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:

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Y Garn

Going winter climbing has become a bit of a tradition on Christmas Eve the last few years, so despite the lack of winter conditions around at the moment I thought I would at least go for a walk this morning. There is still some snow high up, particulary on NE faces. I had a wander up to Cwm Clyd as this is where the most snow cover appeared to be to have a look if any of the easy gullies (A,B or C) were vaguely anything like in condition (I was 99% sure they wouldn't be) I did go up A Gully which was the only one which had snow cover (albiet a thin strip!) from bottom to top, but snow conditions were mainly crappy. Better from around 800m or so, but not worth it really. No crampons were worn & I used one axe as a walking aid before anyone moans at me about turf damage! :-)

So here's hoping the new year will bring some freezing weather & snow!
Have a very Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Y Gribin & Cwm Cneifion

Headed out early this morning down to Ogwen. When I pulled up in the car park at 6.30am it was 11 degrees which did not bode well. Really low cloud cover (from Ogwen cottage!) and drizzle. I headed up Y Gribin ridge with Holly the Collie, snow cover started from the 'football pitch' area but was wet & sporadic. I thought that higher up on the ridge the snow would be more consolidated but was wrong, snow was wet, turf was unfrozen & any ice whch had been forming was melting fast. Even on the Glyder Plateau the ground was saturated & very little snow.
Looks like winter has deserted us now here in N.Wales with no forecasts to suggest things will change anytime soon I'm afraid.

Pic 1: Clogwyn Du & Easy Gully area stripped bare
Pic 2: Tower Gully/slabs area same story
Pic 3: Holly the Collie at least had fun in the snow

To blog or not to blog...

....that has been the question for me the last couple of weeks.
And after several emails from winter enthusiasts requesting info on conditions & asking if I was going to blog, I have decided to blog!

So winter has kind of kicked off in the mountains of Snowdonia, then seems to be fizzling out again as I type. Last weekend saw lots of ascents of easy mixed routes/ridges etc & a few gullies being done, and a few hard 'itchy & scratchy' mixed lines. There is still a decent amount of snow around higher up, but its quite warm up there just now & a freeze is needed to consolidate but is not forecast unfortunately.

As usual keep your eye on the forecasts, MWIS, Met Office, etc & the conditions blogs like:

Mark 'Baggy' Richards
Rob Johnson MIC -
Huw Gilbert Mountaineering

Also this years Snowdonia Conditions thread on UKC is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

And if high grade 'itchy & scratchy' madness is your thing:
Dave Garry's blog
Greg Boswell's blog
plus many more along those lines if you dig around.

Please feel free to email me at any conditions reports you have (with pics if possible) & I promise to include them on this blog.


Right so its 4.42am and I have a free morning, so I'm off to do the 130 mile round trip down to Ogwen. Will post back on here tonight with conditions reports (read wet melting snow & no ice I suspect but hey ho)