Crib Goch

16th April 2008

Having spotted a break in the weather, I booked a day off work for a trip down to Snowdonia.

The lighter mornings meant that as I approached Wales it was full daylight and I could appreciate the views as I left the expressway at Llandudno Junction and onto the country lanes.

Finally I reached the car park at Pen-Y-Pass. For some reason, I hadn’t really considered that the summits would be frosted with snow, but with a glorious day ahead I decided that I would (with a little caution) carry on up to the Snowdon Horseshoe.

The first part of the ascent for obvious reasons is paved with all the rocks that have been placed to save the mountains from the erosion of a million walking boots. Where the routes I’ve taken in the Lake District felt like hills for the most part, with Crib Goch towering ahead of you there is no doubt that here you are in mountain country.

If the view so far was amazing, as the path joins the Pyg Track you get one of the most picturesque areas I’ve come across so far, with rocky crags in almost every direction and the sparkling waters of Llyn Llydaw filling the basin.

The path here offers a choice of routes, but the path up Crib Goch looked to be the most fun (although I hadn’t realised yet how much)

After a brief pause to watch the RAF flypast I began to follow the marked path to find it very quickly vanished into the rocks. Before long however, I was following footprints in the snow, unfortunately the set I followed left me stranded on some loose rock, so I had to carefully work my way back round the mountain and onto firmer ground.

At this point the real scrambling began, the only way to go any further was to find a way up a vertical section (only about 20ft or so) luckily, the rock on this mountain provides a multitude of handholds and although a bit daunting at first I soon had a feel for the mountain and my confidence grew.

Once over the first hurdle, the route ahead was easier to discern with the tracks in the snow leading to the next rocky ascent. Caution was obviously needed because of the snow, but the rest of the climb went slowly but easily with none of those “what if…” moments. The only real problem was that my gloves were wet and had dyed my hands purple.

Reaching the summit opened up a magnificent view of Snowdon across Crib Goch’s infamous western ridge.

My original plan had been to cross this ridge and follow the horseshoe round to Snowdon and down the other arm, but looking at the conditions on the flanks of Garnedd Ugain and Snowdon I wasn’t convinced that this would be a pleasant option.

Having spent more time than I had expected negotiating the climb so far I decided that my realistic options were to descend by the same route or try to hitch a lift on the Chinook helicopter that chose that moment to pass.

My descent wasn’t the most elegant, spending a lot of my time edging across snow on my backside like an inverted starfish. There was one moment on the way where I couldn’t see where to descend, but luckily a group on the ascent were able to point out the best route.

After that it was just the long slog back to the car park down the track that had somehow become a lot more rugged whilst I’d been up on the summit, and plan a return visit in the summer.

One Response to “Crib Goch”

  1. Rehoboth says:

    Thank you for this interesting article. I have book marked this site because I really hope you post more articles soon, I plan to share this.

Leave a Reply