Bastow Buttress Variant Scramble

By The Bald Scrambler

Glyderau

Published By: Daniel Woodley. Updated: 13th May 2024. Filed at: Glyderau Scrambles. Disclosure: I may earn a commission from purchases made via links. Disclaimer: Scrambling is a dangerous sport, this route description does not provide step-by-step instructions. Read Disclaimer.

If you want to attempt the Bastow Buttress variant scramble on Tryfan, I hope you’ll find the information on this page helpful:

  1. Video.
  2. Map.
  3. The gully and getting onto the buttress.
  4. The scramble itself.

I first did this route in 2021 but have since been back and done it twice more, it’s a great route at roughly grade 2+ (3- on the UKC website).

Watch the video:

Parking For Tryfan

There are currently over 200 car parking spaces in laybys and car parks next to the A5 road, most are free of charge as of 2024, but this is a popular area on weekends in the summer and bank holidays.

See my car parking map here.

Approach

The Heather Terrace is best gained via the path that runs behind the campsite at Gwern Gof Uchaf and Tryfan Bach.

The terrace can be a little difficult to find if you don’t know the area, if you go too far, you’ll end up on the nearby North Ridge route.

Map of Bastow Buttress Variant

Once on the terrace, Bastow Buttress is the first rocky gully.

The Gully and Gaining The Buttress

I ascended the gully no more than 10 metres:

Gully beside Bastow Buttress

I then looked to the right and located an obvious slanted groove with a chockstone mid-way up:

The slanted groove on Bastow Buttress

To ascend the groove I had to use some bridging moves and made use of the holds, which are present.

This photo was taken just above the slanted groove, it’s quite an exposed position:

Bastow Buttress lower section

Bastow Buttress Variant Scramble

After scrambling up the route a little further and past some heather, I was met with a few options.

  1. Take the left rib (Diff climbing grade).
  2. The central wide heather runnel (easy, boring).
  3. The right rib (popular with scramblers).

I took the right rib (far right of this photo):

Rib choice on Bastow Buttress

Above the right rib I trended left to gain the left rib, with the gully over my left shoulder.

Here there was a very tasty ramp that was steep (roughly grade 2) but grippy:

Bastow Buttress scramble
Bastow Buttress Variant ramp

This steep left rib can be avoided completely by going up the right rib instead, although this significantly reduces the grade:

Bastow Buttress Variant alternate line

Above photo: The right rib is significantly shallower.

After the ramp, the route was fairly straightforward and obvious. I continued up the left rib until met with an impassable rock which I avoided on the right.

After 10 minutes of intermittent scrambling, I found myself at the end of the route, just below the flat area in front of the North Tower.

Some People Struggle With Finding The Route

I’ve seen a few people state in online forums that they struggled to find the route.

Here’s a brief overview of the route I took:

  1. 10m up the gully.
  2. Looked right and ascended the obvious slanting crack with a chockstone to gain the buttress.
  3. From the exposed lower section I headed up, initially on rock and then through heather.
  4. A choice between 1) left rib (Diff), 2) central heather (boring, easy) or 3) right rib (popular with scramblers, the route I took).
  5. Above this, I trended left to gain the rib next to the gully at grade 2+ (grade 3- on UKC website).
  6. I scrambled up the ramp and the rib until near the top, where I trended right and weaved through the final sections of rock until the end of the scramble near the North Tower.

The map below shows the route I took, note how I avoided the lower section of the left rib (Diff), nearly mid way up:

Route

Descending Bastow Buttress/Escape Options

I don’t recommend descending Bastow Buttress as the slanting crack makes it difficult to descend safely without rope.

On the ascent, the entire left rib, where most of the scrambling is, can be avoided by taking a parallel line to the right. There is still scrambling to be had here but at a much lower grade.

Continuation

The top of Bastow Buttress is the North Ridge route which is a grade 1.

For those who know the area well, consider partially descending the west side of Tryfan and gaining Notch Arete (newbies may find this difficult to locate).

Route Profile and Information

Scrambling Grade: Grade 2+ in Steve Ashton’s guide.

Suitability for Beginners: No, scramblers should gain experience at lower grades first.

Navigation: Some get confused about which rib to take, if in doubt, take the safer right line.

Dangers: Exposure gaining the buttress. As per most grade 2+ routes on the left rib.

Approach Time: 1hr.

Height Gain: 140m.

Popularity: Moderately popular.

Fun Rating: 9/10.

My Likes: Lovely rock, dries quickly in the morning sun.

My Dislikes: It’s too short, the good scrambling is over too quickly.

Nearby Routes in Snowdonia:

North Ridge of Tryfan. Notch Arete. Nor Nor Groove.

More:

I’ve scrambled up Bastow Buttress several times and it’s a great route, albeit a little short compared to some of the other routes on this side of Tryfan.

This scramble is also included in Steve Ashton’s “Scrambles in Snowdonia”, which is a bible of sorts for scramblers.

If you’re new to scrambling or want to find new routes, try this compact book that is small enough to fit in your backpack and maybe even your pocket.

Recommended Guide Book:

Scrambles in Snowdonia

Scrambles in Snowdonia by Steve Ashton (#ad)

About Daniel Woodley

These photos and route descriptions were created by Daniel Woodley, aka The Bald Scrambler and this page forms part of the Glyderau Range Scrambles.

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.

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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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