Tryfan is a dramatic peak, standing proud on the southern edge of the Ogwen Valley. Seen from the Capel Curig end of the valley it looks like the spiky back of some fearsome prehistoric dinosaur. Reaching the famous Adam and Eve blocks at its highest crest would be quite a feat without resorting to the use of hands at some point. Indeed, the popular North Ridge is a classic grade 1 scramble, and no pushover at the grade. It is possible though to sneak up on the west and south side through more amenable territory where only a limited amount of basic scrambling is required.
The neighbouring Glyderau mountain range hosts a spectacular run of peaks. On its northern side, below Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr, steep-backed cwms and narrow dividing ridges present an intimidating front. As with Tryfan, access to the tops seems unlikely without the judicious use of scrambling skills. In reality though you can skirt the rocky steepness either by heading up past the front of the Devil’s Kitchen at the back of Cwm Idwal, or by following a steep path east of Bristly Ridge. Longer, but steadier approaches are also possible from Pen y Pass and from Nant Peris. The summit plateau is a rocky, barren place dominated by the proud jut of Castell y Gwynt and Glyder Fach’s huge boulder field, home to the much photographed Cantilever Stone.
The peaks at western end of the Glyderau (Y Garn, Foel Goch etc) are less rugged, but the cwms and ridges remain steep enough to block walking access to the ridge from Nant Ffrancon in all but a few places. Easy, albeit strenuous, access is possible from the Nant Peris side though, and once on top the terrain is friendly.
This is mountain terrain so always Prepare Well and Know Your Limits. During the winter season, typically from late October to April, there is a high probability that snow and ice will be encountered under foot. In these conditions ice axe and crampons are essential. Click the Safety & Access button below for more info.
The Glyderau can be approached from a number of places, including the Ogwen Valley, Pen y Pass and Nant Peris.