How difficult is Bristly Ridge?
Bristly ridge is a grade 1 scramble with some exposed sections but plentiful hand holds. It is approached via Sinister Gully which is more of a staircase with great holds all the way to the top. The hardest part of Bristly ridge is the slight down climb just before the Great Pinnacle.
The route goes from East to West, or clockwise, starting at any of the Car Parks along the road at the base of Tryfan, moving up to Llyn Bochlwyd, then ascending to the start of the ridge via Bwlch Tryfan. After completing the ridge and traversing the summit of Glyder Fach, the descent route is via the Gribin Ridge.
From the car park at the edge of the A5, follow a rough path that winds the way up towards Llyn Bochlwyd, or alternatively start nearer the Ogwen Cottage and take the more substantial path to Llyn Bochlwyd.
From there trend left and ascent steep slopes to reach Bwlch Tryfan.
You will not see a stone wall that runs up to the ridge, follow it on the left side until the stile at the end, at which point cross the stile.
Sinister Gully – The Start
Sinister Gully is the start of the Bristly Ridge scramble (watch the Sinister Gully video here), and the name comes from the latin word for “left” as opposed to it being overly dangerous. The wider gully to the right of it is called Dexter gully or Main Gully, and is a slightly more difficult but less enjoyable variation.
To locate Sinister gully, after crossing the stile, continue forward for a few steps and then begin to ascend rocks on your left. Up above you should see a small stone wall that looks as if it’s stopping subsidence. Climb up and over this, and the gully will be straight ahead of you (see video).
How To Scramble Bristly Ridge
At the top of Sinister Gully you will now be on the ridge proper, where a direct scramble along the ridge is the best route, providing a great hands on rock and moderate exposure.
The crux of the route is the Great Pinnacle Gap, which is best down climbed on the left side of the ridge, crossing the gap, and ascending the step on the right side of the pinnacle.
Descent can be made after summiting Glyder Fach by following Gribin Ridge to Llyn Bochlywd, then following the broken path towards the car park, which turns into a more defined route about half way down.
Recommended Guidebook & Map
The best guidebook for this route is the excellent Scrambles in Snowdonia Cicerone book by Steve Ashton, available on Amazon in paperback or ebook here.
The best map for this scrambling route is the OL17 Ordnance Survey Map – Snowdon / YR WYDDFA, which is available on Amazon here.
Recommended Scrambling Guide: (coming soon)
You can find accommodation for any budget in the area on Booking.com here.
Route Contributed by: Matt Jackson
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