Friday, 20 April 2018

Gallt yr Ogof & Y Foel Goch

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Route: Nant y Benglog, Gwern Gof Isaf, Gallt yr Ogof, Y Foel Goch, Llyn Caseg-fraith, Drws Nodded, Braich y Ddeugwm, Gwern Gof Isaf, Nant y Benglog

Date: 20/04/2018
From: Gwern Gof Isaf

Parking: A5 layby
Start Point: Gwern Gof Isaf
Region: Snowdonia - the Glyderau

Route length: 6.1 miles (9.8 km)
Time taken: 02:56
Average speed: 2.1 mph
Ascent: 612m
Descent: 621m

Summits: Gallt yr Ogof (763m), Y Foel Goch (805m)

With a few days of excellent weather forecast, I managed to book a day off work to get myself over to North Wales. I had originally intended to do the Snowdon Horseshoe on the Friday, however, the prospect of getting around Manchester during the Friday morning rush hour made me think twice.

This, however, opened up the opportunity to complete a walk I have been looking at for a while - one that is recommended for a morning or afternoon and would add to my growing list of Nuttalls.
Pen yr Ole Wen
It was quiet in the layby on the A5
Tryfan
Gallt yr Ogof and Y Foel Goch are the two eastern-most mountains in the Glyderau range and are often overlooked in favour of the classics; Tryfan, Glyder Fawr, Glyder Fach etc. As I've said before, these smaller, more isolated peaks often give some of the best views as they get to gaze upon these shapely favourites, Tryfan and Bristly Ridge are well seen during this walk.
Tryfan's east face
Gallt yr Ogof
After a leisurely drive over, I parked up in the long A5 layby and set off east along the road to the campsite at Gwern Gof Isaf. Shortly after the campsite, a track crosses the marshy ground of Afon Llugwy to another path before I ventured out onto the open hillside.
Looking across to Cwm Llugwy
The rough, grassy slopes of Gallt yr Ogof
The eastern Ogwen valley
Creigiau Gleision, Craig Wen and Crimpiau
Pen Llithrig y Wrach
Pen yr Ole Wen
I found the climb up Gallt yr Ogof fairly tough going; partly thanks to the pathless, heather-clad hillside and partly because of the scorching temperatures - easily 20 degrees which is no means feat in April. The climb begins pretty steeply before it levels off at a barbed wire fence.
The fence across Cwm Gwern Gof
It would seem I missed the most commonly used route up the mountain as two ladder stiles were evident someway down the slopes - too far to make it worth my time going down to them. Instead, I carried on climbing, adjacent to the fence until I found a suitable spot to clamber over.
Cwm Llugwy 
Pen yr Helgi Du and Y Briach
Carnedd Llewelyn
The Ogwen valley
Following the fence leads to the ridgeline where the climbing becomes easier thanks to the disappearance of the heather and the appearance of a vague path. The path leads towards the summit but swings beneath it so a short diversion to the top is required.
Reaching the summit
Looking down towards Capel Curig
Gallt yr Ogof is named after a cave that can be found on the precipitous eastern slopes. It has a prominent peak at the end of the Glyderau massif that gives a fine panorama of the eastern Ogwen Valley, Capel Curig and Moel Siabod.
Gallt yr Ogof's summit
Moel Siabod
The Moelwyns
Creigiau Gleision
Crimpiau and Capel Curig
Glyder Fach and Tryfan from Gallt yr Ogof
Ogwen valley panorama
From Gallt yr Ogof, the route crosses a shallow col, complete with a pretty llyn, before a short climb to the summit of Y Foel Goch.
Y Foel Goch
The unnamed llyn
Gallt yr Ogof
Llynnau Mymbyr
Y Foel Goch's summit
Again, Y Foel Goch has good, up-close views of Tryfan and Bristly Ridge as well as the emerging Snowdon massif, looking magnificent as usual.
Tryfan and Cwm Gwern Gof
Snowdon
Glyder Fach
Bristly Ridge
After a brief pause on the summit, I descended down into another shallow col, this time heading for Drws Nodded, the beginning of an interesting, shallow ridge back to the valley - Braich y Ddeugwm. The ridge provides a great view of the wild Cwm Tryfan and Tryfan's east face though it was in shadow during the time I descended it.
Braich y Ddeugwm
Tryfan
Cwm Gwern Gof and Gallt yr Ogof
Adam and Eve cap Tryfan's summit
A feint path leads off the ridge, crossing the barbed wire fence from earlier in the day and dropping down to the campsite at. After passing through the campsite it's an easy walk back along the A5 to the layby.
Gallt yr Ogof
Braich y Ddeugwm
The eastern Ogwen valley
Gwern Gof Isaf
Braich y Ddeugwm
Gallt yr Ogof
Tryfan
The walk ended up being slightly longer than I expected and a little more challenging thanks to the heat and the heathery climb up Gallt yr Ogof. That said, these two hills are well worth a visit as they have some sublime views which you will often have all to yourself.