Crib Goch via The North Ridge

By The Bald Scrambler

Crib Goch

Published By: Daniel Woodley. Updated: 14th May 2024. Filed at: Snowdon 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.

I’ve traversed Crib Goch dozens of times, including in winter, at night and in horrid rain. I’ve also approached it from different directions, such as in reverse and from the much quieter North Ridge.

While the North Ridge route isn’t as scrambly as the popular approach from the Pyg Track, it’s worth trying if you’re familiar with the area or just want to try a different route up to Crib Goch.

Below you’ll find:

  • Videos and photos.
  • Parking spots.
  • Map.
  • Route description.

Please read my disclaimer before reading further as scrambling is a dangerous sport and there are plenty of hazards on this route, including loose scree.

Parking and Approach

I usually park in the free layby by Cromlech Boulders (https://what3words.com/loopholes.tanked.litters ) and walk west down the A4086 for a few hundred metres until a small bridge leading to a path next to a farm building.  This path leads to Llyn Bach, a small lake currently with a tree in the middle island. You may recognise this lake if you’ve ever been up Crib Goch before.

It’s a long walk in, so allow an hour or a bit more if you’re taking it slow. There’s only a small amount of scrambling en route, at grade 1.

Here’s a map of the route I took, there is a slightly quicker way to reach the foot of the North Ridge, but this line takes in the scenic lake:

Download file for GPS

Here’s the lake with an island and tree:

Lake with tree underneath Crib Goch

Me sat next to the tree at Llyn Bach.

From Llyn Bach and the famous tree, the walk to the foot of North Ridge is obvious and straightforward:

Crib Goch North Ridge

Pointing the way to the North Ridge route.

Start of the Scramble

The start of the scramble proper is horrible, it’s mostly very loose scree on a very loose approach.

I’ve never really enjoyed getting onto the ridge but fortunately it doesn’t take long:

On the scree approach

My face says it all!

Here’s me on the North Ridge proper:

North Ridge of Crib Goch

There’s still some decent grade 1 scrambling to be had here:

The Bald Scrambler on the North Ridge approach to Crib Goch

It gets better:

The upper section of the North Ridge aproach to Crib Goch

Joining Crib Goch

The North Ridge route ends at the start of Crib Goch, where it is joined by the traditional scrambling route from the Pyg Track:

Top of the North Ridge route

The two routes merge at Crib Goch.

Is The North Ridge Route Better?

In one word: No.

The normal route up from the Pyg Track is more scrambly and more enjoyable but the North Ridge is quieter (I’ve only ever seen a few people on the North Ridge), has some short sections of decent grade 1 scrambling and is worth a visit if you’ve done Crib Goch before and want to try a different approach.

The North Ridge is often done in reverse by those completing the Welsh 3000s route as it offers a quick way to get to the Llanberis Pass road.

The summit of Crib Goch

Crib Goch with the North Ridge to the left.

Continuation and Descent Options

The most obvious continuation is to traverse Crib Goch and go up Snowdon.

For those with limited time, come off Crib Goch at Bwlch Goch (the obvious dip in the ridge between Crib Goch and Garnedd Ugain) and head down the loose scree path towards the lake at Llyn Bach (with the tree in the middle) and go back down to the starting point of the route.

This is the route I took in my video.

Crib Goch ridge

Crib Goch Ridge.

Route Profile and Information

Scrambling Grade: Grade 1.

Suitability for Beginners: While no more technically challenging than the normal route up via the Pyg Track, I feel this route is best for those who have done Crib Goch at least once before.

Navigation: The walk-in is long with one section of easy scrambling.

Dangers: As per most grade 1 routes plus the scree on the approach to the North Ridge. There are plenty of steep drops on the North Ridge, similar to Crib Goch so a head for heights is essential.

Approach Time: 1hr – 1hr15m

Popularity: This is the quiet side of Crib Goch.

Fun Rating: 7/10.

My Likes: A great option for those who love Crib Goch and want to explore the other side of the mountain and a different approach.

My Dislikes: Loose scree on the approach, long walk-in.

Nearby Scrambles:

Snowdon Horseshoe (grade 1)

Crib Goch in reverse (grade 1)

Clogwyn y Person Arete (grade 3)

More:

I’ve scrambled up Crib Goch via the North Ridge several times and it’s an unusual and unfrequented route but well worth the effort.

There are many more scrambles 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 Snowdon 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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