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Crib Goch

Crib Goch


Postby poppiesrara » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:08 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Crib Goch, Crib y Ddysgl

Date walked: 15/08/2016

Time taken: 4.5

Distance: 12.5 km

Ascent: 880m

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Stunning weather for one of the great Welsh challenges.

crib goch.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Unless you're staying very nearby and starting very early, it probably isn't worth trying to conceive a walk involving parking at Pen-y-Pass any more – several hundred people starting walks there on any day, let alone a sunny one in midsummer, against a few dozen spaces just doesn't quite add up. I'd gone linear and was heading down to Llanberis afterwards, but even on a Monday the Sherpa buses up (and the Nant Peris park-&-ride serving them) are rammed and turning passengers away – a good idea to head for the very first stop in the town-centre before they reach the car-parks proper. P-y-P is worth getting to somehow though – the Pyg Track, despite the crowds and the regular waiting/queuing, is still a beautifully-made path with amazing views, and also a really easy way to get up to 600m (the height of a small mountain in itself) at Bwlch y Moch.
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Crib Goch from Pen-y-Pass

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Pass of Llanberis

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Llyn Llydaw & Y Lliwedd

There's an immediate little rock step to clamber up after taking the turning that 95% of the crowd don't, towards Crib Goch. That plus the signs and the warnings down in the café should put most off, and it's just as well – after 10 minutes on a deceptively easy climbing path, it's fairly serious stuff. I'd not been here for 6 years and then – as a greenhorn with only a dozen or so peaks behind me – I hadn't recalled it being too difficult. It seemed a lot more so now! It's the ridge that everyone thinks of, but cut that off and just the initial peak itself would probably be the hardest main summit to attain (by its 'easy route') in England or Wales. The path ends in a steep rock wall, where you'll probably see clusters gathering wondering about the next step – the path points to a very tricky and quite exposed little climb with only intermittent holds. I recognised it as the pausing point and had popped up it with lots of points of contact when I was younger, but in front of some of those clusters – having quietly admitted to having been this way before – I just couldn't find the holds this time and was forced into a slightly humiliating reverse... (Many thanks to a little group of Bath City fans who probably won't read this but helped me out. Before proving that it could be done after all!). Turn right on a faintish traversing path for about 20 yards here instead though and you'll find a rather easier and much more enclosed gully to clamber up. Either way, the remaining distance up the climbing ridge to the prominent first peak is a long and unremittingly steep scramble – plenty of holds and steps now but an exhausting effort in the heat.

The ridge stretches out in front of you and – for all the guidance you'll have read of using the edge as a handrail – the first hundred yards looks really daunting; where you put your feet while you do that isn't very obvious at all! Grit your teeth and shuffle along that with a slight tremble though, reach the actual summit and that's the worst/most exposed bit of actual ridge done – if you can get through that (and you'll probably have to – there isn't a way down) everything's less frightening afterwards.
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Glyders Fawr & Fach, over Llyn Cwmffynnon

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Looking up the final ascent...

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...and back down, to the Horns, Llyn Llydaw & Llyn Teyrn

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Starting out on the ridge, Snowdon & Crib y Ddysgl behind

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Looking back to the initial peak

A nice camaraderie seems to form along the ridge – everyone's in it together and the little puzzles of the route are a problem shared; the 'guinea-pigs' that first essay what seem like the best ways onward temporary heroes to those looking on behind. It's close to the ridge most of the way until the triple pinnacles, where the avoiding path left (slight scrambles, little exposure despite appearances) of the first two is scratched orange enough to be clear. Nothing like that on the third pinnacle which looks terrifying given the exposure on the steep right side that seems the only way up. But ('guinea-pig' heroes pictured below, where it still appears really difficult), it's a deceptively easy little stepped climb with no problems, after which you've definitely earned the sight of a simple-looking path stretching ahead for much of the way up Crib y Ddysgl. This would probably be a hard climb by most standards: plenty of little scrambles, quite a narrow ridge still, and – as is obvious from the start – still a long way above you in altitude; only over-topped anywhere by Snowdon. But you've just done much tougher things and it seems a relative breeze…
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First pinnacle, Crib y Ddysgl behind

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Snowdon & Glaslyn

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Skirting the second pinnacle

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Third pinnacle, ascent line being demonstrated

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Llyn Glas

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Back to Crib Goch from Crib y Ddysgl ascent...

