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Crib Goch
Mountain/Rock

Crib Goch

 
Crib Goch

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Snowdonia, Wales, Europe

Lat/Lon: 53.07737°N / 4.0531°W

Object Title: Crib Goch

County: Gwynedd

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Bouldering, Mixed, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 3028 ft / 923 m

 

Page By: Nanuls

Created/Edited: May 29, 2007 / Jul 18, 2011

Object ID: 296764

Hits: 18103 

Page Score: 93.58%  - 43 Votes 

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Overview


" Any mountaineer worthy of the name will admit that the ridge walk up Snowdon by Lliwedd and down by Crib Goch is for its length one of the finest in Europe. The mere gymnast also finds here plenty of enjoyment and almost infinite variety. He may mount it by the east ridge or by the north ridge, or in the comer between the two."

W.P. Haskett Smith - Climbing in the British Isles Volume II: Wales and Ireland (1895)

There can’t be many British climbers who haven’t heard tell of Crib Goch (923m); it has fascinated them for centuries. Its fame or perhaps, its notoriety, is even enough to make it well known to those who have little interest in climbing. However, for those less familiar with Britain’s mountains, maybe a short introduction is in order. Crib Goch, which literally means Red Ridge in Welsh, is one of Snowdon’s satellite peaks. Reaching a height of 3027 feet, it’s the 14th highest peak in Snowdonia and the 3rd highest of the Snowdon group itself, it’s therefore an immediately popular objective among peak baggers. What really makes it stand out though, is that it offers one of Britain’s quintessential ridge experiences; Scotland has the Carn Mor Dearg Arête, England has Striding Edge, but neither are as good as Crib Goch.

For the most part, Crib Goch takes the form of a beautiful, bronzed, knife edge ridge, connecting the mountain’s summit with Wales’ second highest summit, Garnedd Ugain, and eventually, Snowdon itself. For those who wish to climb it, there is no straight forward route, it’s rocky and precipitous nature means, that at the very least, it’s a Grade 1 scramble all the way. A traverse of its spikes and spires is widely considered to be one of the best routes of the grade in the country, and when combined with a traverse of Y Lliwedd creates one of the finest mountain days anywhere - the Snowdon Horseshoe.

Although under 1000m in height the dangers of climbing Crib Goch should not be underestimated, as every year somebody, usually the inexperience or ill prepared, die on its slopes. If weather conditions are approaching the wrong side of harrowing, consider climbing something else, the mountain is best enjoyed in the sunshine anyway.

Clouds and rock
Crib Goch
(Photo by mtnbiker converted)
Crib Goch from Snowdon
Crib Goch
(Photo by tphubard)
Crib Goch at dawn
Crib Goch
(Photo by Bryan Benn)

Routes

This section summarises some of the most popular routes on Crib Goch, for a more detailed description of the various routes available I recommend the following guidebooks:

Ridges of Snowdonia (Cicerone Guide) by Steve Ashton
Scrambles in Snowdonia (Cicerone Guide) by Steve Ashton
Climbers Club Guidebook to Wales: Llanberis
Rock Climbing in Snowdonia
The Long Routes: Mountaineering Rock Climbs in Snowdonia and the Lake District
Welsh Winter Climbs (Cicerone Guide) by Malcolm Campbell and Andy Newton

Scrambling


The Snowdon Horseshoe (Grade 1)

This route is a classic mountain traverse and one of the finest mountaineering routes south of Scotland, incorporating the almost vertical knife edge of Crib Goch with scrambles on Crib y Ddysgl and Lliwedd and a visit of Snowdons summit. The constituents of the route are briefly outlined below.

East Ridge (Grade 1)

This is the normal preliminary route on to Crib Gochs main ridge, and consists of easy scrambling up a blunt narrowing ridge directly to the summit of the peak.

North Ridge (Grade 1)

The cliffs of Dinas Mot give way to the long, gently rising North Ridge. Although the scrambling is not quite as enjoyable, this route makes for a much quieter alternative to the East Ridge, and joins said route at Crib Gochs summit.

