Sentries Ridge Grade 3 Scramble

The Bald Scrambler

Published By: Daniel Woodley. Published: 6th May 2024. Filed at: Other Snowdonia Scrambles. Disclosure: I earn commission from purchases made via links.

Sentries Ridge is a unique scramble up shattered rock in Eifionydd on the quieter side of Snowdonia.

Exciting stuff? Absolutely, just double-check your holds!

Below you’ll find a map, video, photos and a route description for this scramble:

My Video:

I published this video in 2023:

Route Profile

Approach: 1hr 15 mins.

Height Gain on Sentries Ridge: 200m.

Grade: Grade -3 in Steve Ashton’s guidebook and grade 3 on the UKC website.

Start: Rhyd Ddu.

Finish: On the approach to Mynydd Mawr.

Hazards: Loose holds, steep sections, limited reliable gear placements.

Parking: Pay and Display at Rhyd Ddu train station car park or limited free parking in the layby at //

Approach Map (click to expand)

Here’s my map from Rhyd Ddu train station car park to the foot of Sentries Ridge. It should be accurate to within a few metres:

Download file for GPS

Approach to Sentries Ridge

From the Rhyd Ddu train station, I took the footpath opposite to the toe of the forest. From here n/east on the B4418 until the entrance to the forest.

The forest was an enjoyable walk, but I soon left the trees and followed the footpath next to the treeline, n/west towards the approach to Mynydd Mawr.

From here I left the main path and followed a faint line west across the hill towards the messy and unpleasant scree slopes beneath Sentries Ridge.

My map (above) and downloadable GPS file may help if you’re unsure of the way.

Rhyd Ddu forest walk

I enjoyed the forest walk

Approach to Sentries Ridge

The approach path follows the treeline (right) up towards the slopes of Mynydd Mawr.

Faint path towards Sentries Ridge

Faint path towards the steps and scree

Scree under Sentries Ridge

Scree at the foot of Sentries Ridge (middle of the 3 ridges shown here, with a gendarme just visible at the top of the photo).

Start of the Scramble

The start of the route is a steep buttress which can be avoided on the right.

The next challenge is a gendarme which can be tackled directly or via the left (5m).

The lower reaches of this ridge are very fractured and while it’s more stable than it looks, there are still some loose holds and few reliable places to place climbing gear.

I urge you to double-check all your holds, most appear to be sound but you might find a few nasty surprises on this route.

The route continues roughly on the ridge crest with gendarmes to climb or skirt around and a delightful catwalk to traverse.

The next landmark is a grassy col, just over 1/3rd of the way up the ridge.

Start of the scramble

The start of the scramble

The catwalk

A rocky catwalk on Sentries Ridge

The Bald Scrambler on Sentries Ridge

Me with the catwalk behind me.

From the Grassy Col

From the obvious grassy col I took a line on the edge of ridge with a heather runnel just off to my right:

Sentries Ridge - middle of the scramble

Here I’m taking the edge of the ridge with a heather runnel to my right

Scrambling on the upper reaches of Sentries Ridge

(Above) Note the heather runnel to the right and the steeper upper scramble at around grade 3.

Looking down Sentries Ridge

(Above) Beyond the heather runnel there are some really decent sections of scrambling.

The final section of scrambling

Yet more good scrambling, this time very close to the end of the route.

Topping Out and Continuation

The route ends on a grassy ridge which is a short easy walk away from the summit of Mynydd Mawr:

The end of Sentries Ridge scramble

(Above) The end of the route.

I don’t recommend descending Sentries Ridge. Although possible, I feel it would be considerably harder and less enjoyable.

I had my lunch on the summit of Mynydd Mawr and then descended the obvious path back to the treeline by the forest.

How Loose is the Rock on Sentries Ridge?

To be honest, I was expecting the route to be far looser than it was.

At first glance, the rock looks incredibly fractured but much of it was solid enough for hand and footholds.

However, I did grab hold of a few loose rocks on the way up so there are dangers present, it certainly isn’t a solid route but it’s not as loose as the neighbouring scramble at Bear Buttress.

There isn’t an abundance of good climbing gear placements but a few extra slings could come in handy.

Fractured rock on Sentries Ridge

(Above) While I found much of the rock fractured, most of it was climbable.

Typical scrambling on Sentries Ridge

Typical scrambling on Sentries Ridge.

Note: There is quite a bit of heather bashing in places throughout this route. It wasn’t enough to put me off. 

As for navigation, I found it easy once I had located the start of the ridge.

Would I do this scramble again and what do I think of it?

The photo below sums up how I feel about Sentries Ridge:

Near the top of Sentries Ridge

Nearby Scrambles:

  • Bear Buttress (grade 3s).
  • Craig Fawr Rib (Grade 3).
  • Nantlle Ridge (Grade -1/hiking route).

About Daniel Woodley

This introduction to the Sentries Ridge scramble was created by Daniel Woodley, aka The Bald Scrambler.

From walking along beaches and kayaking down rivers to making his way up mountains and even jumping out of planes, Daniel has a love of the outdoors, but scrambling is his real passion.


Daniel Woodley

Daniel Woodley aka The Bald Scrambler

Have fun, keep safe. Hopefully I’ll see you on the mountains one day

By The Bald Scrambler

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