Hills: Gallt Yr Ogof, Y Foel Goch, Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr
Date: Tuesday 8th May 2012
Company: Just myself
Distance: 13.1km, Ascent: 1100m
Time: 7Hrs 25Mins

I set off this morning from Capel Curig to ascend Gallt Yr Ogof and Y Foel Goch en-route to the main objective of the day, Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr. There is room for at least a dozen cars in the free car park a short distance behind Joe Brown's outdoor shop.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Start of walk at Capel Curig:

I set off along a track and then took to the hillside just beyond a house.

Ascent from Capel Curig:

I thought the view back towards Capel Curig and beyond was quite nice.

Looking back to Capel Curig:

During the ascent towards Cefen y Capel I spotted a female Wheatear which stayed still long enough for me to get a photograph.


The weather this morning was definitely uninspiring, especially the low cloud. For a while, views were non-existent above 500m. During the ascent I decided that if the low cloud did not lift I would cut the walk short at Y Foel Goch as I wanted good views of the spectacular Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach. The underfoot conditions were also very much squelch, squelch, squelch.

Gallt Yr Ogof:

Looking back to Cefen y Capel:

The low cloud had not lifted by the time I reached the summit. The summit is the rock 4m from the cairn.

A few minutes after leaving the summit the cloud lifted and as a result so did my enthusiasm level .

Summit of Gallt yr Ogof:

It was great to start getting views across to Glyder Fach and Tryfan.

Y Foel Goch, Glyder Fach and Tryfan:

Y Foel Goch:

On reaching the summit of Y Foel Goch, I visited the summit cairn and then had a short break in the stone shelter.

Looking back towards Gallt yr Ogof from summit of Y Foel Goch:

I then made my way across to Glyder Fach.

Glyder Fach and Tryfan:

Ascending Glyder Fach:

I couldn't help but admire Tryfan and Bristly Ridge during the walk across to Glyder Fach. I will definitely do this route in the future but it is one I am saving for a nice sunny day to enjoy the mountain at its best.

Bristly Ridge (zoom):

Tryfan from Glyder Fach:

On reaching the flat summit area of Glyder Fach, I was in awe of the piles of huge boulders. The summit area of Glyder Fach is unlike any other hill that I have been up previously. I would love to know the geology behind these huge piles of boulders and tors.

Approaching large pile of boulders on Glyder Fach:

Large boulders on Glyder Fach:

More large boulders:

On seeing the Cantilever Stone, I clambered up onto it. There was no-one else around at the time to take a photograph and the camera timer didn't give nearly long enough for me to get up there.

Cantilever Stone:

However as I was ascending the huge pile of boulders at the summit, I took a photograph of others on the Cantilever Stone.

Someone standing on the Cantilever Stone:

The scramble up the boulders to reach the highest summit boulder was certainly interesting.

Looking back towards the Cantilever Stone from summit of Glyder Fach:

Glyder Fawr from summit of Glyder Fach:

From the summit, I descended back down the boulders and then crossed an area covered with lots more boulders en-route to Castell y Gwynt (Castle of the Winds).

Looking back to large pile of boulders at summit of Glyder Fach:

Castell y Gwynt is another impressive feature of Glyder Fach.

I wasn't sure of the route past Castell y Gwynt. Bypassing the castle on the right wasn't an option as there are steep cliffs. Bypassing the castle on the left looked like it would involve losing quite a bit of height. I therefore took the direct approach up Castell y Gwynt.

Castell y Gwynt:

Approaching Castell y Gwynt:

The route I took across Castell y Gwynt had lots of crampon marks to follow. I didn't try to reach the summit of Castell y Gwynt but was just a short distance below it.

Scrambling round Castell y Gwynt:

Descending from Castell y Gwynt:

On reaching the base of Castell y Gwynt, I could see that there is an easy by-pass around it .

Looking back to Castell y Gwynt:

Looking back to Glyder Fach summit and Castell y Gwynt:

As I ascended Glyder Fawr the low cloud returned and it started to rain.

Glyder Fawr:

Approaching summit of Glyder Fawr:

At the summit I was surprised to find around 20 school children with a couple of adults (possibly German). Many were wearing only jeans and a sweatshirt. I was cold wearing my thick fleece; some of them looked seriously cold and wet.

School group at summit of Glyder Fawr:

Had the cloud level not lowered and the rain started, I might have continued along the ridge to Y Garn. Instead I decided to head back down. Decision time – descend to A5 to the North or descend to A4086 to the South. My paper Landranger Map showed a path descending from Glyder Fawr to Pen-y-Pass however this path was not showing on the map I had printed off from the internet and also wasn't showing on my GPS. I decided to descend via this path regardless.

Descent from Glyder Fawr towards Pen-y-pass:

Looking across to Crib Goch (zoom):

The initial descent was quite straight-forward as there were a number of cairns to follow. However, the path soon become very faint and then non-existent in places. I wouldn't recommend this descent route in misty conditions.

Descent towards Llyn Cwmffynnon:

During the descent, I come across an area of rocks with round quartz balls in them.

Strange knobbly rocks:

The descent to Pen-y-Pass was steep.

Steep descent to Pen-y-Pass:

On reaching Pen-y-Pass, I had the choice of waiting circa 90 minutes for the next Snowdon Sherpa bus or walking an extra mile to the fantastic Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel. I walked the extra mile .

Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel:

Good finish to a walk – Pint and Cake:

After the refreshments I caught the Snowdon Sherpa bus from Pen-y-Gwryd back to Capel Curig. The Glyders are seriously good hills .