Walking... Keeping it Safe, Fun, and Enjoyable.!


Scroll down to see the walks...



A Fat Bloke Called Chris...

Well I'm err...a bit fat, and I love being in the mountains! I started walking a few summers ago, and the mountains really got hold of me. I love being up there, it really does let you clear your head and put the whole world into perspective. The views I have been privileged to witness are just breathtaking and I will never forget a single one of them.



Walking... Keeping it Safe, Fun, and Enjoyable.!

Walking is a really fun passtime, and I wholeheartedly recommend you try it! You'll see some truly breathtaking places, meet really friendly people and you'll get fitter too!

People of all levels of age / fitness can go walking it's simply a matter of starting with something not too strenuous and seeing how you get on.

However before you set of for a days walking there are some things that I would strongly advise...

Firstly, always,..ALWAYS...,did I mention ALWAYS?
Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. If possible leave a copy of the route you intend to take with someone and put rough timings on it too. That way if you were not to return in a timely manner someone is aware of it and has a rough idea of where people can start to look for you should you be in trouble.

Next get a pair of good walking boots..! Try them on! If possible (it may not be) wear them at every opportunity before actually heading into the hills. You'll want supple comfortable boots, blisters hurt! Waterproof boots will also be a huge bonus!

If you are heading into the countryside for the day, check the weather forecast, and dress accordingly. Layers are better than a thick jumper as you can regulate your temperature better by adding and removing a few. Waterproof outers are also a good investment... Something light that breathes but is waterproof will keep you warm when the wind picks up and its wet!

Have a map...have a compass... and most importantly learn how to use both. It's a lot simpler than most people realise but it is one of the best skills you can have if you lose your bearings. GPS units are handy too, but are prone to signal loss, and DEAD batteries can make them USELESS when you need them most!

Also get a whistle...get a REALLY loud whistle! In the countryside 6 blows on a whistle is the internationally recognised distress call, anyone who hears 6 blows on a whistle will come to help and summon any other aid you may need. So just blow 6 times, wait a couple of minutes, and repeat until aid comes. If anyone hearing you also has a whistle they may respond with 3 whistle blows.

Take food and most importantly WATER. I never go walking without at least 2L of water with me. Sip often and you'll really feel the benefits..and no you wont be running to the loo every 100yds dont worry. Your walking will have you losing water fast if you dont top up!

Take a mobile phone, just in case you need to contact anyone. (Though be aware that you may or may not have signal)

Finally it's not a race......
Take it in your own time...and stop often to really ENJOY the view!


Tryfan, The Glyders and Y Garn...



This is another "Horseshoe" walk and was a fantastic day out with my good friend Mark and my eldest son George.  12hrs of walking and scrambling that was just glorious on a warm clear day when the visibility was superb.  It was George's first real outing on this sort of walking/scrambling and I have to say I'm immensely proud of him.  He showed a really mature attitude to the mountains far beyond his years and he enjoyed it so much, after this day I would happily take him with me on any other trek.

The day started in a car park just off the road by the side of Llyn Ogwen at 07:30hrs.  All packed up with the usual gear, we set off along the road towards Tryfan and turn onto the path heading for the north ridge of Tryfan.  As usual it began to rise steadily and the legs soon get warm and for the most part on Tryfan you can "make your own way".

Mark further up and George just above me finding our own way up the north ridge....


A great point of interest on the ascent is "the Cannon" which is a rock that...well take a guess why it's called that.  It turned into a great spot for a quick snap, a banana break and a drink, before we carried on "generally up".  We haven't travelled far in terms of distance, but we have gained LOTS of height already as you can see below.

The Cannon...

There's generally good progress made, the only slightly tricky bits being a couple of gullys to cross but it's just great scrambling fun all the way.  About 09:40 now and we catch our first sight of "Adam and Eve" at the top!

Heroic posing here..
and in the background at the top...is that Adam...or is it Eve?

At the top just a few minutes after 10:00 ...and well it's just not right not to do the jump...

George first...


Then Fat Bloke dad...
...that was just too much fun!

I really did think this was to be the highlight of the day, but in fact this walk had even more in store for me later on!  Another banana and drink break and a look around before we start to descend passing the "south summit".  On the descent you get a great view of Llyn Bochlwydd otherwise known as "Australia Lake" can you see why?  In the far distance beyond Australia Lake is Llyn Idwal...




