At a glance
Group Walk Price: £59
Summits: Glyder Fach (994m) & Glyder Fawr (1001m)
Distance: 8 miles (12.5km)
Total ascent: 850m
Time: 5-7 hours
Fear factor: Moderate
After Snowdon, the Gylders is our most popular guided walk. It is top of the list for any serious Snowdonia hiker and for good reason. This rugged and rocky mountain landscape is one of the most stunning views Snowdonia has to offer. They boast two of Snowdonia’s most iconic sights ‘Castell y Gwynt’ and the ‘Cantilever Stone’ which were both featured in Disney's Dragonslayer! Generations of hillwalkers have tried to topple the huge ‘Cantilever Stone’ but none have succeeded. The fun doesn’t stop there as this walk also passes the iconic ‘Devil’s Kitchen’ and three stunning lakes ‘Llyn Idwal’, ‘Llyn y Cwn’ and ‘Llyn Bochlwyd’.
Snowdonia Guided Walk:
Who is it for?
The Glyders is a shorter walk than Snowdon but is more difficult. It is perfect for average people who are reasonably fit and can walk on steep and uneven ground.
We accept children of 13 years and over on our Group Walks. Anyone under the age of 18 has to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times. Please contact us to arrange a Private Guiding walk for parents and children under 13 years of age.
What equipment do I need?
We will send you a detailed kit list upon booking and again shortly before the event.
Normal hiking gear is needed and this varies a little depending on the time of year and the forecast on the day. Items that are always required which you may need to go out and buy include walking boots/ walking shoes (not trainers), a waterproof jacket and a rucksack.
We can give you advice about what to buy if you have booked onto one of our walks.
Where does it start?
We will send you out detailed Event Notes by email before the walk which include where and when to meet and parking instructions.
All of our instructors are fully qualified Mountain Leaders with a minimum of a 16 hour First Aid certificate. All participants are covered by our Public Liability Insurance.
The Glyders Guided hike starts at the Ogwen Cottage and heads in a southerly direction on a good footpath towards ‘Llyn Idwal’. Progress is easy as and the ground is not steep. After roughly 20 minutes you will reach the first of three lakes ‘Llyn Idwal’. This beautiful lake is a jewel set in a stunning amphitheatre of rock which makes up the steep slopes of Glyder Fawr (pronounced gli-duh-vow-uh). Climbers can usually be seen inching their way up the ‘Idwal Slabs’ which are a rite of passage for any Welsh climber. After walking the length of the lake the ground begins to steepen as you head up into the rocky headwall of the valley or ‘cwm’ in Welsh. Hands are needed in places as you pass huge boulders which tumbled down the mountain long ago. As you gain height the ground steepens and you will have a close up view of a huge cleft in the rock which is the renowned ‘Devils Kitchen’.
After roughly 150m the climb eases and you will be rewarded for your effort by pleasant views of the second lake ‘Llyn y Cwn’. Following this there is a scree ‘path’ that is initially steep and difficult for about 400m (160m vertically) but does ease in gradient as it swings from the south to the south west as it makes its way to the summit of Glyder Fawr (1001m) the highest mountain in the Glyders and the fifth highest mountain in Snowdonia. On a clear day you will have glorious views across the Llanberis valley to Snowdon.
After reaching the highest point of the route, a welcome break from the climb is enjoyed as the path descends in a westerly direction towards the second peak of the day Glyder Fach (994m) (pronounced gl-duh-vak [throaty soft k]). Care needs to be taken here, especially on misty days as you approach the Cwm Cneifion (The Nameless Cwm) as the drop is huge, but the views are incredible! Soon you will reach the saddle that is halfway between the Glyders (Bwlch y Ddwy- Glyder). After this you gain height and pass the rocky ramparts of the Castell y Gwynt reaching into the sky
This part of the walk is a rip roaring adventure as you scramble over the shattered rocks which make up the summit of Glyder Fach. The most intriguing of these is the giant ‘Cantilever Stone’. The twin peaks of the Glyders are stunning on a clear day with magnificent views of Snowdon, the Carneddeau and Tryfan. This is an epic adventure especially when the mountain mist descends making navigating off these mountains particularly challenging.
There are two options for descent off Glyder Fach towards the Bwlch Tryfan (Saddle of Tryfan), the easiest of which is via ‘The Miners Track’. After reaching the Bwlch Tryfan, the route heads North West towards the last of the triad of lakes ‘Llyn Bochlwyd’. After this the walk continues to descend North West initially beside the Nant Bochlwyd stream until the footpath and the stream gradually separate and you get closer to the start/finish point; Ogwen Bank.