Last Wednesday I took a mate over to Wales for his first walk in some mountains. He'd only ever been up one hill before and that was Snowdon by train! Having just done that scrambling course with Iain the other week I was keen to do a ridge or two, so I thought I'd throw Ady in at the deep end.
The clouds stayed higher than us most of the day, resulting in great views downwards, this despite a brief hailstorm as we parked the van just below Milestone Buttress. Tryfan seemed pretty empty as we set off just after 10am and stayed that way as we bumbled our way up to the actual North Ridge. We had a bit of ball just attempting anything in the way, using good sense to retreat when something looked like it needed rope protection. The two of us came upon a class of kids who slowed us up for a while, so with Ady seemingly a natural, we overtook then on the right of the ridge, which got a little 'open' in places and certainly provoked a few squeaky bum moments. Adam and Eve eventually came into view and Ady proudly posed in front of them... his first ever top!
It was great seeing someone enjoy their first summit proper and know that you've more than likely hooked them on the great outdoors. We headed down the South Ridge and finally sat down for a bit of lunch whilst we decided whether we were attacking Bristly Ridge or going the long way round to Glyder Fach. Now, we weren't too sure which gulley we needed to head up (brought Ashton's guide book on the way home), so we had a nose in those two main ones to the right of the stone wall and didn't like the look of them at all. Crossing the stile to the left hand side we found what I assume is the normal route up and quickly headed skywards. It was even quieter than Tryfan, we actually came across no one at all on the ridge, so whenever we came upon a bit that we weren't too sure off, we had no pressure to hurry up from other, quicker scramblers. That drop that's supposed to be scary was dispatched no problem and I'm sure that was down to us being the only ones around... no paranoid thoughts of looking rubbish swirling through a nervous mind.
Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr were topped in a bad mist that caused us to loose our bearings for a minute or two, otherwise we would have gone down Y Gribin, and then it was down the Devil's Kitchen. Ady's introduction to the hills had been a cracking walk, thouroughly recommended and after a nights camp at Dol Gam, we wandered up the Pyg Track to find queues for the summit of Snowdon in some wearisome welsh weather. Crib Goch had been on the agenda but winds, rain and cloud put paid to that idea, yet typically, on the way down the weather picked up and we could see the ridge above us... Ady saying "that doesn't look too bad after some of the stuff we did yesterday".
I think we have a new outdoors fan.
The journey home proved eventful mind... came across some Haglofs samples and spent a fortune!
Many a year since my brother Tony and I camped on Mr Griffith Williams farm for a week-end to enjoy those wonderful walks. Can anyone tell me wether the Centre is built on the land that was that farm, please.
Did the Cwm Bochlwyd Horseshoe back in April.
From the foot of Bristly, I ascended about 10 feet, then crossed the man-made wall on the left, taking the first (narrow& steep) gully, which I *think* is the Sinister Gully. So Steve Ashton says. Not easy, in my view.
After Glyder Fach and the Stone Hedgehog, I descended via Gribin Ridge, which - in my opinion - is not as simple as it is generally made out to be.
Had a *strong* east wind that day which was kind of inhibiting. Would love to do Bristly again in summer conditions and perhaps try the harder gully to the right.
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