I backed off from Bristly ridge last September having gone up the North ridge of Tryfan, but that was mainly to do with laziness on my part and hearing someone above me in the mist, obviously cragfast. Didn't fancy getting stuck in a queu on the ridge so I took the chicken shute up onto the Glyders.
It'll be there another day.
Nice pics though.
It's hard to know but it doesn't sound like you went wrong. You mention "near vertical climbs" which doesn't sound like Sinister Gully. There is a gully just right of Sinister which is also a popular route on to the ridge. It's steeper, but shorter:
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikepeacock/102126505/" title="And Steepens by Mike Peacock2005, on Flickr"></a><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikepeacock/102126505/" title="And Steepens by Mike Peacock2005, on Flickr">
For what it's worth, Bristly is at the top end of grade 1, and is a step up from Tryfan North Ridge as it is more committing. However, the hardest/most intimidating part (I think) is getting up the gully. Once on the ridge I find things ease a bit.
Sounds like you were in Sinister Gully though "near vertical climbs" is a bit of an exaggeration. Bristly Ridge is one of those scrambles that you can make as easy or as hard as you want. If you take the easiest lines then Grade 1 is about right though Sinister Gully is at the top end of that grade. Alternatively you can make the route a lot more interesting if you take everything direct.
Many people seem to avoid Sinister Gully by passing it on the left and then joining the main ridge where the difficulties ease considerably. Otherwise you can take the right hand gully that runs parallel to Sinister Gully. The right hand gully is technically harder and also a lot more fun.
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