Tryfan North Ridge
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Tryfan North Ridge

Tryfan North Ridge

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Ogwen Cottage

Bethesda

LL57 3LZ

United Kingdom

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Tryfan is a mountain in the Ogwen Valley, Snowdonia, Wales. It forms part of the Glyderau group, and is one of the most famous and recognisable peaks in Britain, having a classic pointed shape with rugged crags. At 917.5 m (3,010 ft) above sea level it is the fifteenth highest mountain in Wales.

Between the mid-1980s and June 2010, its accepted height was 915 m (3,002 ft). However it was resurveyed using accurate GPS measurements and found to be 2.4 metres (eight feet) higher. Until the 1980s,Ordnance Survey maps gave its height as 917.5 m (3,010 ft), and so the new measurement confirms that the earlier survey was correct.

There are many routes of ascent, ranging from easy ridge scrambling, to long mountaineering rock climbs on the east face. Tryfan is one of the very few mountains in Great Britain, apart from the Cuillin of Skye, to require the use of hands (as well as feet) on the ascent. However there are a number of peaks (notably Helm Crag in the Lake District and The Cobbler in the Scottish Highlands) that involve a scramble to reach the highest point.

Tryfan is most frequently climbed via its north ridge, which starts close to the A5 road, about 1.5 km east of Idwal Cottage (a youth hostel) or Ogwen Cottage (an outdoor pursuits centre). From here a route leads directly up the ridge, a Grade 1 scramble by the easiest line. The difficulty can be increased considerably if the most direct line is followed throughout; particularly in the upper sections of the ridge. About a third of the way up there is a distinctive rock known as "The Cannon" which points upwards at 45 degrees and is visible from the valley.

The summit of Tryfan is famous for the twin monoliths of Adam and Eve, a pair of rocks some three metres high and separated by 1.2 metres. The rocks are visible from the Ogwen valley, from where they resemble two human figures.

It is traditional for those climbing Tryfan to tackle the spectacular and risky "step" between the two rocks; in doing so one is said to gain the "Freedom of Tryfan". The exposure on one side is quite great and those without a head for heights are advised not to attempt the step. Adam is not easily scaled being high and smooth. There is a foothold on Eve which allows the climber to scramble to the top. Two prominent pillar-like boulders are visible on the skyline midway through the approach to the summit via the South ridge. As these can be mistaken for Adam and Eve from a distance, they have become known as Cain and Abel, continuing the biblical theme.

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Ogwen Cottage

Bethesda

LL57 3LZ

United Kingdom

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