Tryfan – A Winter Climb In The Snowdonia Mountains

Tryfan, at 917.5 metres/3010 ft is part of the Glyderau group and has a very distinctive peak. It is the only mountain in Britain apart from the Cuillin’s in Skye that requires the use of hands to make the ascent. 

We walked the final section of the Offas Dyke long distance footpath in Wales in May 2008 and had varying standards of accommodation, which unfortunately is usual in the UK. On the penultimate night we stayed at Tan-Yr-Onnen, a 5 star guest house near St. Asaph. Being highly impressed with the facilities and the owners attention to detail, we decided to treat our wives to a weekend there later in the year.

This is an image of the climb up Tryfan.

It was November 2008 when we eventually made the trip to Tan-Yr-Onnen. On the Saturday we made the decision to drive to Snowdonia and climb Tryfan in the Ogwen Vally. Tryfan is a mountain I have always wanted to climb but the opportunity had never presented itself previously. Although the weather was cold and the higher parts were snow covered it was a very enjoyable climb with terrific views of the surrounding peaks, when the clouds permitted.

We parked in the car park just off the A65 road by the lake of Llyn Ogwen. We decided on the north ridge of Tryfan as our preferred route of ascent. Initially it was reasonably easy walking. After the first section some scrambling was needed on this route to the summit. Finally the summit was reached and the traditional rock jump from ‘Adam’ to ‘Eve’ was wisely not attempted due to the icy conditions.

Although the total distance was only just over 3 miles it was a hard 3 miles. We descended by the south side of Tryfan passing near the lake of Llyn Bochlwyd. It is sometimes called Lake Australia due to it’s shape resembling the country of Australia. We then headed north back to the car park for the long drive back to our accommodation.  


Tryfan — 8 Comments

  1. Hey Bill,

    This is awesome scenic countryside. The views are breathtaking and you’ve manged to capture them very well. Looks like you had the time of your life there. Cheers 🙂

    • Yes Sarah, the views were exceptional and my photography is improving although I still work on the principal that 1 out of 4 shots will be OK.

  2. Hi Bill,

    Steep and chilly climb, but boy, the views are great. I was thinking the same as Barry, was the climb down easy going?

    Nice video shots Bill, thanks for sharing them.

    Take care

    • Hi Julie, it was certainly steep and cold but worth it for the views. The descent was on a different route and was reasonably easy. Just found your comment, it ended up in my spam folder! Bill

  3. Hi Bill,

    I’ve been to Wales numerous time as my in-laws are welsh and still live there but i’ve never seen any views like these ones. They do have some stunning scenery and i’ve often been caught looking out across some of it.

    I noticed that you kept taking a peak at the view of where you’d parked the cars, was that to admire the view or check on the cars Bill?

    With those slopes where you had to use your hands climbing up were they as difficult to climb back down? Just thinking of the ladies Bill 😉

    Another great video tour of your walks, fair play to you.

    I’ve now added this to the page on my blog Bill, thanks for taking part in the challenge 🙂

    Best of luck with your venture mate,

    • Hi Barry, I was watching a programme the other day and it said here in the UK we have the most diverse scenery anywhere in the world. This I can believe, it’s just a shame we also have most of the undesirables here as well.
      No Barry we weren’t checking on the cars, it was such a great view it was a shame not to photograph it from different heights. We actually descended on a different route with very little hand work required, the ascent was over rock for the most part, so hands were necessary.
      I seem to be doing more video than text now Barry, thanks for the push.