The purpose of this blog is to report on winter climbing conditions in Snowdonia, to keep you lot who like nothing better than climbing ice, snow, frozen turf etc in ridiculously low temps informed!! As well as it being a record of some of my own winter climbing adventures. Feel free to email me any of your own conditions reports & photos you have & I will post them here. The more info on winter conditions the better! email:

Monday, 29 March 2010

Winter 2009/2010 by Carl

Hi Andy,

Just saw your request.....difficult to know where to start! Due to the fishing being so poor this year so far I've taken advantage of alot of time off since New Year. Spent more time in the hills than ever before, 10 days in Fort William at start of Jan and a week in Cairngorm middle of Feb, filled in with all the days in Snowdonia inbetween. I've just treated myself to an apple tv and have just put on the Welsh shots to remind me of all the good bits. I was talking to a friend I climb with in Scotland today and he said I should try and log stuff. So what have I done route wise this winter, Right Hand Trinity x 2, Little gully (Trinity face), The Ramp (Cwm Glas) gained by an undocumented III corner (probably been done lots time before though!), Sargeant's gully, Parseley fern gully, Hidden gully x 3, Tower Slabs x 4, Broad gully (Ffynnon Lloer), Bristly Ridge, Crib Goch x 3 or 4, Central Gully (Glyder Fach), Pinnacle gully (Craig yr Ysfa), Avalanche Gully (Craig yr Ysfa), Amphitheatre gully (Craig yr Ysfa), Eastern Gully (Ladders), Pyramid Gully, Play School x 2, North Ridge Tryfan.

I think the best all round route was Play School on the Ladders, it has a bit of everything, three pitches of grade III ice, snow gully, a little traverse and a great easy ridge to finish on. I did this route first with Mike who I hadn't met before as he was looking for a buddy the previous evening so I replied to his post. We were treated to an Alpine Ladders, wall to wall blue skies, no wind, ice everywhere. Did Pyramid with some great pitches of IV ice and topped out at 1200, so it would have been rude to go home, Play School was calling. Door to door a 12 hour day but what a day it was with great company. Second time on Play School was with a friend Jo, after we spent a night out on the Carneddau - planned - amazing sunset and sunrise. We were both pretty weary descending to the foot of the ladders on the second day, but again were treated with Alpine conditions. We buried all of the overnight kit on the ridge save lugging it around all day. The direct start to the foot of Play School was a very spicey III and Jo's first foray onto sustained ice, in at the deep end, but she climbed well despite a little hot ache action. We topped out into more sunshine, dug up our kit and trekked back to the van in Cwm Eigiau, an epic two days.

I really liked Right hand Trinity, grade II snow with a couple of harder icy corners and that awkward chockstone at the bottom. Good bunch of tat under the chockstone which was handy. Second time I did it there was a 4 foot cornice at the normal exit so I had to traverse left where it diminished which in poor snow was a little unnerveing.

Through the winter I became alot more familiar with the area and there's loads of stuff I'd like to have a crack at next year, fingers crossed for another icy winter. I've attached a few shots, some of them may be useful.

Take it easy and hopefully get on a bit of rock with you soon.


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