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OverviewCrib Coch is welsh for Red Sharp Ridge. The north ridge is the red sharp ridge of Crib Coch.
This route ain't climbed as much as the east ridge or over the pinnacles since it ain't part of the horse shoe but that doesn't mean it is less beautiful or with less exposure ... Route finding is a bit more tricky and the trail ain't that good.
While on the east ridge the rock is of pretty good quality and on the pinnacles the rock is quite polished that ain't the case on the north ridge. There still is a lot of loose rock so be careful!
Getting ThereThe starting point for North Ridge is the Parking lot near the boulders in the pass. 2km past Nant-Peris, 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 rock faces and the boulders (The Cromlech Boulders) the car park can easily fill up quickly so try to start early or late (early evening) when most climbers ain't awake yet or are back to the pub.
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 and option.
Another option is to take the bus in Llanberis. Get to the start, climb the North Ridge, traverse over to Snowdon and take the Tourist Track down to Llanberis.
Route DescriptionIf you come from Llanberis you pass Nant-Peris and after 2-3 km you pass Blaen-Nant on the right hand side. Park on parking spots right after it, 100 meter further up the road, or the bigger one 500 meter further up the road. Both parking spots are free but can be full.
Walk down till there is a bridge on the left hand side. Take the second bridge (in front of the last farm you'll see) and immediately cross another bridge on the right hand side over another Small river.
When you cross the bridge 20 meter further turn to the left and keep level with the second river you crossed. After 150 meter you will see a more obvious path and you keep following that.
When you gained some altitude and the path starts to level more you see that there are more rivers are coming together to create the river you have been following.
You will see a black wall on the left hand side in front of you. 100 meter more to the left there seems to be a gully. This is your goal.
Time to start river hopping! Best to bring waterproof boots but i did it myself just on trail runners with wet feet.
When you crossed the valley and you get closer to the black wall you will see a obvious waterfall coming down 100 meter to the left of it. This is the gully you need to take.
I took the right hand side of the gully but in some guidebooks they say the left hand side is where the trail goes. I have done this route twice but never seen that trail so keep right of the waterfall and go through the gully.
When you reach a plateau you keep going more to the right and to the right wall. Here you keep going up through some scree and it will level out again (no obvious trail!!!!)
For the first time since you left Llanberis you will be able to see the scree cone now. The top of that cone is where the ridge will start.
Keep going closer to that cone and follow a scree slope till the real scree slope.
You can see the trail in summer pretty obvious where people are coming down from far from this scree slope.
At the top it is pretty obvious how the ridge goes (the ridge ain't that wide)
On the right side there is a trail which you can use though the scree is pretty loose and it might be more fun just to keep on the ridge itself.
When you reach the white band (really close to the summit) you can take an easier gully on the left hand side to make a small detour for an easier route. You can also stay on the ridge to reach the North summit of Crib Coch.
Essential GearJust a good pair of boots, waterproofs and some lunch. If walking in winter make sure you also carry an ice axe and crampons.
Velcro gloves when local ;-)
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