Sunday, 13 January 2013

Y Garn East Ridge

I made the most of another rare free day today, got up and out early and headed over to the hills to see what I could get done.
No snow (just yet!), means no winter climbing, damp icy rock means suicidal  rock climbing, and rolling solo meant nothing to spicy, and wanting a bit more excitement than a long plod, lead to a grade 1/2 scramble seeming the way forward.
A flick through the guide book left me with a few options, I decided on the East Ridge of Y Garn as a suitable objective. The route description sounded great, and I like it when I see the combination of a 2* route and 'often overlooked'!
The route also sounded 'soloable' for me and also escapable for  the majority, which again made a good objective. I decided to link this ridge with summiting Y Garn, and then continuing on the high level route over new ground for me and bagging Foel Goch, Mynydd Prefedd and  Carnedd y Filiast.
I had never really paid much attention to the northen, less fashionable end of the Glyderau, but how naive could I be!

I made an early start from Ogwen cottage, leaving the car at 7:45am, I soon was over the styal's and at the base of the East Ridge. The first section of the ridge has some good scrambling, but its quite broken with heather. I soon made progress and gained height and as I witnessed a glorious sunrise I was a good 1/3rd of the way up.

The difficulties of the route and the best climbing are contained in the upper half of the ridge. When the ridge loses its identity, you trend up and left to a large triangular shaped buttress. Here I guess you can make the route more difficult with a direct approach, I went with the guide book and approached from the left. A groove is climbed which suddenly leads to an airy crest, a few steps over a knife edge ridge and a massively exposed step around a corner and your onto the final climbing up some large blocks which looked very intimidating on first glance, fortunately, when as normal your get up to the rock, a line of weakness became apparent.

From here i was soon at the summit of Y Garn, a quick coffee whilst enjoying the clear views across Snowdonia and Anglesey, then back on my way heading up the ridge to Foel Goch. After summiting Foel Goch, I headed down the scree and back up to the summit of Mynydd Perfedd. A final plod brought me to the rocky summit of Carnedd y Filiast.


I descended north from Carnedd y Filiast, down what can only be described as a bog riddled nightmare, down to the old Ogwen road. An hour later after running out of sweets to chew on the road that seemed to go on forever, I returned back to Ogwen cottage and back to my car.
I really enjoyed the day, the route was good quality, the walking was pleasant and the solitude was amazing, (only passed 2 people on my descent all day).
From leaving the car to returning took me approx 4 1/2 hours, which makes a fantastic short day!