/ Snowdonia Winter Conditions
Surely that signals the start of the conditions thread!!
> Surely that signals the start of the conditions thread!!
You`ve missed that,somebody has already asked if Kinder Downfall is in.
> You`ve missed that,somebody has already asked if Kinder Downfall is in.
And is it?
> And is it?
A bit marginal I think.
> You`ve missed that,somebody has already asked if Kinder Downfall is in.
I never knew that was in snowdonia!
Does any one know if idwal stream in in nick yet? Lol
I have a good feeling about this winter :-D
[sits and waits with anticipation]
Hope so :)
It is also set up to feed from different blogs such as Andy Mountains and Baggy's blog.
If you have a blog that might help with reporting Welsh winter conditions let me know and I will set it up to tweet when a new report is blogged.
Excellent! Cheers Dave.
I'm off there on a club trip this weekend, on which for various novice-related reasons I'm the only person who's even worn crampons before... is there enough to mess up our plans or are the big scrambles still in summer condition? (weather looks bad enough on MWIS that we probably won't be able to climb, so it's walk or scramble)
I'd guess Tryfan and Crib Goch are low enough to be clear of any substantial build-up, but if anyone is out today and happens to see what the situation is, do say!
Wow, snowy Snowdon!
Went up Y Garn today, a lot more snow than I expected!!
It was a beautiful day... although the wind was very cold!!!
Lets hope its the start of a great winter!
some pics of today on my blog
> Wow, snowy Snowdon!
Pictures from today on Baggy's Blog. First winter post of the season, hope he keeps it updated as best he can.
It was, honest! :-)
I'm far too excited for the routes to properly come into condition especially after last year
In retrospect, we should have turned back before the exposed step at the end of Crib Goch, because after that one is committed to pushing on (as we did) or returning over a very exposed descent that we would probably have had to abseil. Oh well, no-one was injured and everyone had a great time and wants to do more - success, but I feel we might be a little more cautious next time.
To the people who mentioned us to the Warden - thanks for your concern, but we're all fine (we reported in so that no-one was sent looking for us)! We cut short the original plan of the Horseshoe when we realised how slow the going on the ridge was, and were below the snowline on the Miner's track by 3:30. Actually the most treacherous section was the top of the Pig/Miner's tracks, since so many people had been over it that it was sheet ice, whereas Ddysgl was fresh snow...
General condition report: On the western Glyders (Mynydd Perfedd etc.), 2-3" of unconsolidated snow above 750m (mainly on north slopes) on Sunday; Main Glyder ridge looked from as distance like it was about the same as the Snowdon massif, i.e. snow from about 700m, significant accumulation (6"?) from 900m up. North ridge of Y Garn looked like it was starting to cornice up on the Ogwen side.
Washed away Im afraid.
anyone know what's happened to Hightrek's snow report - web link seems to be down ?
Is the ground free of ice and snow up near the summit of Snowdon? I'm looking at getting in a late season descent of Snowdon on the bike and am concerned about the ground conditions near the top.
Check out this for a snowy descent, ...
Snows down to about 700m as of today. Crib Goch has a good covering and the temperature in the Pass is just tipping 2-3 degrees.
There may be some routes starting to come in in Cwm Cneifion. ANyone been over that way in the last few days?
Devils Kitchen won't be formed by the weekend. Too soon. Likely the weekend after if temperatures stayed freezing.
I did Crib Goch today which was proper frozen up, crampons essential. Trinity face has a reasonable covering, but none of the turf will be anything like frozen yet.
Will blog and post some pics up later.
P.S. if anyone fancies coming along drop me an email email@example.com hoping to be at Ogwen Cottage for 8.45
Some pics from yesterday of Crib Goch, Trinity Face & The Glyders
(Is this the thread we are using or the other one?)
"Cwm Cneifion looks like it's in decent nick but didn't have time to go up there"
I'm hoping to get out on some winter routes tomorrow. Does anyone know where's going to be in the best condition? I'm looking for a few grade I/II routes and maybe even a grade III route? As far as I'm aware the good options are:
Y Garn - Bannana gully / C gully
Cwm Cneifion - Hidden Gully / Curver / Tower Gully / Tower Slabs
Craig Lloer - Left & Right Y Gully / Broad Gully
Is Cwm Cneifion going to be the best bet? Seems there's quite a bit to go at but i would rather go where the conditions are best.
Clogwyn y Ddysgl looked in good nick today, from the road anyhow...
from the photos on your blog (it's hard to make out) but cwm cneifion doesnt look very snowy or icy? y garn looks to have a bit more but your lightbox plugin isnt working properly so i cant enlarge the photos. what did glyder fach/ y garn look like to you from pen yr ole wen? were the y gullys or broad gully in cwm lloer looking ok?
fair enough, y garn looks like its had quite a bit of snow and cwm cneifion looks ok from 800m+
Broad Gully and Y Gully (right hand I think) were both climbed today. I just went up the east ridge but the snow conditions were great. The turf was solid first thing in the morning.
Looked up Hidden Gully and was iced up quite well. Decided to go up Easy Gully instead, snow and turf fairly well frozen. Good hard crust on top of the Glyderau.
Clogwyn Ddu was carrying fair bit of frost.
Generally routes that don't depend on snow and are above 800m should be fair game this weekend.
As usual send you tweets with the hashtag #welshwinter
Did anyone else see the sun dog and 22 degree halo?
I'll post this is in here as I posted it last night in Rob's thread.
"Went up Tryfan North Ridge on Wed, was nice and crisp from the Chancellor and then walked round Lliwedd and down Y Gribin today. The turf was frozen as you neared the summit and also at the top Y Gribin. Snow on the south side of Lliwedd was really nice. Trinity Face looked niiiice. Back in Northampton this evening but may drive back over tomorrow evening as the temps were falling as I left and I wanted a nose in Cwm Cnieffen - Wed and Thur were spent with a girl who's not been scrambling before, let alone out in the snow and it wouldn't have been fair to drag her were I wanted to go."
Surprised how much was frozen on Moel Lefn and Ogof last night.. no snow there though but only 660m.
The plan is midnight start from either Aberglaslyn or Pont Caer Gors so I'll be on the Carneddau in the afternoon so was hoping that will have been walked in..
I'll have kahtoola crampons and an axe so should be OK if I need to be but was hoping to be without them as much as possible. Last time I found running in crampons destroyed my quads as it was too aggressive.
As the snow level is actually fairly high I'll only have snow for a few miles really so won't mind just walking. I was atcually thinking of returning to bwlch tryfan rather than down the W gully off Tryfan if it's too icey.. Ill see how it is looking.
Its a bit warmer today, 5 C in Nant at the moment.
I can confidently predict that it will all disappear by Monday as that is the next day that i am free :(
May not help but there's more pics here http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152314132035581.927120.875840580&type=1&l=2f878bb...
Does anyone know whether Hourglass Gully in Cwm Fynnon Lloer is complete? I saw the comments in the other thread that Broad Gully is fairly committing, so just wondering if Hourglass is an easier option.
I went up crib goch last night ( left the car park around 7pmish)
THe first quarter of the ridge was dooable without crampons but then I had to put them on even though it was pretty bare as it was getting a bit slippy.
About half way- 2/3 of the way along the ridge there was a foot or two of snow in places possibly 3 where there were drifts.
Around 9:30pm it started snowing a bit and felt cold.
Didnt take my crampons off untill needed my snickers bar which was around 6/700 meters ( thats a rough guess as im not brilliant at working these things out.
It was +1 in the car park around midnight and raining but definately snowing higher up,there were a few little streams still flowing through the snow quite high up that crossed the pyg track.
Managed without using my axes just hobbled along with poles.
Right, anyone fancy hooking up tomorrow to climb something?
I was supposed to be in Lakes for weekend, but car woes put a stop to that :-( Can borrow a car tomorrow morning, and meet up 10am ish, can't get there any sooner than that.
Anyone interested? I have full rack & rope.
Message me through here or text/phone 07879 877763. I'll keep an eye on my emails.
I've put some pictures on twitter... #welshwinter
You'll be the team I was talking to in the Bryn this evening? Got to admit I'm surprised that Central is consolidated; I'd have expected powder on scree! Good effort.
I was out on Y Garn today Banana gully was mint. Really good conditions. Frozen well from around the 750m mark. freezing again now in southern snowdonia tonight so something should be doable. No ice about and forget about idwal stream no ice formation what so ever. Plenty to have a play with high up. Enjoy and stay safe.
Webcams this morning make for grim viewing.
Really? Just looked pretty stripped was my point.
Good news! Can't wait to hear what folk have been up to today :-)
Late start so plodded up to the Trinity Face. I went up Trinity LH, snow half frozen, sometimes surprisingly firm but sometimes disappearing up to the thighs. Hard work! Mates went up Central and it was a bit better. Nice wintry atmosphere up on the face and good to take the gear for a walk even of the rope and pro stayed in the sack! Didn't feel that cold, I guess just below freezing on the face. 2 degrees at Pen y Pass at 5.30pm.
Both Broad Gully and Right Hand Y Gully on Cwm Lloer were great today.
Snow was very consolidated on snowdon, tryfan was very icey, but the carneddau was still a think crust over deep snow.. that killed me.
More snow fell last night, I was in quite a blizzard in the moelwyns.
Wow! Awesome achievement Iain!!!
Well done mate!
(from one of the two MRT lads who slowed you down on the Carneddau)
Any sign of ice starting to form. He says clutching a file!
Well done mate
Well done, must be some boy.
Stunning afternoon though.
Was out today and climbed Cleft Gully on Clogwyn Du and Golden Girl Ali on the opposite side of the cwm. Both in really good condition.
Also climbed were Blenderhead, Travesty and Hidden Gully had a few ascents.
A friend of mine did hidden gully today, said it was awesome!!
Im wanting to head up nest weekend if anyone is up for a mooch up a gully or two!!
message me if anyone fancies partnering up for a reckie
Fantastic, Iain. As I wandered along above Cwm Ffynon Lloer in the unconsolidated snow from last night, I was thinking of you and hoping for your sake that you had more firm conditions.
What an achievement! Well done.
Cheers buddy i will update now, only just come on here so im getting into the knowhow of how its done.
And congratulations from me to Iain R as well - I think you'll find *that* is the very definition of a big day out! :-)
To be fair im pretty new at the ice & gully treking game but im trying to get out as much as possible when it gets in to condition, iv got a couple of mates who are a bit more knowledgable than me but they are younger & have no kids so there out all the time lol.
I wouldnt mind who i went with, im a safe person to be around & get stuck right in.
We saw someone (perhaps your party) on Trinity RH on Saturday afternoon. It looked messy. At least with Central and LH it was just a case of plodding/wading and not churning up the turf.
Another half day bimble today, this time to Cwm Lloer - thanks to the people who posted about decent conditions. We weren't disappointed for the time of year. Went up Y Gully RH and the snow was pretty firm underfoot (not bullet hard neve of course but no wading). LH looked good as well and there were a few other feasible mini gully lines on the upper half of the crag. The rimed up craglets just below the summit of Pen Yr Ole Wen provided good sport for a bit of mixed 'bouldering'. Wish we'd gone here on Saturday (and Clogwyn Ddu today... but for various reasons it didn't happent, next time!).
I did Central Gully around midday. Snow was a bit soft/powdery, but consistent all the way up - a steady plod. Should be good id we get a few 'freeze-thaw' cycles.
Incredible achievement! Well done, Iain. The snow on the Carneddau yesterday wasn't fit for walking let alone running. Congratulations.
has it all gone today?
Weather looks promising though so finger x'd.
UPDATE FROM CWM LLOER TODAY (MONDAY)
I was hoping to take a bimble up Y Garn today, but when I got into the valley I realised that it was unlikely, so I headed up into Cwm Lloer instead.
Snow was not that bad actually, plenty of it around and it was quite sheltered so holding reasonably well. Good to stay out of the wind too.
I headed up Broad Gully which was not as wet and slushy as I thought it would be - quite firm actually, but is starting to break up in the warmer weather. The tricky step low down was quite bare and running wet - not an easy move with one walking axe and certainly not the kind of move you would normally find on I/II.
I headed down Hourglass Gully which was in quite good condition - compact snow and plenty of it (more than it looked from distance).
Not sure how long the snow will last with the temperatures rising - there isn't much ice around and it did feel quite warm up there.
Good luck all.
I was hoping to get on on Wednesday after my early lecture to somewhere which is accessible by public transport from Bangor but it sounds like stuff won't be in too good a shape by then...
I'm looking for:
grade I ideally, either gully or ridge.
accessible by public transport from Bangor (Bethesda and Llanberis are dead easy, but it would take me until 12o'clock to get to Pen Y Pass)
and most importantly, in some sort of vague condition!
I don't mind walking out in the dark, as long as I can get the actually route done in daylight.
Anyone got any suggestions, or should I just go for a walk?
My gut feeling is to tell him not to bother but I figured I'd check just in case I'm completely wrong and the rain has melted away any snow/ice cover and everthing's black again...
Waking up on Sunday, the snow line looked even lower as it had been falling overnight.
Now then, I've got a couple of ideas about tomorrow...Can anyone tell me what sort of state the gullies on the Trinity Face and in Cwm Lloer are like?
If I was off this week Id get on the mixed stuff, ie rocky ridges. North East Spur of y Garn (aka Garn East Ridge summer scramble,) Bristly Ridge, Dolmen Ridge, Clogwyn Y Person Arete would all make fantastic days in such conditions where snow and ice routes are poor/not in proper nick.
Anyone up for getting out tomorrow? (weather looks pretty harsh mind)
I skied the carneddau today. Skis on at the bottom of foel fras. Excellent cover on the tops, even on the bouldery slopes of carnedd Llewelyn. Walking would have been a nightmare!
Descent north off foel fras a bit disappointing- clumps of grass poking through.
A stunning day.
Same question. Mixed routes around V/VI. Am guessing Clogwyn Du maybe good for weekend? Not seen any recent photos but guessing there isn't enough snow to properly insulate the turf from a freeze over the next few days? Met office showing cold temps on the run up to the weekend (MWIS slightly warmer). Would be good not to have to travel to Scotland this weekend...
Popped out this afternoon and found the conditions below at 3pm
Ogwen cottage 3'C went onto Y Garn and climbed bannana gully
Small lakes not fully frozen in the bowl very mild and the rain / snowfall last night was polystyrene balls with fresh snow over the older stuff. new snow 4 to 6 inches in places slight crust and lots of loose snow rolling down.
Dug a small pit to ground level this was not frozen, found no frozen turf anywhere.
descent by devils kitchen , lots of running water at all levels.
cold wind on the tops
Hoping to climb tomorrow though forecast looks windy but gonna take a look.
> Anyone up for getting out tomorrow? (weather looks pretty harsh mind)
are you around sat/sunday for a big climb?
I headed up to the Trinity Face today...
lots of fairly deep, powdery, sugary snow and pretty much no crust to speak of other than bits of partially frozen ice over rocks and the like.
I intended to do Central Trinity but got bored of swimming through waist deep powder extremely quickly. I can down and did End Gully. This was better but still not great! Needs a few days to consolidate but tonight's going to be cold...a lot of the slush had frozen on the Llanberis path as I walked off at 4:30/5pm.
Pretty much ditto previous comments on conditions. Wading around in unconsolidated ball bearings on approach to hidden gully; spotted and snapped climbers on travesty - Tom Livingstone I presume ?! ... sorry couldn't resist :-) Hidden gully was thin but interesting, hardening up and ice forming nearer the top. Definitely icing up as we descended off Y Garn.
Raining heavily at Pen y Pass 4.30pm, temp 4deg....
I see that Ian Parnell & his partner Jon Winter climbed Mankini (VI,7) on Clogwyn Ddu yesterday.
wandered up to the bottom of y garn yesterday with the intention of doing either c gully or banana gully. the conditions were terrible and by about 11am the wind had really picked up and it was snowing a lot, there was a lot of spindrift whirling around the gullys. the snow was knee deep graupel, very soft and very loose. when we got to the bottom of banana gully small spindrift avalanches were running down it so we turned back and walked down, cold and wet!
Did you get any good photos?! Unfortunately neither me nor my partner brought our cameras, despite the moves from the belay being some of the most photogenic in North Wales!
Thanks, and hope you had a good day in the hills.
Air temp was quite warm, lots of melting occurring I think.
heading out tomorrow, most likely ogwen valley, i'm thinking cwm cneifion. looking for routes between I-III, is anything likely to be climbable, any recommendations? cheers, george
Routes like Tower Rib, Cneifion Arete, Clogwyn y Person Arete, East Ridge of Y Garn... etc are probably the way to go. Steer clear of gullies I think as reports suggest turf is most definitely unfrozen, and they are loaded with a good foot or two of graupel (from what I have been told, not a first hand report unfortunately)
Incidentally I am looking for a partner for tomorrow, but won't be arriving at Ogwen (or wherever) until midday (due to parental responsibilities)
I imagine Clogwyn Ddu is still worth a shout.
