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Starter Scrambles in Ogwen

The last few weeks I've been fortunate enough to introduce a few people to scrambling and no better place to give it a go for the first time than the Ogwen Valley. So here is a brief round up of 3 excellent Grade 1 scrambles to cut your teeth on.

Y Gribin Ridge

The upper part of the ridge that divides Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach provides an excellent and easy to find and follow scramble. Best tackled right along it's crest. There are numerous worn paths on it's western flank but they miss out the best bits and encounter a fair bit of loose rock. The easiest approach is from llyn Bochlwyd, a good path takes you all the way to the start of the scrambling - which starts just above the large flat area on the ridge (the Football Field).

On the crest of Y Gribin ridge

View across to Tryfan

Fine scrambling

Tryfan North Ridge

One of the most popular routes in Snowdonia, and justifiably so. This direct route to the summit of Tryfan offers some excellent scrambling with the option in places of making it easier or harder as you prefer. It does, however, require a good head for route finding - particularly lower down. Look out for worn rock and you should be climbing on pretty good solid stuff. If you find yourself pulling up on heather and lichen covered rock you are probably not taking the best route. The Ogwen MRT are kept busy by folk straying off route without escape so take care, a guide book would be a good idea and wait for a clear day. There are paths that skirt some difficulties on the East Face but the West should be avoided. Whenever possible return to the crest. Enjoy the brilliant views, stop for a photo at the Cannon Stone and take the leap across Adam and Eve if you dare.

Upper section of North Ridge

The Cannon Stone

Adam and Eve

Bristly Ridge

Arguably the most serious of the routes listed here but still grade 1. This takes a line from Bwlch Tryfan to the summit plateau of Glyder Fach. The ridge is broad and not very defined lower down and the best start is via Sinister Gully. Follow the wall from Bwlch Tryfan until you reach the last stile, the route starts about 15m from there. Sinister Gully has a huge prow of rock towering over it. The gully itself is sustained and quite steep (care required) and is escaped by making a leftwards move or 2 where it gets really steep before rejoining it a bit higher up. After this the ridge is reasonably well defined with some nice short sections of scrambling. After a bit of up and down you reach the large pinnacles. A col before a huge blank pinnacle is reached by a down climb on the left (facing up). The huge pinnacle is turned on its right by a couple of steep but easy moves then either stay on the left (easy) or make exposed moves out right before reaching the easier ground of the upper ridge. The top is marked by a large cairn and from here it's a 5 minute walk to the Cantilever Stone and summit.

Bristly Ridge

Sinister Gully
Bristly Ridge
Cantilever Stone

Linking these routes together - N Ridge, Bristly and a descent of Y Gribin makes for a brilliant scrambling day out but 1 at a time will still leave you smiling.

Remember scrambling is dangerous - the potential for serious injury is real. Wear appropriate footwear, take the correct clothing for a mountain day and do your research before you head out. If in doubt why not use the services of a qualified Mountaineering Instructor. Courses and guiding can be arranged throughout the year.

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