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Place Category: Route
This magnificent little scramble starts at Glaslyn and is over far too soon! The ridge only climbs 200m, but is quality all the way. As an added bonus, it is exceptionally quiet even on the busiest summer days.
First follow the Miner’s path as far as Glaslyn.
1 At Glaslyn, cross the outflow stream and head directly up the blunt ridge ahead. Ensure that you glance back at those on the Miner’s Track who are rather intrigued as to why you’re going the wrong way. You can scramble directly on the rock, or take the path around to the right. You can also ascend the initial section slightly lower down the Afon Glaslyn, which takes a truer line along the ridge.
2 – The ridge flattens out at the 646 metre spot height, and it’s well worth delaying any break until this spot. You’re directly above Llyn Llydaw, and more importantly away from the crowds on the busier paths.
3 – Looking up, the ridge steepens considerably from this point onwards. Don’t let it intimidate you however, as it’s a very short ridge and as soon as you warm up, it’s over. Towards the sky line, there are a couple of rocks that protrude like horns that mark out the top of the ridge.
4 – The trick to the Gribin ridge, like for most, is to keep as true to the ridge as you can. It’s generally straightforward enough to follow, though you’ll need to be keeping an eye out for some scuffed and polished rock, as well as the short sections of path in between. The trickiest move is early on, though you can avoid this again by keeping to the ridge.
5 – Beyond this first tricky move, the ridge is mainly large steps which shouldn’t pose any issue to the seasoned scrambler. There’s usually more than one option available for most, including the final step. While you can ascend directly between the horns, you can also scramble around them to the right. A cairn marks the summit.
7 You can continue past this and hit the Watkin Path if you want to ascend Yr Wyddfa. Or you can ascend Y Lliwedd by keeping to the crest of the ridge to the left. There’s still some scrambling to be had, along with some exposure, certainly a better line than the Watkin below which you’ll finally join towards Bwlch Ciliau.
8 – The ascent of Y Lliwedd is best taken directly. While there is a loose path that avoids most of the scrambling to the right, all the fun is on the rocks. It’s all easy scrambling as well, so if you’ve ascended Y Gribin, you won’t want to miss out on even more scrambling.
9 – The summit flattens and there’s the first grass since the bwlch. The first summit, the West Peak, is the higher of the two at 898m, compared to the 893 for the East Peak. This makes a wonderful ridge walk, with views being equally wonderful in all directions. The path descends steeply but easily enough, with a few large steps that need down climbing, before flattening out.
10 – The descent to Llyn Llydaw is steep in places and involves a couple of sections that need down climbing. However, there are multiple routes to choose, and the ease of descent will depend on the choices you make on the day. It’s not difficult, but by this point you’ve finished the serious scrambling and you just want a steady descent without any such annoyances.
11 – The path soon levels out, with a few steps here and there, before easing off completely as you approach Llyn Llydaw. It’s just a matter of turning right past the green hut and following the Miner’s Track back to Pen y Pass.
For more images, visit Mud and Routes.Pen y Pass