The main scrambling routes up Crib y Ddysgl (also known as Garnedd Ugain) are Clogwyn Mawr Rib, Llechog Ridge, Clogwyn Du’r Arddu East Terrace, and Llechog Buttress, the routes of which you can see below the map.
The start is at Blaen-Y-Nant in the Llanberis pass just outside the beautiful snowdonian village of Nant Peris , parking is in any of the lay-bys close by or a little further down the road either in the snowdon park and ride pay and display car park or a privately run car park (£5 per day in this one ) then a small walk back up the pass will be needed (approx 1km )
This untroddon route rises from Gwastadnant in the Llanberis Pass up to Llechog, a minor top below Crib y Ddysgl.
If the hard start and all difficulties are avoided it can be scrambled at grade 1
There is some vegetation which gives problems in the wet, but it can be escaped from easily at many points.
Start by crossing the Afon Nant Peris over the bridge then turn right on to a little track.
After about 20m bear left aiming for a dry stone wall with a stile.
This will lead you in to Cwm Glas Mawr, after the stile bear right up on to the grassy spur, this is actually the lower approach to the Cwm Glas spur scramble (more on that later ) at Grid Reference SH 616 565 head down a wide grassy gully in to cwm glas Bach – the Grade 2 Llechog buttress will now be in full view, this route is taking the Llechog ridge which is a grade 2- scramble and is behind the buttress ( or if you are a confident scrambler you could do the buttress instead )
Here move right to the base of the gentler looking ridge, which has a steep tower at its base.
The tower is climbed on its left side. The first break is a crack filled with chockstones; ignore this.
Further left is a slot/recess. Start on its left side and traverse a few metres across right to a shallow chimney, which is then climbed to the top. Here follow a rib over the tower to a small saddle.
This start isn’t massively difficult but is exposed so if you’d rather avoid it walk up below the tower to reach the saddle. From the saddle walk round the steep slab with the fence up it to reach a wall. Climb a rib to its left to reach a steep little face.
A quartz break can be climbed here, but this is tricky. If in doubt move left to find an easier way. Above, the angle eases and any line can be taken with a choice of grade. The most entertaining obstacle is a 10m crack ascending a slab. It’s harder than it looks though (with high potential for getting a boot stuck) so it is worth roping this pitch.
Higher up where the ridge narrows the rock becomes more brittle and steepens a little, before you emerge at the top. Here you have several choices. The summit of Llechog is a short walk to the left, and beyond this is Crib y Ddysgl and Snowdon.
You can continue on to the Clogwyn Du’r Arddu East Terrace scramble by following the continuation below.
Clogwyn Du’r Arddu East Terrace
After getting to the top of Llechog ridge (route described above) there’s a little wooden stile , once crossed start heading down the grassy slope above the Llanberis path , to your left you can see Clogwyn station and to your right the path snaking up past halfway house ( a good place to nip for a snack if your peckish) , as you cross the railway line ( be careful of trains ) you will see the little known station “Rocky Valley”
From here you will already be able to spot the next scramble on the route, the imposing cliffs of Clogwyn Du’r Arddu, the eastern terrace is the left slanting crack in the picture below.
The terrace does not reach the base of the cliffs so to get to the start you have to negotiate a series of grassy and sometimes loose rock steps which will lead to a gully blocked by a chock stone, at the entrance to the gully scramble up to the right side to get above this.
The terrace itself is easy scrambling on good rock , although due to its location it’s best done in dry weather, the start has some permanently damp rock, but only for a few meters and then the wide ramp is ahead of you- all the way to the top.
Once at the top of the terrace you come out above the Snowdon Ranger path, start heading up the grassy slope and cross both the railway and Llanberis path to gain the ridgeline, bear left and follow this downhill to Gyrn Las where the top of the Cwm Glas spur starts.
The spur is an easy route with a mixture of rock and mossy grass, it has a discernible path to follow all the way to the valley floor where you started the route from.
All parts of this route have great views but it is worth noting that some basic navigation skills will be required especially in poor weather.
I hope this route is of interest and you enjoy it as much as I do, it really is a great day out on the Snowdon massif without the hustle and bustle of the summertime crowds.
Clogwyn Mawr Rib
This is another route that is absent from the guidebooks, and as such is a good place to escape the crowds. It also starts right from the road so you can get to grips with rock straight away. The route is in the Llanberis Pass and climbs Clogwyn Mawr, a cliff that rises above Llyn Peris (technically it is on the NNW Ridge of Carnedd Ugain). Height gain is short; about 300m.
The rock is fairly sound after the first short section, but near the top becomes wetter and more slippery. Generally there is a drop of a few metres on the left, with more worrying exposure on the right. At many points you can escape to the left and walk up or down beside the rib. Park in the layby at the SE end of Llyn Peris. The route is actually quite hard to locate from below, despite being an obvious line from afar. Climb a fence. The scramble takes the narrow, small rib to the right of the more obvious buttress. Follow the fence and keep looking up to spot the scramble.
It starts to the left of some reddish scree (and to the left of the house/hut below). Scramble up spiky and loose rock to reach a squat tower where you have several options. It can be bypassed on the left (slimy sometimes) or more easily on the right, or climbed direct (harder than it looks). Above, the rib becomes a more obvious line. The next rise can be climbed by a groove on the right, or more easily (and with less danger of a fall) by a tight little chimney on the left. Continue up to soon reach the crux. This is identified as a small, bumpy rise in the rib.
It looks smooth but easy enough. In fact, it is quite delicate with a considerable drop on the right, and worthy of at least grade 2. Make use of a slanting crack on the right, and any holds to the left of this. If in any doubt, leave the rib from below on the left and walk up the grass to avoid this section. Above this, just follow the rib but beware of lichen making the rocks slippery. There is scope for some small technical steps, which can be climbed on the left side of the rib to minimise the drop. Eventually the rock runs out and you top out below the minor top of Tryfan (not the one you’re thinking of!).
Perhaps the best option to continue the day is to follow the ridge all the way up to Carnedd Ugain and Snowdon, or a descent can be made down to Llanberis.
Best Guidebooks and Maps
The best guidebook for these routes is the brilliant Scrambles in Snowdonia Cicerone book by Steve Ashton, available on Amazon in paperback or ebook here.
The best map for these scrambling routes is the OL17 Ordnance Survey Map – Snowdon / YR WYDDFA, which is available on Amazon here.
You can find accommodation for any budget in the area on Booking.com here.