Day 3’s walk of 12.8km with 889 mtrs ascent and 801 mtrs descent.
Day 3 started off looking grey miserable and wet. I had resigned myself to a grey day and poor views from the mountain tops. The way I looked at it, I was lucky to be getting the two days of good weather that I already had – so in some ways this was to be expected.
This day was primarily about climbing Glyder Fawr at 1001 metres and then following its ridge-line Eastward.
On the ascent I bumped into a group of hikers on the way up. We kind of leap frogged each other as we ascended and even took differing routes, but we always ended up meeting up again. They were out and about doing their annual walk and seemed to be really enjoying themselves!
The friendly banter on the way up made the ascent a lot easier than it would have been otherwise.
As we ascended we soon climbed through the cloud layer into blue skies and a brilliant sun. The contrast between this and the dull greyness below could not have been greater!
What made the day for me though was the cloud inversion layer. Although I couldn’t see what was below me, the experience was absolutely magical. Hiking in this weird rocky landscape, with rolling clouds below me and blue skies above seemed to really capture my imagination. This is one day that is firmly etched in my memory. Not bad for a Monday!
I’ll now let the pictures tell the story of Day 3 in Snowdonia!
I open up the tent in the morning where I’m surprised by the dull and grey weather. It is such a contrast to the brilliant blue skies of the previous two days.
The climb starts up Glyder Fawr at 1001 mtrs elevation. The start of the climb reminds me very much of the Watkin Path on Mount Snowdon.
As I climb up the low cloud starts to obscure the view onto Llyn Idwal – the previous night’s camp spot.
This was the first obstacle I encountered. With a considerable drop to the right I had to climb down the rocks cross the stream then climb back up the other side.
Once across, the climb continues up some pretty well made stone steps, which once again reminded me of the Watkin Path.
The steps and path soon disappear. There are now multiple ways up the side of the mountain. It’s just a case of picking a route and climbing up it!
This is the view downward after a steep scramble upwards over loose rock. I sometimes wonder what the view would have been like without any fog!
Once over the rock scramble, things flatten out a bit and the path upwards becomes more distinct once more. For those that need to know, this is the route up through the Devil’s Kitchen.
After rounding a few rocks the well made path and steps return! Wooot! Up ahead is a group of walkers. We kept leap frogging each other up the mountain. Sometimes we would take different routes up only to meet up again later on! Their group were out on their yearly outing, they seemed to be really enjoying the challenge!
A self photo as I ascend Glyder Fawr! It is still very foggy and damp, so the sun hat isn’t out yet!
Up ahead there are hints of blue starting to appear in the cloud layer. I have high hopes that the clouds will burn off leaving blue skies and a great view.
As the ascent continues, the blue skies become more apparent. At this stage I incorrectly think that this is the cloud burning off…
The cloud has now completely cleared, but it has not burnt away. I have simply climbed through the cloud inversion layer. The immediate difference in temperature is brutal. I decide to stop off, put suncream on and get the old sun hat out. I really wasn’t expecting to use any of these items today!
Here I’m looking back downwards towards the North and the cloud layer that I had just climbed through. Up ahead I spot this weird colour-less rainbow. I have never seen one of these before!
There is still a lot more climb to go, but I can now see the ridge-lines and there is no more rock scrambling to do. The thing I really liked about the climb up this mountain was the abundance of water – seen here on the left. It means that I can drink without having to worry about water levels too much.
Here I’m looking Northward toward Pen yr Ole Wen – the mountain I had descended from the previous day. I spent more than half an hour here just sat down, eating, drinking and admiring the great view. These static photos really fail to capture the dynamic nature of the cloud layer below me.
Here I have zoomed in on Tryfan to the East. If you look carefully at the very top of it you can see the two famous stone blocks called Adam and Eve. Apparently if you climb one of these blocks and jump across to the other one, you get given the Freedom of Tryfan. Given the elevation exposure, this looks like a very scary enterprise!
I’m now on the final phase of the ascent up Glyder Fawr. The sun is extremely hot, making the climb a little harder than it would be.
This is the view to the North West toward Y Garn. This is one mountain that I will have to book in for a climb in the future 🙂
Nearly there! Just got to hang on in there!
When I get to the peak of Glyder Fawr, the view to the East across the mountain ridge is like an alien landscape.
