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Scrambling in North Wales - Crib Goch on Snowdon

 

Snowdonia scrambles along Crib Goch

 

Climbing in Snowdonia

 

Scrambling in North Wales

 

Climbing - trusting the equipment

 

Abseiling on Tryfan Bach

 

 

Climbing Snowdon via the Crib Goch ridge

 

Snowdon via Crib Goch

Climb Snowdon via the amazing Crib Goch ridge with a climbing instructor and guide.

 

The Crib Goch ridge on the flank of Snowdon is one of the best scrambles in the country and it gives the adventurous an adrenaline fuelled route to the summit of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.

 

The scramble along the crux knife edge ridge is massively exposed, with dramatic drops on both sides of the ridge that need a steady head.

Starting the ridge is probably the hardest psychological section, but once committed the 3 Pinnacles block the escape and give the hardest climbing on the scramble. Once over this a final hard section of scrambling on Crib y Ddysgl leads to the main Snowdon summit path.

Crib Goch is a grade 1 scramble in good conditions, but in adverse conditions it becomes a lot more difficult and high winds especially can make the ridge seem very precarious. If you are used to mountain scrambling and have a good head for heights then it is a relatively straight forward, if strenuous, scramble; if you don't have this experience or confidence then it is worth considering using a guide who knows the various route finding options, knows the escape routes and can protect you along the most exposed and hardest parts with the assistance of a rope.

It is quite possible for the fit to make the route quite a lot harder. The Crib Goch approach to Snowdon is part of the Snowdon Horseshoe that takes in the summit ridge of Lliwedd before heading back down the Miners Track to Pen Y Pass - this makes for a very satisfying, but long and strenuous day out.

The Snowdon massif can get quite crowded at times and a lot of people like to try these routes during the week so as to best to appreciate the mountains at their most imposing. There are other ways of minimising this by taking variations on the approach i.e. approaching Crib Goch via the routes on the North rather than East ridge.

There are other good scrambling routes that get to the summit of Snowdon including the Y Gribin / East Ridge and Clogwyn y Person Arete. The Y Gribin is a grade 1 scramble that a good alternative to Crib Goch in bad weather, whilst the Clogwyn y Person Arete is a hard grade 3 scramble that starts further down the Llanberis pass at Ynys Ettws and so also involves more ascent to reach Snowdon's summit.

We offer both private and open courses for climbing Snowdon via Crib Goch. The open courses are listed on the Calendar page.

If you can't make these dates or want a private course then just contact us and we will try to arrange a date that suits you and give you the opportunity to climb Snowdon by one of the finest scrambles in Britain. Prices for private courses are set out in the Prices tab below.

 

 

Snowdon via Crib Goch

 

Crib GochThe route begins at Pen y Pass at the top of the Llanberis pass.

Initially the route follows the Pyg Track which is a well defined walking path that leads from the right hand side of the Pen y Pass car park to the summit of Snowdon.

The Pyg track initially winds steeply upwards on massive man made steps through a boulder field that has great views of the Glyders and the Llanberis Pass. The path up the initial inclines gradually becomes less steep and an obvious mountain looms up and to the left - this is Crib Goch (The Red Ridge).

It takes about 40 minutes to reach the prominent col of Bwlch y Moch (Pass of the Pigs) from where there are great views to Llyn Llydaw (Brittany Lake) and the massive rock buttress of Lliwedd. A ladder stile shows the way of the Pyg Track, but we take the route going up to the right (West) that leads to the East Ridge and the start of Crib Goch.

The route starts off fairly well defined, but soon we have to start scrambling up the steep rock; the direct approach is quite hard, but it is possible to use a little cunning and outflank the difficulties by moving left and then coming back right. At the top of this first 70m sustained scramble a resting area makes a natural rest area pause before you tackling the famous arête.

From the east end of Crib Goch we continue to the knife edge ridge of Crib Goch itself. The difficulties are not great at first, but the ridge soon becomes very ragged and thin. The drop is steepest to your right and most people walk to the left of the crest of the ridge and use very crest as handholds. Stick to the top of the ridge as much as possible because the various faint paths to the left are loose.

The true summit lies half way along the ridge, but there is a lot more scrambling to do before you are back on walking terrain.

NCrib Gogh ridge - classic Scrambleext you have to tackle the Pinnacles - the first two of these can be avoided on the left, but the third is best climbed fairly directly to reach the exposed summit notch. The exposure and views on this section are amazing.

After descending from the third pinnacle to the pass of Bwlch Goch we continue up to the ridge of Crib y Ddysgl (Rake of the Dish) and the next knife edge section. We follow the crest of this ridge fairly directly with some great scrambling before easier ground leads to the triangulation point on the summit of Crib y Ddysgl, The summit is called Garnedd Ugain and is the 2nd highest mountain in Snowdonia. The summit of Snowdon now lies just a kilometre to the south.

