logo Walking Britain

Snowdonia Walk
The Traverse of the Glyder Ridge from Ogwen

Nat Park - Snowdonia - Glyders Tryfan

County/Area - Gwynedd & Conwy

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 5.5 miles / 8.9 km

Ascent - 2485 feet / 753 metres

Time - 5 hours 10 minutes

Grade - hard

Start - OS grid reference SH649603
Lat 53.122704 // Long -4.020341
Postcode LL57 3LZ (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - The Traverse of the Glyder Ridge from Ogwen Photo from the walk - The Traverse of the Glyder Ridge from Ogwen Photo from the walk - The Traverse of the Glyder Ridge from Ogwen
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The Glyders form a compact range of mountains lying to the west of the A5 main road between Bangor and Capel Curig. In contrast to the relatively smooth outlines of the western flank, the eastern flank facing the A5 is craggy and full of interest. The main objective of this walk is to visit the two highest summits of the range, Glyder Fawr (3277 ft.) and Glyder Fach (3261 ft.) However it would be possible to include magnificent Tryfan if you have enough energy and an extra hour or so to spend on the mountains. If you were only going to make one walk in the Glyders then this is the one to do. Packed full of interest it is in my "top ten" of favourite walks.

The best place to park for this Snowdonia walk is in the small car park at Ogwen Cottage (grid ref.SH 649603) where there is an excellent take-away cafe ready for quenching your thirst on return to your car. Take the well constructed path heading south. After a few hundred yards bear left and start the steady and interesting climb up to the shores of Lake Bochlwyd which is an ideal place to have your first rest. Overlooked by mountains in every direction with Tryfan dominant to the east, I have nicknamed this llyn "Lake Australia" because of its unique shape!

Suitably refreshed continue upwards to Bwlch Tryfan from where it is an easy proposition to climb Tryfan (see walk 3026). From here you need to descend slightly and tackle the steep loose path to the south of the famous Bristly Ridge (ideal for competent scramblers) up to the summit of Glyder Fawr. Initially the path is rough and loose but as height is gained it becomes less steep and easier. However do not let this put you off. The rewards from the summit plateau are well worth the effort.

The Glyder plateau is a stony wasteland (almost a moon-scape) and from Glyder Fach you have an excellent view to Glyder Fawr with the interesting rock formation of Castell y Gwynt (Castle of the Winds) prominent in the foreground. Also of interest is the cantilever rock on which someone is usually perched having their photograph taken. Proceeding roughly west it is hard going over the rocky landscape but the views to Snowdon, the Carneddau and Tryfan are superb. Glyder Fawr is the highest summit of the range and you now find improving vistas over the northern Glyders including Y Garn and Elidir Fawr.

The worst part of the walk is the descent to Llyn y Cwn. The path, on this occasion, was treacherous made of up loose slippery scree. However with patience this was soon overcome and we relaxed ready for the descent down the Devil's Kitchen another highlight of this spectacular walk.

As you start the descent down the rocky stairway the dark waters of Llyn Idwal are far below. This is mountain scenery at its best with crags, cliffs and mountains crowding round the path. We chose the path running to the east of Llyn Idwal and were faced with a tricky crossing of a stream in spate. However this was achieved with dry feet and all that was left was to follow the path underneath the Idwal Slabs and back to the car. The Idwal Slabs were crowded with novice climbers learning their skills on the easy rocks of this well-known crag.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers. Travel restrictions for exercise in Wales and Scotland will be lifted in early July.

Covid 19 Update for Walkers

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL17Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL17Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 115Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 115Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

GPS files - right click or option-click the button and choose "Save As..." to download this file.


Recommended Books & eBooks

Cicerone Books

Cicerone PressCicerone Press offer a range of Books and eBooks offering guides to all the popular walking areas and long-distance trails in Britain and overseas. Their illustrated guides feature walks, information and maps to help you make the most of the outdoors.
Explore Cicerone's Catalogue

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

Walking - Covid 19 update

Regular updates on how Covid 19 will impact on walking in the UK More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.