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A great start to the winter season

~ Monday, 13th December 2010

It's been a sensational start to the winter season here in Snowdonia. A very hard cold spell, heavy dumps of snow and plenty of enthusiasm has helped to get this winter off to one of the best starts I can remember. As reported on Baggys blog, loads of new routes have been done already, with plenty of existing classics coming into condition. Helen and I got out a couple of weeks ago for South Gully in Cwm Idwal, a good venue when time is limited after dropping Ollie off at school!! A few days later I was back out in the same area working. Tower Slabs in Cwm Cneifion was in great condition. Our descent down Y Gribin was delightful, barely a rock in sight.

That night we had a massive dump of snow. Meeting Will Green early doors on the 4th we set off for Sargeants Gully. The cwm was beautifully quiet, bar the Ravens and the route was nicely frozen, with a good coat of fresh snow all around. We climbed the gully in a few pitches, some quite good fun. Time allowed for another route, so we waded over to Clogwyn y Person Arete. I totally underestimated how much soft snow covered the route, so after a sketchy wade up pitch one and even deeper wade onto pitch two I called it off. Will was happy, having achieved his hardest climb to date on pitch one!! A good day.

During the following week Helen and I got out twice more. Once to the Black Ladders where queues on our intended route put time tight on Ollies pick up time, so we climbed a very good Central Gully. I was out that night, teaching navigation, so the following day was a slightly easier option, but essential as the thaw was due that afternoon. Grecian 2000 proved itself to be a classic in Cwm Idwal, with two fantastic pitches. Earlier in the week I got out early again, this time to capture the beauty of Snowdonia at dawn. With so much snow around and the hills super quiet, it was a real delight.

I look forward to seeing you up here, to climb or take photos!!