The thing is Jez people will (understandably) be out climbing the lower grade 'winter' routes over the weekend no matter what conditions reports say. So if 'out of condition' ridges are climbed as opposed to gullies where turf & endangered plants can be harmed, then that is always going to be a good thing.
(That was kind of the point behind my comment)
> The thing is Jez people will (understandably) be out climbing the lower grade 'winter' routes over the weekend no matter what conditions reports say. So if 'out of condition' ridges are climbed as opposed to gullies where turf & endangered plants can be harmed, then that is always going to be a good thing.
> (That was kind of the point behind my comment)
Keep it up Andy. Good Advice.
im not going to do something for the sake of it, just wandering if anyone has seen/knows what's vaguely in at the moment. thought the gullies might be rubbish because of the bad snow, is there any chance it might freeze hard overnight? tower rib is an option, isn't the NE spur of y garn too low to be in?
OR does anyone have any suggestions apart from cwm cneifion? the snow on trinity will be terrible right? C gully on y garn?.....
I think tomorrow will be a walk with the added bonus of a route if we find something thats in nick.
Did Broad Gully on Wednesday. A good day out but it couldn't be described as in good nick. Bit a swim in places but there were sections that were getting there, and places where something approaching front pointing was possible. The little step a third of the way up was frozen, but not that solid.
But, what can I day? A rare day out in winter for me so it was all good!!
Thanks for the info. Where did you go today? Do you think higher winter mixed crags will still be white, from what you saw today? Cheers
We did Bristly Ridge today. Conditions very poor really. I'd say above 800m the rock started to look whiter but still not very white, and below that it was completely stripped. Snow cover on slopes and tops was 1 - 2ft deep, but soft and slushy at all levels. And just as we topped out it started to rain so I'd imagine some of what has held on will have been washed away.
Forecast looks much better next week so fingers crossed.
Thanks for that. Suspicions have been confirmed - too warm! Virtually every forecast I've looked at showed a different result, so that's why I asked for 'eyes on the ground' beta. If I go out tomorrow I'll be expecting to turn around empty handed! Still, as you say, things should improve throughout next week.
Left in the rain ..v warm but it needs a strip ..verglas city today .. not nice
Too late now I reckon but yesterday morning in Cwm Lloer was really good. We climbed Y Gully right hand, traversed over to the Headwall then came down again and climbed Hourglass. Snow was firmer than last weekend and there was good cover. Didn't fancy Y Left Hand though as it looks like it relies on frozen turf which there wasn't any sign of. By 3pm the clag was down, it was raining and the snow was melting. The short scramble near the bottom of the East ridge was running water under the snow. Quite a few folk on Hourglass and Broad Gullies; skiers on the Headwall and snowboarders on slopes above the lake. Yesterday certainly rewarded the early starters!
Could well have been us Neil! Took a while to summon up the enthusiasm for the walk up to the cwm but glad we did.
Got to say that Im saddened at the amount of people getting out on Clogwyn Du just because its rimed. I know some of the harder routes are glorified dry tool routes anyway but Ive just read Andy Mountains blog where someone got out yesterday on Torquing Shit admitting complete unconsolidation in the snow and turf, with no ice. Climbing 2 pitches in one of the most ecologically delicate and sensitive parts of the cliff.
Dont you guys read the white guide? Your effect on the flora and fauna up there is devastating, and publishing your climbs just encourages others to "have a go anyway, despite poor conditions".
Not only that its trashing routes for when the conditions do get right- potentially only a few days wait away.
Take a look at the guide,even better- go up there in summer to see the absolute mess your picks and crampons have made of Manx Wall etc.
I was out there yesterday morning. Walked up soft snow right up to Clogwyn Du to take a look at right hand before descending and climbed over Seniors, believe me the turf wasnt and isnt frozen yesterday or today.
Fair enough if you were there, thought you were just going off what was on the blog post.
> Got to say that Im saddened at the amount of people getting out on Clogwyn Du just because its rimed. I know some of the harder routes are glorified dry tool routes anyway but Ive just read Andy Mountains blog where someone got out yesterday on Torquing Shit admitting complete unconsolidation in the snow and turf, with no ice. Climbing 2 pitches in one of the most ecologically delicate and sensitive parts of the cliff.
> Dont you guys read the white guide? Your effect on the flora and fauna up there is devastating, and publishing your climbs just encourages others to "have a go anyway, despite poor conditions".
> Not only that its trashing routes for when the conditions do get right- potentially o nly a few days wait away.
> Take a look at the guide,even better- go up there in summer to see the absolute mess your picks and crampons have made of Manx Wall etc.
Guys, don't particularly disagree but this is a conditions thread not an ethics thread.
Obviously it's easier for those who live in Wales to have a jaunt up the hill to look, to report back and I for one am grateful for threads like this when I have a 7hr round trip to negotiate. All this thread does tho, is tell me there might be a chance to climb when I get there - conditions still have to be analysed and just because I've driven a long way on my only day off doesn't mean I should be climbing when a route is marginal.
That's not an ethics comment - it's all about the conditions and protecting a resource that brings great pleasure to many.
Because my mate was ..and he said there were no signs of anyone before him. He also said the turf was fine until the thaw hit ..at which point he abbed off. Beacause he like me agrees on looking after the ecology :)
Good of you to promote the hard work done by a friend of mine on this topic. should be read by all.
But I don't think it says don't climb because you scratch the rock anywhere in it! but hey ho.
To add to the debate on 'Torquing Shit'. I did it yesterday and it was in nick; iced up nicely with rime. Turf frozen. I must admit that we saw no one else on it all day, and the snow had a good pack of wind slab on it. So I think our friend may have been mistaken about the route he was on. But hey ho. It was a great day out and a nice route too, well until it thawed and it began to rain, so we bailed quick sharp, as any conscientious winter warrior should do.
So was in nick to start but you bailed off when the turf thawed?? Hmm Ok,
Either you were on it or he was on it... Someones Torquing Shit!
Yes its great when the route name fits the controversy.
No we bailed of when the ice thawed. The turf was still solid under its protective layer of snow.
From what I can gather, you've read a blog about a solo which didn't happen, and combined that with your experience from a look at the start of RH gully, and have gone on to make 5 from 2+2. You're also saying:
The 'mess' (your opinion) that picks have made to Manx Wall and other routes.
'The devastating effect mixed climbers are having on the flora and fauna(!) on Clogwyn Du'.
.. Plus some minor side-line whining about 'glorified dry tool routes' and climbers not reading Si Panton's/CCW's excellent The White Guide.
In reality.. The snow was unconsolidated at the base of Clogwyn Du on Saturday (the one thing you do get correct) but luckily it was also a metre or more deep on the Pillar Chimney approach ramp in the lower reaches of the crag. The only unfrozen turf we encountered during the day was digging through the deep snow just beneath the little chimney/step on the approach ramp pitch to get to the belay at the base of Manx Wall - this didn't concern us because we weren't climbing on turf on the approach ramp - we were walking up deep steep snow.
I can promise you that on Manx Wall we didn't encounter a single piece of unfrozen turf because the climbing was either on good neve, softer snow (which was deep on any significant ledge), rock, or solidly frozen turf where it was exposed i.e. on the traverse left where Manx Wall joins El Mancho. I can't think of a single placement I made where I ripped a piece of soft turf out. That's actually quite unusual even for when the turf is exposed and well-frozen.
Had we encountered unfrozen turf on the route rest assured that I and the two people I was with do care enough not to want to damage - the turf (or the fauna, haha!), our own reputations, or other mixed climber's right to climb in the area. We're all experienced enough and I believe responsible enough to know when to call it. Don't need advice from someone who wasn't on the same part of cliff and who was on a completely different type of terrain - i.e. a low-angled snow covered gully/slope.
You're right to be concerned about climbing unfrozen routes. I too think it's an important issue and that we need to to reinforce good habits and try to create a culture where bad practice is reduced as much as possible. But before people cast aspersions on ukc you should be aware of the dynamics of the cliff. If you look at what you encountered on RH gully it illustrates how conditions often are in early season on Clogwyn Du - your route was an easy-angled gully/slope full of metres-deep thawing snow. In this sort of terrain the turf will always remain unfrozen for longer than on steep terrain where there's less sitting snow. As I said, on the easy-angled approach ramp to Manx Wall we found soft turf underneath the deep snow, so I'm not surprised you found your gully route out of condition. The turf on the cliff face however was frozen where it was exposed and, where it was buried, it was buried deeply enough that we climbed on snow not unfrozen buried turf. The second pitch of the route was totally plastered in hard neve - I've never climbed the top wall in that condition - by being able to kick steps in the neve rather than balance picks and front points on rock (but no gear for Dave!).
'The devastating effect mixed climbers are having on flora fauna'. ??? That sounds a bit hysterical to me - a more accurate statement would be: '..the potential for 'devastation' (in your words) that mixed climbers might have were they to climb exposed unfrozen turf...
..Unless you're aware of destruction of flora on Clogwyn Du that you want to bring to our attention?
I assume you've read the summary from the last CCW survey of Clogwyn Du which states found 'the condition of the ledge and crack system vegatation did not look to have been affected'. habitat? http://www.thebmc.co.uk/winter-climbing-conservation-impact
Of course that means we need to remain cautious of when and where we climb but dubious proclamations of damage, by people reading blogs and who weren't even on the piece of cliff that they're talking about, help nobody.
As for your other 'points' (whines?):
Don't we read the White Guide? - Everyone I winter climb with reads/has read it. it's an excellent resource and I think unique to Welsh winter climbing. As I type it's on the table next to my guidebook.
Fauna?! - which fauna are you referring to? The pair of Ravens looked to be having a good time breaking into climbers' packs to steal sweeties.
Glorified dry tooling routes? - a frustrating case of semantics which is unique (as far as I know) to the UK. The term 'dry tool' holds no emotional baggage anywhere else I know of except for the UK, where it seems to be used pejoratively by gully-bashing dinosaurs. Get over it snow-plodders, gully-bashers and ice-climbers, picks on rock is dry tooling as you point out, even if the rock is rimed. Part of 'mixed climbing' is therefore dry tooling if that's how you wish to frame it and it's forever been thus, dry tooling isn't a dirty word except to people who don't know how to climb in winter if it isn't a frozen watercourse or a snow-filled gully. The issue confuses punters in the UK - perhaps because they have trouble making the distinction between bolted dry-tooling on low level training crags and 'legitimate' mixed-climbing on mountain crags which, despite being a different game with a different name, still sometimes involves picks on rock instead of in ice or snow. Have you ever tried climbing any of the routes you dismiss as 'glorified dry tooling' to give any weight to your opinion?
'The devastating effect mixed climbers are having on flora fauna'. ? :-
What on earth is that supposed to suggest? By showing a photo of a snowdon lily are you implying, in the words of the other poster, that the effect mixed climbers have had on the 'flora and fauna' of Clogwyn Du has been 'devastating'?
Do you really have to be so aggresive with your comments ?.
You asked a question about the effect of winter climbing in thin conditions on the flora of Snowdonia. I was just reminding climbers (who may not be familiar with the situation) of the delicate arctic alpines that are precariously clinging on on some of the highest N facing crags. I was not suggesting anything.
Guys, this is a winter conditions thread. Please move this ethics debate to a different forum.
Fine but you could have just said that after your photo link, a photo minus any other comment can imply many things especially when read in the context of an 'is it/isn't it in condition?' debate.
I've reported abuse and requested all non-conditions related posts be removed.
Abuse by who?
Sorry your post was far too long to read so I genuinely couldnt finish it.. Yawn.
So I read your parties log book entries for Torquing Shit instead and got a much better description of the conditions on Saturday the 8th.
We got there in the end. To quote "Melty and horrible" only means one thing to me.
And just for the record- while you had a three paragraph rant on my one sentence that said 'glorified dry tooling routes', I'll clarify that Ive got nothing against dry tooling or 'pure rock winter pitches' (in fact I enjoy a go myself occasionally) the point was that those routes are less likely to be deeply vegetated and hence affected by climbing in poor conditions.
Adios, enjoy your winter all- thats my lot.
As a humble "snow plodder" and "gully basher" I had a great time on Saturday on Parsley Fern Gully along with at least 10 other climbers. Snow was beautiful neve, the little cornice at the the top was fun, sunshine wonderful in the morning and all the routes around were perfect as well.
3 other friends enjoyed RH Trinity as well. Simple pleasures.
Was raining a lot today but I'm sure the deep base won't have disappeared that quick and its due to get colder now.
People need to grow up on here, it's quite embarrassing!
All this bollox about destruction of plant life & turf, I'm sure any good competent climber/rambler will know right from wrong in all manner or climbing & conservation ethics!
This a Winter Climbing forum, if you lot wanna go argue find a primary school playground & go throw ya toys out of the pram there!
We personally don't want to to see it on here, climbing routes, good days out & pics would be awesome, It may give us newbies a bit of enthusiasm to actually go out & enjoy the wonderful countryside that's right on our doorstep rather than be wary of upsetting someone who's more concerned about plant life that's so deep it will never be touched beneath the snow!
Come on guys it's not Bitchbook!
The whole turf argument is now veering on the ridiculous. I can understand certain routes need the turf for it to be climable. But damaging plant life, really? What about scratching up the rock at clogwyn du? There's nothing about that in the white guide. Complete double standards.
It does not discuss the ethics of scratching summer rock climbs, although that is well covered in the introduction section of the recently published North Wales Winter Climbing guide.
I'm not having a go at the white guide. The issue is about climber impact whether that be damaging scarce plant life or scratching rock.
There seems to be a lot of double standards on blogs and on here.
I got slagged off for climbing RH Trinity last weekend. The fact is that this route is not turf dependent to climb, and also is not within the shaded area of the white guide. Travesty was getting done at the same time, straight through a shaded area but that was deemed perfectly acceptable.
Fact is, people are all too easy to criticise others when they are not there on the ground that day.
Right, staying on topic (the rest of you please take your keyboard warrior skills onto another thread). Looking at the Oggi Cam it looks like gully lines above 700m are still full of snow after the weekends thaw and should now benefit from some consolidation as the temperatures drop.
Might head into Cwm Lloer or Y Garn tomorrow if anyone's keen.
> People need to grow up on here, it's quite embarrassing!
> All this bollox about destruction of plant life & turf, I'm sure any good competent climber/rambler will know right from wrong in all manner or climbing & conservation ethics!
> This a Winter Climbing forum, if you lot wanna go argue find a primary school playground & go throw ya toys out of the pram there!
> We personally don't want to to see it on here, climbing routes, good days out & pics would be awesome, It may give us newbies a bit of enthusiasm to actually go out & enjoy the wonderful countryside that's right on our doorstep rather than be wary of upsetting someone who's more concerned about plant life that's so deep it will never be touched beneath the snow!
> Come on guys it's not Bitchbook!
VERY,VERY WELL SAID!
Cwm Idwal has special conservation status so I'd guess the powers that be could ban climbing/winter climbing, so its worth being extra vigilant to damage..
I was surprised to read winter routes were done last weekend, but when I was out I was also surprised how variable conditions and snow lines were around Snowdonia. There was certainly climbable snow high on Wyddfa last saturday. Yet in other places it was powder and slab, others a high snow line.. there must have been almost 1000ft differences in the snow line in places, from 500m on the North side of Hebog up to almost 800m on Siabod.
looking out the window there is still plenty of snow on snowdon, down to the top of cloggy. The glyders are looking more stripped but i imagine there's plenty of snow in the gullies and hopefully it should be turning to neve nicely....
I may have to pop out after work and check for sure though. :)
> People need to grow up on here, it's quite embarrassing!
> All this bollox about destruction of plant life & turf, I'm sure any good competent climber/rambler will know right from wrong in all manner or climbing & conservation ethics!
> This a Winter Climbing forum, if you lot wanna go argue find a primary school playground & go throw ya toys out of the pram there!
> We personally don't want to to see it on here, climbing routes, good days out & pics would be awesome, It may give us newbies a bit of enthusiasm to actually go out & enjoy the wonderful countryside that's right on our doorstep rather than be wary of upsetting someone who's more concerned about plant life that's so deep it will never be touched beneath the snow!
> Come on guys it's not Bitchbook!
Your comments just underline the ignorance out there ie some people (and it sounds as though this includes you) do not give a sh1t about rare plant life and the impact you can have if climbing in lean conditions - the whole point is that the Snowdon Lily for example does not grow in gullies under deep snow - take some time to read Elfyns article - you might understand why some of us care (no I,m not a plant hugger by the way but someone who has climbed snow and ice routes in Snowdonia well before you were born) and why it is important to highlight the issue under a winter conditions thread. I,m off to Ogwen - conditions look great !
I did try to return it to a thread about actual Snowdonia Winter Conditions based on my actual Saturday experience as that's what I really want to read before I drive 150 miles....but hey ho....
Disagree. I've been guilty of unexpectedly encountering/damaging turf myself in the past and I considered myself a 'good competent climber'. I'm sure others have as well if they are truthful. It's inevitably part of the learning game sometimes. So I guess the natural thing to do is to try and educate others from making the same mistakes.
And there lies the irony because quite often the turf can be unfrozen when burried under deep snow. I've been in thigh deep snow with unfrozen turf below.
Indeed, let's all start again, shall we?
Looks like there's going to be some good conditions until Thurs then a decline during Friday.
I started up a variant of snakebite as the snow was great at the start but backed off when it started collapsing under me and i found the turf unfrozen.
From what i saw nothing but LH and Central would have been in there today...
Although reports from the weekend were of a big thaw, I hoped that we could find something in condition after the colder temps last night. However on driving up the A5, Cwm Cneifion although certainly having some snow cover looked pretty black in the rocky areas including Clogwyn Ddu.
Looking over to the easy gully lines of Y Garn, we could see they looked complete, and Y Garn in general just looked more wintery! So, we ditched our rope & climbing hardware in Davey's lovely T5 camper, just took axes & crampons and headed up.
Snow cover starts around Llyn Clyd, although it is extremely soft and boggy. (as usual) We could see that Banana Gully was complete, so headed up, stopping where the gully narrows by the small crags on the left to don crampons. So to the snow conditions: the first half of the gully from this point was great if you stuck to the 3 or 4 sets of steps already kicked in the snow, rock hard in fact. However venturing a few feet to the right or left of these steps, the snow had a hard crust, but soft underneath resulting in wading knee deep. But the second half (approx top 70m) the snow was excellent neve right across the gully, and kicking steps and front pointing was possible.
We decended via A Gully, which was much the same story snow condition wise as Banana Gully. I then went to have a peek between the buttresses into C Gully, but could clearly see that there was not complete snow cover, and the 'step' was bare turf which would most certainly not have been frozen, so we backed off that.
On returning back to Ogwen carpark we spoke to a lad (blue camper van next to us, hello!) who had been up into Cwm Cneifion, and reported snow conditions high in the cwm were actually very good, and had done Hidden Gully were he said it was 'bomber neve all the way'.
Pics on blog if anyone is interested.
Thanks Andy. You've made my mind up to head from South Wales early tomorrow morning now. I'm thinking Cwm Lloer should have pretty good neve if that's what you experienced on Y Garn.
Cwm Cneifion with the intention of some more glorified dry-tooling today ;) but all rock black so no climbing for us. Cleft Gully is iced up and climbable, Clogwyn LH is fully iced but main pitch looks v.thin. The gullies and back wall are full of bomber neve. Turf (what's left) is well frozen.
'The Motherlode' explored and found to have the makings of potentially the best dry-tool crag around.
has Mr Clothier made a visit south of the border?
I was the 2 "lad in a blue camper" (hi andy)
As andy said I headed up to cwm Cneifion to have a look.
As I headed up from Idwal I wasn't hopeful as the ground was very very wet with lots of running water.
As I entered the cwm the ground was still wet and the little snow patches where very soggy. as I went further into the cwm the snow got harder and harder until I arrived at the start of hidden gully where the snow was perfect neve!
The crags looked very black but ice was starting to form.
The gully's are defiantly the way to go at the moment because although the turf was starting to freeze it was only near the top!
Hang on Sweetheart, you dissed the guy that gave a conditions report yesterday without him getting on the route lol.
I do care about plants etc... and i always try to take great care when im out and about with my family also,, im always telling my daughter about the importance of where and where not to stand ie not on plants & anything that make our countryside great!!!
just dont like seeing arguments on here, its a climbing site after all.
I may as well talk to the mrs if i wanna argue lol
> Your comments just underline the ignorance out there ie some people (and it sounds as though this includes you) do not give a sh1t about rare plant life and the impact you can have if climbing in lean conditions - the whole point is that the Snowdon Lily for example does not grow in gullies under deep snow - take some time to read Elfyns article - you might understand why some of us care (no I,m not a plant hugger by the way but someone who has climbed snow and ice routes in Snowdonia well before you were born) and why it is important to highlight the issue under a winter conditions thread. I,m off to Ogwen - conditions look great !
Don't f*cking patronise me dgp, you dont even know me "Before i was born!" lol
But as your profile says you were born 35 years ago he probably doesn't need to know you to work it out
Might head into Cwm Lloer or Y Garn tomorrow if anyone's keen.
> Thanks Andy. You've made my mind up to head from South Wales early tomorrow morning now. I'm thinking Cwm Lloer should have pretty good neve if that's what you experienced on Y Garn.
what part of South Wales are you heading from?
> Might head into Cwm Lloer or Y Garn tomorrow if anyone's keen.
> Hi mate,
> what part of South Wales are you heading from?
Newport. Leaving at 5am. Happy to give you a lift if you don't mind sharing petrol money?
> Can't believe I have to even explain that.
You don`t have to explain anything to anyone, so can all you bickering children do us all a favour and shut the F*** up !!
> Hang on Sweetheart, you dissed the guy that gave a conditions report yesterday without him getting on the route lol.
Umm?? Fecking hell how many conclusions do people on here jump to from reading vague posts!
Who said we didn't 'climb' up cneifion arete, wander up the gribin ridge, wander over to glyder fach, front point back down the back wall into cwm cneifion, and pootle around on the slopes at the start of Hidden G looking at potential lines on the walls to the right. i.e. we covered various terrain and crossed neve, ice and frozen turf. Can't believe I have to even explain that.
I picked the other guy up because he was making assumptions based on reading vague entries in posts and blogs. Welcome to his club.
'Sweetheart'? Bit weird.
That would have been ideal but I've just been shot down by the misses! What a kick in the ****. Cheers anyway. Drop me an email if your heading up again sometime soon. More than happy to split costs.
> That would have been ideal but I've just been shot down by the misses! What a kick in the ****. Cheers anyway. Drop me an email if your heading up again sometime soon. More than happy to split costs.
If anyone is interested I will still be running my blog 'Andy Mountains', and doing my best to report on Welsh Winter Conditions. Won't post a link on here, but you know where it is, and if you don't then Google it.
Any reports always welcome
> If anyone is interested I will still be running my blog 'Andy Mountains', and doing my best to report on Welsh Winter Conditions. Won't post a link on here, but you know where it is, and if you don't then Google it.
> Any reports always welcome
nah keep it going.. I used yours and your reports to keep me updated.. and unless we know you they won't check.. noone will read up a conditions thread to find the links as conditions are transient..
I never contribute to this thread because I am too far away. But I read this conditions report avidly to get up to date and valuable information from Andy Mountains, Ian RUK etc.
Start the petition to bring back Andy Mountains!
better get out tomorrow then if this is coming on thursday!
its worth playing the animation through, quite an impressive storm heading this way i think...
Yes, get him back. His on the ground reports are invaluable. Even I have bumped into him!
anyone else been out today or yesterday? Is clogwyn y garnedd worth visiting tomorrow or should i keep to ogwen?
I've been out on the Trinity face today. Great conditions in the gullies. Absolutely bomber neve all the way. The turf isn't fully frozen yet, but the less well insulated bits may well be by tomorrow as it never got about -2 degrees all day. Some of the turf was in fairly good condition today, just not all of it, but that's not too much of a problem in the gullies as there is still reasonable amount of snow which is now god neve.
Although there wasn't loads of snow around (crags were black), the gullys were great - firm neve all the way up. It looked like Broad and y gully were ok, although there were a few chock stones showing through.
The top was a bit wind-blasted but the continuation of the ridge round to Carnedd Dafydd was again good neve - deffo glad of crampons (and a bit jealous of those ski/board tracks from a few days ago!)
i looked across at y garn - bananna gully looked to be present from the narrows - below that it looked a bit like a scree scramble, gullys A,B,C looked to be ok ... just an observation from accross the valley.
Out today on Y Garn - holding more snow than most areas in Ogwen. Really good quality well consolidated snow ice. Gully A complete, B complete except for a couple of short patchy steps passable on turf, C looked more patchy and Banana complete. All with a line of good bucket steps. Should be OK tomorrow, but probably well melted out by weekend.
Also out today in Cwm Lloer. Did Broad Gully, Y Gully Right Hand, and Y Gully Left Hand.
Bomber neve everywhere but no ice and the crags are rime free. Some of the steps on Y Gully Left Hand aren't complete but you can by pass them on the right side, but I'd say its a grade harder as a result.
Amazing day. Will post some pics up later.
Dont give up on the thread - always the quickest way to know, who is or has been out to then go and check blogs for more detail if one wants.
It was today, I was out in the area at more or less the same time. Nothing to add to what others have said - snowline is about 700m, good solid neve above and lots of black rock showing through.
The predicted temperature increase on Thursday will probably knacker things up nicely.
Yes, forecast from Friday onwards sounds shite. Freezing levels above summits and rain forecast. Thursday still looks ok though looking at the met forecast. Hopefully freeze-thaw next week rather than thaw-thaw!
Stunning day; clear blue skies, very cold and not a drop of wind.
I've posted some pics in the V12 Outdoor news site gallery:
When I work out how to do the pics I'll put a link up
Great day yesterday on Snowdon. Started up Parsley Fern Gully which was full of snow, bomber Neve. Looked at Waterslide gully but it needs a few more days. Then dropped down to do Right Hand Trinity, excellent! Not wanting to stop went back for Ladies Gully which was even better! Back down miners track in the dark but amazing day.
Off topic, half day today so did Bovine, Hvs 5b near Many Gwynant. Sun and dry rock! North Wales at its best!
Theyre the best kind...shhhh :-)
laddies wasn't good this afternoon - rotten ice or a thin crust over sugary powder on quite a bit of it. It isn't nearly as good as ladies gully anyway tbh.
Had a wander up into Cwm Cneifion and down Idwal today- conditions would have been superb for a few gullies, didnt have the time to do any routes but the temperatures were -4 at the car with all the smaller streams and water on the paths frozen (even down near the lake). Blue sky day that made you feel lucky to be out. The snow level was very stripped back compared to last saturday but in contrast the snow was rock solid. All the Garn gullies were all surprisingly complete and the Cneifion back wall gullies were all complete. The ground was frozen hard generally everywhere. Idwal stream even starting to freeze.
Sadly looks like were heading for the big melt/rain on Friday and well into the next few days, so this report will be of no use- UNLESS YOU GET OUT TONIGHT!
Did Parsley Fern Gully today, good snow from bottom to top and a great re-introduction to winter climbing for me. Craig y Rhaeadr was frozen (but a little thin maybe compared to its drawing in the old Welsh Winter Climbs book) and some nutcase was soloing some well-formed ice on the cliff to the left of Parsley Fern.
> Some pics of today
> Y Garn in its winter coat:
> Cneifion gullies stripped back but still there:
> Also saw a rare Icecock in one of the streams:
Having looked at your photo of the rare Icecock my mrs has now decided she would like to have a go!
> Sadly looks like were heading for the big melt/rain on Friday and well into the next few days, so this report will be of no use- UNLESS YOU GET OUT TONIGHT!
Was good advice - raining heavily in Ogwen friday morning. But hasn't it been a great few days !!
Also just got an email from Chris Parkin saying that over in the Carneddau he can see snow down to below Llech Ddu. (He has a perfect view of the Ladders from his kitchen window)
but will it be chilly enough..
I dont care ..well for a fortnight anyway as I am off to Czech until new year
and there is loads of snow there :P
> Surely that signals the start of the conditions thread!!
Was up in Cwm Cneifion.....(Nameless Cwm,,,to the english!!) On Tues 11th Dec.Conditions in the upper part of the the cwm were brilliant,front pointing all the way. Ground rock hard and care had to be taken on paths down as rocks were covered with verglas.
Siabod was starting to look a bit white at midday (from the A5). Temperature has been at about +1 - +2C all day at home (300m ASL) so could be good for snow plodding all weekend.
Another message from Mr Parkin a couple of hours back: "clearing more - ladders plastered"
> Having looked at your photo of the rare Icecock my mrs has now decided she would like to have a go!
To be honest fella, I don't blame her. It does look to be quite a lot bigger than yours!
Just out of interest, how aggressive has the thaw been? I expected everything to have been washed away - but looking on the Oggie Base webcam I was surprised to see Y Garn still looking to contain a fair amount of Snow - Banana Gully looked complete, (let's not start an ethics thread on this!) So I suspect areas like Cwm Glas and maybe the trinity face still contain a large amount of snow, even if it is slushy?
Anyone who was brave/devoid of anything else to do today get out then an opinion would be greatly appreciated
The carneddau looked awesome with still lots of snow plastered everywhere especially the gulleys but I guess they won't be there for long.
Thats good news, fingers crossed for a drop.
I finish work tomorrow so might be heading west to get out and about.
Is the best I can hope for a wet walk with some mushy snow or are there still some things out there.
Snowdon range or Carneddau?
Stunning day today though, worth a day out if anyone can get out, just had a quick run up to BRitannia mines on the miners. Stunning.
Any updates please? Off there tomorrow. Any snow/ice left at all?
Are the gullies stripped?
Any tops still in condition, got the current Mrs B in tow so wanted some easy white stuff for her to practice cramponing, basic ice axe stuff etc.
Trying to avoid an expensive traverse of the gear shops in Betsy if I can.
Nothing is in condition. Temperatures are above the summits and its raining on the summits. There's virtually no snow from what I've read. Don't bother.
UK weather is doing my friggin head in at the moment.
I was up on the carneddau on Xmas day and there was the odd snow patch about but nothing to write home about. Cadair idris was white this morning which was encouraging but forecast is warm wet and windy.
Check forecast here.
Yes it says wintery showers but the freezing levels are up n down over the next week
Looking at doing some ridges like clogwyn y Pearson or cnifien arete and ideally wanted to avoid winter conditions so we can just concentrate on the rope work side of things.
How low is the snow line? Crampons and ice axe still needed with the recent thaw in mind?
Any news at the moment - assuming its bare at present?
yes....bare, grim, wet,...(not quite Chamonix at Christmas and New Year!) what a return.....
Bare as a ... well wet summer Welsh hill. Was on Tryfan on Thursday last week, sodden, greasy, horrible. Some tiny patches of snow over the far side of the valley above the lake. Not even worth mentioning really.
MWIS says -5 at 900m Sunday, freezing level 600-800m into next week & majority of forecasts suggest sustained cold. Bring it on!!! :-)
Up walking on the tops today loads of frozen turf around and snowing quite heavy by the time we left 3pm ish
up north ridge - along crib goch - down cwm glas ridge.
verglas - settled snow - frozen earth - hoar frost - very cold when windy.
More details here:
Great pics Simon :)
No ice routes formed in Cwm Idwal !
Went over Crib Coch and up to Snowdon today, so had a good change to look at the Trinity Face area. Looks like the harder mixed lines may be doable, but the main gullies in need of a thaw then refreeze to bring them into nick. Gullies could do with a bit more snow to fill up - Central Trinity looked thin over the chock stone, and in the narrows above.
Popped up myself, up and over the ridge above Cloggy. Few photos here.
In Cwm Ffynnon LLoer and went up the headwall. Snow held firm. A party of three later descended our ascent route. Everything was covered in snow but the layer is thin. Some snow deeper where it is wind blown, as on the headwall. Saw a party of two on Hourglass. Broad Gully nowhere near complete so an ascent would prove very interesting. A few icicles forming in the cwm but the streams were running free.
Were they starting to form though? I suspect it will be marginal in Idwal this weekend, though the Stream will probably be in as it will have been sub-freezing for about a week by the weekend.
Think the stream will take a little longer yet. Was in Idwal today and the bare bones of the ice routes are staring to form but it was much warmer than forecast today.
Up in Llyn y Cwn today and the lake was not frozen, up Y Garn and down the NE Face Llyn Clyd not frozen either, the smalllake was begining to freeze though ! This is just an indication of how much of a freeze it requires for ice to form in the Cwm.
Go for a buttress route or ridge scramble instead. The gullies will be much more fun once we've had a temperature oscillation and the snow has consolidated.
Such a good effort!
> Go for a buttress route or ridge scramble instead. The gullies will be much more fun once we've had a temperature oscillation and the snow has consolidated.
Persistant Friday snow combined with 50mph SE winds means there is going to no doubt be windslab avalanche risk for the weekend. Gullies are maybe not going to be the best choice of route for the weekend.
Not in yesterday but some guys were topping out on the summit of Y Garn, think they were on c/d buttress not sure... very mild today rain in Nantffrancon, snow forcasted tonight and tomorrow fingers crossed then quite cold throughout next week !
Any info about amount of fresh snow falling in Snowdonia?
Looking at the Radar today, North Wales looks to have been hit much harder than anywhere else in Britain. - The Met Office Red Warning I suspect should have been for North West Wales.
I suspect several feet have fallen over the mountains so there will also be substantial avalanche risk and a swim to get anywhere - stuff like Crib Goch could be fun if the wind hasn't stripped it!
