Hidden Gully

Page Type
Snowdonia, Wales, Europe
Route Type:
Ice Climbing, Mixed
Time Required:
Most of a day
Scottish Grade II
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 1 Votes

5592 Hits
88.56% Score
Log in
to vote
Page By:
Hidden Gully
Created On: Jan 6, 2010
Last Edited On: Jan 15, 2015


If one makes the effort to pull themselves away from Cwm Idwal and its famous winter test pieces and up into the less accessible hanging valley of Cwm Cenifion, one will find themselves in the midst of a satisfying array of quality winter routes. Hidden Gully, a 100 metre Grade II, is one of the Cwm’s finest and despite its name, isn’t all that hard to find. It can be found on the far right hand side of the Cwm tucked away just behind the obvious mass of crags known as Clogwyn Ddu (Black Crag), a name which is wholly inappropriate in the sort of weather conditions that make Hidden Gully a very worthwhile outing. Narrow and steep, it exudes atmosphere, and when combined with East Wall Gully, it becomes part of an extremely rewarding direct route from the shores of Llyn Idwal all the way to the summit of Glyder Fawr itself.

Traditionally there has been no culture of claiming the first ascents of winter routes in Snowdonia, so unfortunately the identities of the first ascentionists of this route are unknown.

Getting There

Hidden GullyThe entrance to
the Gully
(Photo by Nanuls)
Hidden GullyNear the start
of the route
(Photo by Nanuls)
Hidden GullyApproaching the
(Photo by Nanuls)
Hidden GullyNearly topping
(Photo by Nanuls)

Hidden Gully

Conveniently, Glyder Fawr is located very close to the A5 meaning that there isn't a long approach to the bottom of the route.

There is plenty of parking along the A5 near Ogwen Cottage (SH 648 603), some of which you have to pay for, some of which you don't. My advice is to never bother with the official car parks and just park along the roadside. There is a wide 'pavement' type verge on the southern side of the road that can easily accommodate the width of a car or minibus, and is completely free and never full (even on bank holidays). It also allows you to park even closer to the base of the mountain and the start of the path.

Take the path from the Cottage to Llyn Idwal (SH 645 595). Follow the path along the eastern shore southwards. From here you will have a choice of approaches, either traverse in from the left, passing under the Sub-Ceifion Rib (SH 648 592), or better still, climb East Wall Gully, which will take you directly into the Cwm. Providing the weather is clear, Clogwyn Ddu should bow be an obvious feature on the right hand side of the cwm. Make your own way the base of the crag and skirt around it to access the Gully, which is located around SH 646 581 (see photo )

Route Description

Start by ascending the obvious snowy depression that gives Easy Route (Grade I) in the back corner of the Cwm. A steep narrow gully can be spotted bearing off to the right, just to the right of Clogwyn Ddu. This is your objective.

Pitch 1 (Tech. Grade 1; 50m): From a short way up Easy Route move off diagonally right to the narrow gully.

Pitch 2 (Tech. Grade 2; 50m): Follow the narrow gully to its steep and often corniced exit. A couple of chockstones will likely cause the greatest difficulty.

Essential Gear

If conditions are favourable most will not feel the need to use anything more than a single axe and crampons, however, if conditions are a bit more on the icy side, ice tools, a singe rope and a small rack would be very helpful. This being a gully climb, a helmet is also a very good idea.

Cwm Cneifion (Photo by Nanuls)


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 North: Snowdon, Glyders, Carnedds

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

Road Maps

OS Travel Map 10 Wales/Cymru & West Midlands


Snowdonia (Official National Park Guide) Snowdonia (Official National Park Guide) by Merfyn Williams with contributions from Ian Mercer and Jeremy Moore

A handy book full of useful information and interesting facts about the National Park.
Welsh Winter Climbs Cicerone Guide: Welsh Winter Climbs by Malcom Campbell and Andy Newton

The only dedicated winter climbing guide to Wales. A bit dated now but nevertheless still relevant. The only problem is finding the right conditions.
Welsh Winter Climbs Wetpaint Guide: Welsh Winter Climbs - Cwm Cneifion and Clogwyn Du PDF

Not a guidebook in the traditional sense; the contributors to the Welsh Winter Climbs ‘Wiki’ recognise that the Cicerone guide is unlikely to be updated anytime soon, and that in the interim period, something needs to cover the developments that have taken place since its publication. Plus it’s free!

External Links

Clogwyn DduClogwyn Ddu (Photo by Nanuls)
Cwm CneifionApproach to Cwm Cneifion (Photo by Nanuls)
Cwm CeifionThe approach through Cwm Cneifion (Photo by Nanuls)
Hidden GullyA handy anchor (Photo by Nanuls)

Government Bodies and Official Organisations

Snowdonia National Park Authority

Council for National Parks

Association of National Park Authorities

Natural Resources Wales


Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Wales

Gwynedd Archaeological Trust

Snowdonia Society

The National Trust

Hiking, Climbing and Mountaineering Organisations and Companies

British Mountaineering Council

The Climbers’ Club


Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre


Hightreck Snowdonia


Mountain Weather Wales

Weather from the Met Office

BBC Weather

Tourist Information

Visit Wales

North Wales Tourism Partnership

Local Information from Gwynedd.com

Local Information from Snowdonia Wales Net

North Wales Index


Welsh Public Transport Information

UK Train Timetable


Youth Hostel Association in Wales

Pete's Eats

Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel

Maps and Guidebooks

Ordnance Survey

Harvey Map Services

Cicerone Guidebooks

Climbers’ Club Guidebooks


North Wales Bouldering

Cordee Travel and Adventure Sports Bookshop

Wildlife and Conservation

Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Natur Gwynedd

North Wales Wildlife Trust

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Hidden Gully

16 Images 1 Climber's Log Entries 4 Comments 0 Additions & Corrections


Nearby Routes Interactive Map Routes in Wales


Glyder FawrRoutes