Rockfax Description
A great outing which is often used as a start for a longer link-up. Start on the right of the slabs, below a steep buttress, about 5m before the gully that defines the right side of the crag.
1) Go up grooves and ramps to gain a grassy bay with an awkward belay.
2) Go up right and follow a vague rocky rib to reach the next small flattening. Again the belays are tricky.
3) Traverse up and left to gain the base of a major groove-line. Follow this up and right, past a few ledges, to reach a bay below the top of the first buttress.
4) Cut back up and left for a few metres then head straight to the top of the first buttress. It is possible to cut left to the base of the second buttress on the Idwal Staircase/Continuation and continue up that.
5) Head up and right over a couple of rocky domes and then walk up the broad rib of heather and scree to below a prominent grass gully descending from a notch on the skyline. To the right of the grass gully is a tiered slabby rib of rock.
6) Start weaving your way up the slabby rib towards the notch in Senior's Ridge. This are a few pitches and often the belays are poor. This leads up to a very large band of quartz.
7) Traverse leftwards above the prominent quartz band about half-way up this buttress. Then continue onto the notch where the scrambling ends.
Descent or continuation - Go up or down Senior's Ridge. This leaves options for further scrambles in Cwm Cneifion or an easy walk down. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
Begins on the buttress right of the Idwal Staircase. The scrambling starts by the stream the path crosses. Climb up a heather and rock runnel on the buttress for some distance until you reach a gully. Walk up this for a couple of metres to come out above the buttress. Head right and climb (or bypass) a small free-standing buttress then walk up to the grass couloir descending from Seniors' Ridge. High above is a quartz band; the scramble crosses this. Scramble up on rock to the right of the couloir (great holds) then trend right to gain the sloping quartz ledge. From here scramble leftwards (choice of line) to reach Seniors' Ridge.

Note that the North-West Face Route and Idwal Buttress and Continuation are the same route. The only difference is that Garry Smith describes a definite line above the top Quartz Ledge while Steve Ashton gives less detail.


Scrambles in Snowdonia - Steve Ashton , North Wales Scrambles - Garry Smith , 10 Year Walking And Scrambling Challenge , Snowdonia Mountain Walks and Scrambles - Mark Reeves


User Date Notes
Nico Marshall 1 Dec, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: Stick right of the grassy couloir - going left takes you onto harder (grade 3 maybe?) ground .
Show beta
βeta: Stick right of the grassy couloir - going left takes you onto harder (grade 3 maybe?) ground .

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Guidebooks for Idwal Slabs (aka Cwm Idwal)

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High Grade-3
Mid Grade-3
Low Grade-3
High Grade-2
Mid Grade-2
Low Grade-2
High Grade-1
Mid Grade-1
Low Grade-1
Votes cast 26
Votes cast 25
Style of Ascent
Alt Leads
Not Set
Flashed (β)
Ground Up
Not Set
Route of Interest
Bristly Ridge

Grade: Grade-2 ***
(Glyder Fach)

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