The concept of microadventure is about doing something new, challenging yourself and pushing beyond the limits of your comfort zone. I am not an acrophobic, afraid of heights, yet I do suffer from height vertigo which results in dizziness and a spinning sensation when at height, or more accurately, when faced with exposure. So for me taking on Snowdons’ infamous Crib Goch ridge was certainly an extreme challenge, and more than worthy of the title of a microadventure.

Man scrambles along Crib Goch

Jim takes his first tentative steps out onto the Crib Goch arête

The information board at the base of Snowdon warns of Crib Goch: “Extremely dangerous and should not be attempted be novice walkers.” Given Snowdon is such a popular tourist spot we suspected the actual level of danger wouldn’t be high and this was an exaggeration to deter walkers from attempting this route and ease the burden on Mountain Rescue. With hindsight, it’s fair to say this was no exaggeration whatsoever, as the numerous walkers who have died on the ridge would testify.

Walker clinging onto Crib Goch

A woman battles her nerves one small step at a time

Crib Goch. Imagine a mountain strewn landscape akin to any of the very best in the world. Imagine overlooking this landscape on a mountain high amidst the clouds. Imagine a razor sharp ridge of rock barely a few inches wide in places. Imagine sitting legs astride this ridge, below each dangling foot a near sheer 800 metre drop. Now imagine standing up!

Climbing one of The Pinnacles on Crib Goch

A climbing club thankfully show us the way up one of The Pinnacles

Our three hour, unrelenting scramble along the knife-edge arête was broken only by the requirement to climb vertical rock buttresses above perilous drops to the valley floor far below. Even after completing Crib Goch the ridge up to Garnedd Ugain provided some challenging scrambling but, what would normally be some pretty daunting exposure, felt rather comfortable in comparison to what had come before.

But as a path finally materialised and the terrain flattened somewhat, I had the opportunity to stand, adrenaline pulsing through my veins, looking back along the epic ridge with the immense satisfaction of knowing what I had accomplished. A year ago, before I began to seek out microadventures, I would never have dreamed of being able to tackle such an exposed ridge. But slowly, the more mountaineering I have undertaken and the more I have sought out challenging scrambling routes then the more I have become acclimatised to exposure.

View of the Crib Goch ridge

A view back along the Crib Goch ridge

If you’re interested in taking on the challenge of Crib Goch as part of the Snowdon Horsehoe you can follow an excellent route guide by Trekking Britain here.

At various points along the ridge both myself and Jim voiced our appreciation for the Mountain Rescue service. Knowing that this dedicated voluntary service would be on hand should an accident occur was highly reassuring. If you’re interested in reading the startling truth about this remarkable service please click here.


About Jon Maiden

Founder of Goalvanise which enables people to create their Life List online, and inspires and supports them to achieve their life goals. Check out the Goalvanise blog here or my personal blog here.

9 responses »

  1. Nice post, well done for overcoming vertigo and doing Crib Goch. Still not done it myself, I generally just climb but this makes me want to do more hard scrambles! Leo

    • Jon Maiden says:

      Hi Leo,

      As a climber you’d get a lot out of Crib Goch. There’s plenty of opportunity to do climbing there as opposed to just scrambling – although most of the root is pretty hands on! It really is an incredible experience though so well worth a trip to Snowdonia. Look out for the Bristly Ridge and Nanttle Ridge too.

      Cheers for following my blog,

  2. James King says:

    Awesome, well done, I can’t wait to do Crib myself, should be epic

  3. Wonderful!
    Your every post is so nice,I like your post.

  4. […] was spectacular!). I sought out the most exposed scrambles the UK has to offer in order to challenge my vertigo. I hitchhiked over 3000km to the Arctic Circle in only 6 […]

  5. […] Crib Goch – An Extreme Challenge for a Vertigo Sufferer […]

  6. I did it last Saturday: my mate said it was a “bit of a challenging walk!”

    • Jon says:

      Haha. I bet you had a surprise when you saw the ridge! I hope you enjoyed it though. I’ve never looked back since discovering knife-edge ridge scrambles. I now pro-actively seek out the most exposed, scrambly walks around. If you’ve caught the bug you should check out Jake’s Rake in the Lakes – not knife-edge but a long and thoroughly enjoyable scramble.

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