For a mountain lover, Snowdonia needs no introduction.
Home to Wales’ highest mountain and a recognised AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), the National Park is a staple for adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts.
As the highest peak in Wales and one of the Three Peaks, Snowdon garners much attention, not only from seasoned hikers, but also from tourists looking to get out into the wild. The railway that travels from Llanberis to the summit carries nearly 150,000 passengers annually, opening up the possibility of standing atop one of the UK’s highest points to everyone.
Whilst this is fantastic for opening up the mountains to everyone, and tourism for the National Park, the ease of access makes Snowdon a very, very busy place. Personally, one of the reasons I love the mountains is the tranquillity and the sense of wilderness…
Not at Snowdon’s summit, however.
Swathes of people queue to take a selfie at the trig point, whilst hundreds more file into the cafe to buy refreshments. Again, this is great as far as inclusion is concerned but it’s not what I want from a day in the mountains. Not at all.
Fortunately, Snowdonia is much larger than its highest point. The surrounding landscape is – in my opinion – even more beautiful and even more challenging, whilst remaining wild at the same time. Just one valley over, the Ogwen Valley is where the real fun is.The dramatic, craggy peaks of Tryfan and the Glyderau loom high above Llyn Ogwen in the valley floor. Hundreds of kilometres of untouched, undisturbed natural beauty waiting to be explored.“But where do I start?”, I hear you ask.
One of the most iconic mountains in the UK, Tryfan is an absolute must for any mountain lover. A grade one (easiest of the grades) scramble, Tryfan is best approached from the North Ridge for the first time, although there are more technical routes from the East Face.It’s the first scramble that I did and, I’ve returned over a dozen times.
Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach
Both gullies offer excellent scrambling, however Dexter Gully has more choss (loose rock and mud) to contend with.
After topping out, the plateau will be visible, scattered with sharp rock formations. It’s an easy stroll from here over the tops and down via Devil’s Kitchen.
These are just two of the possible routes in the Glyderau Range, and the nicest thing about this range is that it’s so easy to join the different peaks up.
So next time you’re heading to Snowdonia for a day in the hills, why not bypass the traffic on Snowdon and head for the wild heart of Snowdonia, Ogwen Valley.