Although I wished for a cloudless day, I was glad I had climbed these mountains during a cloud inversion. It really made the mountain tops feel like a magical place.
Here I had walked Westward to get some good photos of Mount Snowdon to the South West. This is a photo back towards the peak of Glyder Fawr.
Here I’m back on the peak of Glyder Fawr looking South West toward Mount Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain. Both of these mountains were climbed on my previous walk to Snowdonia.
A photo toward Tryfan from my rocky abode!
I am now heading Eastward along the ridge-line. The view despite the cloud cover is just amazing.
With the big climb behind me, the jaunt across the top of the ridge-line was very relaxing.
This is the view Southward. The mountain range in the distance is Moel Siabod – Thanks Jim for the identification :).
I’m now headed toward Glyder Fach at 994 metres elevation!
Looks like I have some more climbing to do to get to the top of Glyder Fach!
This is the look back toward Castell y Gwynt as I continue upward toward Glyder Fach.
Here I’m climbing the peak of Glyder Fach, this is the view back toward the West from my new vantage point.
The view down toward Tryfan to the North East from the peak of Glyder Fach.
Sun hat on! This particular hat made a big difference to keeping my head cool. Water consumption on this journey was well above normal due to the heat. I wasn’t too worried though, as I know from the map that there are some mini-lakes on the top of this ridge further to the East.
The famous Cantilever stone!
The view to the North East. I can remember thinking that here I was on the top of these ridges enjoying this gorgeous weather, whilst the majority of people would be down below experiencing a dull grey day!
Here I am now heading East downward from Glyder Fach. I absolutely loved the view of the rolling clouds!
Two mountain goats hanging out together!
As I descend Eastward I get to spot the mini-mountain lakes of Llyn Caseg-fraith. Water levels are running a little low, so it is a welcome sight!
The look Westward back toward Tryfan. Once again, I’m left pondering how do the farmers look after these sheep? I can’t imagine them climbing mountains to get to them!
Tryfan over Llyn Caseg-fraith.
This is my route down off of the mountains. This will take me down to Cwm Gyern Gof. A mountain photographer had recomended this route to me as the best way of getting down to get to my destination. Local knowledge cannot be beaten – so off I go 🙂 The sheep down below look a long way off!
The terrain looks smooth, but in reality it is crisscrossed by deep hidden stream-lets. It would be all too easy not to notice one of the cracks and put ones foot into it. Up ahead I can see the Mountain of Pen yr Helgi Du. This is my target climb for tomorrow. The intent is to camp part of the way up it by an artificial water way where I should be able to top up my supplies.
I’m now on the banks of Nant yr Ogof. I’m essentially hand-railing this stream all the way downward. This descent is shallow enough that my knees are not being impacted in the way they were on the descent of Pen yr Ole Wen the previous day.
As I descend I can see the Gwern Gof Isaf camp site just below me. The plan is to climb down alongside it then follow the track at the bottom Eastward.
The descent is nearly over! Just below is the track I need to take Eastward. So I will be hanging a right here!
The track Eastward is very flat and smooth. Progress is very quick rapid here!
I’m now breaking Northward toward the A5 main road. This part is very muddy, it seems that regardless of where or when I walk, I always end up getting muddy!
Woot I’m now at the A5. Just need to cross over and take the track on the other side of the road.
Welcome to Tal y Braich!
A look Westward. The cloud inversion seems to be retreating away in that direction!
After around a 100 metre climb, I find the artificial leet. However, I note that it has very high sidewalls, which could make topping up the water bottles a little tricky. Luckily, up ahead, there is a cut out on the left hand side, just before the bridge. Even with the cut out, the only way I can reach the water is by lying down and hanging my bottle into the water. This was quite painful on the old knees! Eventually all my bottles are filled up, ready for camp.
I head around twenty metres up hill from the leet and find this relatively flat piece of ground – a perfect place to pitch the tent!
The view out of the tent is outstanding! The sun is about to start its final descent, so I get ready to eat and prep the tent for sleep.
As the sun descends behind the mountains, I get to see these brilliant razor sharp light shafts. What this photo doesn’t show is how this light shaft pivoted upward as the sun sank further down. An entrancing sight!
Night finally starts to descend on the valleys. The sky lights up a beautiful orange. Once the light show is over I pop off to bed for a very sound sleep!