It isn’t even the highest mountain in its own country, never mind the entire UK; but according to you lot Tryfan is head and shoulders above the rest.
Ben Nevis didn’t make the top five, Snowdon only just squeaked onto the podium and Scafell Pike hardly got a look-in – conclusive proof that biggest doesn’t necessarily mean best when picking your favourite mountain.
Ever since we started our search for the UK’s greatest mountain by launching a huge online poll in November 2013, there was only ever going to be one winner. The Lake District's Helvellyn quickly emerged as England’s most popular peak with a flurry of early votes and An Teallach soon left the rest of Scotland trailing in its wake, but right from the start there was a runaway favourite.
You might have expected Scottish icons such as Buachaille Etive Mor or Suilven to dominate the voting, while the enduring popularity of Wales’ highest peak meant Snowdon was always likely pull in plenty of votes, but it was a modest mountain from the Ogwen Valley that captured your imagination like no other. Despite languishing 15th in Snowdonia’s height chart and only sneaking into the illustrious list of Wales’ 3,000ft mountains by a measly 10 feet, Tryfan is a peak with unrivalled magnetism and charisma. Located right in the mountainous heart of Snowdonia, this 917m blade of serrated rock is boxed in from every angle by neighbouring giants such as Y Garn, Glyder Fach and Pen yr Ole Wen, but it still manages to dominate the surrounding landscape.
Viewed from the valley bottom, Tryfan rises sharply from the ground with its instantly recognisable shark’s fin outline absolutely demanding your attention. There are many thrilling routes to the summit, such as the iconic north ridge and Heather Terrace, all of which involve getting your hands on rock. Once you’re up there, you can’t truly claim to have reached the true top until you’ve made the nerve-jangling jump between the two stone pillars – Adam and Eve – that protrude menacingly from its apex.
All of Tryfan’s fascinating features (and we’ve only listed a fraction of them here), plus easy access from the popular A5 road below, make it pretty much the complete package. It’s the kind of peak you could climb ten times and never cover the same route twice, because you can tackle it via a seemingly never-ending number of challenging scrambles, or by launching yourself into a full-on rock-climb in one of its many shadowy gullies.
But next time you reach the top, no matter what route you take, remember this: you’ve just officially climbed the UK’s greatest mountain!
For a four page guide on Tryfan, the UK's Greatest Mountain - pick up a copy of the March issue of Trail magazine, on sale Thursday 23rd January (click HERE for a preview).