Guide to Climbing Tryfan

Climbing Tryfan - Introduction

If you are looking to Climb Tryfan then this is the Blog for You... This Blog on Tryfan has been provided to give you every bit of information you will need to know when climbing Tryfan.

Where is Tryfan?

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Tryfan is a Mountain that is located in the UK specifically Wales. Its found in the North West of Wales within the Snowdonia National Park, Tryfan is the sixth highest peak in Wales and the most iconic Mountain in Wales.

Above is an image that locates where Tryfan is in the UK.  You can check on google Maps how long it will take you to get to Tryfan from your location.   

How Can I Get To Tryfan?

There are Many ways you can get to Tryfan, however it all depends on where you are based. if you live within the UK and are not immediately local to Tryfan the easiest option would be to drive. Below are the different transport options on how to get to the base of the mountain. 

- Car 

There are Many different Routes up Tryfan and depending on what route you take will give you a different parking location. However they all start from one car park.

Ogwen Cottage, Nant Ffrancon, Bethesda, Bangor LL57 3LZ

- Train 

The nearest Train station to Tryfan is the Betws-y-Coed Train station

- Plane

If you are coming from overseas you will most likely be travelling by Plane, it is suggested that you would land in either Birmingham (134 miles) or Liverpool (79.5 miles) From there will will be able to catch a Train or a coach to the immediate area.

How High Is Tryfan?

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918M

Tryfan is the sixth Highest Mountain in Wales standing at 918m (3,560 ft). Snowdons parent mountain is Ben Nevis located within the Scottish Highlands.

How Long Does It Take To Walk Up And Down Tryfan?

The time it will take you to climb Tryfan will vary depending on your level of fitness and which route you decide to take up the mountain.

North Ridge

📸 @mountainsanmacros

Distance -  2Km / 1.2 miles 


Time - 3 - 4


Ascent - 600m

Tryfan-North-Ridge-route-apex-international
South Ridge

📸@petershoosmithphotography

Distance -  12.9Km / 8 miles 


Time - 6 - 7


Ascent - 940m

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Heather Terrace

📸 @andy_sut

Distance -  6.7Km / 4.2 miles 


Time - 5 - 6


Ascent - 700m

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How Many Routes are there up Tryfan?

There are 4 main routes up Tryfan each of them with varied distance and difficulties, below are the stages of each route.

North Ridge

The Tryfan North Ridge Scramble is a challenging route. Start off from the car park at Llyn Ogwen by climbing up to the Summit of Tryfan and along Tryfan’s North Ridge and finally head down the scramble on Tryfan’s South Ridge.

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Stage 1

📸 @mrsmariehunter

The Tryfan North Ridge route starts from the car park along the A5. You will approach over boulders before heading off below the Milestone Buttress. Head directly uphill towards the stile, once across you head straight up following a well beaten path.

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Stage 2

📸 @soniawilliams_x

The path splits into two sections a scrambly route and a path, the scramble is much longer and time-consuming this scramble section to the summit is mainly big boulders and is quite prolonged all the way to the summit. there will be a few path along the way you can take to the summit.

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Stage 3

📸 @steven.bunney74

Once you reach the somewhat plateaued summit you will head straight across and make your way down the south ridge. The descent down the South Ridge is fairly difficult as for most the way you will be climbing down boulders, there will be paths to head down as you get nearer the bottom.

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Stage 4

📸 @petershoosmithphotography

Once you have reached the base of the Tryfan south ridge you can choose to head staight back to ogwen valley and to the car park or you can go to Cwm Idwal and head back to the car park afterwards.

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North Ridge

South Ridge

Tryfan South Ridge is a route up the easier side of Tryfan after reaching the summit you can head back down the south ridge or continue onto the North ridge and head down this way.


Stage 1

📸 @mrsmariehunter

This route starts from the A5 from Ogwen. The route for Tryfan South Ridge is straightforward, setting off on the old coach road towards Gwern Gof Isaf at which point you start off uphill. You will contour around the base of this magnificent mountain, where you will be able to se people heading up the heather terrance.

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Stage 2

📸 @petershoosmithphotography

It’s a steady walk until the very final pull up to Bwlch Tryfan, There’s a clear path to start with, and this does go all the way to the summit if you can keep on it. The bouldery nature of the ground makes it difficult to stay on path however you may have to do some light scrambling.

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Stage 3

📸 @steven.bunney74

Head along the plateu to the summit of Tryfan. Once you are at the summit you can head back the way you can or you are able to head straight across and head back down the North ridge.

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Stage 4

📸 @soniawilliams_x

To head down the North ridge you will need to follow the faint path all the way down, this route will still require a bit of scrambling .Once you reach the base of the mountain you can then follow the path back to the car park.

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South Ridge

Heather Terrance

Tryfan Heather Terrace is one of the three main routes up to the summit of Tryfan, with the Tryfan North Ridge and Tryfan South Ridge being the other two. The Tryfan Heather Terrace is still a tough route. While it’s definitely easier than the North Ridge, it’s a very tough walk and as it finishes off on the South Ridge.

Stage 1

This route starts from ogwen valley by the A5 where a good path sets off towards Capel Curig. After 100m or so, take the stile to the right and head off along a faint path directly towards Tryfan. On reaching the cliffs below Tryfan , you’ll need to begin to veer to your right towards the heathery and rocky slopes of Tryfan. The path is sketchy initially, but becomes clearer as you gain height

Stage 2

Head towards an obvious notch in the skyline, which becomes increasingly steep and scrambly as you ascend to a slightly flatter area above. You can also get here by following the North Ridge path for around 300m from the road, The next section is horrible scree. The heather Terrance starts at the end of the scree section.

Stage 3

The Heather Terrace now follows a convenient ledge along the eastern face of Tryfan, allowing views up at climbers and down at walkers in Cwm Tryfan. It’s not particularly exposed, and provides a steady ascent up to Tryfan Far South Peak with only the final section being a bit of a struggle. From Tryfan Far South Peak, you’ll need to work your way across to the main summit.

Stage 4

Descent is back along the South Ridge, The path down is clear enough once you’re on it – though is easily lost as you scramble across the boulders to reach the base of the mountain. once at the base of the south ridge you can follow the path back round to the car park.

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Heather Terrance

How hard is it to climb up Tryfan?

All Routes up Tryfan are reasonably difficult and it really depends on which route you take that will determine how hard it is to climb, above is a detailed description of all the routes up Tryfan. Generally the heather terrance route is the easiest with the north and south ridge being quite difficukt due to the steep ascent.

What is the weather like on Tryfan?

The Weather conditions on Tryfan can be unpredictable, this is due to the fact that mountain ranges tend to create their own conditions. So you should be aware that weather conditions on Tryfan can change rapidly and often for the worst. A good day at sea level is no guarantee of good weather on the mountain! You should Be safe and prepared before climbing. 

Before going to climb Tryfan you can check the forecast on the Met Office, (Make sure you check the weather for Tryfan and not the surrounding area)

Although the weather may chop and change, Tryfan Does get hotter in the summer and colder in the winter, Below is a table of the average temperature on Tryfan during the year. The Top numbers are the highest average and the bottom are the lowest.

Average Temperature

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
4°C 4°C 6°C 9°C 11°C 14°C
-1°C -1°C 0°C 1°C 4°C 7°C
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
15°C 15°C 13°C 10°C 7°C 5°C
8°C 8°C 6°C 4°C 2°C 0°C
This Table is a rough Guide for Pre planning, Please check the weather before you start your climb on Tryfan.

What is the best month to Climb Tryfan?

The Best Month to climb Tryfan depends on what you want to experience when climbing Tryfan.  For example If you would like to climb Tryfan on a hotter/clearer day then in the Mid summer would be the best time to climb, you can locate the tables on the average sunlight hours and  the average temperature during the year on Tryfan, These two tables may give you a rough idea on what month you will want to climb Tryfan. 

You may also want to know what the most popular month is to climb Tryfan to either avoid or join the many people who climb the mountain each year. The most popular time to climb Tryfan is usually during the summer, With the Winter being the more quieter times due to the worse conditions on the mountain. 

What is the best time to Climb Tryfan?

The best time to climb Tryfan will depend on the season you are climbing in and what you want to experience when climbing. Below is a table on the average sunrise and sunset times during the year.  When you go to book your trip please check the weather. The table is a rough guide so you can estimate what time you would like to climb.

Average Total Sunlight

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
08:15 07:30 06:40 06:10 05:20 04:55
16:35 17:25 18:50 20:15 21:10 21:40
8h 00m 10h 00m 12h 00m 14h 00m 16h 00m 17h 00m
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
05:15 05:35 06:50 07:15 07:40 08:10
21:30 20:30 19:30 17:30 16:20 16:05
16h 30m 15h 00m 12h 30m 10h 30m 9h 00m 7h 30m
This Table is a rough Guide for Pre planning, Please check the weather before you start your climb on .

Do i need to be able to navigate?

Some of the routes up Snowdon are fairly easy to navigate, such as the Llanberis path and the Pyg Track, the Miners track is also fairly easy however there is one tricky section as you get to the end of Glasyn. The other routes are a bit trickier to navigate espesially Crib Goch and the top of the Watkin path. On a clear day it will be a lot easier to navigate all of these routes however conditions can change and when the weather is bad even some of the easy routes can get hard to navigate. It would be highly recommend to bring a map and compass when climbing Snowdon especially the harder routes, and you should pre plan and know roughly where your going before climbing. You do not need to be an expert at map reading to climb Snowdon when undertaking easy routes on a clear day, if you are to undertake Crib Goch in winter or bad visibility it is advised that you can ready a map confidently and know what you are doing. 

What do i need to bring when climbing up Tryfan?

The ideal kit list when climbing Tryfan will vary slightly depending on what season you are climbing in, in the winter you will need warmer clothes and base layers etc, however the essentials will pretty much stay the same.

Warm and waterproof clothing

These items are essential all year round due to the temperamental conditions on Tryfan, in the summer it may be hot at the base of the mountain, however the conditions will get slightly cooler and could become drastically worse at the the top, due to this make sure you bring waterproofs and warm clothing up with you.

A pair of good walking boots

You will need a pair of decent walking boots regardless of the weather or temperature when climbing Tryfan.

Useful Hiking Equipment

You will need to bring essential bits of hiking equipment when climbing Tryfan. These items consist of a map, compass, torch, whistle and first Aid Kit. You can also bring trekking poles, however they are not essential.

Food and Water

Tryfan is a long days hike regardless of which route you are taking so it is a must that you bring plenty of food and drink with you when climbing. you MUST take your litter down the mountain with you!

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Guide to Climbing Tryfan created

01/02/2021