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Snowdon via Crib Goch

Snowdon via Crib Goch


Postby GarryH » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:13 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Crib Goch, Crib y Ddysgl, Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa

Date walked: 17/01/2009

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Snowdon May 14th 2008.

Having been up Snowdon on two previous occasions and seeing absolutely nothing because of cloud and rain, I swore blind I wouldn`t bother again.But now I`m in a position to pick my days,I thought I`d give it another go.So I duly arrived at the Pen-y-Pass car park at about 7-45am after a 3 1/2 hour drive.

The weather was perfect as I headed for the pyg track,it`s a well defined path and I soon got a view of my first objective the eastern end of the Crib Goch ridge.

DSC00933.JPG


Climbing steadily up to Bwlch y Moch where the path splits,taking the right fork to climb up to the ridge, it`s worth taking a few minutes here to admire the views both down and across Llyn Llydaw.

DSC00944.JPG


DSC00947.JPG


The path soon disappears and it`s left to you to pick your own route to the top.It`s a fair old scramble and I found it a bit hard going,but I put that down to my age. On reaching the top and taking a well earned breather, you get to see what you`ve let yourself in for.

DSC00950.JPG


It`s really exposed with a near vertical drop to the right but keeping to the left I cautiously made my way along the ridge which descends to the pinnacles I safely negotiated these and arrived at Bwlch Coch with the ridge completed.

DSC00959.JPG


DSC00963.JPG


From here the path climbs again to the trig point of Crib y Ddysgl giving a fine view of Snowdon.

DSC00970.JPG


It`s easy going from here going down to join the Llanberis path and on up to the summit.

DSC00979.JPG


After a break I returned down the Llanberis path but joined the pyg track down the zig zag and then down a steep descent to the miners track for a long level walk back to the car park.Another 3 1/2 hour drive back home,
round to the Railway Inn for a few pints and a Chinese a fine end to a fine day.
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby mountain coward » Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:46 am

I've been working up to doing Cribby for a few years now but still haven't dared do it. I've gone down from Crib y Ddysgl nearly to the col but those pinnacles really put me off. Did you traverse round them or over them? And what was it like? I've heard it's good, solid rock but really, really exposed, especially the second pinnacle. The final pinnacle looks okay from what I've seen of it from the Crib y Ddysgl side.

A funny tale from one of my attempts at Crib Goch. I am a club member of one of the climbing clubs who have a cottage right beneath Snowdon in Nant Peris, so I spend a lot of time studying Cribby from the garden. One of my friends and fellow-members said it was time I did it and I felt like I was ready. For my security he cut his climbing rope in half so as to take a "walker's rope" with us to make me feel more confident. I approached the ridge in a very positive and determined manner but, just short of the nasty climb up the crag onto the ridge, my friend realised he'd left his hat down at the Bwlch. Instead of just leaving it there until we came back down the PYG track to collect it, he went back for it. Now, if you are trying to take me somewhere terrifying, it's no good leaving me at the foot of it to stew as all my determination whittles away to nothing, which it did. I also got stuck behind a family with kids (and wife with a handbag) who were attempting the crag and thinking they were on the PYG track. By the time they b*ggered off and left me with the crag I was getting decidedly cold feet.

My friend climbed up the first bit, tied the rope around a belay (I was already tied onto the other end). He also had hold of the rope. I had 2 handholds and footholds but still froze and didn't dare to go up the slightly tricky bit of crag. My friend asked me what the problem was with all those points of security but I told him that I thought the rock the rope was tied round would break away, he wouldn't be able to hold me and that the rock I was trying to climb up would probably disintegrate. He couldn't believe I could imagine so many things would let me down at once!

We ended up ascending and descending Snowdon via the PYG track, with a rope coiled neatly round his shoulders and every single person asking us why we had a rope for the PYG track! LOL
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby Paul Webster » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:39 am

Really stunning photos there Sugary - almost like postcards :D

mountain coward - if you look at the fourth photo - DSC00950.JPG - you can see that though the drop on the right is pretty vertical, the ridge is much less steep on the left. It is possible to traverse across the slope on the left slightly below the crest alot of the time, which greatly reduces the feeling of exposure. I'm pretty such you could do Crib Goch - there's not really any tricky obstacles on it - more bark than bite. I think that Cioch na h'Oighe on Arran was harder.
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby GarryH » Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:35 pm

Hi there mountain coward, regarding the pinnacles I went round the first two, again keeping to the left,as the real exposure is to the right, then over the third as it appeared the easiest option.The path round the third looking to be loose scree, but no problem going over.After reading of your experiences like Paul I don`t think you`d have any problems with this ridge.
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby mountain coward » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:31 pm

