Ogwen Valley Hike

Matt Lynch
Article By: Matt Lynch
3 months ago
0 ratings
Nature-Hill Nature-Lake Nature-Mountain Nature-River Nature-Rock formation Nature-View point

Go on a hike in the Ogwen Valley, the opportunities are vast. Here are a few suggestions of trails you can do. EASY: Take a short walk up to Cwm Idwal, a glacial cirque. Thousands of years ago, snow was compressed to neve and then compacted to ice. This began to turn and grind out the hollow in the mountain. Soon, a glacier formed and began to flow down the valley leaving the gaping void known as Cwm Idwal you see today! As with many places in Wales, there’s another story behind the formation of Cwm Idwal. Legend states Idwal was a 12th-century prince who was murdered by his jealous uncle Nefydd due to his beauty. Nefydd took Idwal into the mountains and pushed him into the icy lake where he drowned. Stricken with grief, Idwal’s father named the lake after his son to mark his memory in eternity. They say that since that day, birds have never nested around the waters of Cwm Idwal through respect and sorrow. MEDIUM/HARD: If you have more energy and feel like going on a scramble, climb to the top of Tryfan, voted the UK’s favourite mountain in a Trail Magazine poll. It’s a halfway house between hiking and mountaineering! The summit looks like three angular fins of rock hence the name “Tri-faen”. Atop this 918-metre summit are two stacks of rock known as the Adam and Eve pillars (“Sion a Siân” in Welsh). It’s become something of a ritual to attempt a leap between these two pillars to mark your successful summiting of Tryfan! Not for the faint-hearted, but well worth the views once you reach the top. The classic route is from Bwlch Tryfan, which is a Grade I scramble. Tryfan, like many areas in Snowdonia, holds yet more Welsh history. In 1907, the British explorer and mountaineer George Mallory climbed the peak and remarked on its "exposed climbing". Sadly, he died in his attempt to climb Everest in 1924. Later, Sir Edmund Hillary followed in his footsteps and practised mountaineering technique on Tryfan before becoming the first person to summit Mount Everest alongside Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Tryfan is also said to be the final resting place of Bedwyr Bedrynant, the knight who parted ways with Excalibur in Llyn Ogwen. MEDIUM/HARD: Hike to the top of the Carneddau. 220km of some of the most mountainous areas in England and Wales. The name Carneddau, means cairns in English – the piles of stones used as summit markers throughout Wales and indeed the mountains of the world. The Carneddau Southern Ridge Circuit is a hefty mountain hike that includes a Grade I scramble and the summiting of three peaks: Pen yr Ole Wen (978 m), Carnedd Dafydd (1,044 m), and Carnedd Llewelyn (1,064 metres). It’s a no-nonsense 15 km loop-hike that takes in some sensational views over Tryfan, Cwm Idwal, and the Ogwen Valley as well as out to the Menai Strait. On a clear day, you can even see the craggy ridge of Crib Goch leading to Snowdonia’s highest mountain, Snowdon (1,085 m).
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  • Dyffryn Ogwen, Betws-y-Coed LL57 3LZ, UK
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