Sometimes referred to as the Armchair Mountain, from the two ridges which embrace the tiny Llyn Clyd, Y Garn dominates the view west along Llyn Ogwen in the heart of northern Snowdonia. Y Garn is one of the 14 highest summits in Snowdonia which exceed 3,000 feet

(914 metres).

The route outlined below takes you through the beautiful amphitheatre of Cwm Idwal - worthy of a visit in its own right - and past the famous cleft known as the 'Devil's Kitchen' (Twll Du).

Outline: An easy walk along a well constructed path to Cwm Idwal with its beautiful lake and spectacular rock scenery. This is followed by a steep climb on a good path through a huge boulder field to the sinister gorge of the Devil's Kitchen. A shattered terrace leads to easier

ground and a long gradual climb takes you to the summit of Y Garn. Descent is by the steep northeast ridge.

Distance: 7.5km/4 3/4 miles.

Height gained: 690m/2,250ft.

Starting point: Parking is available at the western end of Llyn Ogwen and in laybys along the lake. Start the walk from the refreshment kiosk. Grid ref: SH 650 604

The route: Take the well constructed footpath which leaves the car park beside the little snack bar and toilet block. For the first 400m the path heads southwest towards Tryfan, before curving right (the branch path straight ahead here is the Miner's Track which leads over the Glyderau to Pen y Pass) towards Cwm Idwal. At Llyn Idwal take the path along the left-hand shore towards the clean sweep of rock known as the Idwal slabs. The path passes directly below the slabs which are often dotted with rock climbers.

From here a stone-faced footpath veers right up the huge boulder field towards the dripping rocks of the famous Devil's Kitchen. Immediately below the gorge, the path bends left along a shattered terrace to reach the broad rounded plateau holding Llyn y Cwn ('lake of the dogs'). Turn right at the lake up the broad easy-angled slopes which rise to Y Garn. As you near the shoulder of the mountain, the

path follows the edge of the cwm to reach the summit.

From the summit walk north along the ridge until the footpath can be seen dropping steeply down the northeast ridge. The path is quite steep and loose in places but easily followed. At about the halfway point the angle eases and you have a view to Llyn Clyd on your right. Continue down the ridge which steepens again for a while to pass close to the shore of Llyn Idwal. Return can be made by the outgoing route from the end of the lake, but a better option is to look for a path which heads left about halfway along the lake to a stile in the fence. Cross the stile and follow the path ahead over grass to cross a second stile which leads down into a small man-made gorge to emerge in the car park again.

This is one of the routes featured in a two-volume guidebook to the hills and mountains of Snowdonia by Cheshire-based author and publisher Carl Rogers. Mountain & Hill Walking in Snowdonia Volume 1 covers the northern half of the Snowdonia National. (ISBN 978-1-902512-18-1) published by Mara Books. Copies can be obtained from bookshops or ordered online at: