Somewhat overdue – it’s time for a quick and dirty write-up of last week’s Crib Goch scramble. With temperatures close to freezing, I was hoping for some crampon action but it turned out the ridge was mostly clear of ice and snow. Having started in London at only 5am, the parking was already filled up on Pen-y-Pass when I arrived just before 9. But thanks to the industrious cab drivers, the parking problem was quickly overcome (although they were unwilling to help about the snow situation).
The Pyg Track was quite busy but only few people took the right-turn to Crib Goch. The conditions on the way up to the ridge were a bit tricky because of the remaining ice and snow – not enough to wear crampons but good enough for a bit of awkward slipping and some people struggled to find a good line. The ridge itself was clear of snow and, with the sun out, made for a great scramble. The pillars are a different story since the snow and ice had not cleared on the Northern slopes to the right of the ridge. This required some attention, especially when going over the third pillar. The easiest way up is somewhat to the right of the ridge but the holds were covered in ice. Some extra care was needed, especially without crampons . It didn’t help that I was wearing my new La Sportiva Spantiks in order to break them in. With those massive blocks at the end of my feet – my climbing moves must have looked as precise and elegant as playing the piano with mittens. Without earning many style points, I made it to the other side and continued to via Crib y Ddysgl to Garnedd Ugain and then, re-joining the busy trail, up to Snowdon.
The descent to the Pyg Track turned out to be the most treacherous section with plenty of ice which, at least for a short section, finally justified the use of crampons – at least for a short section.