/ Welsh 3000's advice - Start time visibility with low cloud?

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Darren - on 11 Jun 2017
Hi all,

I'm due to start the Welsh 3000's in the next few days. The date for starting has been altered due to the forecast high winds at Snowdon's summit over the next 24 hours, therefore I'm currently reacting to the weather forecasts.

I have a safe window, not pretty for photos and enjoyment of beautiful Snowdonia, but a safe window all the same. However, I have a curved ball thrown in, in the form of low cloud/poor visibility. My plan was a start time of 02:30 from Pen y pass car park, head torching to the base of Snowdon on the Miners track, eta to the base of Snowdon about 3:30. By this time I was expecting enough light (just ahead of civil twilight) to be able to see and climb, meet the pyg track and continue to the summit by about 04:00 hrs, the start of civil twilight. My reason for an early start was an early finish!

I'm guessing that the low cloud factor may significantly alter the level of light available at the above times.

Therefore, is there anyone from the local area or anyone with the experience of Snowdon at this time of year under cloud cover that could tell me if my start times need to change (based on being able to see the first climb without a headtorch) and by how much?

Dave Kerr - on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to Darren:

No reason why you couldn't do more of the climb by head torch, it's a good path.
Darren - on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:
Thanks Dave, I had considered that, although I didn't want to reach the summit too early (in terms of visible light) as I wanted to just be able to turn and attack Crib Goch. I've been on Snowdon a few times now, and done Crib Goch once, but these were both clear sunny days. Cirb Goch in the dark is a no-no, so the level of light between Snowdon and the pass of Llanberis is critical, I reckon.
Post edited at 11:36
pasbury on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to Darren:
Pretty sure with that start time that by the time you've got up Snowdon and then back across Crib y Ddysgl, you'll have plenty of light. Navigating in clag will be your only concern by then.
Post edited at 11:40
Darren - on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to pasbury:

Thanks for that Pasbury!

As long as I have some light on the other side of the trig point on Garnedd Ugain I can cope with the navigation in zero viz conditions. The last time I did the Gyders it was pea soup. I was kind of hoping for some scenery this time. Ah well, hey ho!

Much appreciated!
carlbullock - on 17 Jun 2017
In reply to Darren:

I did it with a small group several years ago and we went up via Crib Goch in the clag and dark, it was ok with headtorches. We then set off down Snowdon via the LLanberris path and over to the other side of the pass.
Y Gribin - on 17 Jun 2017
In reply to Darren:

I've done it thee times - always via Crib Goch and just reaching the start of the ridge as the first hazy light hit. This has always worked fine. In fact, under a clear night sky we had turned off our head torches within half an hour of leaving the car park. If you're worried I'd consider leaving an hour later as you should still be off the Carnedds in the light.
Brass Nipples on 18 Jun 2017
In reply to Darren:

Crib Goch is great in low cloud. Almost like you are climbing in your own ball of wool. Enjoy the isolation and peace.

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