The scramble up Bristly Ridge on Glyder Fach can be viewed in two ways. It’s either a very fine Grade 1 scramble to the summit of Glyder Fach in its own right. Or, for the experienced and fast, it’s the obvious continuation to an ascent of the North Ridge of Tryfan. Taking in Tryfan and Glyder Fach in this way, then descending the Y Gribin Rigde constitutes the Bochlwyd Horseshoe – another great Welsh mountain day out.
We offer a whole range of scrambling courses and guided scrambles in Snowdonia. These range from courses for the complete novice to those wanting to learn rope work skills for scrambling in the UK to mountaineering in the Alps.
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We also run scrambling courses in the Lake District and on the west coast of Scotland.
Scrambling Bristly Ridge
Whether you have approached from Tryfan, or direct from Ogwen Cottage, take care to find the safest line after leaving Bwlch Tryfan. The best way to start the scramble up Bristly Ridge goes by the ominous name of Sinister Gully. But as the photo shows, it’s dramatic and enjoyable without being all that ‘sinister’ at all. Part gully, and part slab scramble, exiting the gully marks the end of the first difficulties on the route.
Enjoyable scrambling and walking then follows, until the next major steepening. First, you must climb up a steep barrier wall. Then, depending on how you do it, you probably sit a cheval until you can climb down the other side. You continue to make your way along the crest of the ridge until you start to climb a big tower. Suddenly you will find yourself atop it, with seemingly no way off. This is one of the cruxes of the scramble up Bristly Ridge.
There is an easy but exposed descent off to the left, however. This brings you into the gap before the Great Pinnacle. Climb a little wall energetically to the side of this, and then you are on the final stretch. Some easy scrambling/walking finally brings you out onto the summit plateau of Glyder Fach.
No visit to Glyder Fach would be complete without a quick photo on the famous Cantilever Stone before making your way towards the Castle of the Wind, Castell y Gwynt. The best descent back to Ogwen is via the Gribin Ridge or at least the scrappy path beside it. It’s full of loose rock, so take care though.