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Snowdonia's best scrambles with a Cicerone guidebook - Maps and Photos

Cover of Scrambles in Snowdonia
11 Aug 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm
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Scrambles in Snowdonia

Snowdon, Glyders, Carneddau, Eifionydd and outlying areas

by Steve Ashton, Rachel Crolla, Carl McKeating
Book published by Cicerone Press

Guidebook to 80 graded scrambles in Snowdonia, North Wales. This revised edition of Steve Ashton's classic guide is illustrated with photo topos, and includes 16 routes selected by the updaters, as well as all the classic routes including the Snowdon Horseshoe, North Ridge of Tryfan, Bristly Ridge and the Cneifion and Cyfrwy Arêtes.

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This revised edition of Steve Ashton's classic guide presents 80 scrambles in the stunning Snowdonia National Park, offering challenge, adventure and exhilaration, but also breathtaking scenery and an unparalleled opportunity to connect with the mountains of North Wales. The graded routes range from introductory traverses to demanding climbs involving technicality and exposure, recommended only for those with considerable experience, a strong head for heights and solid grounding in basic rope technique.

It is now easier than ever to explore the Carneddau, Glyders and Snowdon Group, plus the finest scrambling in Eifionydd, the Moelwyns, Rhinogs and Cadair Idris. The favourites are all here – the Snowdon Horseshoe, North Ridge of Tryfan, Bristly Ridge and Cneifion and Cyfrwy Arêtes – as well as a number of lesser-known routes, including 16 not included in the previous guide.

Photo topos illustrate the ascent routes, alongside comprehensive route description detailing the preferred line of ascent and descent options. Many routes also include ideas as to how scrambles might be combined to create longer outings, and summary information and overview statistics are provided to aid route selection. Dramatic colour photography completes the package. With advice on how to progress and stay safe, Scrambles in Snowdonia is an indispensable and comprehensive guide to enjoying the freedom and excitement of scrambling in the rugged Welsh mountains.

  • Activities
    Scrambling, climbing
  • Seasons
    Early March to the end of October
  • Centres
    Most of the routes are in a small area, with Llanberis and the Ogwen Valley making good bases. The southern routes are accessed from Dolgellau.
  • Difficulty
    Caters for both adventurous walkers and those seeking challenging mountaineering outings. There is a clear progression of difficulty. Grade 1 routes could be tackled by fit and experienced hill walkers. Grade 3 routes require knowledge of rope work and sound mountaineering judgement. All require a head for heights.
  • Must See
    Includes all the classic routes such as the Snowdon Horseshoe with Crib Goch traverse, all the best routes on Tryfan, Bristly Ridge, Cneifion Arête, the Llech Ddu Spur, Nantlle Ridge and the Clogwyn y Person Arête. This revised edition covers an expanded area including Cyfrwy Arête on Cadair Idris and routes on Rhinog Fach and Fawr.
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We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our Feedback form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).