 
Crib Goch from Snowdon
Crib Goch
(Photo by Ejnar Fjerdingstad)
 
Clouds obscuring Crib Goch and Snowdon
Crib Goch
(Photo by Nanuls)
 
The East Ridge of Crib Goch
East Ridge
(Photo by Nanuls)
 
Crib Goch ridge
Crib Goch’s East Ridge
(Photo by stjepan)

North Ridge via Jammed Boulder Gully (Grade 3)

At the point where the Dinas Mot cliffs curve rightwards into Cwm Glas, the rockface breaks into a series of buttresses separated by steep gullies. The Jammed Boulder Gully is one of these and provides a short and tricky route up onto the North Ridge.

Traverse of Crib (Goch Grade 1)

This enjoyable scramble links Crib Goch with Snowdon and consists of scrambling over jagged rock pinnacles along a narrow ridge.

Climbing


Reade’s Route (V Diff 220ft/66m)

This is a classic mountaineering route that takes a relatively straightforward line up the right edge of Crib Goch Buttress, and can be nicely incorporated into the Snowdon horseshoe. The climb consist of 4 pitches the first of which begins with scrambling over broken rock to the proper start and the first belay point. The route then follows an easy rib for 30m, followed by a 21m climb up a short wall to the top of a pinnacle and ending with a straight line up another rib via a shallow groove.

Winter Climbing


Snowdon from Crib Goch, Feb...
Crib Goch
(Photo by mtnbiker converted)
Crib Goch
Crib Goch
(Photo by Nanuls)
Brilliant scrambling...
Crib Goch
(Photo by munroitis)
East Ridge (Grade I)

This is the normal preliminary route on to Crib Gochs main ridge, and consists of easy scrambling up a blunt narrowing ridge directly to the summit of the peak, and in winter provides good mixed climbing.

East Face (Grade I)

An excellent choice as it is often in condition, this face is gained by traversing across from the PYG track, or directly from Craig Cwm Beudy Mawr. The route offers a variety of lines on an Alpine like rockface, however care should be taken as rock fall is common particularly when the ridge above is busy.

Crib Goch – Crib y Ddysgl Traverse (Grade I)

The traverse consists of an exposed ridge walk over Crib Goch, a tricky section around the Pinnacles and an interesting ascent from Bwlch Goch onto Crib y Ddysgl. This is an exceptionally enjoyable section of the Snowdon Horseshoe.

Crib y Ddysgl – Crib Goch Traverse (Grade I)

Although it is pretty much a simple reversal of the above route it contains an additional navigational hazard, with some climbers becoming confused and following the upper part of the Clogwyn Person Arete down into very steep and icy terrain. The true bearing onto Crib Goch runs east 105o magnetic.

The following routs are found on the northwestern face of Crib Goch:

Archer Thompson’s Route (Grade III 150m)

Takes a shallow gully in the centre of the face left of Crib Goch Buttress.

Carr’s Route (Grade III 150m)

This route takes a shallow depression just left of Crib Goch Buttress.

Crazy Pinnacle Gully (Grade II/III 100m)

A short route that follows a deep gully situated between Crazy Pinnacle Buttress and the main crag. Easy snow climbing to begin with followed with the crux of the climb at the chockstone.

Crib Goch
Crib Goch
(Photo by Bryan Benn)
Snowdon from Crib Goch
Crib Goch
(Photo by JoeHarris)
Crib Goch in winter
Crib Goch
(Photo by tphubbard)

Mountain Conditions

Forecast


This section displays the weather forecast for Beddgelert, which is located just to the south and is one of the nearest major towns to the mountains summit area. Remember that Beddgelert is around 70m above sea level whereas the Pen y Pass carpark (where most walks start) is over 350m above sea level, and Crib Goch itself reaches 923m. This means that when looking at temperature the adiabatic lapse rate must be taken into account which in Wales is a drop in temperature of between 0.5 and 1°C per 100m in altitude. Exposure and wind speed can also significantly lower temperatures.


