If you want a tougher challenge as a hillwalker, then there can be no better way to start scrambling than on the ultra-classic Tryfan via the North Ridge.
Tryfan via the North Ridge is a tough route that will lay down a challenge to any ambitious hillwalkers wanting to take it on. The climb begins at the car park directly beneath the North Ridge’s W flank. Above, the ridge is foreshortened and only the first part of the ascent can be seen, visible as a sprawling prow of heathery rock.
Follow an obvious path uphill beside a stone wall, keeping L of the steep Milestone Buttress. Ascend a bouldery shelf beneath steeper ground to reach a shoulder. Many lines are possible on the lower, broader section of the North Ridge.
Look out for the tell-tale signs of polished holds, indicating an established route. Take care not to veer too far L or R, which may lead to more serious terrain. As you climb, the ridge gradually narrows.
Below is the full route description for this tricky mountain climb.
Hike the North Ridge of Tryfan: route guide
Start/Finish: Milestone Buttress car park on the A5 between Capel Curig and Bethesda GR: SH663603
- SH665598 The Cannon Stone is the route’s first landmark, although it isn’t obvious from every possible line. This unmistakable jutting slab of rock makes an irresistible photo op! The ridge is not too steep at this point but soon grows narrower, and the route ahead becomes obvious. You’ll arrive at a large, flat platform beneath a prominent nose of rock – which is where things get really exciting.
- SH664595 The Nose looks intimidating but
the best route tackles it straight up the middle. Climb the steep rock, which is a little exposed in places but has plenty of reassuringly big holds. The views looking back down the ridge from here are sensational. Above the Nose, you’ll arrive at a minor rock tower that is best not climbed directly (obvious lines bypass it to the R). On the other side is a rocky descent and a step across a notch that requires care. Here you’ll get your first clear view of the final ascent to the summit.
- SH664593 Descend slightly to the bouldery bwlch (col) just N of the summit, then climb the last few metres on a rocky path with no real scrambling. The Central Summit, when you reach it, is unmistakable. At 917m (3010ft), this pinnacled top has eagle’s-eye views over the entire Ogwen Valley, and is crowned by the famous Adam and Eve stones – two monoliths that, tradition has it, can grant the ‘Freedom of Tryfan’ if you jump between them (strictly optional!).
- SH663591 Continue in the same direction to the smaller South Peak, then descend the South Ridge – also a Grade 1 scramble, but much shorter and easier than the North Ridge, and not much more than a bouldery walk. The way is generally obvious as it skirts W around the Far South Peak.
- SH661588 Descend to Bwlch Tryfan, a broad grassy col marked by a stone wall, and take the obvious path heading NW into Cwm Bochlwyd.
- SH655594 At Llyn Bochlwyd (good views back to Glyder Fach) cross the stream outflow and descend steeply on the W bank of the Nant Bochlwyd, then take the path heading NE across grassy slopes back to the road.
If you’d like to see other Eryri (Snowdonia) routes then check out our guide to the best here.