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:

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Y Garn easy gullies today

I have been out for a few hours today (a bit later than expected, sorry Al!) on the gullies of Y Garn. I opted for the following combination: Up C Gully, down A Gully, up B Gully, then down Banana Gully. Snow conditions were good, certainly for at least the top 100m or so with plenty of frozen turf around.
Highlights of my day were on C & B gullies. C Gully provided good neve from where the gully narrows between the buttresses, with patches of decent ice. There was a couple of sections of bare ground where it steepens but frozen turf & ice made up for the lack of snow there. B Gully provided two interesting obstacles today. The first was the boulder at around a third of the way up, which is usually banked up with snow, maybe just leaving a slight steepening of the gully. Today though it was an 8 foot bare boulder blocking the way! It is possible to skirt around it to the right, but if you want to tackle it direct as I did it is good mixed fun. Get your left axe up as high as you can into the crack & lift your right foot up onto the small ledge which is aroung knee height. You can then push/pull up to standing & hook both your axes right over the top of the boulder out of view into frozen turf. Its then just a case of going for it. (It may also depend if you are a lanky tall git like me!). The next obstacle is the cornice directly at the top of B Gully. The snow towards the top of the gully becomes rock hard, and the angle increases sharply to an almost vertical 12 foot finish (that may be a slight exageration!), where front pointing is essential. Climb it direct & be rewarded with a lovely top out as you hook your axes over its lip, and pull yourself to safety. but DO NOT SLIP at this point, as you would go a long way!! Alternatively traverse right onto an easier angle for a safer exit.
It was cold on the tops today, around -5c, so with the low temperatures which are forecast for tonight, those gullies which depend on decent snow should be nice & hard tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment