The Ultimate Guide to Bryant’s Gully

By The Bald Scrambler

Bryant’s Gully

Published By: Daniel Woodley. Updated: 22nd April 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.

Welcome to my guide to Bryant’s Gully, which is one of the longest gully scrambling routes in the UK and is widely considered a classic.

Watch the video version here:

Below you’ll find a route description, photos and other helpful information.

This isn’t a step-by-step guide but a detailed overview of the scramble as I’ve experienced it.

Please read my disclaimer as scrambling is a dangerous sport and there are plenty of wet, slimy, slippery and steep sections on this route!

Parking For Bryant’s Gully

There are several (currently) free layby parking spaces on the Llanberis Pass (A4086) near Cromlech Boulders (see map).

You can also consider the Park and Ride at Nant Peris, which is only 2 miles away.

Alternative parking can be found at Pen y Pass, but it’s expensive and outside of winter, you’ll need to pre-book online.

Further away, consider parking in the pay and display laybys near Pen y Gwryd Hotel, catching the bus to Pen y Pass, and down to Cromlech Boulders.

Bryant’s Gully Map

The maps below show the scrambling route (red) and the continuation/descent route I usually take (white):

Bryant's Gully Map

Imagery © 2023 Google, Airbus, Bluesky, Infoterra, COWI, Cnes/Airbus, Getmapping PLC, Landset, Maxar Technologies

Bryant's Gully Map 2

Imagery © 2023 Google, Airbus, Bluesky, Infoterra, COWI, Cnes/Airbus, Getmapping PLC, Landset, Maxar Technologies

The 3 Sections of Bryant’s Gully

Here are the three sections of this scramble:

  1. The initial section which is the wettest, takes the longest and is also the most enjoyable.
  2. The mid-section which eases off slightly before springing a surprise – The Trap.
  3. The final section rises out of the gully onto ever looser scree.

Section 1) The Slimy Slab, Trees, Boulders and Great Scrambling

The scramble starts at the base of the gully, just above and to the right of the Flat Slab (easily visible on Google Maps). If you’re unsure of the location; Bryant’s Gully is currently the only gully with trees growing in the lower section.

There is a climber’s path that runs parallel to the road and this makes the approach easier.

View of the lower section of Bryant's Gully

The lower section of Bryant’s Gully, note the trees.

Inside Bryant's Gully

Inside Bryant’s Gully; it’s wet and slimy in places but with some care and bridging moves, most of the obstacles can be overcome head-on or by taking a few steps up the side wall.

Slimy Slab on Bryant's Gully

Approaching the Slimy Slab.

The first major obstacle in Bryant’s Gully is the Slimy Slab; even in dry weather it will be wet and slippery. Tackle it straight on if you’re feeling brave or avoid it by going up the left wall, taking care to avoid slime.

The Slimy Slab

This is what the Slimy Slab looks like after two weeks of dry weather.

The remainder of section 1 involves good quality grade 2+ scrambling where bridging moves and care/attention are required.

At the end of section 1, there is another slab; tackle it on the side:

second slab in Bryant's Gully

The second slab, located at the top of the first section is steeper than it looks. Best tackled on the side rather than direct.

Section 2) The Gully Eases, Escape Route and The Trap

Section 2 starts with a plateau; a perfect place to rest and consider your options:

  1. Escape to the left, following the climber’s path back down to the road; it will be wet and slippery when wet.
  2. Continue up in the gully.

Most of section 2 is slightly easier than the 1st section with a few boulders and ledges to overcome.

Bridging moves will help on this section:

Bridging moves in Bryant's Gully

Bridging moves are a staple of Bryant’s Gully.

Just when you think you’ve got the better of Bryant’s Gully, The Trap is sprung:

The Trap in Bryant's Gully

“The Trap” in Bryant’s Gully

“The Trap” is an alcove at the end of section 2 that looks inescapable at first.

The left side is hopelessly steep.

The rear is slimy and overgrown.

The right side offers the best chance, and near the mouth there are a series of small ledges for the scrambler:

Small ledges to the side of The Trap

The ledges are on steep terrain, and obviously more dangerous when wet.

Continue up the ledges until the wall eases:

Escaping The Trap

Section 3) The Gully Eases and Hello Scree

This section starts after The Trap and you have two choices:

  1. Step back into the gully above The Trap and ascend, following the gully rightwards, avoiding the left gully at the fork.
  2. Continue up the rock onto the right rib that rises parallel to the gully.

1) Going back into the gully – be warned that there is a second alcove and the rear wall is full of notoriously loose rock (best avoided). It can be scrambled with great care or avoided by backtracking and finding a suitable line onto the right rib.

2) After The Trap, the scrambler can stay out of the gully completely by getting onto the right rib and following it up and parallel to the gully (this is the route I always take).

After the second alcove, the gully loses it’s identity and disappears into a bed of scree. The route is more difficult to find in the upper sections but by taking the line of least resistance, the scrambler will soon reach the top and the crest of Esgair Felen.

Upper reaches of Bryant's Gully

Above The Trap, either stay on the right rib or step back into the gully.

Continuation and Descent

The top of Bryant’s Gully ends on the crest of Esgair Felen where you can continue up towards the scree slope between Glyder Fawr and Llyn y Cwm.

Descend the scree slope and go around the small lake anti-clockwise to avoid the boggy ground. Then head over the stile located 150m west of the lake.

From the stile, follow the faint path next to the stream all the way down to the cottage where a right of way permits access to the Llanberis Pass (A4086) in Gwastandnant.

See the map at the top of this page for more info.

There are other, more direct routes off Esgair Felen but most I’ve tried led to marshy terrain and I found it best to head towards Glyder Fach.

Route Profile and Information

Scrambling Grade: Grade 2+ or 3-, depending on who you ask or which guidebook you use. I rate Bryant’s Gully 2+.

Suitability for Beginners: Not suitable for complete beginners who should gain experience with other lower-grade routes first.

Navigation: Easy to locate (look for the flat slab and trees). The route stays true to the gully line with an option to ascend the right rib in the upper section. The descent off the mountain could be problematic in poor visibility if you don’t know the area; check the maps at the top of this page.

Dangers: Steep drops, slime, escaping The Trap, loose scree in the upper section. Wear a helmet, esp if there are people ahead of you. The difficulties are far greater after heavy rain, but the mid and upper sections of the gully drain fairly quickly.

Time (car to car): 7 hours (dry) and 9 hours (wet), but I had to stop frequently for filming and flying the drone.

Popularity: This isn’t a touristy scramble, so it is usually quiet compared to other routes in the Glyderau.

Fun Rating: 10/10.

My Dislikes: None.

Similar Routes in Snowdonia:

For practice, consider scrambling:

More:

I’ve scrambled up Bryant’s Gully several times and it’s far easier in the dry but whenever you go, I’m sure you’ll find it an epic adventure.

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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