Web Cameras


Webcams are a graet way of getting up-to-date weather information. Currently there are quite a few webcams in Snowdonia, only a few cameras located in the Snowdon area - even fewer are actually reliable. The section below provides links to the very best. These feeds are hosted by external sites, so obviously we can’t be held responsible if a camera happens to be malfunctioning.

First Hydro
www.DeformedWeb.co.uk
Snow Gliders
BBC Wales

When To Climb and Essential Gear

Most ascents are made during the spring and summer and during the high season the traverse can feel more like a bus queue than a mountain ascent. However, if one avoids weekends and public holidays, or employs some form of cunning route choice, a quiet day can be had . The area is often cloudy and showers are frequent so full waterproofs are always essential no matter what the weather forecast. A good pare of boots, a map, a compass and a hat are also a necessity.

Most scrambles can be done with no more extra gear than one might carry for a hike, but for the harder routes, some may choose to carry a helmet, rope, harness and a small rack of slings, crabs and nuts.

The best time for rock climbing is from late spring to early autumn, when there is little chance of snow and ice and the crags dry out much more quickly. For the long, multi-pitch routes, a reasonable sized rack will probably be necessary. Most routes will require half ropes of 50 metres length, though on the longer, easier routes, a single rope will probably suffice. It’s worth emphasising that the crags on Snowdon are big, serious and vulnerable to the area’s fickle climate so be sure to carry enough food, water and warm, waterproof clothing. On the longer and/or less accessible routes, a headtorch may prove to be a very handy piece of kit; this is even truer in winter.

When snow and ice is likely, ice axe and crampons should be carried. For true winter routes, specialist winter and ice climbing equipment is necessary and owing to the unpredictable nature of the mountain’s snow and ice, these lines should only be attempted by those with experience of winter mountaineering techniques. Despite Snowdon’s comparatively low altitude winters can be very cold, with temperatures dropping to Arctic levels; many inexperienced walkers and climbers have been caught out in these conditions, most are rescued by mountain rescue teams however, on occasion, the consequences are much more serious.

Crib Goch (Photo by Nanuls)

Red Tape and Access

No red tape here!

Although unlikely it's worth checking the countryside access map provided by the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) regarding whether or not any restrictions on movement in the area are in place.

Countryside Access Map

For climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) runs a Regional Access Database, which holds mountain/crag specific information on matters of conservation and access, including issues such as nesting restrictions, nature designations and preferred parking.

Regional Access Database

If you are in any doubt about any particular access arrangement, or need to report an incident, you should contact your local BMC Access Representative or the BMC Access Officers for Wales: Elfyn Jones.

Getting There

The most common starting point for Crib Goch is the Pen y Pass car park (SH 647 555), at the zenith of Llanberis Pas, which can be reached easily by road on the A4086 that runs between Llanberis (SH 582 598) and Capel Curig (SH 719 580).

Owing to the popularity of the route the Pen y Pass car park often fills up quickly so if you want to park there a very early start is recommended. Luckily there are other options, the first of these is an excellent park and ride which runs regularly all day (including weekends and bank holidays) from Nant Perris (SH 607 582). The second option is the Snowdon Sherpa bus service which has various stops around the mountain and runs from Llanberis, Bettws y Coed, Caernarfon, Beddgelert, Bethesda and Porthmadog. Be sure to check timetables first as you don't want to end up missing the last bus and find yourself stuck, of course in these situations hitching is always an option.

Accommodation and Camping

There are several campsites around the area, including Beddgelert Forest, Cae Du, The Cwellyn Arms, Garth Farm, Bryn Gloch Caravan & Camping Park and Ynys Ettws, although none (with the exception of Ynys Ettws) are exceptionally close to Crib Goch.

There are also a number of YHA hostels in the area, the nearest of which is the Pen-y-Pass hostel, a short walk from the base of the mountain. The Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre in Capel Curig also has a bunk house, and has its own indoor climbing wall if you still feel energetic after your day on the mountain. Also the nearby towns of Capel Curig, Llanberis and Beddgelert all have various hotels, hostels, B&Bs and campsites.

