An esoteric and adventurous line up a remote buttress. Care is needed with loose rock and this should only be attempted by experienced parties in dry conditions. From the parking, go diagonally right up the hillside to just before a gully with the remains of a drystone wall on the other side of the gully. Zig-zag up the hillside until you can cut across to the base of a scree shoot. Cross the fence and follow it up the right side of the scree. Cut across to gain a grass/heather rib on the left side of a prominent V-gully of scree. Ascend the rib to a path and traverse left on this briefly. Then head up another grassy rib to between two small buttresses of rock. Go up the gully in between to below a smaller buttress with a quartz plate on it.
1) Directly above is the arete, but the route starts up the gully to its right. Head right over a spur and descend 20m down and right to another spur at the base of a left-trending gully.
2) Gain the gully from the left via a short exposed step. The gully is rather dank. When possible head up and left to the rib below a steepening. Grovel to the right round this below an overhang to reach a heathery runnel that heads back up towards the rib to a notch. This section to the notch is adventurous with few runners or belays and is best tackled with a 50m rope.
3) The climbing improves from here. Go up the slab to the exposed rib and cross this and the arete to reach a hole in the rock. The 'Needle Eye' which makes a great thread belay.
4) Above this sanctuary it feels like the rock is akin to a giant Jenga stack but, despite this appearance, the blocks seem fairly well keyed-in. An easier but less satisfying option is traversing left from the needle across the heather before a short step regains the arete.
5) Continue up the arete past another step before tackling some pinnacles. After a further couple of steps the arete blends into the hillside and the scrambling comes to an end.
Descent - Carry on up the main ridge to the summit of Foel-goch. From here you can descend back via Llyn y Cwm and The Devil's Kitchen. Alternatively, follow a rib down and to right (facing out) to just below the North East Ridge of Y Garn then traverse back across to gain the approach walk. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
Approach from Ogwen Cottages along the old Nant Ffrancon Road. Follow the footpath from the bridge diagonally across the hillside to the base of the cliff.
The scramble starts just to the right of the obvious East Gully (SH 635 612) at a large quartz topped buttress. Continue up, following the ridge line. At times intimidating steep walls appear which can all be skirted if chosen. Be wary of the significant exposure as you look over East Gully if sneaking around to the left.
The ridge peters out into a grassy shoulder but don't loose focus as a final bit of harder scrambling up and around a fin of rock finishes the route. If wanted, this can be skipped by following the faint track leading rightwards.
Top ridge scrambles of Britain, Scrambles in Snowdonia - Steve Ashton, North Wales Scrambles - Garry Smith, The Ridges of England, Wales and Ireland, Snowdonia Mountain Walks and Scrambles - Mark Reeves
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