There’s a mountain in North Wales that can lay claim to being many a walker, scrambler & climbers favourite. It holds a special place in my affections – but I’m too in love with all the mountains to have a favourite yet – however Tryfan does keep me coming back again & again.
Like any great mountain it has many different faces – and just when you think you know all of its moods and seasons it can surprise you with gully you’ve passed by before – or a simple step made exciting with snow.
With the arrival of the first snow of December I headed down to Wales with my good friend Matt – we had plans for a few days – but knew that at least one of them would be spent back on Tryfan. I’m sure I’ve climbed the North Ridge a couple of dozen times by now – but the beauty of this route is its lack of precision – the whole side of the mountain is your playground if you’re confident in your scrambling – and there’s only a couple of striking places where you know you’ve definitely been before.
The snow conditions meant we never needed anything more than an axe – mixed with the profusion of handholds progress was quick & efficient. We were blessed with fabulous weather, low temperatures, bright sun and no wind all combining to make the conditions feel almost Alpine in their perfection – a rare thing for a December day, midweek in Wales.
￼For a lot of the route we amused ourselves by trying to follow the tracks of some agile little creature from the Stoat/Polecat variety, but as is often the case in the natural world his prowess soon left us behind as the tracks leapt from rock to rock in am impressively straight line. All too soon the ridge suddenly finished and we were each able to make our way up onto one of the most striking summits in the UK .￼
Once again Tryfan had provided us with a fantastic day out – I’m sure we’ll be back again soon.