Rock Climbing CompanyAssociation of Mountaineering Instructors

Climb Snowdon - Crib Goch, Y Gribin, North Ridge

& Clogwyn Y Person Arete

 

Traversing Crib Goch in bad weather

 

Learning coils for scrambling

 

Scrambling in the cloud

 

Scrambling in Snowdonia

 

 

 

 

Climbing Snowdon - 5 Classic Scrambles to the Summit

 

 Snowdon and Crib Goch copyright Rob Parkin

The summit of Snowdon can be reached by many different scrambles of varying difficulty and length - Crib Goch, Y Gribin ridge, Clogwyn y Person Arete and North Ridge via the Jammed Boulder Gully. There is even the hard and serious West Peak of Lliwedd via Bilberry terrace for those after some alpine training.

 

The character of these routes varies a lot - from the imposing, but relatively friendly ridge of Y Gribin, to the atmospheric, knife edge of Crib Goch and the long, hard arete of Clogwyn y Person. We can guide you up all of these scrambles allowing you to enjoy a day of adventure and exposure in total safety.

There are also many walking routes to the summit of Snowdon with probably the best and most popular being the Pyg track from Pen Y Pass and the easiest being the Llanberis path from the outskirts of the town. The hardest, but prettiest walking route up Snowdon is via the Watkin path, however it does have a final section that involves climbing some steep scree slopes via indistinct lines - navigation can be difficult here in poor weather with low visibility.

The more adventurous can climb to the top of the mountain by the steep and exposed scrambles of Crib Goch, Y Gribin, Crib Goch via the North Ridge routes or the Clogwyn y Person Arete.

Scrambling is a perfect antidote to over-used footpaths, injecting excitement into walking and adding an extra adventurous dimension to a day in the mountains. While walkers travel along the busy paths, scramblers can find freedom on the high ridges and exposed crags. Instead of following the beaten track and obeying the footpath fingerpost's, scramblers use route-finding skills to hunt out lines of weakness on steeper rock.

The most famous scramble in Snowdonia involves a traverse of the Crib Goch ridge. Crib Goch is an exciting grade 1 scramble that traverses along a along a hugely exposed knife edge ridge with dramatic drops on both sides.

This is a strenuous and exciting scramble that takes you through some amazing mountain scenery. The difficulties are not excessive, however without a sound base of mountain walking or scrambling experience it is worth thinking about using a climbing instructor to guide you along the ridge so that you get the adrenalin and views without any of the danger.

We can approach the Crib Goch ridge from several starting points that not only offer variations in difficulty, but also offer more secluded routes. This is useful because the Snowdon massif can become crowded at times, especially on summer weekends. The North ridge approach via the Jammed Boulder Gully is particularly good with some hard climbing to reach the main Crib Goch ridge.

The classic Clogwyn y Person Arete is a superb way of climbing Snowdon that offers brilliant grade 2/3 scrambling in a quiet location that is unlikely to be crowded.

The Y Gribin ridge is a great route in its own right that climbs the very imposing rocky spur that rises from the lake at Llyn Glaslyn to Bwlch y Saethau. The scrambling can then be continued by following the East ridge to the very summit of Snowdon.

Once at the top of Snowdon it is possible to extend the day by taking the Snowdon Horseshoe extension that scrambles along 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 normal Crib Goch route is described on the main Crib Goch page whilst the Clogwyn Y Person and Jammed Boulder Gully routes are described below.

 

 

Snowdon via the North Ridge Jammed Boulder Gully and Crib Goch

 

Crib Goch is one of the best scrambles in Britain, but can become a little too popular as a result. The North Ridge routes allow an alternative approach to the classic, pinnacled ridge that avoids the crowds on the standard route. The rock quality is generally good and drains well, although the North Ridge tends to dry slower after rainfall and Jammed Boulder Gully in particular can stay damp longer than expected.

The approach is made from the Cromlech boulders in the Llanberis pass from where we will head up to the popular climbers cliffs of Dinas Mot. Once below the central slabs we head right to cross a stile before continuing around to the first large in cut in the face, where a well defined buttress of rock protrudes. Jammed Boulder Gully is the left hand gully that defines the buttress and can be recognised by the large block jammed halfway up.

Enter the gully and climb up steadily on good holds to the large jammed block that halts progress. Pass the block on its left hand side, then move left onto an obvious, undercut, slab. Protection is available here using slings placed around various jammed rocks and it is advisable to use it as the initial moves on the slab are hard.

