I know we have some keen scrambling enthusiasts on the forum ;-) so I thought I'd share my Grade 2 Tryfan circuit from yesterday...
The start is the worst bit, 30 minutes bracken-bashing up the west flank of the mountain to the start of:
Route 1 Wrinkled Tower.
Ashton tells us that a great scrambling adventure awaits if a route can be contrived amongst the cascading runnels and imposing towers... I bypass his solution to the notorious Faulty Tower by walking round that pitch on the left. Without that, the route feels solid Grade 2, and the cracked slabs, flakes and 'gargantuan blocks' give an amazing atmosphere. Fantastic video of the route at Beyondthetrail.com which is both informative and inspiring.
Onwards and up the North Ridge keeping to the best rock on the right to eventually reach the notch. Descend the gully with interest and with care... When the scree gets smaller turn right into a sort of grassy goat-cave and then clamber up onto the route proper by whatever means you have at your disposal for:
Route 2 Notch Arete
Described as the best bit of G2 scrambling in Wales and it's probably the hardest bit of it too. Steep, sustained and slabby. The rock! the Views!!
Over Tryfan summit, down to the south col, over the wall and drop down 100ft to pick up the Heather Terrace on the left. Especially lovely taken this way, it's very quiet apart from a dozen or so people gathered round a rock near Nor Nor gully, seeming to admire an etching made by primitive man... Next buttress along brings me to:
Route 3 Bastow Buttress.
A great favourite of mine, I love the improbable start and later the step right and then higher up the slabby ribs on the left.
Pops you out below on the viewing platform beneath 'notch rocks tower' (is that the name?) where lunch is taken while enjoying the spectacle of other scramblers having fun/epics/rows/breakdowns. 'Is there a marked route?' one chap asked me... "yes, straight up the front, follow the trail of blood and tears..." (only joking, I pointed him to the ETP)
Sticks out, sunnies on and off I tottered down the NR to be asked I would say a dozen times either "are we nearly there yet?" or "Is this the right way?", sometimes both.
Good day out, lots of variety in the scrambling and lots of fun on the north ridge too. 7 hours but I tend to dawdle.
Sounds good. Could you avoid the annoying start by doing a scramble on the east face rather than the west face? The east face is better isn't it?
> The east face is better isn't it?
I think I'd choose West if I had to choose...
Maybe you are right. I've always been a bit underwhelmed by the east face, at least by the scrambles and the big VDiffs, because they are far too escapable, in many places you can just step off the route which spoils it for me. Maybe the west face is better, I must admit I've barely done anything on it.
You can access notch arete by descending the west side from the top of Bastow. You can also descend little and North to skip walking around.
On the west face, I'd really recommend the two scrambles described. I think people are put off the Wrinkled Tower by it's grade but that really only applies to the 'notorious' chimney/ledge pitch which you can simply walk around on the left. After a fairly steep slab early on the rest is easy but fun, interesting & deserted. The scrambling Holy Trinity.
Notch Arete is just gorgeous - unmissable.
Thanks, I'll give it a try.
John Gill is widely considered to be the father of modern bouldering and responsible for the introduction of dynamic movement to the sport of climbing. Whilst his peers were looking to the big walls of Yosemite and Patagonia, Gill began to look to small, difficult...