/ Snowdonia Winter Conditions
The Met Office are predicting Northerly winds all week, tomorrow the freezing level is forecast to be at 900m, dropping throughout the week to 600m on Friday. Other forecasts suggest a 60% chance of snow down to 300m by Friday here in North Wales - fingers crossed for some mixed action for the weekend!
I am off to Morocco on Saturday though!
Two years ago we had a solid cold snap in late November / early December and I did Idwal Stream in reasonable conditions on Sunday 28 November. There was even enough ice to place the occasional screw for a laugh and there were lots of people on it as usual. I don't recall any of the other Idwal routes being in but they were building up. I have found an email that I sent the previous Sunday saying "The BBC, Metoffice and MWIS forecasts all agree that we’re in for a chill, with freezing levels down to a few hundred metres from Wednesday." I can't remember what I would have meant by 'a few hundred metres' but it must have been under 500m (the base of the Idwal ice routes is around 550m). So about 4 days was just about enough for the Stream but not quite enough for the other routes in Idwal.
It stayed cold througout the following week and by the following weekend Idwal was awesome - almost all the ice routes were in, with the notable exception of the Appendix. Then there was a short, sharp thaw and there was hardly anything left anywhere in Snowdonia by the following weekend!
Looking at the latest forecast, I don't think it's going to be quite cold enough for the Idwal routes to be in by the weekend as MWIS is forecasting the freezing level to still be as high as 650 on Thursday (though presumably a lot lower overnight, in fact with clear skies forecast the BBC is suggesting around zero overnight even outside the mountains).
I suspect the longer term build up is also important, i.e. how cold is it in the week before the sub-zero temperatures kick in. Going by MWIS forecasts, the freezing level has been hanging around the summits for the past few days, which bodes well for the higher up crags.
Of course Idwal isn't the only place! Still, I'd be betting on some mixed climbing somewhere high up rather than ice.
I'm planning to be in Snowdonia on Friday as have a random meeting with the NT in Ogwen in the morning, so might go for a wander into Idwal and Cneifion and report back. Will be there over the weekend as well on a club meet - mildly optimistic about doing a route somewhere but we shall see! For this time of year just a wintry scramble would be nice.
Have a long run planned this weekend..
There was a light covering at the weekend, wasn't sure if it would have fallen as snow today or still rain.. or if that would have removed whats there so far..
From the radar I have which distinguishes rain from snow I would say it has been snowing hard above about 700m for the past few hours now. If you are lucky enough to get out tomorrow I think you could find yourself in some deep powder snow above this altitude! Crib Goch could be fun!
I'm off to Crib Goch today so will let you know.
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.
Its meant to calm down from now on.. we'll see.. was hoping for little snow for the weekend.
Said Pen Y Pass is shut and Ogwen just been closed according to radio wales..
The forecast looks like the temperature may go back above the tops next week now. It will be touch and go anyways if the forecast is right. The very cold weather looks to be missing us for a wee while atleast.
For us a mixture of verglass and fresh snow gave good sport and we used crampons for the entire ridge - its great to welcome the start of winter!
Oh, now there are two Snowdonia Winter Conditions threads, does anyone know how we can sort that out before it gets too confusing?
btw, i don't mind mine getting deleted as I have nothing to gain from my name popping up all winter ;-)
Just ran up Foel Goch (eilio).. no snow there at all so hoping Nantlle stays snow free.. but looked onto snowdon in the moonlight and loooked a mich bigger dump than I thought..
Looks like winter gear needed now.. was planning on running over Snowdon midnight friday... so will probably need to pack the crampons and axe..
"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."
Not that kind of girl?
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