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Snowdon via Crib Goch & Wild Camp

Snowdon via Crib Goch & Wild Camp

Postby Photogra Scotica » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:53 pm

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

Date walked: 29/10/2017

Time taken: 20

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1320m

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I’d previously held off on hiking Snowdon simply because of its reputation as the UK’s busiest mountain. But eventually a good, clear weekend presented itself and I impulsively took to planning a wild camp so as to experience the mountain at its best (and quietest). Potentially a little ambitious, but it paid off.

To avoid the extortionate charges (and extremely slim chance of getting a space past 9am) at Pen Y Pass, I started the hike from Llyn Gwynant and made my way up through the exceptionally pretty Nantgwynant valley towards the start of the Pyg Track, and from there forked off up to the top of Crib Goch.

ImageSnowdon From Crib Goch by Gregor Sinclair, on Flickr

The initial ascent to the start of the ridge was far longer, steeper and more technical than I expected, and was at times hard going with a 15 kilo pack. And upon reaching the top, the view across the rest of the ridge towards Snowdon was both sublime and terrifying.

Crossing the first, and most exposed and technical, section was not the kind of easy scrambling I’d experienced on Striding Edge but much more hands-on. However, upon realising that most of the difficulties are surmounted by keeping slightly to the left with your hands on the top, the crossing became much more enjoyable. Like Tryfan, much of the ridge is beset with paths leading to the left where people have attempted to bypass the climbs, though the easiest option is always to confront them directly.

After the lowest point of the ridge is achieved, it widens out into a much-welcomed path meandering upwards towards the summit of Garnedd Ugain with occasional scrambles. Though much longer than the knife-edge, this section is faster and is rewarded first with a cairn marking the end of Crib Goch proper, then another marking the summit of Garnedd.

The feeling of accomplishing Crib Goch, coupled with panoramic views over Snowdon, the Glyders, the Nantgwynant valley and the sea make for a perfect note on which to end the day. I set up camp in what must’ve been less than 5mph wind, and watched the sun set behind the massif over dinner.

ImageSunrise Above Crib Goch by Gregor Sinclair, on Flickr

ImageSnowdon at Sunrise by Gregor Sinclair, on Flickr

The night was uninterrupted other than a little stargazing and a solitary 3000er passing through at around 3am, and the next morning the sun graced the mountain with a wonderful warm light. Packing up and proceeding over to Snowdon proper, the views warranted an extended reflection before dawn became day and the morning crowds began to form. Saving completing the horseshoe for another day, I turned back to Pen Y Pass via the Pyg Track and eventually down to Llyn Gwynant.
Photogra Scotica
Munro compleatist
Posts: 11
Munros:8   Corbetts:3
Joined: Nov 12, 2017

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