Anyone up there got any more info.
Even Anglesey looks like it has probably taken a pummeling
I am going to try and drive over for some ski mountaineering on the carneddau tomorrow - do you reckon there is much chance of getting there - seems pretty touch and go at the moment...
Bristly Ridge is a great winter route and sterner (II) with its winter coat on. Cneifion Arete, Tower Rib and East Spur of Y Garn ate all cracking Grade III's. I bet Clogwyn y Person Arete would also be a goer, all good ridge lines...the problem you will probably encounter will be deep powder which will make the approaches more arduous and time consuming. Low cloud and poor vis too so aim for an area you know where the routes are, otherwise theyll be hard to find. The current conditions are very similar to December 2010. Took 2 hours to plod through knee deep powder to get to the start of Bristly.
For those driving in, the gritters will be doing what they can and the roads may be open, but I think a significant issue when there's been a dump of snow like it seems there's been today is finding somewhere to pull of the road and park up -the ploughs keep the roads clear, but not the laybys or turn offs. In December 2010 I managed to get to the Tyn y Coed only to have to ground my car in the car park, the next day I had to hitch to Tryfan, and all the laybys were 12" deep in snow and most were innaccessible due to the banks of snow from the ploughs.
Take a shovel!
I easily got my 2 wheel drive in and out today. Should be ok.
The path down from Bochlwyd was getting rather icy on the way down.
I'd better take a snorkel for tomorrow then!
You must have been off route then, I`m 5 feet 8 and it reached just below my knee at the deepest :)
> You must have been off route then, I`m 5 feet 8 and it reached just below my knee at the deepest :)
IME it has little to do with being on or off route in that area. You can be in a couple of inches of snow one minute and up to your b0//0cks the next. You have to pick your line. Sometimes luck and skill combine to give you an easy passage, other times you will have a real mare of a time :-(
Was it you who I met on the summit Richard ? I went down to Devil`s Kitchen and had a good look around, some guys were playing around in Twll Du not much else going on.
Just a quick report on the conditions on the (edge of the) Carneddau from today.
Most ground pretty much totally scoured with icy patched and deep drifts in hollow. No windslab to speak of, it seems the wind has been blowing all around and not formed anything significant. Very windy on top of Yr Elen, significant enough to make me turn around when put together with the complete whiteout conditions. No signs of the snow freezing up at all. Very cold up high no no freeze/thaw going to happen any time soon. The stream below the black ladders was frozen over completely in places with running water underneath, Strong enough to take body weight below Cwmglas Bach (I had to cross it). All in all, not ideal conditions but could be good with a bit of freeze thaw.
(I walked up Yr Elen from Bethesda then dropped down the south side to the bottom of the black ladders. There was a fair few folk walking into the ladders, would be interesting what the conditions were like up there!)
Did Broad Gully and Hourglass today; both in reasonable condition especially Broad Gully which was very good. Finished Hourglass Gully via a variation through a little buttress at the top that splits both the usual finishes it makes it slightly more difficult and a much better route.
Anyone got any ideas for routes that won't need crampons? Got axes, but only a single pair of crampons so something that we hopefully wont need them on would be nice!
So did we! Although we deliberately looked for difficulties and didn't see anyone else while going the route we went.
Definitely no need for crampons, just a single axe and determined attitude.
> Did Broad Gully and Hourglass today; both in reasonable condition especially Broad Gully which was very good. Finished Hourglass Gully via a variation through a little buttress at the top that splits both the usual finishes it makes it slightly more difficult and a much better route.
Really? Over in Ogwen the snow was knee deep powder today. We had aimed for the Glyder Fach routes but decided against it as the approach was untrodden deep powder. We went up the South Ridge of Tryfan instead. A great little route with its winter coat on, with many interesting sections. Completely sheltered from the easterly wind. No vis all day though.
Yes of course (along with at least 6 other teams). Just a case of picking the right area, snow is good and plenty of good ice forming today. Hourglass was less good but perfectly do-able by Welsh standards; one team descended it after doing Broad Gully.
Were you on your own mate? We ( me and my scottish mate!) were talking to a fella who went up banana gully quite early on by himself and we ended up going up B Gully.
Conditions in the gully were awful waist deep in snow, gale force winds high up bringing in spindrift. Snow felt unstable, high winds on top and bad visibility...all part of the fun ey!?
On Saturday we walked (well, swam really at times in waist deep drifts) up from Gwastadnant to the Nant Peris waterfall to have a look then onto Y garn. Ice starting to form on the waterfall but definitely not climbable until quite a few more days sub zero. This is about 600m altitude. The streams were also running water
Amazing to read that folk were climbing ice just the other side in Ogwen. I guess its quite localised and direction specific. Didn't think The Stream was that high?
At the moment the best path for Cwm Cneifion starts just after the Llyn Idwal path crosses a stream, which is a few hundred metres after the dry stone wall with the gate, i.e. not right after that wall (which is where the path usually starts I think).
Went for a recce into Cwm Idwal today. Most ice routes need a few more days but they are all building, even rarer ones like the Devil's Appendage (might be doable as the icicle is quite large but the mixed section doesn't have much ice). Devil's Kitchen is just about complete but pretty thin.
The Appendix is complete apart from the pillar. The longest icicle coming off the pillar was no more than half a metre from touching down. The pillar got more substantial about 1.5 metres above touchdown. So not long left! I climbed a few metres up and down the ice wall at the start to test the ice and it was solid. So I'm claiming the first non-ascent of the season! Left the axes in the ice for a few minutes to take photos and they got covered in ice from the dripping water, so it must be building pretty fast.
Looks like things will be warming up for next weekend so I'm planning a mid week raid on the Appendix, can't bear potentially having to wait another year! If the freezing level goes up to around 800 there will still be mixed stuff to do :-)
The Black Ladders are turf-tastic at the mo'. Was in both days over the weekend, but there was barely a sole there. The turf routes are in great condition e.g. on Cannon Buttress & the Playschool area. On the ice front, Eastern Gully has a number of approaches in great condition & Central Gully's direct start is in. There are also some great icefalls (at about 3) under Cannon Buttress. Icefall Gully was in but thin. So long as you aim for buttresses & aretes rather than the gullies themselves a great time is guaranteed. Plus the road up to Gerlan is snow free & the path in is fine.
"On Friday I triggered an avalanche on Easy route in the Nameless Cwm, whilst crossing over to Hidden Gully. I've been winter climbing for a long time and the mountain still caught me out, the slip carried me about 100m and whilst I walked away with a few cuts and bruises, I realise it could have been a very different story. Just wanted to get the word out! Stay Safe All."
Went up BC Buttress and down the North East ridge yesterday (Y Garn), top day albiet a bit windy on the top... As per other posts really, its getting there but the snow does need to firm up..
Oh, and I have some pics for the party who finished the ridge just before we descended - sorry I should have asked your name..!
Yes , lots of teams out on Glyder Fach over weekend. Getting to routes was hard but ok. Sunday better with a really hoarded up crag in nameless cwm.
Managed Arch Gully and Dancing queen on Sat , then Clogwyn Left hand branch (utter mare on the crux) , and Clogwyn right hand branch (brilliant route) - we trended left at top ending near a chock stone with a interesting swing out right .
Walked back down through devils kitchen and ice was forming, nearly complete but still very wet. Couple more days and it will be mint.
Very much so, especially given the routes that some people seem to have chosen over the weekend
Back on thread, hoping to get up to Eyri Thursday night for some night climbing and a long weekend, hope it consolidates and stays in!
There was several people on this Sunday morning but the stream was plastered with snow so i could`nt tell what the ice was like.
They climbed the whole way from where it steepens so i guess it must have been ok, sorry i can`t be more helpful
I know its a long walk in but always surprised that no one goes for Amphitheatre buttress in the conditions we have at the moment?
I did Bristly Ridge today - Very Alpine!
The walk in was hard work, but there is now a good trail trodden up to it. The route itself was in fairly good condition, just lots of powder snow over the top making it hard work! What an amazing day though, the forecast said cloud base around 400m, but in reality there wasn't a cloud in the sky!
Wow, that must have been today! It wasn't like that on Sunday; 10m vis and strong winds made navigation a treat in the dark!
so from what people are saying; idwal stream, the ramp, the screen and the devils pasture are all in by now?
It's going to get warm and wet and melty just in time for the weekend, isn't it?
> It's going to get warm and wet and melty just in time for the weekend, isn't it?
Yeah, forecast is well above zero on Saturday
A few pictures (sorry about the quality, forgot my camera) http://bit.ly/1435Z8f
Spotted a few on Y Garn and in Cwm Cneifion.
Also spotted through the binoculars a team doing something steep on Clogwyn Du.
I was up on cadair idris yesterday and there is still a lot of powder about , big drifts. Plenty of ice about and turf frozen. Top of gullies look good on the south sides , tapia llwydion looks to be in for a bit of easy mixed. Access to Ty Nant now ok checked this morning from the Dolgellau side , access ok from Minffordd also ok now. I Know a few lads tried some of the gully on Sunday and had to abandon due to powder. Just needs that little thaw and they would be in.
I try and give a daily conditions from southern snowdonia and cadair idris. Follow me on twitter
Anyone have any excuse suggestions as to why the bathroom won't be getting tiled on Thursday? A climers life - full of broken promises ;-)
Amyone had a look at Devils Pasture or route to right of it?
> Anyone have any excuse suggestions as to why the bathroom won't be getting tiled on Thursday? A climers life - full of broken promises ;-)
Wrong sort of grout :-)
> Wrong sort of grout :-)
Used that one to get to skye last weekend so after much thought I'm going to try "low temps affecting the bubble in the spirit level, I can make a start love but it might turn out a little wonky..."
> Amyone had a look at Devils Pasture or route to right of it?
Saw a team on it on Monday, so I presume it was OK.
Likewise any information on Cwm Loer?
Got to prime the wall. This takes 48 hours to dry. Won`t be able to tile until Friday.
Roads are ok to Cadair Idris , minffordd side is ok , dolgellau side to ty nant car park ok passable with care.
Gave a lift to a couple last night and they had done R/H Trinity, conditions were good on the first half to v.good on the upper half.
I`ll pass your thanks on to my girlfriend. She`s planning on priming the walls Thursday while I`m in Wales. I`ll see you there.
Anyone aware of any conditioned routes down the Llanberris pass?
Looking to head down tomorrow morning & possibly try some small routes then head over to Idwal stream again or something in that area!
Thanks guys, stay safe
I am relatively new to winter stuff and was wondering if any local climbers knew roughly when good conditions tend to start tailing off.
Will I be too late or should I quit college and head down now?
I think Mark Reeves did that yesterday!
I could mistaken but I'm sure I saw that on Facebook took
> I am relatively new to winter stuff and was wondering if any local climbers knew roughly when good conditions tend to start tailing off.
> Will I be too late or should I quit college and head down now?
Head down now. Conditions this good come but once every few years. It might happen again this year, it might not. The only way to tell is with a crystal ball.
And it's probably all going to thaw come the weekend.
Take a day off college mate or head up sat/sun
The conditions there are awesome, loads to do depending on preference & skill, I had my 1st time up there Sunday (1st winter) & had the pleasure of good company & Idwal stream in full condition, bit on the busy side but amazing to do!
I'd recommend getting there quick as like some people are saying it may not come again for a while!
Good luck & hope you find something that gives you the ice buzz!
I've posted some pics in the V12 gallery of wintery stuff from the last few days:
I've also posted some route descriptions for stuff (such as Great Tower Buttress) done since the new guide was published on the Glyder Fach page on the welsh winter climbs wiki:
On Tuesday we went up to Esgair Gully and Yr Esgair - tough slog up to the cwm. Very soft powder in Esgair Gully. The ridge itself was a little nervy as the turf was not consistently frozen so axe placements needed care. A few days of freeze-thaw needed all over from what we saw.
What do people make of the forecast at the moment? Freeze-thaw or just thaw-thaw?
I'd say thaw-thaw unfortunately! Trinity Face best hope of freeze-thaw.
Got up to Cwm Ceifion today hoping to do a few of the gully lines, unfortunately the weekend footfall had not consolidated the snow and we found ourselves walking into deep powder on the approach like on the weekend. We dropped down and had an enjoyable day on Seniors Ridge which is great in its current winter coat, good frozen turf and crisp snow where exposed to the wind, unfrozen turf under the snow layer though. If the buttresses are followed direct you can get some nice climbing. Walked down off the summit to see parties on the Ramp, Screen and Devils Pasture. Had a wander into the Devils Kitchen where the ice was not great and lot of water running behind it. Nice to get out despite very low vis.
Did the idwal stream and the ramp today, both good. plenty of people out, queueing for routes left right and center.
hoping to get on seargents gully II and then up on to sinister gully III tomorrow. any done them, are they in? Anyone know roughly how long the approach is to cwm glas? Is sinister gully all on ice or some (steepish) snow too, if there is snow, would it be too sketchy owing to how soft it is at the moment? whats the best way down off clogwyn y ddysgyl, it's not very clear in the guide. any advice much appreciated!
Judging from Marks post it was full of powder the other day (sergeants) so it wont have changed. Its a cracking easy ice route when its in proper condition so in its current state would be completely different and doest sound worth doing.
Hmmm fair enough. Anyone suggest any grade II/III ice routes for tomorrow then? Preferably somewhere quieter than idwal if possible, although worst case we can settle for the devils pasture and the screen with about 20 other people!...
Anyone done the nameless stream? Looked like a lot of water when I walked past but bit hard to tell, I'm not even sure where the line goes, it looked like it split halfway up?
Most Idwal ice routes were in today and many got ascents. We did the Appendix (first ascent this season so the first since December 2010?). It has touched down, a bit scary to commit to the pillar as it isn't that thick at the bottom but it's supposed to be scary! Lots of water coming down in places and building it up, the gear was coated in ice from the spray. It will only be better on Thursday and Friday. I reckon the routes might still be in on Saturday so get on them before they're gone.
About 40 minutes to the start of Sargeants, depending on conditions, fitness and amount of beer consumed the night before.
Sinister, like all routes, varies depending on conditions. I remember a couple of ice sections followed by steep snow quickly easing off. Don'tknow current condition of snow, sorry.
Various ways down depending on skill / experience / conditions / energy. Parsley Fern can be a good fast descent, slopes to the right of Parsley Fern ( looking up ) can be tackled at a variety of angles. Descend to the Crib Goch col and walk back around to Cwm Glas or even via Crib Goch North Ridge. PYG and / or Miners tracks make for a longer but easier descent. Could link to a route on the Trinity Face (might need a headtorch!) Have fun...
Thanks for the advice guys unfortunately it looks like my axes and crampons wont arrive just yet. Gutted
If anyone feels like taking a keen young person out and lending him some gear give me a shout. :)
Was out ice climbing in Idwal today. The conditions were OK on the Ramp - the ice was a bit fragile in places, but definitely climbable. It was fairly busy (3 teams in front of us and 2 behind), but not a problem. Photos at http://www.flickr.com/rockcatch
If you were the guy in green trousers and a red top climbing around what I think was the Devil's Pasture or Coldhouse Crack area I have a good photo of you at http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockcatch/8410996007/in/photostream
I have always like the description of Parsley Fern in my ancient Rick Newcombe guidebook: "A fast descent for the competent, even faster for those that aren't".
Today we did South Gulley and the Screen. South was ok is, bit cruddy but many hooks. Screen was as good as I've seen it - v nice, some running water though.
Ramp look v good - dont get many pitches like that at the grade.
Devils Pipes is all there on the right hand side - didnt go and have a close look - fingers crossed it survives and goes cold.
Hey Stash, the lad in the green trousers was my lead on half of the Ramp & all of The Devil's Pasture.
His name is James williams.
We started the Devil's Pasture a little on the late side but committed to it & finished it off, bit scary on my part as it was my 3rd ever ice climb "Ever!" & because a few lads have fell over the last few days off this route i was a bit tetchy, but i did it with grace & dignity & absolutely loved it!!!
Had a fantastic day today on the ramp and the pasture as we'd previously been on Idwal stream on sunday also, weather was pants but today was gorgeous weather!
Doublekneebar and myself got up The Screen which was in good nick, a bit wet in the corner where the ice cave forms but good screws all the way and easy hooks. After lunch we got on Central, first pitch was okay but beyond it really wasn't in the best nick, turf not frozen, very thin ice so no screws and soft power at the top made it a scarey proposition. We were committed to it then but it was evidence a thaw has taken place today.
A team on central as it got dark - we think you may had dropped something, we found when returning for the sacks and was shouting you but you can't have heard. PM me what you think it maight be, would like to get it back to you.
Ha ha until i speak to james iv no idea what it was that may have dropped out, i think im all accounted for gear wise!!!!
I will give him a text, maybe it was someone elses tack, thanx
Fair play though he got up well though, only 6 screws but we nailed it!!!
