The Cwm Idwal area has many excellent scrambles, both within the cwm itself, but also along the neighbouring cwms spreading north-westwards along the edge of Nant Ffrancon.
A classic, albeit rather difficult, link up is to connect Idwal Buttress (grade 2) into Cneifion Arete (grade 3), with a finish up Gribin Ridge (grade 1) to gain the summit plateau. If you just want to do the Gribin Ridge section follow a path up from Cwm Bochlwyd.
Seniors Ridge gives a much easier route (grade 1) to the top of Glyder Fawr, while the East Ridge of Y Garn (grade 2) is superb but has some spicy moments.
Further down Nant Ffrancon is North Arete of Foel Goch, a fine grade 2 guarded by a leg pumping approach. And out on the sweeping rock slabs of Carnedd y Filiast there is Atlantic Ridge, a splendid but quite committing grade 3.
This is mountain terrain so always Prepare Well and Know Your Limits. All scrambles are more difficult and potentially more dangerous if tackled in the wet. During the winter season (i.e. typically from late October to April) there is a chance that snow and ice will be encountered under foot. In these conditions the routes will be significantly more difficult mountaineering challenges requiring winter climbing techniques and equipment. Click the Safety & Access button below for more info.
The normal approach is from the Ogwen Cottage visitor centre in the Ogwen Valley. A well used path leads up into the cwm from here. For the Nant Ffrancon routes it is possible to park at one or two spots along the old road which hugs this side of the valley.
Safety & Access
Enjoy the Mountains Safely. Here are a few words of advice from Snowdonia’s Mountain Safe Partnership.
1. Prepare Well
have the right equipment with you for the best and worst-case scenario! You’ll need a map and compass, torch, food and drink, whistle, first aid kit and a fully charged mobile phone.
2. Have the latest weather and ground information.
Check the Met Office Mountain Weather forecast for Snowdonia before you set out and be prepared to turn back if the weather worsens – the mountains will still be here for you to enjoy the next time you visit.
3. Dress appropriately
the weather and temperature can change dramatically between the foot of the mountain and the summit. You’ll need strong walking boots, several layers of clothing including warm ones, gloves, a hat and waterproof jacket and trousers.
4. Know where you're going
Plan your route before setting off and ask for local advice. Have a map and compass and know how to use them and choose a route which is suitable for you and your group’s experience and fitness level. Find out how long it should take and when it gets dark.
5. Know your limits
whilst being very enjoyable, getting out into the mountains can be hard work – challenge yourself but be aware of the fitness levels, and experience of the group as a whole – not just your own.
The publisher of this website accepts no responsibility for the way in which readers use the information contained therein. The descriptions and recommendations are for guidance only and must be subject to discriminating judgement by the reader. Advice and training should be sought before utilising any equipment or techniques mentioned within the text or shown in any of the photographic images. Scrambling is an activity with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in this activity should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.