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Sledging, Snowholing and The Appendix!!

~ Monday, 27th December 2010

The winter so far has been very impressive here in Snowdonia. Many of the regions classic routes have formed, often twice, and many new routes have been climbed. Early December brought up a fantastic early season surprise, with many great routes forming.There was plenty to satisfy those who had waited years for classi cs to form aswell as plenty of scope for new routes. A thaw came, it seemed to strip out alot of snow and ice, but as sooon as it came cold again the ice was back and within days routes had re-formed. It took the Devil's Appendix about a week to reform!! Mixed climbing conditions came good quickly, but all were hard won prizes due to the huge amounts of snow that came with the cold spell. For me, a foot of snow at home meant that Ollies last days of school for the year were cancelled, but much more fun was to be had!! The local sledging fields were great and dragging Ollie to and from them was all good training. Helen made a "shovel up" snow shelter for a bit of fun. Ollie was intrigued, so he and I spent a night in it!! A double fleece sleeping suit, two sleeping bags and a bivi bag meant that he would likely be warmer than me, so off we went for our little adventure in the garden! It was toasty and we didn't wake until gone eight the following morning! Helen and I managed to get out on Boxing Day for a climb. We got an early start, but still found a queue of folk at the bottom of The Devil's Appendix. Waiting your turn for this rarely formed route seemed perfectly acceptable to me and given how sociable it was, it gave many of us a right good catch up!! The climbing was amazing. Steep, thought provoking, exciting, solid. Absolutely brilliant. A thaw has kicked in again, due to last until Thursday. Hopefully the cold spell that follows will bring conditions back pretty quickly. I'm sure the neve and turf will give good sport while we wait for the ice to re-form!! I hope you all have a great time over the rest of the holidays and all the best for 2011.