The last weekend of September we completed Part nine of our #10mountains10months challenge.
For part nine we tackled Glyder Fawr in Snowdonia National Park – it was a very very tough walk!
The walk started in Ogwen Valley which is somewhere Toby and I have walked previously, we have been there a few times to do the Devil’s Kitchen walk.
Parking is tight at the Visitors Centre and there is usually only a limited amount of spaces available, we left at 7:00am and arrived at just before 9:00am and the Car Park was already full! We managed to find a space on the road, but this can be difficult as the cone a large section of the road off – so this is definitely a walk to start early doors!
If you manage to get a space on the Car Park there is a charge of £4.50 for the day. There are facilities at the Visitors Centre, toilets are a welcome treat after a 2 hour drive!
There is also a coffee stall to get hot drinks and cakes after you have been walking!
The walk starts off fairly steady and the walk from the Visitors Centre is fairly straightforward, there is one fork where you veer right and you then carry on until you reach the lake.
The views from the lake are astonishing, it is such a beautiful part of the countryside. Toby always insists of having a paddle no matter how cold it is, he even went in wearing his jumper on this weekend!
The route is beautiful and there are so many places to stop and take in the stunning views.
The walk follows the Devils Kitchen Path for a fair distance around, thankfully one of the sections of the path that is very tough has had some repair work done, as previously when I have visited I have had to scramble into a waterfall and climb over the other side! Which although quite fun, is fairly difficult if there has been rain! Thankfully they have now made a bridge over the waterfall which makes it much easier to negotiate!
Once we got to the more difficult section of the walk (which is still following on the Devil’s Kitchen Walk) you are required to climb a little more and the path becomes very unclear as you pick your way across boulders and rocks.
This is the point that the path for Glyder Fawr leaves the Devil’s Kitchen route, so at this point the route was now unfamiliar to me – it was a shock!
The route was very difficult to negotiate – there was lots of clambering and quite a few sections that required us to use our hands. There were several sections that were just too big of a jump for Toby so we had to climb up and one of us pass Toby up – thankfully his Ruffwear Approach Pack has a helpful handle for such situations so he was easy enough to lift up!
Toby managed to jump and chin a rock and cut the inside of his mouth during this walk so we stopped for a little while to give him a once over and make sure he was happy to carry on – of course being the little mountain goat he is he was raring to get back to climbing and rock hopping!
We were lucky enough to see a couple of mountain goats whilst we were climbing, we named them of course … Alfonso and Romeo, they were having a little domestic unfortunately and we weren’t sure if they were friends or not and Romeo (the bigger of the two) looked to be a bit of a bully!
We managed to speak to a gentleman on this walk who had sadly lost his son to suicide, we had a chat with him about the charities we are supporting and about what we were doing and why, we’ve found this challenge has encouraged other walkers to open up, and it is quite shocking to see just how many people have been affected by suicide or know someone who has been affected by suicide.
This isn’t a walk I would recommend for someone with a dog, unless your dog is very used to climbing and walking in the mountains – some of the sections that needed to be climbed were very difficult and we saw several people struggling with the path and the climb!
This final slog to the summit of Glyder Fawr was also extremely difficult, it was an extremely steep section that was scree, there was so much loose rock that every time you lifted your foot, you were sliding back down! Sophie fell on this section and hurt herself, with her having bad knees already we were getting a little concerned about carrying on up this section as it was getting steeper and the scree was all the way to the top. I was also concerned about Toby’s feet as he was getting his feet stuck in between rocks and was struggling to negotiate the very loose and moving rocks.
We decided to make a judgement call on this one – although this is a challenge we also need to ensure that we all stay safe, the challenge is to raise awareness which we are still able to do without be careless.
We also knew that as the route we were following was a there and back route that we still had quite a lot of difficult sections to get back down before we completed the walk for the day.
Walking back down wasn’t easy at all! The rocks that we had scramble up – we needed to scramble/bum-slide down …. We were very graceful about it of course!
Before we completed the walk and headed back to the car however we made sure we went to the little beach area around the lake so Toby could have a refreshing paddle before heading home!
The views from the beachy area are just stunning (as is the majority of the walk!!)
This was a walk I would not rush to do again in a hurry as it was so difficult – it also isn’t a walk I would do on my own! I will be back to the Ogwen Valley to do the Devil’s Kitchen walk as it is such a stunning area and is a really enjoyable walk – it is somewhere I would love to take Amos too one day, but when he is a little older and a little more established as a mountain goat!
The final walk of the challenge will follow soon!
Once again thank you all so much for the support ❤️