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:

Friday, 10 December 2010

Idwal and Maesglasau by Carl

Hi Andy,

Dave and I were a little optomistic this morning really and should have taken the hint when the drizzle hit us driving down. We walked into the back of Idwal passing plenty of drainage on the way at Introductory gully and Idwal Stream. The ice routes were still there so we made our way to what we thought maybe the fattest, the Screen. We arrived there to be greeted by a mini waterfall, lots of spray and the occasional small piece falling of it.......ok thaw well underway! We salvaged something out of the walk in practicing building abolokov threads away from the waterfall. We made out way down passing a few teams making their way up and relayed the sad news. Oh well it has been an amazing couple of weeks so can't complain.

Yesterday Dave and I met Mike at Maesglasau Falls in the south of the Park. The story of our day maybe of help to others hoping to climb the falls if it comes back into condition after this thaw. We arrived at 0630, left Mikes van by the main road and went up the track and left the car in a layby on the track just down from the farm. We had read on Baggy's Blog that the farmer likes climbers to check in and out with him for safety reasons. We knocked on the first house but there was no answer. There was a second house through the farmyard (which was the farmers house) but we did not notice that in the dark.

We carried on up the track and just before a gate, the man who owns the pheasant shoot (he rents the land off the farmer) pulled up in his 4 x 4. He was obviously not pleased we were there and told us to keep out of the wood. So if you go up there make sure you take the right gate into the field, not the left gate into the wood. We arrived at the falls following the right hand side of the river. We had 6 pitches of amazing climbing varying from III to IV. I had a bit of a mare on the third pitch and trended too far right into heather and reeds so had to downclimb and traverse left to get back on the correct line. Apart from that it was an incredible route in fantasic scenery. Ice was a little brittle in places but was very featured with plenty of opportunity for hooking. Mike was the only person with a camera and he hasn't sent the pictures yet, so no piccies I'm afraid.

We descended down the treeline on the left hand side (looking up valley) which took us back down to the track below the farm. When we were dekitting at the car the farmer came over for a chat. We told him we had knocked on the door and he did say he had seen our headtorches. He doesn't mind people climbing the falls but appreciates people being courteous and just letting him know. They are his fields you have to cross. He did tell us to avoid the woods. Maybe worth someboby getting his telephone number to phone the evening before if you're planning an early start. He is a pleasant guy but did think we were a little mad when we said we might come and do it again - maybe he has a point!!

Andy, up to you if you'd like to post this, just thought it may help others to keep on good terms with the locals in the future. Speaking of which we helped a farmer's wife coral some sheep into another field on the way down as she didn't have her sheepdog, a few brownie points, surely.



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