Maps

Open Space Web-Map builder Code
Navigation Maps

OS 1:25k Explorer Series OL 17 Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa

OS 1:50k Landranger Series 115 Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa

Harvey Map Services 1:25k Snowdonia: Snowdon and the Moelwynion

Harvey Map Services/BMC 1: 40k British Mountain Map: Snowdonia

Road Maps

OS Travel Map 10 Wales/Cymru & West Midlands

Guidebooks

Scrambles in Snowdonia
North Wales Rock: Selected Rock Climbs in North Wales
Climbers’ Guides to Wales: Llanberis
Bowldro Gogledd Cymru
Welsh Winter Climbs
General

Snowdonia: The Official National Park Guide

Hiking

Cicerone Guide: The Mountains of England and Wales: Volume 1 Wales
Cicerone Guide: Hillwalking in Wales Vol 1
Cicerone Guide: Hillwalking in Wales Vol 2
Cicerone Guide: Hillwalking in Snowdonia

Scrambling

Cicerone Guide: Ridges of Snowdonia (Also includes hiking routes)
Cicerone Guide: Scrambles in Snowdonia
Cicerone Guide: The Ridges of England, Wales and Ireland (Also includes rock climbs)
Scrambles and Easy Climbs in Snowdonia (Also includes rock climbs)

Rock and Winter Climbing

Climbers' Club Guide to Wales: Llanberis (Also includes scrambles and bouldering problems)

Rockfax Guide: North Wales Classics (Also includes winter climbs)

Ground Up Guide: North Wales Rock (Also includes bouldering problems)

Constable Guide: Rock Climbing in Snowdonia

The Long Routes: Mountaineering Rock Climbs in Snowdonia and the Lake District

Cicerone Guide: Welsh Winter Climbs

Ground Up Guide: North Wales Winter Climbing

n-soul Guide: North Wales Bouldering/Bowldro Gogledd Cymru

Beta Sites

North Wales Bouldering
Rockfax Route Database
UkClimbing.com
Welsh Winter Climbs

External Links

 
The Pinnacles of Crib Goch
The north face of Crib Goch


General

Snowdonia National Park Authority
Council for National Parks
Association of National Park Authorities
Conwy County Council
Gwynedd County Council
Powys County Council
Welsh Tourist Board
Mid Wales Tourism Partnership
Snowdonia Society
Local Information from Gwynedd.com
Local Information from Snowdonia Wales Net
North Wales Index
Snowdonia-Active.com
Countryside Council for Wales
Joint Nature Conservation Committee
The National Trust
CADW
Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Wales
Gwynedd Archeological Trust
British Mountaineering Council
The Climbers Club
Snowdon Summit Blog
Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre
Hightreck Snowdonia

Weather

Mountain Weather Wales
Weather from the Met Office
Weather Channel UK

Travel

Welsh Public Transport Information
Uk Train Timetable
Welsh Highland Railway
Snowdon Sherpa

Accommodation

Youth Hostel Association in Wales
Beddgelert Forest Campsite
Cae Du campsite near Beddgelert
Llwyn Celyn Bach
Snowdonia Park
Camping in Llanberis
Garth Farm
Gwern Gof Uchaf
Gwern Gôf Isaf Farm
Dolgam Campsite and B&B
Cwellyn Arms
Ynys Ettws
YHA Pen y Pass
YHA Capel Curig
YHA Snowdon Ranger
YHA Bryn Gwynant
Pete's Eats
Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel

Maps and Guidebooks

Ordnance Survey
Harvey Map Services
Cicerone Guidebooks
Climbers Club Guidebooks

Welsh Language

Welsh Language Board
Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg Welsh language pressure group
Yr Urdd (Welsh Youth Association)
Welsh-English / English-Welsh online translator
Welsh-English / English-Welsh Online Dictionary
Welsh-English / English-Welsh Online Lexicon

Images