Nor Nor Gully Scramble on Tryfan

By The Bald Scrambler

Nor Nor

Published By: Daniel Woodley. Updated: 1st July 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.

Nor Nor Gully is a scrappy grade 2+ scramble starting on Tryfan’s Heather Terrace and ending at the Notch on the North Ridge.

This route is also notorious for the number of mountain rescue call-outs, most of which are from those who have tried to descend this route to get off the North Ridge.

I do not recommend descending Nor Nor Gully or the adjacent Nor Nor Groove scramble unless you have rope.

In my guide, you’ll find:

  • Approach info
  • Route description
  • Continuation options
  • Photos and video

Watch the video:

Please read my disclaimer as scrambling is a dangerous sport and there are many dangers on this route!

Parking & Approach

I always park in the A5 layby at the foot of Tryfan’s North Ridge.

It’s currently free, see my parking map here if you’re new to the area.

The Heather Terrace can be reached by taking the path behind the popular Tryfan Bach climbing area.

Note: The Heather Terrace can be difficult to locate and people often go onto the North Ridge by mistake.

On Heather Terrace, from the North Ridge end, Nor Nor Gully is the first gully with a scree chute that overspills onto the terrace.

You can clearly see Nor Nor Gully in this photo:

Heather Terrace and Nor Nor Gully

Start

There are two scrambles in this gully; Nor Nor Groove is a grade 1+ line that runs parallel and left of the main gully.

See my write-up of Nor Nor Groove here.

Nor Nor Gully takes the centre of the gully all the way to the top and consists of three rises that the scrambler will need to make their way over or around.

Start of Nor Nor Gully

Nor Nor Groove (rising left) and Nor Nor Gully (centre)

The First Rise

I found the lower section of Nor Nor Gully quite slippery and wet during my visit in June 2024 and I had to take extra care at the first rise, which I tackled via a series of steps and holds to the left of the gully:

Nor Nor Gully's first rise

Note the moss and algae in the gully

After this initial climb, I traversed a short but exposed ledge and then scrambled over a chockstone, this completed the first rise.

I don’t think I would be able to backtrack this route:

Ledge on Nor Nor Gully

Exposed ledge on the first rise

Chockstone at rise #1

The Chockstone at the first rise

The Second Rise

Between the first and second rise there is an escape route (going up, not down), as shown here in this photo:

Nor Nor Gully map

I found the second rise a piece of cake, I traversed it via the right side where I found a rocky but also vegetated runnel.

It was quite wet and slippery when I was here, but was otherwise easy:

The second rise on Nor Nor Gully

Pointing the way around the second rise

The Evil Third Rise

In Steve Ashton’s Scrambles in Snowdonia book, the authors describe the final rise as the “Evil Third Rise”.

This rise is best tackled on the left by an ever-steepening and sloping ramp with a chockstone and loose scree at the top:

The Evil Third Rise on Nor Nor Gully

I really dislike sloping ramps and as I was alone and without rope, I bailed out by going back down the gully and taking the escape route, which led me back into the gully further up, beyond this nasty rise.

The Upper Section

The upper section of Nor Nor Gully is fairly straightforward with a few juicy bits of scrambling at grade 1+ and plenty of loose scree.

The route then goes over the East Traverse Path and up to the Notch on Tryfan’s North Ridge and the distinctive balancing stone.

This is the end of the scramble.

Top of Nor Nor Gully

The East Traverse Path, Notch and a scrambler standing on the balancing stone

Route Profile and Information

Scrambling Grade: Grade 2+ in Steve Ashton’s guide, but others rate it higher.

Suitability for Beginners: No.

Descend via this Route: Rope needed.

Navigation: Some find it difficult to locate Heather Terrace. The gully is fairly straightforward to follow.

Dangers: Steep, wet in places, slippery and that Evil Third Rise.

Height Gain: 200m height gain.

Popularity: This is one of the quieter scrambles on this side of Tryfan.

Fun Rating: 3/10.

My Likes: A quiet route with some juicy rises to tackle.

My Dislikes: Too much vegetation, not much scrambling between the rises, loose scree, it’s a messy line that’s inferior to other scrambles in the area. Even the start of Nor Nor Groove is more fun than much of the main gully.

Nearby Routes in Snowdonia: Nor Nor Groove, Bastow Buttress, North Ridge of Tryfan and many other scrambling and climbing lines.

Continuation: Up onto the North Ridge to the summit of Tryfan (15mins).

More:

I’m not a huge fan of this gully, it’s loose and vegetated and there are better scrambles nearby so I won’t be doing it again anytime soon.

This scramble is 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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