This is the most popular grade 1 scramble in Wales, if not the whole of the UK. Most weekends it is a regular procession of hillwalkers following the different mini-variation routes to the top. This popularity can mean that some people take wrong decisions and end up going down blind alleys. Be careful of following others and be aware that not every path is a good one!
1) From the roadside lay-by below the ridge, go through the gate and follow the path up the side of the drystone wall to just below a cliff.
2) A series of steps goes up and left. After 100m this turns into a boulder-strewn hillside. Pick your way up here, keeping just left of the cliff.
3) As the cliff disappears, carry on another 100m across awkward terrain to a shoulder.
4) Head up the right side of a scree slope then zig-zag your way up the hillside above. A couple of rock steps with a variety of routes lead to a final step to regain the broad ridge above a steepening.
5) Follow the ridge passing a rocky section to reach another flat area with a short cliff over to the right. Just below the cliff and to the right of the main track is The Canon Stone - a great photo opportunity.
6) After a short rise the path flattens before another more substantial rise. Pass this to the left side of the main ridge. This leads up to the base of the North Tower which has three options. Two are described here (see inset) and a third is a separate route along the Eastern Terrace (p.139).
7a) The easy option. Avoid the tower by descending a gully just left of the base and following Eastern Terrace around the tower for 80m to enter a gully on the far side of the tower. Scramble up the gully, passing a hanging block/bridge, to the col.
7b) The grade 2 option for experienced scramblers is to tackle the tower direct up its northeast rib. From the bottom left side, make an awkward step up and right on a fallen block and then traverse back left behind the pinnacle. Make your way up some stepped grooves to reach the more prominent northeast rib. Go up well-worn rock via a series of steps and small ledges to reach the mini-summit. Drop down to the col on the far side.
8) Continue along the ridge and, at the next rise, go right around a steeper section to below the final rise to the summit plateau.
9) Adam and Eve are the focal point of the summit. The jump/step between them is the stuff of legends and apparently gives you the freedom of the mountains for the day, whatever that means. Be warned though, it is not for the faint hearted and this is a bad place to break an ankle! © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
Grade 1 scramble starting at Idwal Cottage (parking £4) on the A5. Walk along A5 to Milestone Buttress passing this up a gully on the left. Head right (straight up is the easier Heather Terrace) to the broad shoulder of the North Ridge. Many ways to go but can be taken easily or harder depending on the route you choose....obligatory Grade 1 scrambling but can be up to VDiff with exposure. Pass the 'Cannon' and head up steeper rock to the Far North Peak, down into a notch upto North Peak and onward to the Central Peak and Adam and Eve.
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