Climb through the large gap in the boulders above to emerge into a large bay. Continue up above the bay on the right hand rib on good rock, but with difficult scrambling that is close to the border between scrambling and rock climbing. Once past this move up to a final large jammed block. Climb up through the gap between jammed boulders to emerge on easier ground and an obvious eastwards line that leads to up to the main North Ridge Route. Continue ahead to join the main Crib Goch ridge close to the summit.

 

Snowdon via Clogwyn Y Person Arete

Advanced Scrambling

This is one of the classic scrambles of Snowdonia that rivals Crib Goch as the best way of climbing Snowdon.It is a perfect mountaineering day with an alpine feel.

The route involves a long walk in from the Llanberis Pass, but in return you get freedom from the Crib Goch masses on a route that lets you decide for yourself just how hard you want it to be.

The scramble follows a superb natural line on good rock and even gives a choice of starts at either grade 2 or grade 3. The route starts from the Cromlech boulders in the Llanberis Pass - we pass through the grounds of the Climbers Club hut and head steadily upwards through Cwm Glas Mawr.

At the head of the cwm we follow the obvious stream up into Cwm Glas itself before following the stream to the left and a small lake. The fine ridge line of Clogwyn Y Person Arete is now un-missable, dominating your view to the left. Once up close you can see that the tip of the nose is detached - the Parsons Nose.

There are 2 starts - the Western Gully is a grade 2, whilst the right wall of the Parson's Nose gives a better, but harder grade 3. These both lead to the top of the nose. The route now follows the blunt crest of the ridge over a series of blocks - we avoid heading too far out to the right, particularly in the early stages or we could easily end up on rock climbing territory. It is best to take the ridge as directly as possible and this has the advantage that the harder sections also have better quality rock.

The early section of the scramble features a series of short, steep walls interspersed with ledges, however the route is well protected and the trickier sections all seem to have convenient cracks that take wires or hexes for protection. The angle slowly eases as we gain height and the rock becomes interspersed with ever larger scree platforms until we eventually break out onto the broad Crib Y Ddysgl ridge. Once here we go straight on along the well trodden path over Garnedd Ugain to reach the path on to the Snowdon summit.

 

 

 

Course Prices

Type of Course
Length
Ratio
Cost
Snowdon Summit via Crib Goch, North Ridge or Clogwyn Y Person Arete
Snowdon Summit
1:1 to 1:2
£160
1:3 to 1:4
£200
Snowdon Summit and the Snowdon Horseshoe
1:1 to 1:2
£180
1:3 to 1:4
£220

 

Scrambling Equipment supplied by Rock Climbing Company: We will provide all the technical equipment you will need for tackling any of Snowdon's scrambling routes - this includes climbing ropes, climbing hardware, plus a helmet and harness for each client.

What you need to provide: The Snowdon massif is an exposed place with weather that can vary between extremes very quickly - it is best to come prepared for all eventualities - prepare for wind and rain and hope for sun and a cooling breeze.

Thus you should bring warm clothing and a full set of waterproofs (top and trousers) and hats and gloves - hats and gloves are great temperature regulators that allow you to stay comfortable without constantly stopping to put on and take off clothing.

Choosing the correct footwear is also important - your boots should ideally be a 3-4 season mountain boot or a dedicated scrambling boot that have a rigid sole that can stand on small foot holds without bending or rolling off the hold.

Approach shoes are great for moving fast, but you do run the risk of turning an ankle more easily, whilst soft trainers are a bit of a liability that promise wet feet, twisted ankles and poor climbing ability

You will also need a 30 - 40 litre rucksack plus food and drink for the day.

If it looks as if the sun will come out then don't forget the sun screen as you can burn easily up high and the cool winds will disguise the fact that it is happening until it is too late.

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

Ratios and course sizes. Scrambling instruction can be arranged for an individual at a 1:1 ratio, but this does limit some of the things that can be taught practically i.e. when the instructor is teaching the client how to belay, it is best if there is a third person scrambling on the end of the rope for it to be a realistic exercise.

Guided scrambling is slightly different and it is possible to work at ratios up to 1:4. However at this higher ratio it will only be possible to undertake the easier scrambles. If you wish to tackle some of the more challenging scrambles the best guided ratio is 1:1 or 1:2.

Guiding on Crib Goch 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, offer an alternative route or arrange a new date.

The full terms and conditions are on the booking page

 

 

 

 

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