Loved every second
Thanx buddy, James did the hard bit, next time its mine grrrrr
Hope it stays a bit longer for those planning on heading out at the weekend.
Did The Devils Kitchen today, not in great condition but quite fun !
So, the big question, will there be anything left after the weekend?
Appendix definitely looked like the main event in the Kitchen. We had a cracking couple of days, was my first visit.
> Appendix definitely looked like the main event in the Kitchen. We had a cracking couple of days, was my first visit.
Has anyone been out that way today ? is it as warm as the weather say's ?
Anyone know what conditions are like today? thinking of heading over for tomorrow...
It was raining in Ogwen this afternoon, and warmer than yesterday.
Back home after two days in Cwm Idwal.
Queues were quite bad on Tuesday, particularly on The Screen, Ramp and Devil's Pasture. Started Central Route but backed off before reaching the first ice as we had to wade through deep unconsolidated snow so the upper pitch would have been appalling.
After revisiting all the queues we soloed Idwal Stream and The Ramp.
On Wednesday, we started earlier but still found queues, so waited in line for Chicane Gully in poor condition, followed by a badly worn Devil's Pasture.
As we walked out under clear skies and brilliant moonlight, we looked back at a torch near the top of Devils' Appendix and another party looking for gear below Central Climb.
Weve had rain & high winds here so dread to think how it was up there today, anyone know what the weather was up too upon leaving the hills today??
currently on A5 heading over for a walk or snowy easy climb tomorrow. Heavy snow settling on road between Oswestry and Llangollen.
> Weve had rain & high winds here so dread to think how it was up there today, anyone know what the weather was up too upon leaving the hills today??
Raining in Ogwen at 4pm with a fresh westerly wind. Temperature about 3'at the car.
We went up the north ridge of Tryfan. plenty of wet snow low down but much better higher up.
None of the snow was consolidated, as you'd expect, but it doesn't really make that much difference there.
Home 30miles away now and its raining. forecast is better for tomorrow, but mild.
I've lost the crystal ball somewhere but the BBC monthly outlook suggests a possibility of a colder spell later in February. I guess that's hardly unexpected, a bit like saying that winter will be colder than summer, but to be fair they correctly anticipated the cold spell that we've just had. Have faith, winter isn't over yet! But the outlook for the next few days suggests that next weekend will be dry tooling, MTB or may be Scotland... Tuesday is looking particularly wet and mild and that could wash away all the snow - just like last time!
until tomorrow afternoon
Did South Gully (Idwal) today nice chewy ice but quite bad spindrift slides at times. Conditions were ok but lying snow was a bit of a problem balling on my crampons on the descent (have to get some anti balling plates!). The Appendix looked in great condition and had at least three ascents today. Raining later but plenty of ice to go at if it's cold tonight.
Had a quick race up to Cwm Glas this morning. Up PFLH & down Parsley Fern Gully. Lots of folk heading up PFG. Face Route looked in (R of Cyrn Las) Still lots of ice on Central Icefall. Heaps & heaps of snow in the upper cwm and signs of avalanche debris at the base of most of the gullies. The top 100m of the crag had good frozen turf. Yesterday's rain has by no means ended winter, it was still very cold 'Beris yesterday & still is on the tops today. Have to see what next week brings as the slight thaw has at least compressed all that powder from last week. I'm told the skiing above Cwm Lloer today was 'pants'!
Drove through Ogwen this afternoon, 7 degrees at the roadside, heavy rain washing the snow away. The RAF rescue helicopter was landed in Cwm Cneifion for quite some time before flying off. Apparently a girl fell down Tower Gully and injured her ankle.
Did Chicane today - sketchy as hell in places and pouring with water. Felt a lot harder than grade to me in the conditions. We topped it about 1pm - raining hard.
Not checked the forcast tonight yet but i think the fat lady was singing as we came away.
> Drove through Ogwen this afternoon, 7 degrees at the roadside, heavy rain washing the snow away. The RAF rescue helicopter was landed in Cwm Cneifion for quite some time before flying off. Apparently a girl fell down Tower Gully and injured her ankle.
More details here http://www.ogwen-rescue.org.uk/incidents/incidents.php
Was in Ogwen Sat and Sunday, amazed to see how quickly the ive routes around the kitchen have dissapeared.
Saturday they were wet but quite a few were getting climbed, today they all looked unclimbabable with large parts of most of them missing completely.
Went up into Cwm Cneifion today and it is still freezing up there.
Think you might get blown off a ridge! Looks super windy, gusting to 100mph by the end of the day according to MWIS.
Chicane felt frankly terrifying the day before, though there was a hard frost on Thursday night which may have preserved it, such as it was.
> Chicane felt frankly terrifying the day before, though there was a hard frost on Thursday night which may have preserved it, such as it was.
Was that Friday? I could here someone on it when I was on South Gully. Chicane is hard for the grade (typical Idwal!).
The steep ice pitch was demanding, but would have been OK if the ice had only been properly attached to the underlying rock. Steep ice I can handle, detached ice is a bit more problematic.
After that it was an extended period of nervous tiptoeing up unconsolidated crud.
Nooooo! Hopefully not anyway. The commonest time to have good snow and ice in Snowdonia in my experience is mid-end Feb...this was an early taster.
> Nooooo! Hopefully not anyway. The commonest time to have good snow and ice in Snowdonia in my experience is mid-end Feb...this was an early taster.
That hasnt happened since 2010.
Fingers crossed though.
Not exactly a conditions report, but here's an aerial photo of Snowdon taken yesterday by Carl Hudson, the H.E.M.S paramedic on Helimed 62 (the N Wales aeromed heli)
(Facebook only I'm afraid)
Looks hopeful there will be quite a lot snow (and ice ?) left by the time the next freeze cycle hits Friday (up till then highest summits in wales probably mostly below freezing anyway) Going in to next week ecmwf looks likely Northerly / NW winds will set in tuesday.
From my house I can see strips and banks of old snow all around Cloggy and at the base of Crib Goch (not surprising given how much snow there was). I reckon there will still be snow in the trinity face gullies - how much I don't know, it's been too stormy to consider venturing up for a look.
Cold on Friday and saturday - so definitely worth a look then.
Don't shoot the messenger. I'm only reporting what was written. :-)
We ascended Bwlch Coch rather than north ridge of Crib Goch as planned - a little navigation error but it just looked so inviting. Rest of the ridge to Snowdon was in very good nick.
Bwlch Coch is not in 'Welsh Winter Climbs' either as ascent or descent - it says to go to Pen-y-Pass because the only descent into Cwm Glas is Parsley Fern and then not for the unwary. We ascended Bwlch Coch without crampons which we'd left in the car the night before - it would have been only a slightly tip toe descent too and with crampons a doddle. Snow was good and firm but it looked like it would have gone in a range of conditions.
Specifically Carneddau and Tryfan. Has the majority of snow melted or been washed away?
The webcams showed fresh snow in Ogwen today..
> We ascended Bwlch Coch rather than north ridge of Crib Goch as planned - a little navigation error but it just looked so inviting. Rest of the ridge to Snowdon was in very good nick.
What do you mean, specifically? That you ascended from Cwm Uchaf to Bwlch Coch? If so it's documented as a way to gain the ridge in Hillwalking in Wales. In summer it's a scree/grass rake, good views of the pinnacles:
In summer it has bits of trods running into it/down it..
a dusting of snow on the Carneddau, glyders and Snowdon today with lots of rime ice covering rocks. Not that much snow and strong gusts on the tops. Went up hidden gully in Cneifion which was all still pretty consolidated. Feeling pretty parky too....
Had a chatt with a couple on thir way down from the Watkin path earlier on and they turned back at Bwlch y Saethau as there was to much ice there, they did not have crampons and they said other walkers up there had crampon, on the way up Nantgwynant the Snowdon group looked pretty well cacked up, how consolidated the snow is that`s another thing, might get colder towards the end of the week so fingers crossed.
Basically, it's been cold all week so you should find decent conditions by the weekend as long as you get high up.
Plus, there's more snow falling and forecast for the next few days.
Was up on Carnedd Dafydd today via East ridge on Pen Y Old Wen. Some snow, mostly light, lots of ice over all the rock, not great snow. Descent down the south ridge was a mush.
Forgot to add, turf was not solid below 700m.
Mooched around in cwm cneifion today, I had been out last friday evening when the snow was good then. Unfortunately much degradation has occured since then and the snow wasnt very good, slushy with a dusting of recent light fresh snow. Felt awful!
My winter guide ignores it as a descent into Cwm Glas completely but I'd say it is a very useful descent if you need to get back into Cwm Glas and don't fancy descending back down Parsley Fern etc In any case Parsley Fern as a descent is only cautiously recommended.
We gained the ridge from Cwm Glas side. Is that Cwm Uchaf?
> We gained the ridge from Cwm Glas side. Is that Cwm Uchaf?
Yes, it's the high cwm above Cwm Glas, but below Crib Goch. Another descent into (upper) Cwm Glas is from approx SH 612 558 and down in a sort of easterly direction towards Llyn Bach. Spots of easy scrambling and grass in summer.
Left the 10 pointers in the car to save weight because we thought we'd be scrambling. Only used the Spiders at the end of the day, however I'd recommend full crampons.
Forgot to rotate the headcam...sorry - best viewed on a tablet. The view at lunch was stupendous.
If not, any other suggestions for grade 1 gully?
Met two guys who climbed Banana Gully today. They said the snow was ok ish. They apparently climbed right hand trinity yesterday.
Climbed in Cwm Glas today quite good conditions high up; we did Fallen Block Climb on Crib Y Ddysgyl and (accidentally) added a variant third pitch due to my inability to interpret the difference between a slab and a wall! It's an excellent route but quite sustained and very worthwhile, overall we thought it worth IV/V.
Went up to cwm cneifion on thursday. Snow from about the tower gully area. We did tower gully on fairly good snow and lots of good ice. a team on tower slabs said that it was surprisingly good with plenty of ice. wouldnt expect anything below 750m.
That was me and tom r on Tower Slabs,good to meet you guys on the descent, as said above surprisingly good conditions, ice a bit thin and wet at the start but soon improved and would take screws nearer the top. Found a steep fun finish we'd not done before which was quite fat. If todays thaw doesn't continue too long I imagine there may be something left next week.
Specifically interested in Ogwen and Carneddau!
Got up to Cwm Cneifion, the temperatures hadnt been as cold as was forecast but there was still a surprising amount of thawing ice on Tower Slabs. We did Tower Gully and found a lot of ice on the crux, thawing out but reasonably chewy. Snow was firm but not hard like last week.
Pics here, will post a video shortly.
Some one gave sinister gully ago but backed off the ice fall pitch,its all there high up and with more snow and a refreeze it will be good winters not over.
Did hidden gully and Y gully right hand yesterday. not classic conditions, but good enough... some ice, frozen turf, solid snow. very warm up there though.
Did Right Hand Trinity on Sat. Good fun despite relatively warm conditions. Snow from approx 650m upwards, v soft and saturated with water. Plenty of snow in the gully itself, no ice, nothing frozen. Generally thawing all the way to the summit, small amounts of snow sloughing off and falling down the route. Firmer snow below surface and with snowpack appearing to be uniformly saturated a re-freeze would bring it into really nice condition.
Anyone local confirm if there was much snow?
Sitting in Denbigh and can see some white tops sticking out of the clouds if I look at the right time :)
I'll be interested in that too....although it's meant to go warm by Friday :-(
Google Ogwen Webcam
Nice one! Didn't know that existed. Hopefully it'll be cold tonight then :)
A multitude of UK national parks webcams.
This will give you an idea of snow line and temperature expectations.
Keep an eye on MWIS, the webcams and snow forecast in the days prior to your trip and you give yourself more of a fighting chance. Good luck!
Sunday was colder, snowing hard and settling down to Glaslyn. Intended an early start on Central Trinity but decided to abandon the route and go home early.
Thanks for those that gave a useful reply, I think I'll take some extra kit for people and judge it on the day, useful to get some local info though. Hope we get to a top somewhere.
Get out early in the morning!
Was out around Idwal and Cneifion today and had a great stomp up the back of the cwm. Solid ground and very little wind.
Forecast is for a thaw tomorrow afternoon tho.
has it all pretty much been washed away?
I presume it'll be gone by the weekend?
It's been snowing in North Wales this morning
I'm about 20 miles east of Capel Curig and there's snow in the garden. Don't know about Snowdonia, but the clwydians and the Denbigh moors are white.
I haven't been out this week (torn bicep) but Lee Roberts reported excellent conditions yesterday up on Glyder Fawr:
Friday looks like it could be good high up.
It looks wet on any of the webcams and the forecasts don't look too promising either.
How high are you thinking for decent conditions to survive the weekend?
is snowdon and glyders the best bet?
Is it looking like the Carneddau will be stripped?
Raining heavily in Nant Ffrancon all day very mild, snowed for a while in Dyffryn Mymbyr then turned to rain.
Lots of snow has been stripped from the Glyderau today, driving home looking towards the Carneddau, Carnedd Llywelyn semed to hold quite a lot of snow, forecast is to get milder !
Tower Gully virtually continuous small avalanche. The higher gully near the tower unsafe today full of spindrift over old snow/ice I guess.
No guarantees that fl prediction is right, not that there ever is.
10c sat in the car tonight in southern Snowdonia, lashing it down.
I'm guessing there is nothing left now at all, and no point coming for the weekend. Can anyone confirm?
Just go anyway and enjoy the hills.....that's what I'm doing :-)
> Just go anyway and enjoy the hills.....that's what I'm doing :-)
I think I will anyway, since working in London makes you constantly dream of being somewhere better (hoping to move before the year is out) and I have a day's holiday. It's just a massive pain in the arse when you can't plan for a decent winter weekend any more than two days in advance. I'm guessing I'm not the only one that knows this frustration!
Forecast is looking bright and clear for Sunday. No winter weather but maybe perfect for a good day's scrambling!
Apart from the very top of Snowdon, which is in the clouds right now, any snow on the lower slopes have been washed off by the incessant rain on Wednesday. Time to go rock climbing this weekend I reckon!
MWIS suggests temperature inversion. That probably explains 800m FL and above 800m is above freezing. So it may be warmer on the summits.
Winter ain't over yet folks!
I was up on Tryfan and Bristly Ridge last Monday and it was all fresh powder, about a foot or so on the leeward side. No nothing frozen under the snow as far as I found but good fun.
Tuesday we went up to Clogwyn Du. Snow up in the Cwm and everything was well frozen above 800m, and especially on the routes at 900m+. Plenty of snow but not much neve although it was starting to thaw-freeze a little on Tuesday. Plenty of wind slab in places (I was finding a couple of dining table size slabs in isolation). The descent from the top of the routes does require getting over a growing cornice but the snow slopes were an easy powder stomp.
Wednesday we turned for home. Snow fell in the valleys first thing which quickly turned to rain. If the snow up top has stayed there could be very good conditions, but watch out for avalanche risks from wind slab as that layering is storing up trouble.
I was up on Snowdon today. Absolutely glorious day, summer conditions at Pen-y-Pass. My mate and I are only on our first winter, and not being sure of conditions or our ability we chose to scramble up Y Gribin and up to the summit from there. Since this face was in the sun the snow, though still deep at points, is slushy and wet and the snowline is high up. Chatted to some guys on the summit who had come up Central Trinity- They'd been climbing since 1977 and said it was in great nick. Coming down PYG track, the gullies of the Trinity Face have obviously all retained their snow.
Amazing how many people were on the summit without basic winter gear, despite the PYG track being extremely slippery higher up. Kind of understand the people in boots with hiking poles, since I've done that myself through being overly keen, but I saw people heading for the summit in trainers, jeans and hoodies, with only a small backpack which presumably didn't contain crampons, a headtorch, extra layers for all body parts, an emergency shelter or first aid kit. Seems very little point in attempting to talk sense into people.
Snow was mostly good neve (albeit with the odd sugary bit) and there was even some good ice on the steeper sections:
Walked over the top and Clogwyn y Garnedd was really wintery. All main gully lines (with the exception of Snowdrop and Couloir) holding complete runs of snow. I was in a rush to get back but heard of good neve in Central Trinity:
Some pics here:
and a few more in the rest of the gallery:
Not many climbers around (I know only of two other teams) - shame as the conditions were superb. It was really cold too - the small lake at the bottom of Clogwyn y Ddysgl was frozen over and the turf felt good where I had to use it. I guess people were put off by that MWIS forecast of a temp inversion (which never happened), and perhaps some of the negative 'it's all over' comments on here.
Plenty cold this coming week - go get it while you can!
(Whoever handed my camera in at Pen y Pass, after I stupidly left it by the side of the PyG track when I took my crampons off - thanks, you are a star!)
