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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
Sat 20th May to Wednesday 24th May
Snowdonia, North Wales

Saturday 21st May - Tryfan and the Glyders
Gill asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I answered "you to accompany me up Tryfan". That put the cat among the pigeons, as Tryfan is a real challenge and not really something Gill would choose to do. It's not a walk, it's a proper scramble up a very steep pile of rock that ascends almost vertically up to 918m. You need to use every part of your body to climb it and you need to keep your nerve. There're no ropes involved but this is a real bit of mountaineering requiring you to climb the whole way up using handholds and it's amazing! Gill was very nervous beforehand but she really got into it after about a third of the way up and even started to lead. It gets quite tricky later on near the top though and she had a couple of really scary moments but by the summit she must have felt pretty good because there's been a smile on her face ever since.
The next challenge straight after Tryfan was the climb up to the top of the Glyders (Glyder Fch (994m) - Glyder Fawr (999m)) but that was helped by our choosing an easier route than my normal straight up and by the expert use of a bar of Kendal Mint Cake. At the top we had gorgeous clear views across the valley of our next hike  - The Snowdon Horseshoe and the very tempting ridge of Crib Goch.

A triathlon was taking place and we were escorted down the road by hundreds of cyclists.

You have to climb straight up from the road at Llyn Ogwen where we parked the bike.

Rapidly gaining height

That slab of rock near the centre is a huge cliff used by climbers. It gives you a sense of the scale.

Looking very snug in my new down jacket

You have to keep stopping to check out the ever-changing views.

It looks like the top is close by - it's not. There's lots to do yet.

The North Gulley. Gill didn't like this bit...

but up she goes anyway.

The last section

The Adam and Eve stones mark the summit. It was very windy at the top so I didn't attempt jumping across them.

Now we need to climb both of them!

Tryfan seen from near the top of Glyder Fach.


Monday 23rd May - The Snowdon Horseshoe but not Crib Goch.
Gill said she'd done her scary bit for this holiday and the best ridge in Wales would have to wait for another time. That didn't matter in the slightest as we had the most fantastic mountain day we could have hoped for. Y Lliwedd (898m) was so much fun. The rocks there are a joy to go through and the views all the way along are superb. The only bad moment was seeing someone come extremely close to falling off Snowdon. He was with a group of friends and he decided to show off by trying to run down a very steep section of the Watkin's Path, very near to the top. He got right near to us and shouted to his friends "make way for an expert" and immediately tripped and hurtled uncontrollably towards the edge. He managed to collapse and stop at the very edge of the precipice where he sat in a very distressed state while his friends all laughed. We weren't laughing. We thought he was about to die and we've never seen anyone come that close to dying on a mountain before. Also he could just as easily have knocked one of us, or his friends off the edge too.
From the summit of Snowdon (1085m) we actually had good views. That is a very rare thing, as any visitor to Wales will tell you, so we felt very lucky. As we were not allowed to go down Crib Goch (Goddamit!) we chose the Pyg Trail instead and got back to Pen-y-Pass for 7.30pm.

Pen-y-Pass on the incredible Llanberis Pass. The famous starting point for most people's attempt at the summit.

There they are, the black cliffs of Y Lliwedd on the left and Snowdon capped in cloud on the right.

Up we go with the aid of a bit of Kendal Mint Cake or rocket fuel as we like to call it.

Snowdon's summit on the left with the ridge of Crib Goch on the skyline and the two paths coming down its flank.
The top one is the Pyg Track and the lower one is the Miner's Track.

The rocky pinnacles of Y Lliwedd are great fun to climb over, especially when you have views like this.

You have to concentrate or you can easily take a tumble.

Looking back to Y Lliwedd at the point where we joined the Watkin Path.

The Watkin Path going straight up to the summit.

The summit of Snowdon and we can see more than just our hands in front of our faces.

The station and cafe at the top. Most people are very pleased to see it.
Toilets, ice cream, coffee... civilisation!

The way down.

The bike is down there somewhere!

Take the time to read the countryside code for yourself and please stick to it at all times.