/ Taking a Girlfriend Out to the Mountains in Winter (Snowdonia)
Was thinking drive to Ogwen (roads permitting) and maybe walking into Ogwen and if still keen starting out up Y Garn by the East Ridge - great views.. - easy to turn back and shouldn't be too tricky - have spare crampons etc.. Alternatively maybe up Pen Y Helgi Du (sp?) - must be the easiest walk in Snowdonia?
Want to give a feel for the mountains without overly scaring!
Can anyone recommend anywhere decent to eat in Bala?
Reading your question reminds me of Muriel Gray's anecdote in 'The First Fifty', about taking some friends out who were also interested in "experiencing the mountains" and had to have their first sit down rest while still in view of the car park.
Having done this myself with an ex partner, the best advice I believe is to have a plan that you can scale-up or down depending on conditions or how she responds. I've taken an ex up to the loch in Coire Ardair, and on another occasion, out over the river at Coiletir at the bottom of Glen Etive. Both walks could easily have taken in Creag Meagaidh or Ben Starav, respectively, but both still had the potential for great days if enthusiasm and stamina ran out pretty quickly.
Only summer walking i.e. Malverns and Black Mountains, no nothing like this. Hence it may be restricted to a walk around Cwm Idwal but will carry double everything I would for a normal day out in the mountains in winter. It will be obvious from early on whether she fancies it or not, so was really just after a hill with easy ascent and descent (as previously stated I will take a rope, spare axe and spare crampons just in case) but looking for somewhere for decent views of Ogwen/Llanberis pass to just take in the atmos and if she is keen maybe ascend/patrially ascend something too...
Treat the trip with extreme care, or you will be sharing the car home with your ex-girlfriend. Flexibility for your plans, so you can carry on or bail out at any point, keep an ear open for "grumbling".
Good luck, could turn out to be the best day of her life......or the worst, all up to you!!
So she's done a little summer walking in the likes of the malverns.
And you are seriously thinking about taking a rope? Ice axes? Crampons? And where are you going to go to ensure she can safely use them beforehand?
I'd be thinking about somewhere lower down, snowy and not strenuous with views. Remember, great views from the tops of mountains are mostly of more mountains. My wife doesn't particularly like the views from the tops for that reason. But she loves the views from smalle5r hills because you can see things she enjoys such as villages, towns, valleys, fields, rivers and so on. Don't forget what appeals to you may not appeal to her. If she's not been into the mountainous areas of Wales then even being lower down is going to appear stunning to her.
As for not wanting to scare her I'd not bother take a rope 0 or crampons - or the axes. After seeing that lot she will be scared.
You'll only need crampons and./or ice axe on steep hard snow.
If you take or need crampons you'll also need an ice axe. How else will you stop yourself if youslip, trip or fall?
With decent footwear you can walk without crampons over quite hard snow but will still need an ice axe if you slip trip or fall?
Therefore if you are wanting to avoid ground where you might want an axe then you will not need crampons either.
Jesus, man up
And don't forget to let us know if she's still your girlfriend after the weekend!
Thanks for all your humourous, useful and not so useful replies!
Ended up just walking up in Cwm Lloer to the base of Broad Gully. Pretty succesful, just enough to give a flavour of winter in the mountains - already eyeing up North ridge of Tryfan for the summer! No axes or crampons required, but carried all the same.
As for the rope, pretty much always carry a short rope in the mountains, you never know when it may be required, -potentially by others...
Never seen Ogwen so busy, hence headed for the Carneddau which was busy for that range!
She frightened the life out of me, wanted to take a route further round to the right on exposed ground as she didn't want to go direct, refused to use an ice axe and cried all the way to the top.
Once on the top....it was the most amazing day ever, although we were in full on white out conditions and stil had to get down whilst it was quickly turning dark!
> You'll only need crampons and./or ice axe on steep hard snow.
> If you take or need crampons you'll also need an ice axe. How else will you stop yourself if youslip, trip or fall?
> With decent footwear you can walk without crampons over quite hard snow but will still need an ice axe if you slip trip or fall?
> Therefore if you are wanting to avoid ground where you might want an axe then you will not need crampons either.
Also why did it take you 6 weeks to get up Hellvelyn?
> Jesus, man up
ha! trust me she's capable of manning up and her second winter trip was a bit more adventurous!
This was just over 3 years ago. At the time I typidally walked about 20 minutes, maybe half an hour, thought I'd done longer things ages ago. I'd got to know someone who was into hill-walking and climbing. I like skiing and I'm keen on snow, so he suggested a biggish winter walk. The hope was that we'd find quite a bit of snow cover, but we had to book it a good way in advance and weren't lucky. Anyway I reckoned I needed to be fit enough to do the height gain and distance with ease, to allow energy on the day for learning to use crampons and axe and coping with possibly some deep snow (I really hadn't got a clue what to expect). I also wanted (before I went) to remind myself how to use a map and compass. So I took myself off for some longer walks each weekend, - new walking boots (my existing ones I'd had since childhood and were worn out), first time I'd used a ruck-sack since I was about 15 too (I was away for the weekend so I had that stuff, plus what you'd take on the hill in winter). My friends thought I was mad; they all thought it a big deal. I guess it looks very different from the perspective of a climbing website. It's ironic (to me) that manning up was exactly what I was doing, to my eyes.
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