> Snow was mostly good neve (albeit with the odd sugary bit) and there was even some good ice on the steeper sections:
> Walked over the top and Clogwyn y Garnedd was really wintery. All main gully lines (with the exception of Snowdrop and Couloir) holding complete runs of snow. I was in a rush to get back but heard of good neve in Central Trinity:
> Some pics here:
> and a few more in the rest of the gallery:
> Not many climbers around (I know only of two other teams) - shame as the conditions were superb. It was really cold too - the small lake at the bottom of Clogwyn y Ddysgl was frozen over and the turf felt good where I had to use it. I guess people were put off by that MWIS forecast of a temp inversion (which never happened), and perhaps some of the negative 'it's all over' comments on here.
> Plenty cold this coming week - go get it while you can!
> (Whoever handed my camera in at Pen y Pass, after I stupidly left it by the side of the PyG track when I took my crampons off - thanks, you are a star!)
I wish I could. Stuck back in London again and I limit my climbing weekends to once a month at the moment in an attempt to keep my friends and lady-friend. It's my first winter out so I erred on the side of caution. I'm hoping to do another weekend at the end of March, do you think there is any likelihood of good winter weather that late?
From Friday afternoon in Cwm Cneifon, not got topo to hand for route names:
Bit of ice hanging in on Tower Slabs, Tower Gully looking bit incomplete, ice on the un-named gully at the left of the headwall, Easy Gully over-shadowed by sagging cornice on left with avalanche debris at base -may be old?, tiny bit of ?Spectral Wall hanging on, and ?Clogwyn Left Hand looked like it might survive a few days as was reasonably fat. Routes further right looked pretty much all detached ice and not worth risking for us.
Crags all black, we found no frozen turf, snow had a frozen crust but non-weight bearing, cracks in some snow slopes suggesting start of spontaneous wet snow slides.
Cracking day to be out, walked off with jet black sky full of stars.
Did Central Trinity in April one year ..... must have been late 80's though!
Its a Go Pro 3 and its mounted on a Go Pro Pole which collapses nice and small. I have tried a walking pole but broke the bracket whilst using it as a walking pole rather than camera mount!
Did Ladies gully today. Was frozen until the top which the sun had hit. the turf is frozen bomber and there was quite a lot of Ice.
Surprising given how warm it was walking in. Worth a day out but a south facing rock route might have been better. Did anyone say Spring?
What an amazing steep dog walk! Truly inspiring. Went up seniors ridge (ogwen) with my dog (Dotty) before but would love to work up to be able to take her over Crib Goch. Did you have to assist your fury companion at all?
Maybe, but you can rock climb all year, best to get the winter action when you can, no?
> Did Central Trinity in April one year ..... must have been late 80's though!
Yeah, it does happen, especially with the snow gullies, they can hang in for ages once they've turned to neve.
Can anyone give an indication of the conditions on Snowdon/C G at the moment.
Will be up there Thursday and would be nice to know what the conditions may be like.
Hopefully do anticlockwise horseshoe if its ok.
I second that ^
and add .... your dog is Ace ! ..beats my cats
> Maybe, but you can rock climb all year, best to get the winter action when you can, no?
Ha, I'm only messing!
But how much rain did we have up here last year? Got to make the most of dry rock....!
I couldn't do either, was working on an ML, but good to be out in the sun.
I was up on Glyder Fawr today, looking (with binoculars) towards the Snowdon group and the Trinities looked very good, I can only guess as the old snow on y Glyderad was ice hard.
Cwm Cneifion looked like some stuff was ok there ! Hidden Gulley, Clogwyn Du r/h possibly and there was superb cornice as you look down to the cwm by the easy descent route to the Cwm.
Hope that`s useful Darren, think the weather will become colder towards the end of the week as well !
The North Side of Cadair looked totally black as I drove home today.
Ray has a deep gash on his chin and dental problems.
If beginners are going on the hill in winter, it would be good if they knew a few basic rules.
> Ray has a deep gash on his chin and dental problems.
> If beginners are going on the hill in winter, it would be good if they knew a few basic rules.
Very common on that route..one to take care if people are above.. the upper 'bowl' is full of loose rocks. Same thing happened to me and a friend there.
Some pics in the V12 gallery:
Quite a few teams around enjoying the whiteness.
Get to Trinity face now. It is in. It is wintery. From bottom to top.
Still excellent today on Clogwyn y Garnedd probably as good as it's been this century; could be a bit busy this weekend! Saw a few teams heading up with bivvi gear this afternoon.
We've been up hidden gully on cwm cneifion, sadly the route was spoilt by steps kicked in before the route was neve. Do you know has the same not happened on central trinity? Great conditions in the cwm today
Wasn't on The Trinities we did Ladies Gully. Kicking steps is a bit inconsiderate imagine people not waiting for perfect conditions.
Passed through Cwm Cneifion today. Clogwyn Ddu is pretty much black, pity as the turf is solid. Looked like all the ice routes were in though. There was a team on Clogwyn LH. We didn't have time so just played around on some ice dribbles on the Tower Slabs side, which provided some good fun, then a minor gully to the top. Strangely, the snow was only half consolidated in that gully but on Easy Gully and in the Cwm it was solid neve.
Went up Bristly Ridge, no need for tools but a nice wintry atmosphere and bits of old snow. Then down Y Gribin, crampons useful if following the path as it's covered in icy snow.
-0.5 at Idwal Cottage at 6pm but didn't feel all that cold up high (must have been just below freezing), except in the wind, but mostly it was pretty still, even up around Glyder Fach. A good day out, pity the clag came in around the summits in the afternoon.
All the Idwal ice routes are starting to form, only saw them from a distance but didn't look like any were in yet. Should be great by next weekend though if it stays cold.
Is that a common issue with gully routes?
Gully climbing at easier grades. Kicking steps who would have thought it. Must be a new thing kicking steps. Jimmy Marshall would be impressed.
I mean come on chaps, kicking steps is the oldest form of winter climbing since man was born.
Pathetic. Mindless punters kicking steps in poor conditions just to bring it down to their level. Probably top-roped it first too.
I'd be very surprised to find any snow gullies in Wales without steps, certainly at the start. Quite handy on Snowdon though for locating routes especially on Snowdon.
Just returned from Daddy Day on the Carneddau, gazing into the Black Ladders. The easy routes (Is & IIs) out of Cwm Caseg are in condition with good neve. The Ladders look to be in fine condition too. A team had just finished Western Gully ("in perfect nick"), whilst Eastern & Icefall Gully were fully formed,the icefalls below Cannon Buttress were very visible & the turf frozen solid even at 200m. Looks like a good bet at the mo'. Enjoy.
here's a write up of our day in the mountains yesterday around the Idwal and Clogwyn Du areas.
Regarding the rucksack issues you had, we had the same today and a few weeks back and its down to Ravens. Very Clever at undoing drawcoards, zips and removing things from in the bag or the wandpockets.
Did Devil's Cellar RH start & finish in Idwal today. Great route, 3 pitches if you start down on the frozen approach stream and all in good condition today. Fairly steep crux on P2 and then a shorter steep, narrow section on P3, with tricky moves round a capping chandelier at the top. Lots of good ice throughout. Hard IV at the moment. LH start incomplete but building, LH finish might go but didn't have a proper look at it. Get on it!
Llyn Idwal well on the way to freezing over (always a good sign!), in fact some Darwin award wannabes walked across at the far end. +1 at the car at 9pm (had a late start...). Should be lots of stuff to do in a few days. The Appendix is building on P2 but the pillar hasn't even started forming yet. Wonder if there isn't enough water flow as it's been relatively dry lately.
We also had a rucksack problem. We were looking forward to having the flapjacks but found the rucksack 10m down the gully, half the stuff strewn over the hillside and flapjacks gone!!! Fortunately found the car keys easily, eek! Now there was a raven hopping round as we were climbing but we also found hoof marks next to the rucksack. So was it a raven or a goat, or have they ganged up as a devilish duo? Had this issue in Cwm Cneifion a few weeks back as well, thought we had forgotten to close it and it got blow about by the wind but not so sure now!
Anyone seen Craig y Rhaeadr up close, is it looking promising for next weekend?
We did the right hand start and finish of Devils Cellar a couple of years ago.
I think I read somewhere that the right hand start pushes it up to a V overall.
Thought that was about right when we did it.
> We did the right hand start and finish of Devils Cellar a couple of years ago.
> I think I read somewhere that the right hand start pushes it up to a V overall.
> Thought that was about right when we did it.
Whilt the right hand start is steeper the difficulties are. I wouldn't say that it should lift the overall grade.
> Anyone seen Craig y Rhaeadr up close, is it looking promising for next weekend?
I walked past it on Saturday on the way up to Parsley Fern LH. There is a fair amount of ice up there now, but not enough to climb just yet. possibly another 4 or 5 days and it might be complete, though don't take my word for it!
Around Cwm Cneifion, lots of layered snow, dusty on top over not really solid neve, which felt a bit insecure on steeper slopes (not like Great End on Thursday). Ice smears on Tower slabs looked good. Some folk in Nameless Gully, but yep, very quiet - I had the place to myself at 3pm. Some nice ice steps in Tower Gully.
We climbed Face Route yesterday (Sunday 24th) Craig y Rhaedr is forming nicely much more on it than Friday. Looked like it should be ok in a few days. Some people were heading up for a look but we didn't see anyone on it. Face route is in good condition it's even possible to climb a pitch directly to the start of the main pitch, instead of traversing in from the ramp.
One of the rescue team members has opinioned that Maesglasau wasn't in climbable condition.
I know this guy, a member of the club Im in..he actually broke his ankle rather than twisted it!!
Thanks. According to MWIS, the freezing level is forecast to rise to 800m by Thur, which doesn't bode well for the lower crags like Craig y Rhaeadr... though the higher up stuff should still be good. The Metoffice is more optimistic, with freezing levels staying at 400m or so. At least it isn't forecast to rain. Hopefully things will still freeze up overnight (especially if it's clear) and a little thaw during the day shouldn't be too damaging, might even help the build up. Time will tell... Oh and the update on the rucksack incident is that a pack of Anadin that was in the inside lid pocket got torn up and munched or pecked at but not eaten, clearly the creature had some sense!
> Thanks. ... Oh and the update on the rucksack incident is that a pack of Anadin that was in the inside lid pocket got torn up and munched or pecked at but not eaten, clearly the creature had some sense!
Badger with a headache maybe.
Out on black ladders today. Loads of ice on the lower tier but the crag was quite black. It warmed up as the day went on but the ground was still frozen solid.
Climbed central gully on good ice and neve to cave pitch and by passed the cave pitch as no snow or ice there. Then branched out right from the upper gully , up mixed ground at grade 4 ending up on the arete . This ground is no far to the left of the route July Grisis. Might be same/similar ground as Parkin did with G Bennet jsut before xmas 2012.
Eastern Gully is in v good condition.
R/H ice fall look in quite good nick as did wayword prong up on doffed
Just checked wiki. The line we took suggests slighty left of the route below to start with.
Un-named Route II 160m III
Starts above the upper boulder choke in Central Gully, to the left of the line of July Crisis. It climbs the left side of the buttress which is bounded on its left-hand side by a snow field.
P1 4 50m Climb the buttress over various steeper sections to a nest of a belay below a short chimney.
P2 4 50m Climb the short chimney above the belay and continue up. Where the ground begins to flatten belay well back below the final short buttress.
P3 3 40m Continue up the buttress above following the line of most resistance to a sheltered belay on top of the ridge.
Mike Pycroft & Rod White (AL) 08/12/12
However, our second pitch which joined the ridge form the left was IV/5 so not sure of thier overall grade of III. But the description of thier 2 pitch could well fir what we did today.
Not claiming any new route here, just trying to piece things together.
Two of my mates did the first pitch of Cascade (good plastic ice) but then backed off the top pitch as it was running. It'll need an early start if it goes at the moment.
Day before Western Gully Direct + RH finish on the Ladders got another ascent - okay, but quite tough (i.e. VI) conditions at moment (bold sketchy move into niche on P1, Chimney pitch full on, cave exit has no neve so thin and hard - the top icefall was in perfect nick though).
thawing fast in cwm glas today, Cascade looking rotten, Central Icefall fell down, sergeant's was just climbable but pretty terrible really, Sinister looked unclimbable too but we didn't bother going that close. Plenty of ice on face route still but as its was sitting in full sun all morning we gave it a miss.
PF still looked fine though if you wanted to go check out the badger...
Still some snow up that bowl. Not much snow on buttresses. There was a lot of water ice on water courses. This was Monday afternoon. It's got warmer since. I think easy gullies hold snow for quite some time yet.
I was up there yesterday. Central Trinity was climbed also Left Hand Trinty. Saw someone in End Gully too. Superb day with temperature inversion to the east, so Siabod etc were sticking through the cloud.
If anyone is on Trinity Face today could they post a report? We are planning to go up tomorrow but concerned about predicted temperatures today.
Any info on Clogwyn Ddu or Black Ladders from today - anything still left?
I'm on for a days winter climbing this Sat(2nd)in N Wales, grade 111-1V. I can lead at 1V and could poss 2nd at V. Give me a call/text if you are up for it.
Been up Central Trinity today. Conditions were still good. There is significantly less snow than last week on the Pyg Track, but it is still icy on the upper parts.
Up in Cwm Cnefion today - good snow, good ice, at least one team completed Hidden Gully - blue skies, sunshine - pretty damn good day out ! good luck for Tuesday.
Did you see what condition the routes were in on Clogwyn Du, Left Hand/Right Hand etc. Thanks
Hi - Y Gully left hand was looking good, and had at least three teams complete it, although most seemed to opt for the leftward ramp exit at the top.
Thanks v much for that info Alec.
W/e plans got shelved in the end. Will be in N Wales on Mon if anyone wants to team up to do a winter route or two, any grade. I'll be in PYP or Ogwen Cottage car park early am.
Anyone want to get out tomorrow. I'll be driving over from Manchester. Clogwyn Ddu Left Hand was great condition Saturday. Would love to squeeze one more day in. Don't mind about the grade.
Camera is a Oregon Scientific ATC Mini (some quality lost in processing software, which was free) which is not quite as good as the GoPro but a lot cheaper and much smaller.
It needs a good headband mount tho'. Planning to make one from tennis headbands
Is there no hope of anything being left on Friday?
The weather has gone bad now and it's has warmed up a lot. The forecast is for another high to move in by monday and more cold temperatures should follow, for how long i dont know....
Managed to grab a late season treat on Mon. Climbed Icefall Gully Left Hand on Black Ladders with Carl. Suprisingly good ice and route was complete. Despite the main crag being bare of snow the persistently low temps had allowed the ice in some of the gully lines to linger. Prob melting now.
Any one got any pics of Cwm Cneifion or Cwm Glas today?
Met office forecast is showing minus temperatures and snow all this week, with some extreme wind chills tonight and tomorrow, looking good for the weekend after next perhaps?
I was at the top of Cwm Cneifion on Sunday and Easy Route was still complete - good hard neve. Hidden Gully looked pretty bare but still some snow and Tower Slabs had ice, was hard to see but didn't look that thick.
Did Hidden Gully on Sunday, it was fine (lovely neve!). A couple of trickier steps past the chockstones, but far from bare.
Has it even snowed in the last couple of days? Lake District is under a white blanket.
> Has it even snowed in the last couple of days? Lake District is under a white blanket.
Snowdon/Ogwen webcams showing a thin covering down to the level of the valleys. Met office forecast shows heavy snow all of Thursday and Friday and freezing levels not rising above the summits as far as it can see. Might be shaping up nicely
Anyone been out and about?
Climbed Nameless Face, Tower Slabs and Tower Gully yesterday, all of which had good ice. Tower Gully has a lot of loose rock at the top which is easily funnelled down the gully if there are any parties above.
Cwm Idwal ice routes were shaping up but I think the ice would be brittle and thin - though that was looking at them from afar! It's warmer today as well.
Sargeant's Gully in Cwm Glas was also climbed yesterday.
A fair bit of snow overnight down to about 600m, freezing level has risen a bit but it's forecast to drop again over the next few days.
Can't comment on the Lakes I'm afraid - too far north, too many people, too many chocolate box houses and the language is too simple...
Didn't climb Sargeant's myself but reports were pretty good...
Is there any one who has visited Devil's Kitchen Area lately? Considering this week-long cold spell and the fairly low freezing level at the moment, I guess some routes must be in by now...?
anyone been on snowdon? any of the trinity routes still good? if not, where's best, cwm cneifion?
Left Hand Branch was thin and melting on the crux - i got part way up and bailed off a spike as the ice was delaminated and coming off when I looked at it.
We climbed Right Branch, which was in ok nick and was a lot of fun.
None of the steeper mixed is in - the snow was falling off the rock.
Tower Slabs/Gully would be climbable but the ice on Tower Slabs is now under a couple of inches of fresh snow. There are some big drifts of fresh in sheltered gullies (e.g. left hand branch p.1) but generally the new snow was thin. It had, however, stopped the old snow refreezing well after Friday's thaw.
Golden Girl Ali was too black for my liking. Snow on ledges but no rime.
