Milestone Gully Approach Scramble

By The Bald Scrambler

Milestone

Published By: Daniel Woodley. Updated: 17th October 2023. 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.

Milestone Gully Approach is an excellent alternative start to the North Ridge of Tryfan, graded by some at 1+ and others around a 2.

I’ve found that the gully is often wet with plenty of moss and lichen to navigate but also lots of polished holds, especially on the spicy moves, of which there are a few.

I’ve never seen the gully quiet; the milestone area is popular with climbers who use this gully as a descent but for scramblers, the interest is in the ascent.

Watch my video of this scramble here:

Below you’ll find a map, route description, photos and other helpful information for this popular scramble.

This isn’t a step-by-step guide but a detailed overview of the scramble as I’ve experienced it on the many times I’ve been up there.

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 Milestone Gully

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 2023, but this is a popular area on weekends in the summer and bank holidays.

See my car parking map here.

Map For Milestone Gully Approach

I’ve created a map showing the route to the gully, up it and the options at the top:

Map

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

Despite being a short scramble at around 50m long with a height gain of just 90m, there are three distinct sections:

  1. Approach.
  2. The scramble.
  3. Continuation.

1) Approach

Milestone Gully can be approached from the A5 either following the path next to the stone wall and going over the steps or via a direct line from the A5 car parks.

Check out the map below:

Milestone Gully Approach map 2

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

Section 2) The Scramble

The scramble is fairly short at around 50m long with a height gain of 90m, but there are some interesting moves. The first of which is described by Steve Ashton in his book, as the Baffling Step – it’s an unassuming ledge that can be easily avoided.

Beyond the step is the gully proper, which takes a line to the left and starts with a series of steep steps and moves at around grade 1+. The gully is wet in the centre but dry holds can be found either side, at least in the lower section.

Further up, there’s more moss and it’s wetter but not quite as steep, it’s more of a steep staircase.

I’ve never seen the gully bone dry so extra care is required on a few moves. While there’s lots of moss and lichen, I’ve always found the polished rocks easy to find and secure, loose rocks have never been an issue for me in this gully, it’s always been solid.

Inside Milestone Gully

This photo shows the terrain at the upper end of the gully – steep, wet, mossy. Extra care is needed here.

Start of Milestone Gully Approach

This photo was taken at the lower section of the gully – there’s less moss and the rocks typically drier and blockier but the terrain is steeper.

Section 3) Continuation

At the top of the gully, there’s a choice to make:

  • Take the path straight ahead towards the boulder field on the lower section of the North Ridge.
  • Take the grade 1 scrambling line onto the mid-section of the North Ridge.
  • Try the Milestone Continuation grade 3 scramble.
  • Descend the gully.
Map

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

Route Profile and Information

Scrambling Grade: Grade 1+ in Steve Ashton’s guide but with grade inflation, some folks online now suggest it’s a low grade 2.

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

Navigation: I’ve always found it easy to find and the continuation onto the North Ridge is straightforward.

Dangers: Moss, lichen, wet rocks and a few notable steep sections.

Time: 10 minute walk in and 10-15 minutes to complete the scramble.

Popularity: Very popular, with plenty of climbers using it as a descent.

Fun Rating: 6/10.

My Likes: An excellent and more interesting start to the North Ridge route.

My Dislikes: It’s too short, the good scrambling is great fun but over too quickly. Wet and slippery in places.

Similar Routes in Snowdonia:

 

More:

I’ve scrambled up Milestone Gully several times and it’s a great alternative for those who have been up the North Ridge a few times and want a more spicy start.

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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