Crib Goch Route Guide
Crib Goch is by far and away, the most challenging route up Snowdon out of the seven main routes and is not to be attempted by people who are afraid of heights. The long, knife edged arete has drops to either side in places and is so thin that it is difficult to pass or turn around. On clear days, it is a spectacular route offering tremendous grade 1 scrambles and great views from high above the Pyg Track. It’s no wonder Crib is one of the greatest scrambles in the UK.
The Route Along Crib Goch
- The route to Crib Goch begins at the Pen Y Pass car park. You exit the car park at the top path passing between a gap in the wall and heading in the direction of the Pyg Track. From here, the path is well marked out and continues for approximately 1 hour.
- In places this path is steep and slippery underfoot so care should be taken not to injure yourself.
- As you reach Bwlch y Moch overlooking Llyn Llydaw, the path splits. On one path you have the Pyg Track which goes over a stile and the path to Crib Goch is marked to the right of this.
- As you follow the path, you’ll notice that it becomes considerably more vertical as it turns into a full on scramble. This next section can be very tiring as you scramble to the start of the Crib Goch arête. As you scramble, the ‘path’ is much more difficult to discern and you can more or less choose your own way up. Try to look out though for well worn foot holds where people have been before and try not to stray too far off.
- Once you complete the scramble / climb up, you’ll be greeted by the immense view of Crib Goch in front of you. It’s an unmistakable view of the formidable knife edge. The first part of Crib is an easy walk and it is recommended that you rest here if you need to.
- As you cross Crib Goch, you can either take a slightly easier path of walking just to the left of the ridge and using the rocks as a hand rail or you can walk across the top of the arête. You will note, Crib Goch is very high up with steep drops either side and with little room to manoeuvre so mountain rescue will have difficulty rescuing anyone who needs assistance. Getting across Crib Goch is an achievement whichever way you do it and it is better to be safe and approach the scramble whichever way you feel more comfortable.
- Next you will encounter the 3 pinnacles of Crib Goch. Again, caution is necessary as you tackle these but they are relatively easily executable. Each pinnacle has its own difficulties and can be either crossed straight over using good holds or, skirted around.
- Now at Bwlch Coch, you can relax knowing the toughest of the scrambles is behind you (quite literally). The next ridge though, Crib y Ddysgl, in its own right is quite a challenge but having just conquered Crib Goch, this scramble should be quite easy in comparison. When you get to the top of Crib Y Ddysgl, you will reach Garnedd Ugain which is the second highest summit in Wales so, if you take this route and continue to Snowdon summit, you have achieved both the highest and second highest peaks in Wales during the same walk.
- Once you have completed this scramble, head towards the direction of the train track where you’ll meet the Llanberis path for the final part of the walk. This junction is marked by a large finger stone which is easily recognisable along with the well laid out path. The Llanberis path is an actual path and you can use this final part of the walk to let your nerves settle after traversing one of, if not, the most spectacular scrambles in the UK.
How long does Crib Goch take to climb?
Crib Goch is not to be taken lightly or quickly. This is a grade 1 scramble and is very exposed with drops to either side in many places. That being said, it should take you between 6-8 hours depending on your fitness and importantly, traffic. Because of how narrow this route is, there are places along the ridge where you cannot pass so care and time has to be taken.
How far is the scramble to Snowdon via Crib Goch?
From Pen Y Pass car park, the route to the summit of Snowdon and back via Crib Goch is roughly 7.5 miles.
How difficult is Crib Goch?
Crib Goch is difficult and is not for inexperienced walkers. This is a grade 1 scramble along a high sided arete and is one of the most challenging scrambles in the United Kingdom. That being said, it is also one of the most rewarding routes up Snowdon and if you have the experience and right equipment it is a route not to be missed.