Maybe Tower Rib Scramble

By The Bald Scrambler

Tower Rib

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.

Welcome to my complete guide to the Maybe Tower Rib scramble in the Glyderau.

Watch the video version here:

Below you’ll find a map, route description, photos and other helpful information for this underused grade 3 scramble.

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 slippery and steep sections on this route!

Parking For Maybe Tower Rib

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.

See my car parking map here.

Maybe Tower Rib Map

Below is a map showing the most direct route to the start of the scramble from Llyn Idwal.

There are other approaches, such as from the top of the Idwal Slabs area and by partially descending Seniors Ridge.

From Llyn Idwal, take the faint path to Seniors Gully and ascend to the top, from here trend either clockwise or anti-clockwise around Cwm Cneifion to the start of Tower Rib.

The clockwise approach is over scree while I found going anti-clockwise there is more grass and some marshy areas.

Bryant's Gully Map

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

Despite being a short scramble, there are three distinct sections:

  1. Right of the initial rib.
  2. The bulk of the scramble.
  3. Ascending/descending the tower.

Section 1) Start to the Right of the Rib

The lower section of Tower Rib is poorly defined but I found it easiest to start just right of the rib before trending left to gain the main rib.

Start of Maybe Tower Rib

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

Looking up from the start of Tower Rib

The start of Maybe Tower Rib

Section 2) The Main Rib

Scrambling on this section is intermittent at first but gradually steepens into grade 3 territory.

There are three notable features:

  • The squat pinnacle.
  • The steep wall directly behind the squat pinnacle.
  • The section leading up to the base of the tower.

1) The squat pinnacle can be scrambled direct or bypassed on the side:

Squat pinnacle

Squat pinnacle with steep wall behind it. Imagery © 2023 Google, Airbus, Bluesky, Infoterra, COWI, Cnes/Airbus, Getmapping PLC, Landset, Maxar Technologies

2) The steep wall behind the squat pinnacle can be tackled in one of two ways.

Bypass it completely on the far left side or go up the steep centre crack.

The crack

Centre crack on the steep wall behind the squat pinnacle.

I don’t recommend trying the right side of the steep wall as the holds are few, and there is a fatally steep drop into the gully.

I decided to step back down from the crack and go via the left side; you can see this clearly in my YouTube video at 4m22secs.

3) The approach to the tower at the summit has some delightful scrambling sections that are easier than the squat pinnacle and the crack on the steep wall. I did encounter a few loose holds, so check them before committing!

Section 3) Scrambling The Tower

The tower at the summit also has a nice crack which aids the scrambling:

Scrambling up the tower

A crack makes scrambling the tower slightly easier

Looking doing at the crack on the final tower

Looking down at the crack on the tower at the summit

Maybe Tower Rib top

The highlight of this short scramble is the tower at the top and the photo opportunity.

The descent off the tower is exposed (see 8m24secs in my video) but the holds are there and felt solid when I did it:

Tower Rib descent

Continuation and Descent

The top of Maybe Tower Rib is a short distance from Y Gribin which can be descended to Llyn Bochlwyd and onwards to the A5 or Ogwen Cottage.

Alternatively, head up towards Glyder Fawr where there are many options for continuation or descent.

Route Profile and Information

Scrambling Grade: Grade 3, but I found most of the difficulties could be avoided (go left of the steep wall, also avoid the tower completely on the left side).

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

Navigation: It’s a long walk in for what is a short scramble. Best tackled as part of a longer day incorporating other routes in the area.

Dangers: Some loose rocks, much more so than the nearby Cneifion Arete. More lichen and grass too. Steep drops into the gully, especially near the squat pinnacle and the steep wall with the centre crack.

Time (car to car): 5 hours but I was slowed down by filming and flying the drone.

Popularity: This scramble is much quieter than the ridiculously busy Cneifion Arete.

Fun Rating: 6/10.

My Dislikes: It’s too short, the good scrambling is great fun but over too quickly. The lower section offers no interest. The long approach.

Similar Routes in Snowdonia:

More:

I’ve scrambled up Maybe Tower Rib twice and it’s far easier in the dry. The highlight is of course the tower at the top with the stunning views down the valley.

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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