Walk up Glyder Fawr via the Devil’s Kitchen

Route Information

Snowdonia, A5, Bangor, Conwy LL57 3LZ, UK

Directions

Summits on this Route
Glyder Fach - 994.3m 5/5
Glyder Fawr - 1000.8m 5/5

Route Summary:

The route up Twll Du / The Devil’s Kitchen is often seen as a bit of a ‘tourist’ path, underestimate this track at your own peril!

Distance: 12 Kms

Ascent: 930 metres

Time: 5 hours

Start and Finish: Idwal Cottage

Facilities:

Toilet and visitor centre.

Hazards: Steep Ground, loose scree. Navigation on summits in mist.

Public Transport:

Infrequent Sherpa buses from Bangor and Betws y Coed.

Parking: LL57 3LZ

Parking Post Code for Sat Nav: Limited parking available. Pavement parkers on the A5 will rightly be ticketed.

Weather Forecast:

Met Office Snowdonia Mountain Weather

Walk up Glyder Fawr via the Devil’s Kitchen

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The ascent of the Glyderau via the Devil’s Kitchen from Ogwen is one of the classic Snowdonia walks. Setting off steadily up to Llyn Idwal, the path then begins to show it’s true colours and climbs steeply up the Devil’s Kitchen. It then becomes steeper for the scree path up Glyder Fawr, but once you’re up there then you realise the climb was worth it.

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1 The walks starts off anywhere along the A5 between Glan Denau and Ogwen. We suggest setting off at the far end at Glan Denau in order to get the pavement walking out of the way first. Alternatively, you can walk along the north shore of Llyn Ogwen rather than following the A5. Head towards Ogwen and the visitor centre, with the good path ascending to the left.

2 Folow this well made path as is climbs steadily up to Cwm Idwal. At Llyn Idwal, you can take the path along either shore, we just happened to choose to turn right for this ascent.

3 The path gains height steadily, until you reach the steep climb to Devil’s Kitchen. There, the walk takes on a new aspect as the path rises steeply between the crags. Eroded in places, it’s a better ascent than a descent!

4 You’ll be relieved to reach the top of this section and take a well earned breather at Llyn y Cwn. It’s best not to think about the 300m or so of loose scree you need to ascend next, and enjoy the view.

5 The scree path sets off steeply – and you’ll need to be careful which path you choose. Some of the lines to the far right bring you precariously near the clifftops and not recommended. The best line can be found to the left that seems to avoid a lot of the problems (just don’t go too far left!) and the middle ground is much more eroded, but at least doesn’t stray near the precipices.

6 Eventually, this section thankfully relents and the final 100m or so of ascent to the summit of Glyder Fawr is steadier and rockier.

7 Crossing from Glyder Fawr to Glyder Fach is reasonably straightforward in clear weather, but can be hard to follow in mist as the rocky terrain makes the path unclear in places. There are a few cairns you can follow to Bwlch y Ddwy Glyder, which marks the top of the Gribin Ridge. Head right and there should be a clear path that takes you below Castell y Gwynt and with an easy to miss left turn up a bouldery path, onto Glyder Fach.

8 Glyder Fach is a curious mountain, with the summit itself a huge boulder cairn. Best of luck finding your way up, and don’t drop anything as you’ll never see it again after it’s vanished into the gaps between these boulders. Instead, most people congregate past the summit on the plateau area around the iconic Canltilever stone.

9 This also marks the top of the Bristly Ridge, and there’s a particularly nasty scree path that descends besides it. While a quick way down, it’s not one we’d particularly recommend. Instead, turn right at he top of this path and follow what’s a good path in places down to the Miner’s Track. The path does disappear at inopportune times, and then reappears as the widest path possible!

10 The Miner’s Path crosses the Glyderau from Nant Ffrancon over to Pen y Gwryd, and makes a good descent to Ogwen from this point. The top of the path should be easily found, but some of the initial descent can be steep and eroded. It does ease off soon enough.

11 From Bwlch Tryfan you can choose to descend to most points along the A5. We’d recommend finishing the day of with a quick clamber up Tryfan’s South ridge if time and energy levels permit. You can continue to Llyn Bochlwyd and onwards to either Ogwen or directly to the laybys on the A5.  This route descends Cwm Tryfan to Glan Denau, which is a straightforward path to follow. You just need to turn left when you reach the campsite at Gwern Gof Uchaf.

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