Glyder Fawr from Gwastadnant
Glyder Fawr


Estimated net time 3-4 hours
Difficulty No difficulties, except that a couple of scrambling moves are needed in order to get to the very highest point.
Drinking water Most of the ascent up to 700 metres runs along streams offering running water, but longs stretches are on the other side of a fence.
GSM coverage Coverage in the lower sections, and the upper couple of hundred vertical metres (November 2012).
Parking Room for one or two cars at trail head, and many more on car park a little down the road.
Start height 118 metres
Vertical metres 900 metres for the roundtrip.
Trip distance 7.9 km
GPS-file X


Route photo

  Glyder Fawr trail head by Gwastadnant.
  Path towards Glyder Fawr from Llyn y Cwn.


From the A5/A470 junction outside the village Betws-y-Coed drive 9.5 km west on road A5, to the A5/A4086 junction in Capel Curig. Turn left onto A4086 and drive 6.8 km to the A498/A4086 junction. Turn right, continuing on A4086, and drive 5.6 km towards Llanberis. Find parking on the right hand side of the road where signed "Public footpath".

Start your hike by following the slate covered road uphill to its end, approximately 150 metres. Cross the stile on the left hand side of the house and follow the path that runs on the right hand side of the stream. This path will take you up the relatively steep section to 500 metres, and then towards the lake Llyn y Cwn at 711 metres. Make sure you continue straight ahead after you've crossed the stile in the flat section before the lake.

Pass the lake on its left (north) side and then turn right and follow the scree path south and later south-east to the summit. When the path gets less visible above 900 metres frequent cairns will guide you towards the summit. The summit consists of a number of small pinnacles, of which two are potential summit candidates. The one to the right (south) is likely to be the highest. This is the larger of the two pinnacles, and it can be easily scrambled from the back (east) side.

Descend by reversing your ascent route.



03. November 2012

I had already hiked Carnedd Dafydd and Carnedd Llewelyn earlier this Saturday, and thanks to two kind workers who gave me a lift my 6 km back to my car, I was ready to take on the only Welsh major missing on my list. My intention was to drive up to Pen-y-Pass and hike Glyder Fawr through its shortest route, and I was prepared to queue up at Pen-y-Pass and wait until space became available at the car park. But there were other hikers already in the queue for potential slots becoming available so I quickly decided to go for plan-B; the longer route from Gwastadnant.

My issue with hiking from Gwastadnant was that I didn't know exactly where the route started, so when I found a potential candidate trail head I had to get the map out and start a detailed study. This exercise convinced me that I had found the right place, and was confirmed a moment later when two hikers came down the road I intended to follow.

Hiking up towards the flat section by Llyn y Cwn was technically easy, but the terrain is relatively steep, and with 1000 vertical metres already on my sore knee I was not on for any speedy ascent. Hence I walked at a steady pace, and very much enjoyed the nice terrain and the fact that it wasn't raining. But as I got around half-way between Llyn y Cwn and the summit the weather suddenly changed, and I had to fight my way through what was close to a snow storm, making me seriously concerned about navigation. But thanks to a number of hikers coming down from Glyder Fawr I was able to find the best route, and just before I got to the summit it stopped snowing and the wind calmed down a little.

As I approached the summit I realised that there were two small pinnacles of almost the same height, and of course only one of them would be the true summit. I studied both of the as I approached them, and decided to have a go at the one on my right. And after having ascended it, through a couple of scrambling moves from the back side (east), I concluded that the bulkier of the two pinnacles was the highest.

Taking photos from the top of the pinnacle wasn't very easy because of the strong wind, but I found shelter down on the east side, where I also enjoyed some water and a few biscuits. After this I started my descent, very happy with having completed the week-end's objective of bagging my two missing Welsh majors during the first day, and I was very much looking forward to a proper meal back at my hotel in Betws-y-Coed.

Photos 03.11.2012