traffic, and if one is very lucky to get a place at Pont Y Cromlech, a walk into Cwm Glas, is a great alternative to the Pyg or Miners path.

Those looking at Crib Goch's Northern ridge, high above, and the towering cliffs of Dinas Mot, probably think, no way, that route looks terribly hard, only for the rock climbers.

How wrong they are, as there are many very easy routes into the heart of Cwm Glas.


It reminds me of a more rugged version of Cwm Caseg, just as easy to reach, but devoid of any traffic.

One of my favourites, is to walk right up to the bottom of Crib Goch's towering northern side, and walk up the scree to where the Horseshoe route starts, below Crib Goch.

On recollection, over the many times ive visited the upper reaches of Cwm Glas, ive only seen a hand full of walkers, and most times ive been the only visitor.


My last count, is that i have turned back four times attempting an ascent of the North ridge onto Crib Goch.


Ive always wanted to do the North ridge, but cannot stand the extra exposure half way up.


Some love the exposure it offers, i try to avoid those situations if i can, with past experience on other routes in Snowdonia, if you find yourself on very exposed rock, and your out of your comfort level, its very unpleasant, BEST AVOIDED.


Any offers of assistance to accompany me over the North ridge, would be most welcome.


You can look up at the walkers struggling over Crib Goch, or watch the little train puffing its way above llechog.


One of the nicest spots for a picnic, and to enjoy a fine summers day.

One of those hidden gems of Snowdonia, once you have visited Cwm Glas, you will return again.

Long may it remain, the haunt of those in the know, we want it for its beauty and solitude, a rare commodity so close to Snowdon.
« Last Edit: 13:58:54, 12/08/17 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

Glyno

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #9 on: 13:06:33, 12/08/17 »
Thanks for the nice comments :)


@adalard - the ascent from the Cwm to the col isn't what I'd call a scramble at all. Despite looking very steep, it's surprisingly easy and shorter than anticipated - more a series of grassy/rocky shelves.


You're constantly captivated by the views and the dramatic scenery which always makes it so much less strenuous I think.

fernman

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #10 on: 14:31:08, 12/08/17 »
Was there any scrambling involved to get up to the col or would you say it was within the capabilities of a walker who doesn't mind the occasional ungraded clamber or use of hands? i.e. me!  ;D

If I could do it, ANYONE could do it :D
 and I descended - climbing down anywhere is generally reckoned to be more difficult than going up.
As Glyno says, it's just a series of shelves.

adalard

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #11 on: 19:02:54, 13/08/17 »
Thanks, Glyno and Fernman, for the info - very much appreciated.  O0

vghikers

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #12 on: 17:37:14, 14/08/17 »
Cwm Glas is one of the great spots we have thought of visiting with a view to a fantastic pitch, but that (roughly) contouring path from near Bwlch y Moch round to the cwm has always seemed a bit vague and fraught in the very few places we have seen it described. Peter Herman's words in his book seem odd when compared to the map and not encouraging, and the route crosses extremely steep ground. I know of one walker who tried to find it in the opposite direction and failed, ending in a lot of difficulty.

Years ago we would have tried it but probably not now. Still, maybe a straightforward up-and-down from the road.

Great photos.

Glyno

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #13 on: 18:42:47, 14/08/17 »
Cwm Glas is one of the great spots we have thought of visiting with a view to a fantastic pitch, but that (roughly) contouring path from near Bwlch y Moch round to the cwm has always seemed a bit vague and fraught in the very few places we have seen it described. Peter Herman's words in his book seem odd when compared to the map and not encouraging, and the route crosses extremely steep ground. I know of one walker who tried to find it in the opposite direction and failed, ending in a lot of difficulty.

Years ago we would have tried it but probably not now. Still, maybe a straightforward up-and-down from the road.

Great photos.


Thanks :)


You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. The path from Pen y pas is extremely indistinct, I never truly found where it started and just 'grasped the nettle' so to speak and headed in the direction I trusted to be correct.
If camping at Llyn Glas, I'd be inclined to agree with you that a direct ascent from the road would probably be a better/safer option.


I'm tempted to do this route again sometime, primarily to correct a few little navigational errors that have 'niggled' me.

fernman

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Re: Cwm Glas, Snowdon's quiet side...
« Reply #14 on: 20:54:33, 14/08/17 »
As we're on the subject of Cwm Glas, can I just add this for the benefit of anyone who wants to try going DOWN into the cwm from the top.

This is what Jim Perriment wrote in his article "Snowdon Without the Summit", published in TGO March 1995. He was going clockwise around Snowdon.
"My route climbed...to the mountain railway near Clogwyn Station. I followed the tracks for a short distance before turning to cross the north ridge of Crib-y-Ddysgyl and hopefully start the descent into Cwm Glas from the correct place. Apprehension made me doubly careful checking the compass bearing, for I knew...that unforgiving cliffs lay ready to punish a careless error. To my relief a small cairn loomed out of the mist as I approached the edge and I knew that I had got it right."

The above, combined with Showell Styles’ directions from page 85 of "The Mountains of North Wales" (1974), worked for me when I did it in 2002. He wrote,
“To get into the cwm...is the trickiest part of the whole expedition in any but clear weather, and demands careful route-finding. For a quarter of a mile above Clogwyn station the railway climbs straight up the ridger; then it bends sharply to the right, away from the crest of the ridge. Two hundred yards or so due east from the bend the crest - here rising only gently - overlooks a steep but practical glacis that can be used as a way down."

So, in a nutshell, the point is a quarter of a mile above Clogwyn station, 200 yards east from where the railway bends sharply to the right, away from the crest of the ridge, and it is marked by a small cairn (well, it was there in 2002).

Just to be pedantic, Styles describes what sounds to me like a slightly different route on page 153 of "Backpacking in Wales" (1977), that starts off with a slope of scree. "Easy" he wrote, but I think I'll skip the details.