I beg to differ about it being as easy as the Cioch na h'Oighe - that was actually easy, only really had bad exposure on one side of the narrow ridge and had no actual problems apart from the slabs on the way up - I would certainly do the ridge part again. Also, the narrow ridge is extremely short. The way I see Crib Goch (and I've had very close looks at it from both below and nearly onto it from the Crib y Ddysgl ridge, one side is vertical and the other side is also fatal if you slip. I've read of people who've fallen down the 'good side' of Crib Goch and they've either been seriously injured or killed - basically they've bounced down it from rock to rock for a very long way. On the Cioch, it would be unpleasant to accidentally set off down the 'good side' but you wouldn't really come to any harm - not fatal anyway (the other side would almost certainly kill you though). It doesn't have pinnacles either - where there are rocks across the narrow ridge it actually makes it wider for a while. I also have far more confidence on Arran as most of the rock is very grippy and most of it is secure - don't think the same can be said of Crib Goch. One guy whose book I was reading once, fell off Cribby while taking a photo 'cos he stood on an insecure block (he did live obviously but was pretty badly hurt).

Thanks for the advice about the crossing of the pinnacles anyway - I had heard the third one was hard to avoid. I've looked at the descent from the 3rd one (your pic is particularly good as well) and that looks within my capabilities. Of course, another problem I have is getting onto the ridge in the first place - I just don't like that start up the crag. On the exposure front, I find the Crib y Ddysgl ridge towards the top of my capability anyway as I find that very exposed. I've thought about the ridge which leads up to the start of Crib Goch from Cwm Glas but everyone says that's horrendously loose and very narrow (the pictures I've seen of it made it look fine though).
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby canisp » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:09 am

A good set of photo’s, like the fourth one best, shows the ridge well.
I see it’s a few month since you did this route, wondered how the café/works on the summit were progressing when you were there.
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby GarryH » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:49 pm

To try and assist you a little more mountain coward a few more photo`s.The first two looking back along the ridge,hopefully showing you good solid rock,the third showing the `good` and as you rightly say steep side.But you can tell from the position I`m in to take the photo I`m well down from the crest of the ridge.

DSC00956.JPG


DSC00958.JPG


DSC00960.JPG


As for getting on to the ridge the fourth photo is taken while getting climbing to the eastern end of the ridge looking down to the pyg track.It might give you some idea,hope this helps!

DSC00948.JPG



canisp,the work was still on going then and I`ve no idea if it`s finished yet.
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby mountain coward » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:12 pm

Thanks for the extra pics - very enlightening. At present, looking at them, I feel very sick. My aim will be to keep looking at them until I don't;-) Seriously, it quite often works. I just have to keep going and looking at things until I get it into my head that that's what I have to deal with and then sometimes I can go and deal with it. It does look very scary though but more solid than I thought. It's a lot worse than the Ciogh na h'Oighe on Arran I can assure you, plus that only has death potential on one side and is relatively easy to get to once past 'the slabs'. Even those, if you slid back down them, you would probably just land on the original path and stop - you'd have grazes from the rough rock though!;-)
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby Sinbecks » Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:05 pm

Mountain Coward

I can't remember the specifics of Crib Goch other than it has been quite scary for someone of my limited abilities to get around it on the three occasions that I have, one right over the top, the second traversing the pinnacles and the third over the top with my 17yr old son.

I do remember though very similar feelings of exposure on Devils ridge and between Stob Coire a'Chairn and An Gearanach. I see from your profile that you have bagged Sgurr a'Mhaim, Am Bodach, Stob Coire a'Chairn and An Gearanach so I'm assuming that you completed the ring of Steel in a day? If you can do those then I don't see a reason why Crib Goch would be a problem to you and I would say that the ring of Steel would be a far more physically and mentally taxing day than going over Crib Goch.

Some dodgy scans of photos I took from the mid 90's on Crib Goch. In the clag but sometimes that gives a better depth to them.
Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby mountain coward » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:13 am

Hi - thanks for the extra photos - they don't look so bad but I've just been looking at some which made it look truly awful! I think my big problems are definitely the pinnacles (or avoidance of them) and that damned crag on the way up to the ridge. I've done the Crib y Ddysgl ridge to get to Crib Goch for a closer look though twice.

