Crib Coch - Red Ridge
Undoubtedly one of the finest mountaineering journey's in the UK, the knife edge ridge of Crib Coch offers masses of exposure and stunning views. This Grade One Scramble has places where route finding is challenging and when it's not, the exposure can take your breath away... it just keeps coming at you... which puts it at the top of most peoples 'to do lists’.
Most people will start from Pen y Pass Car park and use the Pyg track to head up to Bwlch y Moch, if you want to avoid the masses the Horns is a more rewarding way to start. From Bwlch y Moch, there are a couple of signs indicating the way as you work towards the base of the East Ridge. This is where the scrambling really begins and it’s protected by an awkward step, perhaps a warning of what’s to come! There is nothing harder than this on the ridge, but you will need to select a good line through it, beyond that gain the ridge properly and follow it to the summit of Crib Goch. There is an alternative start to the East ridge and that’s to work your way up the North Ridge which is excellent value and perhaps more in keeping with the rest of the route.
You get your first true look at the ridge from here and once you’ve caught your breath, head on out! You don’t have to walk along the actual ridge top, it’s far easier to scramble across on the left side using your hands on the top of the ridge. The rock is fairly loose in places so it’s worth checking what you’re about to grab or place a foot on!
Before you know it, the Pinnacles arrive and the exposure eases, quickly followed by Bwlch Goch, which feels pleasantly spacious! A good place for a little breather and then you need to head off towards Garnedd Ugain, this second of half of the ridge just seems to go on forever and the enjoyment of the scramble just keeps getting better! There are places where it’s big chunky good quality rock with excellent holds and cunning route choices and just before you think it must end soon, it gets all narrow and exposed again!
Eventually the trig point of Garnedd Ugain comes into view and if you’ve managed to look up from your feet on the journey, you’ll be treated with a unique view of the surrounding hills and the rest of Snowdonia, it’s my favourite Grade One ridge scramble in the UK!
The right weather conditions are absolutely essential for the traverse of Crib Goch and it should never to be underestimated, something to work towards as a route with time spent on other scrambles and then 1 day…….
If your interested in Crib Coch, drop me a line and we can chat dates.