Freezing level today was around 750m.
Idwal ice routes are thin and broken. The only exception is the screen, but there was lots of water around and unless there are a couple of hard frosts I wouldn't even fancy that route.
My general synopsis would be, there is winter fun to be had but the lower ice is falling apart and higher up it is cruddy after fridays thaw and the fresh snow friday night and today.
The turf was ok above 800m
Yep, we did Tower Slabs on Sat. it's was in good nick, lots of ice and very pleasant climbing.
Ice routes in Idwal might have been climb-able on Sat. but looked thin, they will be in if it stays cold.
We approached Trinity Face today, but bailed when we reached the routes, had planned Cave Gully, lots of power, and it was snowing heavily.
Sargeant's Gully falling apart so abandoned it halfway up today, went up to do Sinister and took ages to reach it due to bottomless snow; good swimming practice though! Horrendous spindrift forced us to abandon that too, plenty of snow came down on Saturday into Sunday so it may improve over this week.
During the recent cold spell in early March, my partners in crime and I managed an opportunistic smash and grab raid on the easy classic “Central Trinity” on Yr Wyddfa (aka Snowdon!) in North Wales on a perfect day of weather. Trinity Face was in winter raiment with "Central Trinity" especially in very good nick and the route provided most excellent sport, despite yours truly getting hit by a chunk of ice at 01.46...
The entertainment was duly recorded so for anyone interested in viewing a short HD film of this memorable day then please use the following link:
Unsurprisingly, being a glorious Saturday, the face was very busy with a lot of traffic so there are quite a lot of unknown solo and roped climbers featured on routes such as the 3 Trinity Gullies and Little Gully, so do have a look as you may recognize yourself immortalised on film! Anyway all constructive feedback welcome and hopefully it will inspire a few folks to visit this superb face when in condition! :-)
<laughs> Well Sean I'm glad you liked video and sorry you disliked the music so much but hey ho I guess music, like a lot of things in life, is all down to personal taste! :-)
Yes I was testing out my new diy splitboard, it was pretty amazing as north wales lines go!
I did it again today in better vis. and feeling more relaxed about the snow stability (i was releasing some fairly large slabs boarding on trinity face on sunday).
The only down side is the sluff is really heavy (and lots of it) so now after 2 runs its pretty full of debris. Still do-able though if anyone is thinking about it.
I was thinking of the Carneddau from Bethesda or Elidir Fawr from Nant Peris? Never skied in Snowdonia before. Does anyone know what the snow is like?
snow is pretty wet and heavy but plenty of it above 6-700m, in the gullies and on lee slopes in general you'll find enough to ski. Thats around llanberis/snowdon anyway.
has anyone been up to cwm idwal; any of the ice routes in yet like the stream/ cneifion stream etc? are all the gullies up in cwm cneifion a no go with deep soft loose snow? hidden gully or tower slabs worth a go?
Excellent day out.
Visibility was poor while we were on the crag, but we did glance back into Cwm idwal on the way out. Looked like quite a lot of ice formation, but bottom half of Appendix missing. Could be good next week if the forecast of sustained cold is right.
Looks like there is a load more snow due Fri/sat.
Only saw thin patchy ice and a lot of water on Sargeant's gully.
So should I bring my skinny skis or fat skis at the weekend?
Tues - went up into cwm cneifon, lots of snow and small avalanch debres on bottom of upper slopes. climbed clogwn du right hand branch (III - 4), lower slopes and narrows in the gully were powder swimming, some good mixed fun to be had in between with fully frozen turf and ice. crux ice mushroom was fully formed in its full tech 4 condition, with good ice screw placement below. attempted to get a look at the ice in left hand brach but was thwarted by chest deep powder in the lower gully! the ice looked thick and complete but was impossibly to guage its condition. went up hidden gully, powder swim, waste of time, dont do it! Clogwn du main crag looked lets say "grey", lots of snow and ice but no rime, make your own ethical descisions. (note large unstable looking cornice at top of normal decent route to left of hidden gully, use the right hand descent instead).
Weds - more fresh snow, went looking for seargent gully but couldnt see any ice. went for a closer look at face route, looks fully formed and fantastic! decided against it as i only have 3 screws and the main ice pitch is about 40m long! swam up grade 1 gully to left and scrabled down Cyrn Las ridge. again turf well frozen and good ice in places, although not on the railway butress.
Thurs - cwm lloer, climbed good ice on the grade III/IV alternative right hand start to broad gully, and climbed more ice out of the gully to the right, and then mixed ground above. On the crag as a whole the snow felt less deep and more consolidated than the previous days. ice is forming here and there and the crag is riming up in the upper reaches, good mixed potential. moonflower is starting to form also.
also noted that in cwm idwal/devils kitchen the screen and the ramp have formed, south gully and other lines look close, except devils appendix which is bare on the bottom pitch but thickening at the top. idwal stream has probaby formed but will be burried under deep snow.
soo overall fun to be had on ice and turf, but requires powder swimming to access. avalanch risk appeared low, deep snow but ontop of the rough rocky ground so no slide plane for slab build up. large powed avalanches may be possible?
Given today's conditions I'd expect wind slab will be forming, and probably some big cornices.
I've been out 4 days this week from what I've observed I'll be very wary of the snow stability. I was releasing some fairly well bonded windslab (sitting above old neve) on trinity face on sunday and there has been a lot of snow and wind since then. From various pits i have dug this week I've found a very variable snowpack even in very similar aspects/angles.
I hope in places conditions will be excellent but I'd be very surprised if there aren't places where things pretty unstable. Heavy snow, high winds, natural avalanches - three red flags is more than enough to make me cautious.
Going off the rainfall radar data, it's snowed nearly continuously over the tops for the past 36 hours!
Not just that length, but for a lot of that time it's been coming down at a rate of >4cm per hour - that's an astonishing amount of snow - most of which will now be in cornices given the strength of the wind.
When the clouds finally do clear, the mountains will look amazing... probably best to just look at them from afar for the moment though...
Hoping to get something done tomorrow but not sure what yet...
How's the weather at the moment? I'm thinking of skinning up Y Garn from Nant Perris tomorrow. I dont have an airbag backpack.
Looking exceptional for Easter
skiing and ice climbing yum yum!
Anyone done it yet?
Climbing wise the ice seems to be building well everywhere.
The Llanberis Pass road was closed this afternoon.
Not been in to the cwm, but drove up the valley to work today & spied a few things. Top of Appendix looks pretty well formed but bottom not. If you meant "Cascade" on Creag y Rhaeadr in the llanberis pass, then I can't comment I'm afraid. I will probably have a day off work tomorrow or Wed to climb so will post after that.
I can give some good beta on sledging conditions above Bethesda as that's what I was up to with my daughter yesterday...
There's a LOT of snow up there! Due to wild conditions over weekend, kept low and away from powder filled gullys/ cornices/over exposed ridges. Generally, the fresh snow seemed less loose than anticipated, but that's not saying much. Spindrift, and deep drifts, everywhere.
With Steve and Shaun did powder filled Idwal Stream on Sat, some ice OKish, lots fragile, and a sometimes weight bearing snow crust over powder. Most of stream banked out with drifts.
Wild again on Sunday and settled for Sergeants Gully. Grit blasted by spindrift. Occasionally could actually see where we were going. Glimpsed some ice under the heaps of powder. Didn't seem formed underneath it all. Completely unrecognisable to the frozen stream I climbed up four weeks ago. Didn't consider/see Parsley, well dark and wild up there.
Weather began tp clear off tops on drive back up A5: saw large cornice along top of Nameless Cwm, and East face of Tryfan rimed in ice, esp at top. Stunning.
Did the the Horseshoe today and it was savage but stunning. A full on Alpine day out. Trinity is under TONS of powder and all the rock is covered in at least a foot of hoar frost. Not particularly corniced due to the Easterly, but the windslab will be horrendous given what I encountered.
Attempted Tryfan North Ridge on Saturday. We barely made it to the crest of the ridge before turning back, we were wallowing through powdery snow that was waist and sometimes chest deep. Btw, if you were the guys who were with us who peeled off round to the East of the mountain, I'd love to know how you got on?
Sunday- Went up into the Snowdon Horseshoe. Figured we weren't going to reach a summit so we traversed around Llyn Llydaw at a level about halfway between the lake and the base of Lliwedd. Some patches of neve, some of soft powder above harder ice, some patches of windslab as well.
Snowdon looked fantastic this morning but sadly I had to drive back and didn't want to push my luck. I suspect that with a few days of sustained cold temperatures, next weekend might be a classic. Don't hold me to that though, it's my first winter out so I'm no expert. Stay safe
> Looking exceptional for Easter...
According to Met Office, statistically a white Easter is more likely than a white Christmas in this country. Now you know.
Basically I'm trying to weigh up between snowdonia, lakes and scotland. I'd rather not travel further than N Wales if things are looking good and not too crazy avalanche wise on NE -> E aspects.
Thanks - game on!!! Based on experience from back in January, the Appendix may well be in by the weekend. It looks like the strong winds have caused the pillar to sprout in crazy dimensions but the winds are set to drop and once the pillar touches down it should build quickly. I'm hoping Craig y Rhaeadr will come in nicely as well. Amazing for the time of year.
The appendix top half looked good. The bottom pitch was very thin, saw no parties on it at all. Idwal stream is there under a lot of snow but did see parties on it.
> Btw, if you were the guys who were with us who peeled off round to the East of the mountain, I'd love to know how you got on?
I see the Oggie team had to get three guys lifted off the N Ridge on monday... http://www.ogwen-rescue.org.uk/incidents/incidents.php
Are you sure it was above freezing temps, forecast was for temps well below freezing wasn't it? Low winds and lowish humidity can obviously make it feel much warmer than it is, and ice falls normally run with water somewhat even when it's very very cold (I've seen it at well below -10 and when its been sustained cold for some time).
Capel is a bit of a cold air sink though - in my experience it is often 2 or 3 degrees colder than Pen y Pass!
Most other places in N wales close to sea level only got to 3 or 4 degrees though and I find generally UK mountain valley temps generally only tend to be colder at night due to the effect of cold air sinking not in the middle of the day (unless there is an inversion)
Thanks for the post on actual conditions.
Very helpful to see what you actually experienced.
> Are you sure it was above freezing temps.....
As you weren't actually there, surely the best thing to do would be to thank the poster in question for taking the time to put some information up about conditions rather than start accusing him of being wrong?
I'd be reluctant, and I'm sure other people be too, to put up conditions reports if people accused me of being wrong when I'd made the effort to report what I found. It's ungracious and unnecessary.
If you don't agree with a report, and think you know better, that's fine, but you really don't have to tell everyone about it.
It's very hard to get intention from posts on here and in no way was I trying to accuse WILLS of being wrong in an ungracious way.
I was merly asking if he was SURE it was above freezing or if it just felt that way, as the human body is not a good indicator of temperature IMO. For a while I used to carry a small thermometer on my bag which I found very useful.
I'm planning on heading along to Devils Kitchen at some point in the next few days myself, however things are set to get a bit warmer if anything and I was looking for more information so that I could judge if it was a good bet or not!
BTW WILLS thanks for the update and I hope you weren't offended in anyway by my post.......
Are they, still low freezing levels on Metoffice Mountain and MWIS. I'm going Monday, hopefully
the forecast does look cold enough I think, although Betws-y-coed is forecast 6 degrees sunday which may be above freezing in Devils Kitchen. In highish pressure / dry air a bit above freezing doesn't normally matter too much.
MWIS up to saturday is looking OK
PS the base of the falls at devils kitchen are only at something like 600 metres.
"ice climbing in cwm idwal yesterday. Low winds above freezing temps. Ice was wet with water on all routes. Routes in are south gully which is thin but taking 6 inch screws. Chicane gully steeper than usual but taking 4-6inch screws. The screen is thin screws as previous taking the left hand exit, dig for belay at top. The ramp thin taking stubby screws. The sting looks good. Devils kitchen is hollow and running with water but one team went up, we bailed on it as it sounded bad and when we looked inside you could see how hollow is was. Devils cellar looked good. Devils pasture looked thin. The snow was hard in places but I, being 97kg, went through in a couple of spots up to my groin.
The appendix top half looked good. The bottom pitch was very thin, saw no parties on it at all. Idwal stream is there under a lot of snow but did see parties on it. "
Plus some new route reports:
Couple of new routes done on Lliwedd but haven't got all the details through yet.
A5 was fine, apart from the numpties parked in the middle of it. Must have been something amazing happening at Idwal. Plenty of (sensible) space at the other end of the lake if you're prepared to spend all of 30 seconds wielding a shovel.
Was out around Elidr Fawr today, plently of snow, but only partially consolidated... Some patches of really good Neve extending upwards for hundreds of feet, but mixed in with soft powder covered by a thin (ish*) crust.
*some sections were getting strong enough for my partner (70kg) to walk on without issue, but couldnt support my heavier (95kg) weight...
Did Tryfan north ridge and Bristly ridge this afternoon. Tryfan was in superb nick, bristly ridge was very powdery, which made the initial chimney sections a bit spicey on solo.
Found same conditions on top as the guys above, a combo neve and bit of crust on powder (which did occasionally cope with my burley 70kgs ;) )
Found that the snow in NW gullys needed atleast your 25m badge for the breaststroke.
A shovel is recomended as well as an early start to get to ensure that your car doesn't become the new front plate for the passin HGVs.
"Enthused Geoff after the ascent."
Nice to see Welsh (Cymraeg) grammar deployed in the English language describing a Welsh (Cymreig) route.
Precedes the verb the subject - logical really. Unless you are speaking German. Then the verb often at the end of the sentence goes.
Enough of mindless pedantry - Off to the Glyderau this weekend.
Did broad gully in Cwm Lloer today. Quite a powdery start but consolidated finish. With a clear, cold night it should be good to go for the guys that we chatted to on their way down.
Wandered up Moel Siabod yesterday afternoon. Patches of hard neve and cruddy snow overlying ice. Mostly lots and lots of breakable crust. My legs ache this morning!
We'd gone up to have a look at Grecian 2000 but it was very wet and chandelier-like - didn't fancy it personally. Reports from the Screen were favourable if a little thin in places, Central Route a bit thin and crusty, South Gully a bit thin on the main pitch.
A fair bit warmer today it would seem, was 5 degrees driving up Ogwen valley according to the car thermometer.
From a distance (top of Devil's Kitchen) it looked like there was a bit of avalanche debris on the path between the top of Sub Cneifion Rib and Cwm Cneifion (the Nameless Cwm which has actually got a name), just before Cneifion Arete. Maybe someone could confirm that who's actually been into Cneifion today?
Anyone get out on Great Gully recently?? (Snowdon)
Would also appreciate some info on Clogwyn Du area if anyone has been up there today.
Have read about avalanche risks on Snowdon. Does that mean it's not safe even on main paths? We've got crampons and axes and some winter experience. We're only here for the weekend and really want two good mountain days. Any other recommendations if not Snowdon?
Could def do with crampons above 500m.
Did Eastern Gulley in The Black Ladders today, first pitch was ok on the lower section but, the top bit was really crappy..scooted out to the steep bit on the right, was ok but patch, cicked off big chunks of ice !
Pitch 2 was very powdery, over knee deep as was the third pitch.....
Did Tregalen gully yesterday.
Not a huge amount of ice, and crusty snow for the last 150m
Cracking route, albeit not in the best nick.
Did Face Route on Thu. Ice steps on first pitch missing so used ramp on right to gain main icefall but rest of the route all there. Initial groove thinly iced and could do with a bit more build up. Ice in first 20m felt steep for grade IV. Entertaining large ice pillar on pitch 3. Snow in gully ok, a few soft patches, a couple of fun ice blobs/umbrellas. Overall really good varied route with plenty of steep ice, an enclosed snowy gully and a mixed ground/ridge finish.
The whole face looks plastered but not the neve I was expecting.
> The whole face looks plastered but not the neve I was expecting.
A case of 'snow, snow everywhere but not a route to climb!'?
> Should've had oars for the last 50m,
was the snow still soft in the narrow lower section of LH Trinity? I was hoping to ski it but thought I had missed my chance as it would all be too hard by now.
(i went off crib goch instead where the snow was soft for the top 20m but with little base and then hardpack after that)
Found good ice in Llanberis Pass in the past two days.
Face Route on Cyrnlas was as described by CuillinCalling. Good climbing on the pitches 2 & 3 with that blue pillar. and mushroom to get over followed. By a long snow couloir to the top. Brilliant! And more variations possible there.
Saturday, March 30 (!) Followed Misha & Phil up Cascade on Craig Rhaedr. All there but seemed a bold lead.
Had a great day out yesterday, the weather and scenery just looked positively alpine! Lots of snow and sunny blue skies. We climbed Introductory Gully to access the higher areas of Glyder Fawr and then climbed Oblique Gully. The route was deeply buried in snow, top chimney pitch is supposedly a tech grade 3 groove. Felt a bit harder given the current deep snow conditions. Snow condition was poor but the rock and turf gave bomber axe placements. A fantastic way to top out and a magical day with phenomenal light.