I didn't do the Ring of Steall. I did Sgurr a'Mhaim on it's own. I did An Gearanach from the path up from beside the Steall falls and went across the ridge to get to An Garbhanach but couldn't do the last bit - it was where the ridge suddenly consisted of angled slabs stood on end and I think you were supposed to go round on a side path. My friend Richard went round on the side path to the summit of An Garbhanach and then came back but he said he really didn't think it was for me - nor did I watching him! Not only that, I was fine going along the 'tent-ridge' as I call it on the way out to An Garbhanach but, after waiting 15 mins or so and watching Richard negotiate the awful looking side path, I'd lost all confidence going back across it and ended up doing some of it on all fours! A shame after my good start out across it. :(

Being a coward is a terribly limiting thing!
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby sipatterson3899 » Sat May 23, 2009 9:07 pm

Mountain Coward...

I am by no means a pro - in fact quite far from it. I do however enjoy that rush you feel when you put yourself into a precarious situation! I think its called adrenaline! Anyway I have only done Snowdon once, about 4 years ago now and on that one occasion I went via Grib Goch.
We decided to stay over the previous night and opted for a tent near to Llyn Cwmffynnon (a tarn above the Pen-Y-Pass hostel) not recommended in August as we had a bad case of attack of the midges!!! :lol:
Anyway - i don't have any photos but as i remember it, the arete wasn't actually that bad. I remember the track disappearing as we headed up the crag from the pyg track towars Crib Goch and it was basically a bit of a free for all with people just picking their own route to the top, but at the same time felt relatively safe!
The actual ridge was a little scary as it is virtually a sheer drop to the right, but as Paul says you can stay slightly to the left of the crest for most of the ridge and it does feel slightly safer! My only advice would be don't go near the ridge if it's windy - on the day I went there was only a slight cross wind but it definately makes you realise how easy it would be to slip off!!
As far as the pinnacles go we went around all but the final one which you really can't avoid but going over, however having said that it is a fairly 'safe' route over. 8) I don't remember the rock being unstable under foot at all.
Hope you get the courage to go over as it offers amazing views across the basin to Snowdon in good weather.
I'd love to go back this year and if I do I'll try get some pics for you if you've not been up already! :D
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby mountain coward » Sat May 23, 2009 11:35 pm

Well I don't just get an adrenaline rush when I get cowardly... I get full-blown sick and dizzy! I have also been known to get the tremors in my legs so badly I've had to be escorted off mountains - since then I've been extra careful not to get into situations that made me that bad as it's inconvenient to everyone else having to remove me! I certainly won't ever try it in any kind of a wind anyway, don't worry... I think it doesn't help that I've read a very graphic description from a guy who got badly injured falling down the 'good side' of Cribby...
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby Nige R » Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:13 pm

Quite a while since I did this route but thought you might like to hear about Easter 1981, was camping in Betws y Coed and hitched up to Pen y Pass - had no car in those dim & distant days - set off up ridge in perfect weather made good time up to summit, oh to be as fit I was in those days! Headed along the narrow arete paying full attention to foot placement as you have to up there, when I came across a guy with his feet straddling either side of the ridge. Asked him if he was OK, he wasn't,turned out he was totally gripped, could not move, had to rescue him, managed to get him along to Pinnacles - decided against asking him if he wanted to go over them - skirted around and down to the col where he headed down towards PYG track much chastened. When he could eventually speak properly he said he thought he would do Crib Goch instead of the PYG track "as it was a nice day". Not that anyone on this needs telling about fickle weather but, I spent an hour on the summit of Yr Wyddfa sunbathing without my shirt on that day, a week later me and two mates went up Pen Yr Ole Wen in a blizzard hoping for a break in the weather - it never came! The temperature difference to 5 days before must have been 25 C. So plans to do the Carneddau were put on hold and we turned tail back to Ogwen. Can imagine what would have happened if that guy had got himself in trouble in bad weather!
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby GarryH » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:06 pm

Interesting story there Nige, good job you were on hand to help!

I see you`re from North Wales so must be very familiar with Snowdonia,I`m looking to do the Glyders at sometime
via Bristly Ridge so could you tell me how this compares to Crib Goch? Thanks in anticipation.
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Re: Snowdon via Crib Goch

Postby Nige R » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:15 pm

Not done Bristly Ridge actually but have done North Face of Tryfan, this is grade 1 for most of way but you can constantly vary which way you ascend, making things as easy ( or difficult ) as you like, problems are not too sustained but like any scrambling especially solo, best not too push too far out of your comfort zone. If you have done Crib Goch you will have encountered exposure so I feel sure you will be fine on Bristly. Go for it and ENJOY. Am off to Skye in morning for a taste of some real exposure hope I'm still up to it!
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