Scrambling is a dangerous adventure sport!!!
This page is written to give you some useful advice and tips about scrambling on ridges and in gills. If you have never scrambled before, please read the advice given before heading off for your first adventure!!
Ridge scrambling provides an interesting and alternative route to the top of most popular hills and mountains in Britain. A good example of this is the Crib Goch route up Snowdon. This route starts from the Pyg Track (Pen-y-Pass) and follows the high, exposed ridge to join the Llanberis Path near the summit. However, this easy ridge claims a high number of casualties each year, its popularity attracting many walkers, some mistaking this to be the Pyg Track, and some not expecting the conditions that can be faced on the ridge in foul weather, high winds, etc.
Gorge scrambling can also give a full days sport to reach the top of popular hills, without meeting anyone until decending via a footpath. It also makes an alternative days outing when the weather is poor, the gills can give some protection from high winds and rain. It should be noted that the difficulty of a scramble will increase when the rock is wet, and the water level higher, small waterfalls can become dramaticaly more powerful.
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Grading of scrambles
As conditions change on a scramble due to weather, usage, rockfall, etc., then similarly so the difficulty changes. A route attempted on a hot summers day may appear totally different three months later. The following grades, therefor, can only be considered as a general guide as to what you may expect to encounter.
Grade 1. A straightforward scramble with little routefinding difficulty. Exposure is not great, and the scrambler may pick the most sporting line, or exit or vary the route easily.
Grade 2. Some skill in routefinding may be required, a rope may be useful at isolated sections for security. Some sections may be inescapable during the scramble, although escape is possible at some places.
Grade 3. Easy rock climbing standard, with a rope for protection required. A number of exposed passages. Some basic mountaineering experience advised. Escape route may not be available.
Grade 3s. A particularly serious outing... Very exposed sections with steep rock, poor rock or vegitation etc. Recommended only for experienced and competent climbers.
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Scramblers Kit List.
You should carry with you the following items:
map and compass
rope and slings/karabiners (Grade 2 and above)
towel and dry kit (gorge scramble)
warm top ie. fleece jacket
hat and gloves
food and drink
first aid kit
dry footware (for decent if gorge scrambling)
This list is in addition to any other items you would normally take with you when fell walking.
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Code for safe scrambling
A safety rope must be carried for Grade 2 or higher.
Learn how to use the rope and belays.
When not roped, you must not slip.
Keep well within your limits.
Expect holds to be slippery in gills.
Remember that you may not be able to exit a gill for help.
Scrambling is not usualy suitable for children.
Do not underestimate the seriousness of the route you plan to undertake - often retreat will not be possible.
A safe scrambler is someone with a background of mountaineering experience, who can cope with rock climbing situations, loose or slippery rock, and is not afraid to decide that conditions render an expedition unsafe.
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