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...and from higher, Moel Siabod in background

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Y Lliwedd

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South over the Nantlle hills & Mynydd Mawr

On top of a quiet summit with amazing views, the sight of a pedestrian traffic-jam heading up the last bit of Snowdon is a little depressing. I've been up a few times, and will be back again soon by another route (a quiet autumn midweek, hopefully), and it wasn't that tempting… Instead it was off down the Llanberis Path for my first time in adulthood, a veritable road (good views in the top part, a bit duller in the plain broad valley lower down) that negates any of the usual sneeriness about people's kit – in summer you could probably manage it in high heels if that way inclined. Maybe some of those pausing exhausted every few yards had underestimated the effort involved – it's still a 10 mile walk with 1000m ascent, which is a hard day for anyone – but they were lacking a few laps of the local park more than they were the latest boots and packs… I was only with them briefly before veering off to take in (loosely) my target for the day, the little but very fine rocky peak of Llechog. It's an impressive turret with great views along the Llanberis pass, highly recommended to anyone even if it's quite nice to be there alone and a distance away from anyone until a train puffs by.
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Elidir Fawr to Y Garn

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Llechog ridge

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Moel Cynghorion & Moel Eilio

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Clogwyn (& Llyn) Du'r Arddu

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Y Garn from Llechog

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Glyder Fawr

After rejoining the crowds and plodding down the rest of the path – the adrenalin rush of a couple of hours ago seeming really distant – signposts and the sounds of tumbling water sent me off to the local falls (Rhaeadr y Ceunant Mawr). A stiff enough climb from the town, but they're really impressive (probably better to photograph once the leaves have fallen) and it's a surprise that they don't seem any part of the tourist rush around here – well worth anyone's ten minutes. And I'm far more likely to be back to them than I am to Crib Goch! I've had two great days up there now, but I might admit with age that it would have me beaten next time...
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Rhaeadr y Ceunant Mawr
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poppiesrara
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Re: Crib Goch

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:40 am

Some great pics and an entertaining and informative report on Crib Goch for those of us who haven't yet been that way.
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Re: Crib Goch

Postby Broggy1 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:54 am

Excellent post and pictures. :clap:

I've been desperate to get back to Crib Goch again for some time - to ascend the North Ridge and descend via Y Lliwedd - but just can't face the Snowdon crowds on a weekend. You are right about that 3rd pinnacle looking far worse on pictures than it actually is!

Crib Goch is obviously brilliant but my best day on Snowdon - from strictly a walking point of view - was the long round from Llanberis taking in the Moel Ellio side of things and returning along the ridge you pointed out here. Extremely quiet areas of the Snowdon range I found and a good, big horseshoe.
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Re: Crib Goch

Postby poppiesrara » Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:53 am

Thanks, JK - just maybe let Hughie have a day off if you ever do go that way...!

my best day on Snowdon - from strictly a walking point of view - was the long round from Llanberis taking in the Moel Ellio side of things and returning along the ridge you pointed out here. Extremely quiet areas of the Snowdon range I found and a good, big horseshoe.

Tempted by something like that, Broggy - Moel Eilio is a very good hill. How was the traverse between Moel Cynghorion and the Llechog ridge, which looks a bit rough? (Or did you go via the summit?)
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Re: Crib Goch

Postby Broggy1 » Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:56 am

poppiesrara wrote:Thanks, JK - just maybe let Hughie have a day off if you ever do go that way...!

my best day on Snowdon - from strictly a walking point of view - was the long round from Llanberis taking in the Moel Ellio side of things and returning along the ridge you pointed out here. Extremely quiet areas of the Snowdon range I found and a good, big horseshoe.

Tempted by something like that, Broggy - Moel Eilio is a very good hill. How was the traverse between Moel Cynghorion and the Llechog ridge, which looks a bit rough? (Or did you go via the summit?)


Yeah it was via the summit (as it was a rare clear day) so obviously joined up with good, but busy paths after Moel Cynghorion and before LLechog. However for the rest of the day it was quiet and terrific ridge walking.
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Re: Crib Goch

Postby ChrisW » Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:09 pm

I never tire of seeing this stunning hill, particularly when captured so beautifully. Great angles on the shots and perfect use of other hikers for scale really brings home the reality of the ascent...brilliant :clap:
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Re: Crib Goch

Postby jacob » Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:51 am

How come I completely overlooked this report?
Real nice pictures and great report of a place I really enjoyed! :clap:
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Re: Crib Goch

Postby DaveX » Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:57 am

Awesome photos, looks like you had an incredible day for a great walk. I like your route too, carrying on towards Llanberis, something I've thought about doing the opposite direction as I've never visited Moel Eilio.
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Re: Crib Goch

Postby poppiesrara » Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:02 pm

Thanks all! And, yes Chris, it was very good of those other people to pose in just the right places for me!
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Re: Crib Goch

Postby simon-b » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:51 pm

Excellent stuff, P. Thanks for the description from someone else who has yet to do Crib Goch.
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Re: Crib Goch

Postby siaboddy » Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:03 pm

Amazing pics. I'm not sure if I will overcome my fear of heights enough to take on Crib Goch, but reading a fab description like this will do for now :)
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