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:

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Gribin Ridge & snow

Today I headed into Snowdonia to see how the winter was coming along. As I drove through Bethesda up the A5 I wasn't too impressed by the volume (or lack of!) white stuff on the mountains. However looking up from Ogwen cottage towards Cwm Cneifion area filled with with some optimism, & I opted for The Gribin Ridge. There is hardly any snow cover below the 700m mark in the Glyders, but as I got to the 'football pitch' & looked up at the ridge proper it was like a different world! I had just been walking up a hill on an autumn day & ahead of me was a mountain ridge in winter conditions. Excellent! At about the 800m mark where you get onto the ridge, there is a good 2 inches of fairly fresh snow cover & plenty of hoar frost on the rocks. The higher I went the whiter it becomes until when I popped out on the Glyder plateau I was greeted with a full on winter Glyder scene! By the looks of it none of the gullies even high up in Cwm Cneifion are anywhere near 'in condition'. I had a peep into the top of Tower Gully, but there is only a couple of inches of soft snow on top of loose scree & unfrozen turf. Hidden Gully looked pretty awful too. There was a bloke trudging up Easy Route at the head of the Cwm, and I could see again it was shallow snow & vegetation. The ominous looking Clogwyn Ddu cliffs looked dark & sinister & definetly not climbable. There is no ice whatsoever in Idwal, or any snow to speak of. All the popular ice routes are at present wet, black & slimy.
I would imagine that for the next day or two ridges & easy rocky buttresses are the way to go. Routes like The Gribin Ridge, Tryfan N.Ridge, Crib Goch & Crib Y Ddysgl, Clogwyn Y Person Arete, BC & CD buttresses on Y Garn etc..
The forecast suggests more snow over the next few days & very cold temperatures, so by the weekend or early next week there may be lots of fun to be had.

PIC 1: Winter on The Gribin Ridge
PIC 2: A different world on the Glyder plateau
PIC 3: Nothing to see here in Cwm Idwal

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