/ Snowdonia Winter Conditions

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Rob Johnson - on 26 Nov 2012
Is this the start? I have been working in Cwm Idwal today. It has been extremely wet all day and pretty breezy up high again too. As we came off the hill the rain was turning to sleet and its looking fairly white high up - its also due to get colder as the week goes on so this might be the start of the Welsh winter!

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!

TheAndyBarker - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Johnson: Fingers crossed indeed..!
andyd1970 - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Johnson: hopefully. might see you both out and about this weekend!
Rob Johnson - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to andyd1970: This looks promising for next week too: http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/cgi-bin/expertcharts?LANG=en&MENU=0000000000&CONT=euro&MO...

I am off to Morocco on Saturday though!
andyd1970 - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Johnson: morocco will be nice and warm though :-)
Rich35 - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Johnson: woop woop happy days
Webster - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Johnson: does anybody know how many days (roughly) it usually takes for some of the ice routes in cwm idwal (Devils Kitchen) to form to a climable standard? assuming it is sub zero day and night but only by a few degrees (as the forecast is suggesting for the rest of this week and into the weekend).
LakesWinter on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Webster: More than 4 days. It is only going sub zero tomorrow, so that makes 4 days of light freezing until the weekend so I'd say unlikely but Idwal Stream is most likely of all the routes
Misha - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Webster:
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.
IainRUK - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Misha: Be great to know what the snow level is like, where it is and how the rocks are..

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..
bowls - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Johnson:

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!
Andy Mountains - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to bowls:

I'm off to Crib Goch today so will let you know.
mrchewy - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Johnson: Heading over myself tonight for a couple of days walking - probably Glyders tomorrow. I'll check back in but expecting a bit of powder which might just do us no favours.
davegs - on 27 Nov 2012
I have aTwitter feed set up called @welshwinter. This will hopefully give up to date feedback on current conditions. If people either use the hash tag #welshwinter or mention @welshwinter it will automatically re tweet.

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.

Thanks
Dave
Neil Anderson - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to davegs: If anyone is heading out, can we have a roads/floods report - radio reporting pen-y-pass and A5 are shut due to floods ?
Rob Johnson - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Neil Anderson: I am out every day this week so will report back each evening. I keep a daily blog with photos that can be viewed here: http://www.expeditionguide.com/blog.htm
TheAndyBarker - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Johnson: Early morning trip out, snow down to about 700m so a dusting at the bottom of Cwm Cneifion/Y Gribin, Tryfan West face has snow lying from base of Y gully. Glyder Fach main cliff is mostly white with the snow sticking well to the rock. Freezing level at 0600 was between 700 - 800m. Ground conditions are still very soft and everything is at saturation point. Colder would be better. Ogwen valley A5 is getting difficult to pass this morning btw with deep flood water uphill of Ogwen bank. A5-A470 jctn closed in Betws due to flooding also.
IainRUK - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to TheAndyBarker: Snow seemed lower than that Llanberis side, well down into the quarries.

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..
CurlyStevo - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
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.
CurlyStevo - on 27 Nov 2012
ads.ukclimbing.com
Rob Johnson - on 27 Nov 2012
I went along Crib Goch today, a full description and photos is on my blog. I think the snow level was lower during the night but some rain came in on the NE winds and has stripped some of the lower Northerly aspects, thats why its lower on the Southern aspects than the Northern ones. Nonetheless the summits have a good covering (Snowdon was well covered from Glaslyn), rime is forming nicely and the rocky ridges will give good fun for a few days whilst the turf freezes for the mixed climbing.

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!
torquil on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Johnson:
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 ;-)

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=523326
Rob Johnson - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to torquil: Hi Torquil, sorry to have duplicated your thread - I don't mind which is used. I was in Nepal for the last dump of snow so hadn't realised you had kicked us off!
IainRUK - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Johnson: Wow.. impressive on the blog..

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..


Rob Johnson - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK: Have fun, you should get some nice crisp snow by then!
Big Lee - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Johnson:

Update on the Baggy blog last night. Hoping the turf freezes for the weekend...

http://wwwbaggy.blogspot.co.uk/
IainRUK - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Johnson: Met office and mwis now diff for the weekend.. met saying FL of 400m.. mwis 800m.. was hoping for a nice frozen boundary ridge..
smuffy on 28 Nov 2012
mrchewy - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to Rob Johnson: 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.
bowls - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to mrchewy:

"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?

mrchewy - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to bowls: She will be!

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.