/ Crib Goch conditions in late November

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L RatKing 23 Oct 2019

Hi all,

I'm thinking of going to snowdonia for a week in late november and am well aware that it is the windiest and rainiest month. I'm somewhat new to hiking and scrambling, (did my first proper 7 days backpacking adventure around the Lake district this year) having previously done striding edge in poor conditions and was quite comfortable there.

Crib Goch looks scarier but I'd be very happy during summer, but I have no clue wether the conditions in November are great for someone like me who is relativley new (although I like to think I'm a competent beginner for scrambling).

Is it worth doing for a beginner or is it a case of just having to see if the conditions are alright on the day?

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In reply to RatKing:

Crib Goch is notably more difficult and exposed than Striding Edge. It's still very much a walkers' scramble, but it's a route that the ill-prepared can and do come a-cropper on. 

I'm afraid you hit the nail on the head with the last line. You'll have to decide based on conditions at the time.

Wind, rain and low cloud all make Crib Goch (indeed, all scrambles) a lot more serious than they would be on a nice day. In high wind it's well worth avoiding.

Snow and ice are reasonably unlikely in Wales these days but not out of the question in November, and if it's proper winter on the ground then Crib Goch is mountaineering terrain. If so it may require an axe and crampons, and certainly sound judgement and a lot of care. 

There are loads of less serious alternatives in Snowdonia that still give you a great day out on the hills. Check out our Welsh Route Cards: https://www.ukhillwalking.com/logbook/r/find.php

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GrahamD 23 Oct 2019
In reply to RatKing:

Just to add to what Dan said, don't forget that days are short in November, so if weather looks OK and you are going for it, give yourself as much daylight as you can.

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tjdodd 23 Oct 2019
In reply to RatKing:

The key challenge is exposure.  Make sure you are comfortable with quite exposed positions as it is difficult to turn around and no place to get stuck with nerves.  It took me a while to pluck up the courage to do it.  I was in North Wales walking anyway and one day was particularly nice.  I decided it was now or never.  It was a great day and was on a high for days afterwards.

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jethro kiernan 23 Oct 2019
In reply to RatKing:

As has been said see what the conditions are like on the day and have plan B, it is possible to get a dusting of snow from now onwards and even worse a bit of verglass and ballbearing hail 😏

https://www.ukclimbing.com/photos/dbpage.php?id=320560

Also I would recommend heading up from the car park in the dark so you hit the col and start of the crib Goch path off the PYG track (Bwlch Moch) just as the sun is rising (assuming there’s isn’t going to be an overnight frost) this will be a magical experience and has the added benifits of securing yourself a space in the car park.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv2llwGa5WM

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L RatKing 23 Oct 2019
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

Thanks for that, it's really helpful

I doubt it would snow but I don't have crampons or an ice axe nor the relevant training with that. Should I just make sure to prepare, check forecasts and hope conditions are good on the day?

Otherwise what are some other nice routes with scrambling for Mt Snowdon if you know of any that might not be so tempremental depending on conditions

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Lusk 23 Oct 2019
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

Would it be fair to say the following:
I've been up CG and along the ridge numerous times and I seem to ascend the lower section (approaching the summit) a different way every time.

Maybe a safer alternative approach would be to traverse round to the North Ridge and ascend that.  A lot easier/safer way depending I guess depending on the level of noviceness? (?! )
And then assess the ridge itself when he gets there.

I enjoyed it when I did it once,

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jethro kiernan 23 Oct 2019
In reply to RatKing:

Cwm Glas Spur is a more amenable option if you have doubts about the weather, obvious if there is Snow and ice then treat all routes with caution. 

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PaulJepson 24 Oct 2019
In reply to RatKing:

From memory there is a sign right out of the carpark which is updated (at least on weekends) with some info on (e.g. summit temps, snow/ice conditions, wind speed, etc.). I did it last winter in condition and the sign said don't go up without mountaineering experience, crampons, ice axe mandatory and so on. When the route hit the junction with the PYG there were still fatties in trackies and trainers slipping all over the place. On reflection we must have looked wildly over-prepared compared to the other punters on Snowdon. 

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bouldery bits 24 Oct 2019
In reply to RatKing:

Mt Snowdon... 

I claim my £5! 

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Darron 24 Oct 2019
In reply to Lusk:

> Would it be fair to say the following:

> I've been up CG and along the ridge numerous times and I seem to ascend the lower section (approaching the summit) a different way every time.

I think the the section up from Bwlch Moch to gain the ridge is the most technical part of the traverse. Or perhaps I just find the most interesting way.

Genuinely interested to hear what others think.

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Pero 25 Oct 2019
In reply to Darron:

There are so many options through the "rock band" on that first section that it's easy to find yourself on some quite hard scrambling. 

The ridge itself, however, just needs a steady head.  Most of it is about confidence and sure- footedness.

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profitofdoom 25 Oct 2019
In reply to Pero:

> The ridge itself, however, just needs a steady head.  Most of it is about confidence and sure- footedness.

May be true for summer, but IMO not for poor conditions, or late autumn or, worse, winter

Post edited at 13:46
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PaulJepson 25 Oct 2019
In reply to profitofdoom:

I've always found it fine in summer but remember one bit when I did it last winter where you have to do quite an airy step across to gain the bottom of a tower which then had probably the hardest section of climbing on it and it you came off at any point you would be dead. Felt very exciting on cold icy rock without a rope! I don't remember seeing a bypass for it either. 

There's no harm in taking a short rope if it's cold or wet. The dangerous steps are only about 10m and sporadic, so you can make them less deadly. That is not really an option if you're going on your own though?

No harm in giving it a go I guess, just be sensible and don't be afraid to turn back. I've done 100x more summer rock routes than mountain days but have bailed or walked away from mountain routes many more times than I have summer climbs. I take almost as much pride out of making a sensible decision to 'fail' than I do for completing a route, and certainly more than I do for completing a route when it was a little bit out of control. 

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Pero 25 Oct 2019
In reply to profitofdoom:

A late autumn traverse of Crib Goch?   Is it still feasible at that time of year?

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L RatKing 25 Oct 2019
In reply to PaulJepson:

Thanks, unfortunatley I am going solo unless I can be asked to make a post here as my friends cant get time off.

My alternative route up is the east ridge which by all accounts is just as exciting so I won't be too miffed if crib goch is just poor conditions on the day, I guess theres not much to do apart from find out in the morning

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Tom Stewart 06 Nov 2019
In reply to RatKing:

Just go for it based on the conditions when you get there. I went up end of December last year with my mrs (who doesn't like heights) and it was probably the best weather day I've ever had in Wales

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Crimp Eastwood 06 Nov 2019
In reply to RatKing:

Absolutely worth doing, a classic scramble. As more of a beginner it is worth doing in better conditions with dry rock and of course nice views! I would suggest going to Snowdonia and having a few less committing or different options (have a look at north ridge of Tryfan) so that when the day comes, if you don't fancy Crib Goch you can still have a great day out. waiting for comfortable conditions will make Crib Goch much more fun and epic,especially when you combine it with other peaks such as going on round the Snowdon Horseshoe

hope this helps!

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Run_Ross_Run 06 Nov 2019
In reply to bouldery bits:

> Mt Snowdon... 

> I claim my £5! 

I know, it had to come!!!!

Frustrating.

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