/ Suggestions for Snowdonia Routes in January?

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alpchild004 - on 09 Dec 2012
Anybody got any suggestions for routes for a beginner ice climber in North Wales/Snowdonia? The trip is around January and I was wandering whether anybody would know what routes may be suitable at that time of the winter season. Preferably grades 1-3 ish please!
Cheers guys!
Sean Kelly - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to alpchild004: Try the classsics on the Trinity Face.
Pay attention - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to alpchild004:

try Banana Gully and similar snow gully routes on Y Garn in Ogwen. You'll be able to see from a distance if they are "in".

And there are also good gullies at this standard to be found over the back of Pen yr Ole Wen in Cwm Lloer - on the other side of the road!

For ice - then you may find the Idwal stream is frozen and has several short steep bits, each with a good wide ledge below.
Cornish boy - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to alpchild004: Sargeant's Gully in Cyrn Las is another good option if you want ice. It's a frozen stream and goes at Grade II. Plenty of ledges to add a sense of security. It was my first ice climb- check out the photos in the logbook section and you'll get a good idea of what it's like. We did it in January too!
A Crook on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to alpchild004:
Check the conditions constantly.

One day it can be in and the next day all gone.
dgp - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to alpchild004:
'what routes may be suitable at that time of the winter season'

Predicting snow conditions a month ahead in Snowdonia !! Anyones guess - could be nowt but if anything is on for you you'd be looking at the easy gullies on Trinity Face, Y Garn, Nameless Cwm or Cwm Lloer .. Best follow the snowdonia conditions forum or ask the question again just before you set off on your trip
alpboy57 - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to alpchild004: probably good idea to trust your dad to find the routes ;-)
Cornish boy - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Cornish boy: Oops- just checked my logbook and it was in Feb, not Jan. Early signs of dementia methinks!
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Neil Anderson - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to alpchild004: Sadly, the only way is look the night before ( and see what the weather conditions have been in the prevailing days)....there may be wall to wall snow from Llanberis pass upwards, and you can climb anywhere; or it could be wet/shitty and you need to go canoeing.

Welsh winters are not reliable for forward prediction ( if indeed any winter venue is in the uk) - the classic welsh winter climbs p9 has a great section on this - you need to be able to drop everything and go when conditions are in ( as they can go overnight!)

in general cold sustained weather for a week will bring in low level water ice routes; but higher crags could well be poor, and the gullies limited and powdery.

on the other hand a succession westerly freeze/thaw cycles will lead to snow build up high up, and subsequent consolidation and will bring higher routes into nick eg Snowdon trinity face. whilst the ice routes eg the kitchen, will be struggling to form any thickness, and the ice platey if there.

one of the things I've noticed on this site in the recent milder years is a view that as soon as its cold or snows, winter routes are in. Apart from top grade modern technical snowed up rock routes, which can come in very quickly, most routes need a few days of frost to build up and/or a few days for the snow to consolidate. Without getting technical ice and snow, change tremendously in character as they metamorphise. Alot of routes require these changes to occur to get the best ( if not indeed acceptable) conditions to climb upon.

a great 'mountaineering' day out can be had in all conditions though, best of luck


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