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Snowdonia Walk
Y Garn from Ogwen Cottage (Route B)

Nat Park - Snowdonia - Glyders Tryfan

County/Area - Gwynedd

Author - Peter Smyly

Length - 4.5 miles / 7.3 km    Ascent - 2110 feet / 639 metres

Time - 4 hours 20 minutes    Grade - mod/hard

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Y Garn from Ogwen Cottage (Route B)
Click image to visit gallery of 3 images.

At 3,107 feet, Y Garn (The Cairn) is one of the Welsh peaks over three thousand feet, but this is a circular route which can be completed in half a day if need be (about five hours). If staying for a few days in Snowdonia, it may therefore be considered a suitable walk for a last day before departing later in the afternoon, though the walk could also be combined with some of the other Glyderau summits if more time is available. There is a steep, well constructed path leading up from Llyn Idwal, but the route offers no real difficulties for anybody used to walking in mountains and therefore having the necessary stamina.

The Snowdonia walk starts at Idwal Cottage at the head of Llyn Ogwen. There is a youth hostel here with the mountains of Snowdonia on its doorstep. A well-constructed stone path leads, in less than a mile, to Llyn Idwal, a lake with the rock cleft known as the Devil's Kitchen at the far end. The Idwal Slabs, a well-known rock climbing spot, is passed by the route at the far end of the lake, on the left as seen from the outflow. It is quite possible that by this point, you will have seen people walking up this way with their rock climbing equipment and this may be a chance to see such activity at first hand. The first time I ever saw Llyn Idwal, the tops were covered in cloud after heavy rainfall, resulting in several swollen waterfalls coming down the mountainside above the lake as if coming from the clouds themselves.

At the outflow, follow the path ahead to the left of the lake and heading directly towards the Idwal Slabs. Having passed the lake, the path then goes to the right as it gains altitude, crosses a downward stream and continues on the other side before starting the upward climb to the left. The path doesn't go to the Devil's Kitchen itself, a massive cleft in the hillside, but follows a course to the left, of it emerging on to a relatively level area of ground where the small lake Llyn Y Cwn is situated. At this point, it's a case of onwards and upwards (to the right) though this is a bit of a dull slog to the top of Y Garn. Be prepared though for a dramatic view down to the right looking down on the two small lakes of Llyn Clyd - that is provided that the view is not blotted out by cloud as it was on the occasion of my visit in September 2005.

The downwards route can be followed by picking out a narrow path that leads gently at first down the shoulder to the right that overlooks Llyn Clyd to the east, but soon becomes much steeper and requires careful footwork as height is lost fairly rapidly. The route should present no difficulties from a route finding point of view as it follows the ridge down and rejoins Llyn Idwal near the outflow. To complete the walk, follow the path back down to Idwal Cottage.


Other walks nearby

Walk 1088 The Traverse of the Glyder Ridge from Ogwenhard5.5 miles
Walk 1186 Y Garn from Ogwen Cottage (Route A)mod/hard4.5 miles
Walk 3019 Y Garn & Carnedd y Filiast from Ogwen Cottagehard8.5 miles
Walk 3062 Pen yr Ole Wen from the Ogwen Valleymoderate5.0 miles
Walk 2417 A Glyderau trio: Glyder Fach, Glyder Fawr and Tryfan mod/hard6.5 miles

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