Some pics of the conditions:
Devils Kitchen and Y Garn
Cwm Idwal, Nant ffrancon, Pen Yr Ole Wen
When you come out of the gulley onto top third that's when the slough kicked in.
Yes Cascade in, go and do it! Good ice on P1 & 16cm screws, 19 & 21 cm screws in belay on 2nd ledge. Steep start of P2 bold though, tied off 13cm screw! Melting a bit around the belay but no running water on the pitches and that's with a lateish start, we started the route at noon. Will be freezing again overnight for sure with the clear skies so should hand around. Central looked doable but very bold on P1, P2 looked ok but pillar very funky, hard to say if it would go without getting up close but it sure looked scary.
Yes makes sense to pitch it that way except on Thursday we belayed just above the chandelier off rock gear, 60m ropes just about enough. Great route in present conditions. I've never been inspired by Central.
Two guys went up Central Trinity later on.
My wife and two friends saw someone come shooting down from Snowdon summit on the Watkin Path side. Fortunately he survived a fall of several hundred feet.
Amazed at the number of people without crampons and ice axe coming up the zigzags on the Pyg Track. Take care everyone!
Sargeant's Gully and Sinister Gully both in good condition today, much improved from a few weeks ago. Top run out to the ridge of Sinister was not very good thin crust over powder. Surprisingly few people about although Cascade and Central Icefall had a number of ascents and looked to be in great condition.
what's the best way off introductory gully/idwal staircase e.g back to llyn ogwen?
Is the idwal stream likely to remain in condition tomorrow/this week, has anyone been up there recently? has it been hacked to pieces over the bank holiday?!
I've heard that Maria is in. This was second hand info but might be worth a look. I wouldn't be surprised of it's in, given the good conditions on Craig y Rhaeadr. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to check it out and now it's time to get back to work :-(
yes the ice is fat on a lot of the routes and a few degrees above freezing doesn't matter in hgh pressure so it will almost definately still be fine with an early start tuesday and wednesday too, although you may want to avoid the routes more prone to catching the mid morning sun.
Just back from Easter Trip to North Wales. NE facing venues in general acceptable avalanche risk outside of the main gullies (perhaps ok in here but not in great condition IMO). Some walkable neve / crust, south facing slopes often sheathed in thin melt water ice so be careful. Patches of windslab about as well as in places large thick slopes of old windslab that has semi consolidated (mainly in the top few inches), probably low category 3 in old money.
NE facing venues in general have exposed well frozen turf on the buttress routes (we went to Cwm Loer), the snow is 50/50 good for axes but nearly always ok for feet. There is quite a lot of water ice about especially where out of the sun. Devils Kitchen in general is fat (and very fat for the venue and time of year), and is taking ice screws well on most routes.
Overall very good conditions out of the (snow) gully lines.
Managed to lose a short red handled Black Diamond ice screw on Clogwyn y Person. (B.D. Ice clippers are not as secure as they might be.) Glad to send SAE if anyone finds it. Many thanks.
Do you have much experience at grade III water ice? If not I would start by ticking the grade III's at the Kitchen first. The Ramp is a good one.
South Gully is no soft touch at grade IV and is high in the grade and best saved until you have more experience at grade IV water ice IMO. You do need ice screws for one belay (either before or after the crux depending where you belay), although you could create V threads probably.
The screen is no push over but more towards the middle of the grade. When we did it you didn't need ice screws for the middle belay (there was a block to sling and a bulldog) and 7 screws would be enough, however I'm sure this may not always be the case and you may find seven screws a bit tight (but probably doable if you space them out a bit!).
Both these routes are pumpy on the crux for grade IV IMO!
Did you do the left hand or right hand finish? I didn't notice the peg belay when we did it, but we belayed on the midway ledge and did the left hand finish as the right was very very thin (this was in jan)
I think its much better to take things slowly ice climbing and not risk falling off. Its far too dangerous falling off, even if the gear holds broken legs / ankles etc are very common when wearing crampons.
Chicane gully would be a good one as it has some tech 4 in it. I've not done it so can't advise beyond that.
One option to descend from introductory gully: you can top out of the route onto easy ground then head right and look for a vaguely coffin-shaped & sized stone which is lying flat on the ground (and probably half buried with snow just now). There is a descent gully next to it (face out from the crag and the gully is immediately on the left). I haven't been that way this winter so can't comment on the snow conditions in that gully - it's probably well filled with slab.
Central Route is the next one to South Gully I think? The climbing is easy but the belays and gear are very poor, and it wasn't especially fat on Friday.. If you have 60m ropes you can skip the first belay and climb through to the better 2nd belay. Like someone else said, chicane gully is a good route nearby, from memory I think its steeper but better protected.
Any one know what the devils appendix looks like?
Is it in?
> Any one know what the devils appendix looks like?
> Is it in?
Long piece of ice, picture in the guidebook.
> Any one know what the devils appendix looks like?
> Is it in?
I heard somebody hung a rope down it in an attempt to make it form more quickly, but it's formed 'kinda weird'. Second hand knowledge though, so not particularly useful
It was lead on Monday.
Check out the log of Monday's ascent, that will give you all the info you need. It's in pretty hard nick as it's formed all weird due to the winds last week. Yes, there is a rope down the pillar pitch but it's off to the side of the pillar so not doing much good, at least not this time round. Beware the rising freezing levels as well, though might be ok with an early start if it's been a clear night.
By the way the wind has created a lot of twisted ice falls with umbrellas and chandeliers at the devils kitchen this time around and a lot of the routes are a little bit harder than usual. The appendix looks pretty mad but I'm not sure it would be harder than normal (possibly easier as less sustained?) The lower ice fall running over the rock slab looked very thin Friday, but by Monday it had fattened up quite a lot although definately looked harder than when it formed in January (for a move or two as it has an overhang in it getting on to a wide hanging iceicle). Its way harder than I can lead so this is all based on looking at it from a distance.
Yes just read comments - so quite a bit harder than normal, its very very photogenic at the moment and I'm sure would be much sort after where-ever it was worldwide!
As a sub point the was an interesting move on South Gully this weekend going around an ice umbrella actually made for very interesting climbing.
I saw that Gresham and Emmett did it recently at night, and the crux was free hanging so Gresham climbed up to, and then out on to! Probably pretty easy for him though having seen what he was up to in Norway recently. :)
They then walked over the top, down in Llanberis pass and went and did Central Icefall Direct and Cascade. All in all a good nights climbing!
See comments above - someone placed a rope down it to help it form but it's off to the side of where the pillar has formed so hasn't really worked - though it had a fair bit of ice on it. I first heard about it back in January. Back then the rope had been blown completely off to the side onto a ledge. So it needs either tying down at the bottom in the fight place or chopping. Not sure about the ethics of 'encouraging' winter routes to form but it's certainly going to be an eyesore. I've uploaded photos from last January and last Thursday showing the rope.
On a more positive note, here's a news report on all the latest new routes:
I agree with Simon.
The thing is in the wrong place and actual steels water from the pillar. Hence it now being overhanging ice umbrella/chandelier than pillar.
Cut the thing down and wait for it to be in nick like everyone used to. As now we have a ice stalagmite and and up in the grade.
Bloody nupties who ever they were
IN reply to appendix condition.
Some bits are harder crux and some easier. Route finding is more challenging than I should imagine it normally is. and it felt more like a mixed route as axe placements were quite unusual. will put some pics up tonight.
found some pictures of their trip
Planning to head up early Sat AM
Can anyone shed some light on current conditions at Clogwyn Du, Cwm Cneifion and the Black Ladders please?
> I think its much better to take things slowly ice climbing and not risk falling off. Its far too dangerous falling off, even if the gear holds broken legs / ankles etc are very common when wearing crampons.
Just seen your response to my posting. Very helpful, I seem to have been missing something: all these years of climbing, as I've always felt at risk of falling off and breaking something, or worse. That's what I put all the gear, like ice screws, in for. (which held my fall on Saturday.) I'll try your suggestion of ice climbing slowly, like a kind of 'Ice Climbing Thai Chi' next time, and see how it goes.
Are you honestly believing that in retrospect it was a good idea for you to have lead the screen?
I don't mean to offend here but if I fell off a 2 pitch grade IV ice route in stonking nick taking a 10 foot fall on to an ice screw where the crux could easily be viewed from the ground, I would think I had done something very wrong, falling off it twice well I would be very disappointed not only in my technical ability but my judgement of what I can safely climb.
Its not just the ice screws are not as reliable like rock gear in that a bomber nut placement can be evaluated fairly reliably its your front points catching in the ice on the way down and breaking your legs / ankles.
In winter I prefer to keep to the adage the leader shall not fall, especially on ice routes and even more so if the gear is below waist height!
Could I suggest you take this to another thread before this turns into the next version of the Alladin's Mirror Direct debate... At 900+ posts it must already be reaching capacity. Incidentally, this must now be the most popular UKC thread ever with over 90,000 views - that's about 20,000 more than its predecessors have had in previous years. So let's keep it to the point. Thanks.
That's a pretty impressive number of views!
To get back to the point, I was at Black Ladders on Sunday, attempting Western Gully. There was a lot of powder slowing us down, so we backed off after the first main pitch. It's had an ascent since but the logbook notes say there was still a lot of powder.
Agree with Misha, lots of people using this thread for genuine conditions reporting.. Lets leave the other chat for other forum threads..
Thanks Nick for the update on BL. Thought that may be the case as was out on the weekend also.. Anyone been up there in the week, able to report better conditions?
Cascade on Craig y Rhaeadr was in good shape this morning. Central Icefall Direct was dripping a lot from the icicle, don't think it saw any ascents as a result - wonder how long it will last...?
From my experience in Idwal on Wed, Ice Routes are gr8, but question mark over turfy routes/pitches. Grecian 2000 bottom pitch was fat for instance, but top pitch was running and turf was dry where thin and therefore not well frozen. Suspect BL will be a bit like that other than in gullies.
Other ice pitches in Idwal were excellent though, including the Kitchen SOuth Gully, etc.
Walked over the Carneddau on Wednesday. Fairly firm across the top and nothing technical.
Has anyone been up Aran Fawddwy recently?
Any more updates please?
stunning on the horseshoe today, but left the car at 7 so avoided any slushiness until nearly down. Will upload some pics when i get home. Well worth the 4am start from home.
Superb blue skies and sun over Clogwyn y Garnedd today.. It was absolutely boiling hot.. even got sunburnt. Parties on Central Trinity and Trinity RH as well as Great Gully but not many people on routes at all. We intended on climbing Great Gully but the snow wasnt good at all in such warm temperatures, very soft and no frozen turf.. We picked the short line of End Gully just to grab a quick route and make the rest if the day a walk in the blazing sunshine. Snow- crap, axes almost redundant, turf unfrozen.
I'll bet he gets miffed when 'slow coach' puts on his skis and takes off.
Black Ladders in good condition today, although couldn't see any evidence of The Somme ice fall, which was our planned day. Pyramid Gully is in very good; just be strong and start early!
Thats a good question with the poles and I don't really know the answer. I guess from a mountaineering point of view I avoid the leashes because I find them a pain and like to keep my hands free and this has become my default. I will try using them!
But anyway, ask someone who is a good skier what they think - don't listen to the out of practice telemarker rolling down the mountain (literally in bad snow) behind the AT guys. :)
where'd you read that out of interest ?
See if this link works: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.433178370106392.1073741833.149886791768886&type=1
The post collapse pics are pretty terrifying. There were chancing it somewhat in retrospect! I was a bit confused as Lyon had already shared some of Gresham's pics of when he and Emmett had already done Central Icefall direct some days previously at night have done Devil's Appendix first. But I guess this was some days later, so more warming had happened by then.
Just piecing together the bits of info into a logical order.
Their trousers probably needed cleaning anyway after that week of effort!
Yesterday early morning everything in Cwm Idwal was running with water, so we headed higher, into Cwm Cneifion, to see if Clogwytn Left hand was still holding out. It was, although only the mixed version was feasible. There was enough chewy ice at the end of the mixed section (top of the main pitch) to traverse out from under the overhang. The top ice pitch was in climbable nick. Enough little bits of snow and ice were sloughing off the crag by lunchtime to make us think that this was definitely the end of the winter season. It was +4 c on the top. Our opinion was confirmed about two hours later when we found ourselves sport climbing in T shirts at Penmaen Hd off the A55 on the way home - pics to prove it here:
Surely that signals the END of the conditions thread!!
There was an article about winterising your rack. Surely we now need advice on how to summerise our racks?!
> Surely that signals the END of the conditions thread!!
You would have thought so as its mid-april, but then I've thought that a few times already.
This may still make 1000 posts and 100,000 views yet, who knows, but thank-you to all who have replied/posted, what a winter it has been!
More than 10C in Ogwen today. Rivers and streams all full spate, presumably with melt water. Bryn Tyrch car park flooded. Very windy on top, kept getting blown over on the Carnedds, even at lower levels.
> This may still make 1000 posts and 100,000 views yet, who knows, but thank-you to all who have replied/posted, what a winter it has been!
Well to add to the posts during the recent extended winter conditions found in Snowdonia at Easter a couple of weeks back, my partners in crime and I managed a quick smash and grab raid on the modest but classic routes “Sergeant’s Gully” and “Parsley Fern Left Hand” on a baltic, but perfect day of weather with the surrounding mountains looking positively alpine. The entertainment was duly recorded so for anyone interested in viewing a short HD film then please use the following link. Unsurprisingly, being a glorious Easter weekend, the 2 routes were very busy (with associated falling debris and all!) so there are quite a lot of unknown solo and roped climbers featured, so if you were in this area around that weekend do have a look as you may recognize yourself immortalised on film and do let us know if you see yourself!
Anyway all constructive feedback welcome and hopefully it will inspire a few folks to visit this superb area next time it is in winter nick!
Hi Dave, a great and poignant reminder of a great winter. Many thanks for sharing it. Also enjoyed climbing with you on the Ramp, and am look forwarding to the BMC's formal acceptance of your innovative grading system, which, due to the facts that it is applied retrospectively, and is based almost entirely on the subjective experience of the individual climber, makes it a far superior form of grading to any other system currently in use!
Alright mrchewy! Many thanks for putting up with our mate Rob for the day as he is only on weekend release from his straight-jacket at the moment. As long as he is pumped full of medication that tends to keep his tourettes and nervous tic to manageable levels... ;-)
> Hi Dave, a great and poignant reminder of a great winter. Many thanks for sharing it. Also enjoyed climbing with you on the Ramp, and am look forwarding to the BMC's formal acceptance of your innovative grading system.
Hey Rob greetings and many thanks for your kind words. It was definitely a "Type-1 fun" day out! Did your partner manage to retrieve her ice axe ok?! :-)
Hey Andy nice one! Your 5 seconds of fame and it was a cracking day out so happy days all round!
wheres the snow line? freezing levels are forecast to be around 700m on friday, could mean trinity or cwm cneifion becomes climbable again if the snow hardens up?
Sounds like borderline Type-2 fun to me... ;-)
I wonder what it's like where the drifts were very deep for example on the crag apron of devils kitchen
Easy Route in Cwm Cneifion looks to be still complete. I imagine it would be like wading through porridge and 'orrible at the top...!
Temperatures set to drop and might be some snow up high over the weekend, so the winter hasn't had its last gasp yet! Doubt anything would be in given how little snow seems to have remained but could make for some unusually late season winter walking. I've got a club trip to
Treading, so would rather it was nice and warm...
> Temperatures set to drop and might be some snow up high over the weekend, so the winter hasn't had its last gasp yet! Doubt anything would be in given how little snow seems to have remained but could make for some unusually late season winter walking. I've got a club trip to
> Treading, so would rather it was nice and warm...
Is Idwal Stream in nick yet?
Someone who went up the PYG track on Saturday said there was a bit of snow on the ground in places but apparently it was a pleasant day. With temperatures set to go back up, surely this was the last snow of the season, though never say never...
It may be the end of winter climbing in Wales this year but not the end of the world. Only 6 months to go before next season begins judging by the start date of this thread. I can't wait!! What a season this one has been. I've been lucky enough to climb for five months in a row, with at least one winter route every month between Dec-Apr - phenomenal. Just when I thought it had finished at the end of Feb, back it all came in Mar and stayed til Apr.
Standout route of this year for me was Icefall Gully, Black Ladders, closely followed by Face Route, Cyrn Las. We had the Ladders to ourselves on a clear day and it was weird to see great ice in all the gullies and yet the rest of the crag was bare. Also its not many routes that have 3-4 rope-length pitches of sustained solid ice, and it tops out with fun classic snowfield/cornice finish. Routes to look forward to next time....Pyramid Gully, Black Ladders or something on Clogwyn Du (still not got there yet).
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