Tryfan Heather Terrace Scramble
An alternative to the tougher Tryfan North Ridge, that’s still a tough and challenging route.
|6.7 km||702 m||5 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish:
Visitor centre with toilets and snacks at Ogwen.
Infrequent Sherpa buses from Bangor and Betws y Coed.Traveline for UK Public Transport
Parking and Post Code for Sat Nav (where applicable): LL57 3LZ
Limited parking available. Pavement parkers on the A5 will rightly be ticketed.
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Tryfan Heather Terrace Scramble Route Map and GPX Download
The Tryfan Circuit0.3km
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Tryfan Heather Terrace Scramble Details
Tryfan Heather Terrace is one of the three main (non climber) routes up to the summit of Tryfan, with the Tryfan North Ridge and Tryfan South Ridge being the other two. The Tryfan Heather Terrace is still a tough route with route finding difficulties aplenty. While it’s definitely easier than the North Ridge, it’s a very tough walk and as it finishes off on the South Ridge, is marginally harder than the South Ridge done alone.
The Tryfan Heather Terrace is DEFINITELY NOT an easy route up Tryfan. See this news article explaining how someone died thinking it was an ‘easy’ route according to a guidebook. Our opinion is clear – if you don’t possess the skills to be safe on a mountain, go with someone who does – even if you have to pay them.
This route also takes a more direct start to the route, with an alternative option being to set up the Cwm Tryfan Path from Gwern Gof Uchaf and turning right at the top of Tryfan Bach to join the route at around point 3.
Heather Terrace Route Description
1 The route starts from Glan Dena on the A5 (Sat Nav Post Code – LL24 0EU) where a good path sets off towards Capel Curig. After 100m or so, take the stile to the right and head off along a faint path directly towards Tryfan Bach.
2 On reaching the cliffs below Tryfan Bach, you’ll need to begin to veer to your right towards the heathery and rocky slopes of Tryfan. The path is sketchy initially, but becomes clearer as you gain height.
3 The target is now an obvious notch in the skyline, which becomes increasingly steep and scrambly as you ascend to a slightly flatter area above. You can also get here by following the North Ridge path for around 300m from the road.
4 The next section is horrible scree, but you’ll be glad that the Heather Terrace Proper starts at the end of this section.
5 The Heather Terrace now follows a convenient ledge along the eastern face of Tryfan, allowing views up at climbers and down at walkers in Cwm Tryfan. It’s not particularly exposed, if at all for a mountain path, and provides a steady ascent up to Tryfan Far South Peak with only the final section being a bit of a pull.
6 From Tryfan Far South Peak, you’ll need to work your way across to the main summit, with a few scrambles which can either be tackled or worked around – but with one exposed step just before the summit that is the only part that we’d consider to be exposed or your experienced hill walker.
7 Finally the summit, with Adam and Eve and a load of other people who’ve probably come up a different route to you.
8 Descent is back along the South Ridge, taking care not to veer too far right. The path down is clear enough once you’re on it – though is easily lost as you scramble across to the next section. So care is needed on this section!
9 Once you reach Bwlch Tryfan, the excitement’s practically over. You can descend via Cwm Bochlwyd or an easier descent via Cwm Tryfan. The path is clear and wide, though some sections on the initial descent can be tricky to follow due to the heather.
10 Once on the main Cwm Tryfan Path, it can be easily followed back to Gwern Gof Uchaf, with the final descent to the right of Tryfan Bach. Once at Gwen Gof Uchaf, turn left on the track to return to the start.