..and from then on it's onward towards "Bristly Ridge".

Bristly Ridge...


This ascent up onto Glyder Fach can be approached a number of ways.  From the scree slope to the left, the gully up the middle, and the rock face on the right.  As a rough guide it goes from easier through harder to bloomin well idiotic as you go left to right.  Mark's been before and recons we should take the gully.  I've since found out that it's proper name is "Sinister Gully" just wait till I see him next!  It's listed as a grade 2 scramble involving "some exposed and steep sections of climbing" and was a challenge for me and George in that the hardest bit is "seeing" the route up in terms of hand and footholds.  With encouragement and good advice we found our way up safely and it was just brilliant.  In terms of difficulty this was far more challenging than Crib Goch in the Snowdon HorseShoe for example and was definitley my "achievement" for the day to take home.

George about to head up Sinister Gully on Bristly Ridge...

A quick look back to the way we came down Tryfan...


After the gully there is also a section known as the Great Pinnacle Gap which needs a little bit of care but can be crossed safely.  It is more a test of nerve than technically difficult, but you must of course still give it plenty of respect.

Once we crowned the ridge, we were on top of Glyder Fach and it is an absolute luna landscape.  It's quite incredible.  Ahead of us we could see the mound of stones that contain the famous "Cantilever" which from the right angle does appear to be precariously balanced.  Again it would just have been wrong not to take the obligatory photograph.

Somewhere in here is the Cantilever stone...


George on the Cantilever...

Lunchtime now, and a 10min stop!  More water on board we ready ourselves as we pass the psychological half way mark in our heads...  Weve done most of the "up" now surely!  Ahead of us are the summit stones of Glyder Fach and then on to the Castel Y Gwynt (Castle of the Winds).  This truly impressive structure really does "whistle" as the wind passes through the enormous vertical shards of rock.  It reminded me and Mark of the castle from the film "Krull" when I was a lad.

Some other walkers and their dog! Crossing the summit stones...
...they came up from Pen Y Pass and headed straight back down again...


The Castle of the Winds...the Snowdon HorseShoe in the distance...

Passing through the Castle was good fun and it is a longer dop on the other side.  From then on it's a dirt track path leading across to Glyder Fawr.   A rock cairn shows the way ahead, and the landscape really does resemble the moon now...

"Houston...The Eagle has landed!"...




Just before the path heads down a very long section of scree towards Llyn Y Cwn, there is a collection of rocks known as the "Penguins"...

Then it's down the scree for us and at the bottom we stopped at the lake.  Boots and socks off, and feet in the water for ten mins of pure heaven.  That water is SO cold even in summer and then fresh socks, boots on, and off towards our last peak for today...Y Garn.  At this point, you can from the lake head right and descend down the "Devils Kitchen" path also if you like.  For us however, Y Garn was calling and the path is obvious and splits into a direct straight path and a route along the ridge to the right.  We took this second line and were rewarded with some lovely views down the valley for our efforts.  I was lagging behind the other two here as my right knee began to get a little "annoyed" with me and I took a couple of rest stops.

From the scree looking back to Tryfan...

The paths up Y Garn...She's calling us....
...we took the right hand fork...

Once at the top it was a well earned rest with perhaps the most magnificent view of the day!! 
Click HERE for a Panoramic Photo...then scroll down to the image "Y Garn"

If your browser resizes the image to fit your screen, just click on the image to view at full size.

A quick call to my wife to say we're still all safe and I haven't lost our son!  (I tend to lose stuff...)  Then we begin to descend.  Again more stunning views of where we have been today tempered only by my now very angry knee shouting at me with each step down...is it just me or is down harder than up?  No matter, it cant upset me today I'm just having an amazing day so I slow down and take my time...there there!  The knee's happier now.!

Beautiful Tryfan...

These guys were really good in waiting for "Fatso"...

Our car is down there somewhere...

Finally the path leads down to Cwm Idwal and then to the road.  Back at the car there was a flask of tea and a brufen waiting and memories of one of my best days in the mountains ever!

Huge thanks to Mark and George.