Scramble Route: Clogwyn Y Person Arete
The first of our new bi-weekly scramble route guides covers what is arguably the best scramble on the Snowdon massif and, possibly, the best in the area. Enjoy :-)
Clogwyn Y Person Arete
Grade: 2 or 3 depending on exact
Overview: classic steep scramble onto
Snowdon's Crib y Ddysgl from a wild, quiet cwm. A superb but
harder alternative to Crib Goch.
Equipment: Ropes, slings and
Views: 3* views of both the Glyderau
and Crib Goch
The route follows the
blocky crest up onto Snowdon proper
Y Person Arete is one of the classic scrambles of Snowdonia, some
reckon the best in the area, full stop. A long walk in from the
Llanberis Pass is required, but in return you get freedom from the
Crib Goch masses on a route that lets you decide for yourself just
how hard you want it to be.
The rock is solid and grippy, and protection is available
everywhere you need it. You get a choice of Grade 2 and Grade 3
starts, and the natural line of the route gives the feeling of a an
alpine ascent - In winter this makes a classic grade III.
From the ridge itself you get stunning views left to Crib Goch and
back over the Glyderau.
Start from the layby at NGR SH 623 570, near the Climbers
Club hut at Ynys Ettws. Cross the Afon Gennog and work your
way steadily upwards and South East for just over half a mile through
Cwn Glas Mawr, following a narrow but obvious path.
On approaching the head of Cwm Glas Mawr follow the obvious
stream up into Cwm Glas. Follow the stream to the left and Llyn Back.
From here The Clogwyn Y Person Arete is unmissable as the stark ridge
of the arete dominating the view to the left. As you get closer, you
can see that the tip of the nose is detached.
There are two choices when it comes to starting, and you need to
choose carefully as one is a grade 2 and other a grade 3. The very
end of the arete terminates in The Parsons Nose, a slabby
buttress that gives a grade 3 scramble/Diff climb on the right wall to
the top of a gully that almost slices the ridge in two.
Sometimes steep, but
thankfully well protected lower down on the route
From the top of the Parsons Nose you need to drop down slightly
to cross the gully to the far side. The grade 2 start takes this
gully from the bottom and ascends the right hand wall on good
The route now follows the blunt line of the crest of the ridge up
a series of blocks. Avoid heading too far out to the right,
particularly in the early stages where you can easily find yourself
on a V Diff climb. The best line is to take the ridge as directly as
you feel capable of, and one of the beauties of this route is the way
that the harder sections have the better quality rock.
The early section of the scramble comprises of a series of short
walls with ledges in between. Wherever there's a trickier section
there's always a handy crack to stick a runner for protection, and
unless you move too far to one side the exposure isn't excessive. As
you move higher up the ridge the angle slowly eases and the rock
becomes interspersed with ever larger scree platforms till eventually
you break out onto the broad Crib Y Ddysgl ridge.
From here you go straight on along the well trodden path over
Garnedd Ugain to reach the path upto Snowdon summit. Although only a
grade 2 scramble in the main, this route has big drop offs, and a few
nervy positions, so a rope and two or three slings and a couple of
hexes, is pretty much essential.
Scrambling is potentially dangerous and, particularly at the
higher grades, requires technical skills and equipment to minimise the
risk. We suggest that you take professional instruction or climb with
an experienced partner.
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