This route is for all out fun, when we only have a couple of hours but need a serious fix of Snowdonia boulders.
Bristly Ridge is full of gulleys, cracks and big boulders to scramble all over, with the exposure being very real in some sections.
There’s a great little stone circle at the top of Y Gribin to have a few minutes at before descending the ridge.
If we’ve got longer it’s great fun to add Tryfan’s North Face as the first section, increasing the overall time by only an hour or so.
This trail route also goes over Glyder Fach and Castell Y Gwynt, including passing the popular cantilever stone, but that section isn’t anywhere near as much fun as going up and down either side.
Distance 3.8 miles
Time 2.5 hours (walking) 1hr 20 mins (running)
Total Ascent 2,479ft
Summits Bristly Ridge, Glydwer Fach, Castell Y Gwynt, Y Gribin.
Views The Ogwen Valley.
1. Best place to park to get to Bristly Ridge as quickly as possible is the public car park about halfway down Llyn Ogwen, the one with the stone walls either side of the entrance. From there we head straight up in the general direction of Llyn Boclwyd. We stick to the main path past the left hand side of the lake and follow it up to the Bwlch Tryfan wall and stile.
2. After following the Bwlch Tryfan wall up to roughly it’s endpoint, we usually bear right slightly and then simply pick a route up at random. There’s so many gulleys, cracks and huge boulders that the fun is endless. There’s some big drops and the exposure is significant at various points up the ridge. The only disappointing thing is when we top out too quickly and the fun is over!
3. From the top of Bristly Ridge we rejoin the main path over Glyder Fach, passing the popular cantilever stone, and Castell Y Gwynt. Bearing to the right leads us up to Y Gribin’s stone circle for a quick rest.
4. We love Y Gribin, so many huge boulders to leap between and the view laid out in front, with Pen Yr Ole Wen taking centre stage, is sublime in good weather. We like to keep to right hand side/highest points of the top section of the ridge, this gives us the most amount of scrambling and keeps the 180 degree view mostly uninterrupted. From the football pitch (big flat section) it becomes an easy trail to stride out on. With this being a quick loop, we usually head from Y Gribin to Llyn Boclwyd, following the stream with the waterfall on our right, crossing over just after the steepest section of steps. From there the trail leads straight back to the car park.