A Tale of Two Peaks- Part 2

(If your starting this second part and you haven’t read the first part, what are you doing here huh? Go back a read the first part before starting this).

After recovering from our little clamber up Bristly Ridge we pressed on forwards towards the summit of Glyder Fach that lay directly ahead of us. Unlike most summits in Snowdonia, which are marked with a simple cairn, this summit was simply a vast jumble of boulders and rocks, discard by the elements over millions of years of erosion. So in order to reach the summit we had to carefully navigate our way through this rocky jungle, which at times revealed treacherous gaps that led into inky darkness. So after yet more scrambling I finally pulled myself up onto the summit of Glyder Fach. Except it wasn’t the summit of Glyder Fach at all, I had rather unknowingly stumbled onto one of Snowdonia’s most famous rock formations, the Cantilever Stone. Naturally we had to stop to take some photos of ourselves on the Cantilever before heading onward to the actual summit of Glyder Fach.

Dad standing triumphantly on the Cantilever Stone

We were quickly able to find the summit of Glyder Fach as it was swamped by other climbers, which meant we had to squeeze our way through the packs of people and we couldn’t spend very long on the narrow summit before we had to leave as queues were soon forming behind us. From the summit, however we were treated with a glimpse of Glyder Fawr and finally caught sight of the colossal Castell y Gwynt, that had previously remained hidden until now.

Castell y Gwynt with the summit of Glyder Fawr to the right of it

The beautifully named Castel y Gwynt (which translates to ‘castle of the wind) is one of the most geologically fascinating sites I have ever seen. Formed by ice and wind, this monolithic rocky outcrop stands imposingly just behind Glyder Fach. This outcrop is so unique that some people even include in their lists of the Welsh 3000 peaks, although technically its not a mountain at all and such a placement for it is highly debatable. Being one not to take chances, I decided to climb Castel y Gwynt and left my dad in the dust. Again this involved some decent climbing and many rock edges were seriously polished and sharp, meaning I had to be careful not to cut my hands. From the top I was greeted with some pretty excellent views of Snowdon and I could even see down the length of Cardigan Bay and along the Pembrokeshire coast, a distance of over one hundred miles.

Looking towards Snowdon and down Cardigan Bay from Castell y Gwynt

Coming down off Castell y Gwynt, I was greeted by a eerie silence, somehow during the ten minutes I’d been up Castell y Gwynt, almost ever single other walker had dispersed, leaving me and dad the sole occupiers of the mountain. This was the first time we had been on our own during the entire walk and we stood there, just for a moment, enjoying the silence. Soon though we pressed forward to the next summit, Gylder Fawr, the highest point in the Glyderau Range. From Castell y Gwynt, several different scree paths led towards Glyder Fawr, though there was little difference between each route. After briefly descending down and back up a col, we found ourselves on a landscape that looked like it was from some alien world or Tolkien’s Mordor. Almost all the grass had vanished, leaving behind only a mess of stones and rocks which were occasionally broken by large spiky outcrops that stood stark against the skyline.

The strange world of Glyder Fawr

Edging our way over the rocks we finally manged to reach Glyder Fawr, our final summit. With the wind roaring in our face, our fingers chafe and sore, we managed the last scramble onto the rocky pile that marked the summit.

The Llanberis Pass from the summit of Glyder Fawr
Looking back over the scree to Glyder Fach and Castell y Gwynt from Glyder Fawr

After taking a well earned break on the summit, we began our descent down. Heading directly north, we soon came upon a scree path that led down the side of Glyder Fawr to a small lake know as Llyn Y Cwn. Here I was relieved to have my walking sticks with me, as the path descended at a rapid rate and the scree became incredibly loose. After a couple of near falls, we managed to reach the cwn.

Llyn Y Cwn looking very inviting

Determined just to get down, we pressed on with our descent, heading down towards the Devil’s Staircase which stretched past the Devil’s Kitchen. Here the path was easy as we simply had to walk down stone step after stone step, but after such a long day of scrambling it soon became a real pain for our legs. Luckily, as we pasted by the crag that is the Devil’s Kitchen we were able to see the sun shine directly through the crag, a once in a day occurrence.

The sun shines through the Devil’s Kitchen

Not long after, we reached the end of the staircase and arrived at the shores of Llyn Idwal, aching and battered, but thankful to have done such an incredible walk (more like a long scramble) on such an incredible day. Since both Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr are practically located in the center of Snowdonia, the views from the top encompassed all of the national park and beyond, making for some stunning scenes and although Bristly Ridge is certainly the hardest ridge I’ve ever come across in the British Isles, it was undoubtedly worth experiencing. With these thoughts in mind, I joined dad in the slow walk from Llyn Idwal, down to the Ogwen cafe and back to the car.

We end the day with a slow walk along Llyn Idwal

Thus concludes my tale , if you enjoyed this story feel free to write in the comments, or leave like and thanks for reading.

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This walk has been shared with Jo’s Monday Walks, a page for walkers of every caliber to share their adventures, so if you want to check out some other walking bloggers click on the link.

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  1. Spectacular opening photograph! 🙂 Makes the endurance stuff almost worthwhile. I say ‘almost’ because I’m pretty sure most of my walking friends will be more than happy to spectate. 🙂 It’s definitely a game for the fit and fearless. These days I have to concentrate so hard on uneven ground. My legs get the shakes and then I start to worry about getting back down again. Well done to you both!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll speculate too and take in those wonderful views. I must admit my heart was in my mouth looking at that photo of your dad on the Cantilever Stone! And your Castle of the Wind makes the Stiperstones look like a sand castle!

    Liked by 1 person

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