We carry on heading south east off Garnedd Ugain and soon hit the main Llanberis path. This leads more easily, but still uphill, past a finger stone (marking the Pyg and Miners routes to the left) before finally reaching the summit of Snowdon at 1085m.

Once at the summit we can choose from several options - continue along the high ridge scramble of the Snowdon Horseshoe or descend back to Pen Y Pass via the Miners Track or the Pyg Track.

Or you can savour the moment and return back to Llanberis in luxury via the steam train after having a well earned cup of tea in the new summit cafe.

Snowdon Horseshoe Route Profile

The full Snowdon Horseshoe involves 10.8km of mountain walking, 1120m of height gain and can take anything from 4 to 8 hours depending on the fitness of the team.


 

Getting to Pen Y Pass - Snowdon Gateway

The main method of accessing Crib Goch is by first arriving at Pen Y Pass and then taking the Pyg track before branching off to tackle the ridge.

Pen Y Pass is situated at 360m at the top of the Llanberis Pass UK (OS Grid Ref (SH6461955632) and features a Youth Hostel, cafe, toilets and small pay car park. The car park fills up very quickly in the summer and you will probably need to be there by 7.00am to be sure to get a place on a nice weekend.

If you can't get a place then you can park at Nant Peris and take the Sherpa Bus up the Pass to Pen Y Pass. The bus also stops by the Cromlech Boulders which is a good view point for spying out the distant climbers on Dinas Cromlech and Dinas Mot,

A lot of people park on the Capel Curig side of the Pass at the bottom of the hill near the Pen-y-Gwryd hotel. The hotel is famed for being used as a base by Sir John Hunt and his team whilst training for the successful 1953 expedition to Mount Everest and there are numerous artifacts from that and other expeditions in the hotel.

The Sherpa bus system also stop here, but a lot of people just use the 15 minute walk up the hill to the Pen Y Pass car park as a warm up for the ridge and the Snowdon Horseshoe.

 

 

 

Prices and Booking - Private Courses.

Type of Course
Length
Ratio
Group Cost
Crib Goch
Crib Goch + Snowdon Summit
1:1
£180
1:2
£200
1:3
£240
Crib Goch, Snowdon Summit and the Snowdon Horseshoe
1:1
£200
1:2
£220
1:3
£260

 

The following links may be useful: Booking Details and Booking Form

Payments can be done online or via cheque.

There is a bit more information on kit you will need for the course below.

Kit supplied by the Rock Climbing Company: We can supply all of the technical gear that you will need for scrambling Crib Goch - this includes ropes, harnesses, helmets and all climbing hardware.

What you will need to bring along: You will need to provide suitable clothing for the course; clothing that will keep you comfortable and protected - this can vary hugely from sun hat, long shirt and sun cream to full waterproofs, thermals and mid layers.

The conditions do often change a lot going from the Sherpa car park in Nant Peris to the summit of Snowdon - so even on dry, sunny days you should come prepared for wind and rain.

A pertex windproof is often really useful on dry days - it keeps the wind off without making you overheat and dehydrate, Don't forget you hat and gloves - they are great for helping you stay comfortable.Try not to use cotton garments (jeans or standard T-shirts) as once wet with perspiration or rain then they will be slow to dry and make you cold.

Conversely on a hot, summers day it is easy to get sun burnt so bring sun protection kit as well. Thus be prepared for everything and fine tune your gear selection on the day.

Ideally your footwear should be a 3-4 season mountain boot or a dedicated scrambling boot. All these boots have a fairly rigid sole that makes standing on small footholds in the rock easier and more secure - bendy boots that can't support your weight will slip or roll off footholds more easily and so increasing the chances of you slipping on more difficult terrain.

Use good loop-stitch socks to help avoid blisters (Thorlo, Smartwool and Bridgedale all make good socks) and carry Compeed to combat blisters if they occur.

You will also need a rucksack (30 - 40 litre capacity) and plenty of food and drink for the day. Energy drinks are a great way of staying fresh on long summer days on the hill and hot sugary drinks in a thermos are a real morale booster on cold days.

What is not included. Prices do not include, transport, accommodation, meals or personal insurance.

Ratios and course sizes. Guided scrambling on Crib Goch can be arranged for in teams of between 1 and 4 people per instructor.

it is possible to work at ratios up to 1:4. The higher ratio is best used when the party feel confident on the easier ground and the route is being undertaken in reasonable conditions .

If you are not used to scrambling in the mountains or being in exposed positions then the best ratio is between 1:1 to 1:3.

The guided Crib Goch course is one of the very few courses that can be stopped by bad weather, especially high winds - if we feel it is unsafe to do the route we will, of course, arrange a new date or alternative route depending on your wishes. It is also possible in these situations to climb Snowdon via the grade 1 scramble of Y Gribin ridge. This scramble takes the impressive ridge that runs from Glaslyn to Bwlch y Saethau, once at the where either the Watkin path (walking) or the East Ridge (scrambling) can be

 

 

 

 

 

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