Monday, 20 December 2010

Idwal Action

Today I took Mark out for his first day on ice. Keen for a well made trail, Idwal was the obvious choice. After finding some icy steps lower down to play on we headed up to climb The Ramp. This is an enjoyable 3 pitch route with a grade III section part way. As we dropped down we had a little excursion up Devils Kitchen itself before heading back to the car park.

The ice today was climbable but we could do with a bit more. Other routes that were climbed included the Screen and Devils Pasture which were also on the thin side. However water was dripping and then freezing as we climbed so a couple more days and things will be looking fat.

More photos.

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Skiing in the Carneddau

A great day on Ski Sunday. Kath, Paul, Tom, Mat and myself toured up Dafydd from Gerlan, then over to Llewelyn, Foel Grach and down. Obviously a lot of snow about. Some areas had been scoured and some hard slab had formed on the exposed parts of the ridges though still plenty of soft and enjoyable snow to ski.

Photo courtesy of Kath Bromfield.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


Tuesday I took Rajiv and Gary up Snowdon. A calm dry day, it was just unfortunate that the cloud came in as we neared the summit. Good frozen snow underfoot as we ascended the zig-zags. Trinity face looked thin but people had been climbing on slithers of snow.

Wednesday I had a look at Face Route with friends Paul and Si which unfortunately wasn't quite complete. With warm weather we opted for a slate day. There is an M8 called Ibex which provides dry tooling fun on such a day. Steep manufactured hooks gets the arms going.

Friday Snow and more snow. Ankle to shin deep outside my house in Bethesda this morning. Skiing is possible down my hill, driving is out of the question unless you have a snow plough.

Conditions? The turf seemed frozen on Wednesday before the dump of snow and the ice should certainly be reforming. Problem is without tracks the wading will be hard and lots of cleaning required to find any of the crags.

Monday, 13 December 2010

All gone (well almost)

The thaw did a good job of stripping the snow with most of the crags looking bare and black. However there are some slithers of ice still hanging in.

My friends Tom, Will and Garth found grade III ice to play on up in Nameless Cwm. I went up to the Ladders today with Si and Greg and climbed Icefall Lefthand. This was complete and in good condition taking screw runners and lots to swing at. Two other teams were on Eastern Gully and there appeared to be some good ice at its base.

Through the day the top of the crag was starting to hoar up and the turf had certainly refrozen.

More snow later this week.

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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Winter Continues

A further 4 new routes since the last blog, there are still a few winter lines left. These included 'The Whiskey Made Me Late' V,6 up in Lloer with Paul and Dave and some winter ascents of summer lines down the Nant Ffrancon Valley with Matt and Chirs. Fellow instructor Tom Morris and Will McCormack also climbed 'Don't Forget Your Sole' III in Lloer too.

Today I went out with my Dad and his friend Norman for some ice action up Sgts Gully oh and a night ascent in Idwal and I'm looking forward to a rest while the thaw sets in over the weekend.

Photos on Flickr
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Saturday, 4 December 2010

More new routes.

On Wednesday Kath, Paul and myself climbed Oblique Gully on Glyder Fach. A great looking line that produced 3 interesting pitches of 5,6 and 4.
Yesterday I went up into the Carneddau again to climb 3 new routes - Turf Stomp IV,4; The Capstone Heel Hook V,7; and Wander Why IV, 4. All giving interesting mixed and turf climbing.

A little warmer today but with temperatures dropping again tomorrow it is only a good thing. The snow has been very light and dry with the turf frozen and ice forming quickly above 600 / 700m.

See Mountain Equipment Blog for more info.
More photos on Flickr.
Capstone Heel Hook, New Route Turf Stomp, New Route Oblique Gully, 1st Winter Ascent