Area covered by the guide
Selection of routes
Using this guide (including explanation of grades)
Basic rope technique
Public transport
Accidents and emergencies
A final cautionary note
The Carneddau
Route 1 Southern Ridge Circuit 1-***
Pen yr Ole Wen
Route 2 Braich Ty Du Face (including Pinnacle Ridge and Porcupine Ridge) 2+**
Route 3 Broad Gully Ridge 2+*
Route 4 Craig Lloer Spur 3-**
Carnedd Dafydd
Route 5 Crib Lem (Llech Ddu Spur) 1***
Route 6 Eastern Ridge of Black Ladders 2*
Carnedd Llewelyn
Route 7 Craig yr Ysfa Amphitheatre 2+*
The Glyders
Route 8 Cwm Bochlwyd Horseshoe 1*** CBʊ
Tryfan East Face
Route 9 Tryfan Bach Approach 3***
Approach and orientation for the Heather Terrace, East face of Tryfan
Route 10 Bastow Buttress Variant 2+***
Route 11 Nor’ Nor’ Buttress Variant 3** or 3S**
Route 12 Nor’ Nor’ Gully 2+*
Route 13 Nor’ Nor’ Groove 1+*
Route 14 North Buttress Variant 2**
Route 15 Little and North Gullies 1**
Route 16 Pinnacle Rib Variant 3**
Route 17 South Gully 3-*
Route 18 South Buttress 3**
Tryfan West Face
Route 19 North Ridge 1*** CBʊ
Route 20 Milestone Buttress Approach 3**
Route 21 Milestone Gully Approach 1+**
Route 22 Milestone Continuation 3**
Route 23 Wrinkled Tower (aka Wrinkled Slabs and Castle Chimney) 3S***
Route 24 West Face Route 3*
Route 25 V Buttress 3**
Route 26 V Arête 3*
Route 27 Notch Arête 2***
Route 28 Y Gully 2*
Route 29 South Ridge Direct 1* CBʊ
Glyder Fach
Route 30 Bristly Ridge 1*** CBʊ
Route 31 The Chasm Face 3***
Route 32 Main Gully 1+**
Route 33 Main Gully Ridge 3*** or 2***
Route 34 East Gully Ridge 3***
Route 35 East Gully 1+*
Route 36 Shark Buttress 3S***
Route 37 Dolmen Ridge 3***
Glyder Fawr
Route 38 Gribin Ridge 1* CBʊ
Route 39 False Gribin 1*
Route 40 Cneifion Arête 3***
Route 41 Maybe Tower Rib 3*
Route 42 Seniors’ Ridge 1*
Route 43 Seniors’ Gully 1-*
Route 44 Direct Approach to Seniors’ Ridge 2*
Route 45 Idwal Staircase and Continuation 2+***
Route 46 North West Face Route (aka Idwal Buttress) 2**
Route 47 Bryant’s Gully (aka False Bryant’s Gully or Nant Ettws) 2+*** ♠
Route 48 Esgair Felen Direct 2+* ♠
Y Garn
Route 49 Devil’s Kitchen and the Sheep Walk 3S*** or 1-*
Route 50 East Ridge 2**
Foel Goch
Route 51 South Arête 1+*
Route 52 Needle’s Eye Arête 3*
Route 53 Yr Esgair 3S*
Carnedd y Filiast
Route 54 The Ridge (aka Atlantic Ridge) 2+**
Snowdon group
Route 55 The Snowdon Horseshoe 1*** Sʊ
Crib Goch
Route 56 East Ridge 1* Sʊ
Route 57 North Ridge 1*
Route 58 Jammed Boulder Gully 3S**
Route 59 Traverse of Crib Goch 1*** Sʊ
Crib y Ddysgl (Garnedd Ugain)
Route 60 Crib y Ddysgl 1** Sʊ
Route 61 Cwm Glas Mawr Approach 1+* or 3S*
Route 62 Clogwyn y Person Arête (including Parson’s Nose options) 3*** or 3S***
Route 63 Cwm Glas Ridge 1-*
Route 64 Llechog Buttress 2**
Route 65 Llechog Ridge 2-*
Route 66 Eastern Terrace of Clogwyn Du’r Arddu 1+**
Route 67 Western Terrace of Clogwyn Du’r Arddu 3*
Route 68 Tregalan Couloir 2*
Route 69 Y Gribin and the East Ridge 1**
Route 70 Traverse of Lliwedd 1** Sʊ
Route 71 West Peak via Bilberry Terrace 3S***
Route 72 Nantlle Ridge 1-***
Craig Cwm Silyn
Route 73 Craig Fawr Rib (aka LMH) 3**
Mynydd Mawr
Route 74 Sentries’ Ridge and Continuation 3-***
Route 75 Bear Buttress 3S*
Outlying areas
The Moelwyns
Route 76 Moel Siabod Ridge Circuit (including Daear Ddu Ridge) 1-***
The Rhinogs
Route 77 South Face of Rhinog Fawr 2-*
Route 78 South Ridge Variant, Rhinog Fach (aka Hywel Ridge) 3-**
Cadair Idris
Route 79 Cyfrwy Arête (including Table Direct option) 3*** or 3S***
Route 80 Penmaenbach Arête 1+**
Appendix A Summary of routes in grade order
Appendix B Longer combination ideas
Appendix C Useful contacts


Front Cover Sample topo A summer’s evening on Tryfan’s South Ridge (Route 29) Superb positions on Glyder Fach’s East Gully Ridge with Tryfan beyond (Route 34) Not as hard as it looks! On the Pinnacle Ridge of Braich ty du Face (Route 2) Llyn Llydaw and Llyn Teyrn from the Traverse of Lliwedd (Route 70) Starting the steeper section above the sloping ramp (Dolmen Ridge, Route 37) On Eastern Ridge of Black Ladders with the Menai Strait beyond (Route 6) Tackling the awkward start of Cneifion Arête Overcoming the chockstone at the start of Bastow Buttress (Route 10) Reaching the top of Nor’ Nor’ Gully (Route 12) North Wales or Yosemite? Superb conditions on Notch Arête (Route 27) Fast progress up Needle’s Eye Arête (Route 52) Not another soul in sight on the knife-edged traverse of Crib Goch (Route 59)

The vast majority of routes appear on the OS Explorer OL17 1:25,000 Snowdon – Conwy Valley sheet. The Rhinogs are covered by OL18 and Cadair Idris by OL23. The location of every scramble in this book is shown on OS mapping in the relevant chapters. For longer ridge circuits and lengthy isolated outings, the entire routes are shown on the maps. Do not rely on a smartphone as a substitute for a map.

Strutting up the Catwalk of the Chasm Face (Route 31)

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