Photo: Sunset from the summit of Glyder Fach, Snowdonia national park, Wales. June 2013
A couple weeks back the alignment of two rare conditions occurred here in Wales: the weekend and good weather. Really, it is a rare treat in this part of the world. Or to quote a climber we passed on the way down from the mountains on Sunday morning, ‘Come back here 10 times and you’ll never have weather as good as this!’
We took to the road early on a Saturday morning for the 3+ hour drive north to Snowdonia national park. Although only a couple weeks before midsummer and with plans to bivy somewhere in the mountains, we weren’t all that worried about time. After a slightly long lunch in Betws-Y-Coed, we were at the trailhead for the north ridge of Tryfan a little after noon.
The north ridge of Tryfan is supposed to be one of the classic ridge scrambles in Wales, and thus in the fantastic weather I was expecting to be hiking among huge crowds. But luckily with our afternoon start, most of the people must’ve gone ahead of us and we enjoyed the ridge mostly to ourselves much of the way.
The sun was beating down and I was a bit worried about or water consumption on the way up, trying to conserve as much as possible of the 3 litters I was carrying which would need to last me the next 24 hours. Luckily I had a sun hat with me here for some reason otherwise I would have ended up more sunburnt than I did. Not that I’m complaining!
Sometime later we reached the summit of Tryfan, sat around for a bit, then headed down the south side to Bwlch Tryfan. From here we headed along the trail leading east of the summit of Glyder Fach. There were some nice tarns in the grassy flats here and I thought it could be a nice place to make camp, but maybe in poorer weather. In these conditions, it would be a shame not to camp on the summit of one of the peaks, and so we headed up the easy trail to Glyder Fach.
Once on the summit, I found a decent place to set up the tent; we had been prepared to bivy in the open, but a steady wind was blowing so being inside a tent would be a more comfortable night. With 5+ hours until sunset I started to think that maybe I should have brought a book to kill a little time. Though finally the summer sun sank low on the horizon, but not before a dark band of haze had formed out over the sea, dashing any hopes of a spectacular sunset. I think I more enjoyed the mild conditions in the mountains that I don’t think I’ll come across again for some time. And despite the weather, we were the only ones staying on the mountain this night.
For some reason I though sunrise was at 3:50, not 4:50, so I woke up a bit early on Sunday. The light was fairly dull anyhow, so after an hour or so of wandering around in the somewhat fresh breeze I found myself back in my sleeping back for a couple more hours when the sun finally lit up the tent too much.
After an easy walk to the slightly higher summit of Glyder Fawr we headed down out of the mountains along Llyn Idwal and finally back to the carpark by late morning.
Photo: Blue skies over Snowdonia, Glyder Fach, Snowdonia national park, Wales. June 2013
Photo: Cantilever Stone on Glyder Fach, Snowdonia national park, Wales. June 2013
Photo: Glyder Fach, Snowdonia national park, Wales. June 2013
Photo: Rocky summit of Glyder Fach, Snowdonia national park, Wales. June 2013
Photo: Tryfan from the summit of Glyder Fach, Snowdonia national park, Wales. June 2013
Photo: Sunset from Glyder Fach, Snowdonia national park, Wales. June 2013
Photo: Castell y Gwynt – Castle of the wind with Snowdon in the background,Glyder Fach, Snowdonia national park, Wales. June 2013