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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 26th October 2013
The Glyder Fach (994m) & Glyder Fawr (999m), Snowdonia.

I was very kindly invited by 2nd Ifield Scouts to accompany them on a mountain weekend in Snowdonia. We got there by minibus and stayed in a really comfortable Scout-owned house called Yr Hen Felin in Cynwyd near Langollen. The house was originally built as a wool mill but was converted to a cheese factory in Victorian times before having a spell as a youth hostel in the mid 1900s. It now acts as a perfect base for Scout expeditions into the Snowdonian mountains.
As well as our party of 5 going for both Glyders we had a party of adults and Scouts trying for Snowden and a party of Explorers and adults going for Glyder Fach and back down the same way. Against us all was the weather, which was fairly bad with quite a breeze but safe enough for us all to go for our own summits.


GPS tracking of our route.

Start and finish point was the youth hostel at Pen-y-pas

OK off we go!

Very rocky and very windy. We had to go very carefully over the slippery rocks.

We got to the col between Tryfan and Glyder Fach and took on the scramble to the summit and the ridge.
A superb climb and what a great view of Tryfan. I must come back and go up there some time.

Past the rock formation of Castell y Gwynt (castle of winds). An explosion of rocks that marks the start of the ridge

Over the treacherous boulder field . The wind was terrific and well over 100mph and that was throwing rain at us too. Very exhilarating!

The ridge gives fantastic views (when the cloud lifts) across Snowdonia. This mountain is Pen y Ole Wren (978m) which lies just behind our start/finish point.

We decided not to go on to the west and climb Y Garn (947m) as planned because the weather was pretty bad and one of our party had developed a stomach upset. Our decision was to take the descent through the incredible Devil's Kitchen, which was the highlight of the walk.
The lake in front is Llyn Idwal and we are going to skirt it on the left side.
Off we go Ernie!

The route through the Devil's Kitchen is a long, steep, rock staircase through crags and fissures all the way back down to about 400m.
Hard on the legs but what a great place.

A glimpse of the cloudy ridge we'd recently been walking along.
An amazing but very bracing hike in the Welsh mountains.

Sunday 27th October 2013
Cadair Idris (893m, 2390ft), Gwynedd

The next day I was leading a small group and we had a choice of where we wanted to go. A hurricane was on the way in the south of England and it looked as if it would be another breezy day in the mountains. Unperturbed we decided upon Cadair Idris which just as yesterday was a 25 mile drive from HQ to the start.
The ascent was a comfortable way to warm up with a very easy to follow Pony Path. The moment we neared the ridge at around 600m the wind and rain started and it was pretty fierce too. We found out later that the Explorer team had decided to descend again at that point. While sipping hot tea in a rocky shelter we mutually decided to carry on and reached the rocky pinnacle and the OS point after about 2 hours of steady climb.

The day started with a rainbow outside the front door. An omen of oncoming rain as it turned out.

Down in the centre of the picture is the Explorer group and our last glimpse of them until later in the afternoon when we met them at the minibus.

At the top is a very cosy mountain hut made out of stone and it was a perfect, unexpected place to have lunch.
Unfortunately we had very little visibility from the summit highlighted by a group of other walkers suddenly appearing and disappearing only about 30 paces away.

Our descent down to Llyn Gadair took in a very steep scree slope which we traversed carefully until we came to the footpath.

Then we take a lovely moorland path past Llyn Gafr and back down to the main road.

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