Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Tiffin on Tryfyn

Tryfan is a mountain in Snowdonia. At just over 3,000 feet, it qualifies as one of the ‘Welsh 3,000 ers’.
You can read up on it here; http://www.summitpost.org/tryfan/150335
It never even crossed my mind to ‘do’ it, until I asked Sue if she fancied a drive through the mountains. It was our first day off for two weeks, and to be honest, we hadn't done as much walking as we’d like over the summer holidays, as we were so busy at work. “A drive – why can’t we go up one then? You haven’t climbed Tryfan, let’s do that?” was Sue’s reply. So, at around 7:00AM we set of for Snowdonia.
When we arrived about 10:AM, there was a bit of rain hitting the screen as we drove along, plus the mountains were enveloped in a wispy mist. NOT good!
Then, as we approached the base of Tryfan (that’s it on the left), it miraculously started to clear! Even blue sky started to peep through. GREAT!

Looking up Tryfan, I saw that I thought were a couple of people on the top. Sue explained this was Adam and Eve, a rock formation I was to get a LOT more intimate with later on. If you blow this picture up, you’ll see what I mean, and how I thought it was people.

 All around us, the mist was uickly clearing from the tops - GREAT!

We parked up at the plentiful free parking at the side of Llyn Ogwen. This is a place dear to my heart, as my Mum and Dad used to take us to Anglesey for our holidays from when I was about 9 years old. They always insisted on stopping around here, and my brother Colin and I would take an empty bottle to a mountain stream and fill it with cool, clear water.
See what greeted us by clicking on this link;
The view down Ogwen, to the Nant Ffrancon valley.

We got booted up, and set off in the vastly improving conditions, even feeling the sun on us now.

Yes – the path goes UP! Sue had (for some reason) chosen the hardest way up. The North face of Tryfan is not what most people would call a walk, as you have four points of contact most of the time, making it more of a scramble. We both love this sort of thing though, but was it wise after so long a lay off?

The view down Llyn Ogwen and the Nant Ffrancon valley.

The heather was blooming - but this is where the midges hide in wait for us!

This is more indicative of what you get up to on the North face.

Of course, there are LOTS of dramatic points too, with it being so steep.
This is the famous ‘Cannon stone’, with views to die for (literally, if you slipped)
See the view from the stone by clicking on this link;

Sue and I had lunch here, a dramatic and memorable spot.

This is Anna. She and her dad were also doing Tryfan that day, and it was the LAST ONE in the 3,000ers for them. HUGE congratulations to them both.

Sue was determined to have a go too, but was a bit more ‘respectful’ of the stone.

We saw one or two other mountain goats on our way up.
This photo goes a little way to showing how steep the way up is.

One last pic, before we press on up.

 The cloud was REALLY clearing now to the West, but over our shoulder to the South, it would linger all day. More of that later, but for now we got this stunning view of Llyn Idwal, & Llyn Bochlwyd, (left) as we gained height at a phenomenal rate.
See a sweep of the valley (complete with commentary by me) by clicking on this link;

Llyn Ogwen was looking very blue and beautiful in the strong sunshine now.

Looking up, this gully looked the most serious part so far. there were people ahead, so we just pressed on – slowly!

NOW it was getting good – Sue and I were being paid back in plenty for our hard climbing with views like this.
Clear views are good, but I must admit, I DO love an ethereal cloud or two in the shot.

We reached the top of the third gully, and looked through to Y Garn across the valley. It was at this point, or nearby, that we disturbed about 2 million midges, and we were bitten quite a lot. All I ended up with were red spots, but poor Sue had a bad reaction to them, and was a week itching and uncomfortable.

It got REALLY WOW! as we got to the top. This cloud was ‘waterfalling’ from the ridge of Glyder Fawr, into the Nant Ffrancon valley below us.
You can see a short video of this by clicking on this link;

We were surprised by just how many people there were when we got to the top, about twenty, in all. We all just sat around, admiring the terrific views and weather conditions.
Then, I noticed the two stones I had seen from the valley – ‘Adam and Eve’.

 Time to get ‘better acquainted’.
First Eve........
.....then Adam.......

 To gain 'The Freedom of Tryfan', it's customary (necessary)  to leap the gap between the two stones.......

So - here goes.........

My photographer - relieved that I'd done it OK.

You can see the jump in moving form here;

We got a guy to take our picture in  the warm sunshine on the top of Tryfan.
Mum and Dad – if you’re watching, I TOLD you I‘d climb it one day!

Then, it was time to start down.
One last glance back at Adam and Eve.

 After quite a while on the top, chatting and taking it all in, we reluctantly set off down. Sue never wants to leave when she reaches a summit, but time was against us now.
The cloud to the west over the Glyders Fawr and Fach never fully cleared all the time we were there. It was awesome to watch it moving and rolling though.

 It cleared momentarily though, to give us a 'peek of the peak' of Glyder Fawr.

Sue, carefully picking her way down.

The short, and less dramatic, rocky path down the west side of Tryfan soon eased to a grassy path.
A smiling Sue gratefully walks on it

 The approaching evening light softened the ridges and cyms of the mountains.

We curved round with the contours, and reached the car again. Pen-yr-ole-Wen still had wisps of mist on it.

We reflected on an incredible day, feeling SO lucky to have got these conditions on our precious day off.
We sat in the lay-bye, all smiles and contentment, before heading off home.

If you'd like to see a full screen movie of the trip, please click here;