Glyderau from Pen-y-Pass
Key information: Glyderau from Pen-y-Pass
- A fine circuit of one of Snowdonias great massifs, with views galore.
- Walkopedia rating86
- Natural interest15
- Human interest6
- Negative points0
- Total rating86
- Length: 10km
- Maximum Altitude: 898m
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
The circuit of the Glyderau from Pen-y-Pass is a proper walking joy.
Parking at Pen-y-Pass is often difficult, so one option is to park by the historic Pen-y-Gwryd hotel to the east (where you walk back to anyway), and walk or take a bus up to Pen-y-Pass.
You climb quickly to a pretty lakelet in a huge bowl below the steep sides of the two Glyders. Beyond it, you have to tackle a long climb on often invisible paths up the grassy flank of Glyder Fawr. After what feels like forever, you reach the rough but more gently sloping summit slopes.
The 1,001m summit is one of several large piles of broken rock on the rather featureless high rocky platform. You then head due east, fairly flat for some while, to join the lip of the great cliffs and corries of the northern slopes. The panorama from the summit is fine, across the deep Ogwen valley to the inviting high cliffs and ridges of the Carneddau, and south to the high Snowden and Lliwedd ridges, but this is now real visual drama time.
You then drop to a col and climb back up indistinct paths through very rough and broken rocks, below the spires known as the Castle of the Winds, to the summit of Glyder Fach at 994m. Its most famous feature is the huge flat rock of Y Gwyliwr apparently teetering on a rocky lever. You now have wonderful views north to Tryfan and on to the Carneddau, and ever-better ones south to the high Snowden massif.
Descend the long path eastward to the flat shoulder beyond which is the pleasing hump of Y Foel Goch. Most people will turn south on the good Miners Track to descend rocky hillsides, past some waterfalls, back to the Pen Y Gwyrd hotel. The energetic can also nip eastward to bag Y Foel Goch first, which itself has splendid views. Walkopedia did this and can vouch for it being well worthwhile.
The walk feels longer than its 10km.
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