/ Snowdonia Winter Conditions

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ruaidh - on 28 Jan 2019

Forecast looking wintery... Any news from the hill?

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Alex Riley on 29 Jan 2019

It was all a bit wet on my drive to work this morning. It was trying to snow on the Crimea pass, but nothing was sticking.

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Stichtplate on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to ruaidh:

Someone posted on FB group 'Ground conditions in UK mountain areas', pictures of them on Trinity Face yesterday. They reckoned decent neve on the snow slope up to the Spider and frozen turf where exposed.

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geoff b on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to ruaidh:

Having been up in Cwm Cneifion, Clogwyn Du & Glyder Fach recently I can relate that although the pickings have been slim, it is all looking very promising. Check Winter Conditions page for what was in. The heavy & unconsolidated snow which had collected in the north-facing cwm last week has now decreased but also thawed & refrozen into neve. The turf where exposed & above 850m was frozen solid. The lines on the steep left-hand section of Clogwyn Du had a thin covering of ice. The icy slabby lines on the left side of Cwm Cneifion weren't fully formed yesterday though the snowy Tower Gully looked good & it was possible to descend Easy Gully back into the cwm.  Cwm Lloer looked like it was holding snow (viewed from the A5) but Cwm Glas (again from the road) looked less promising. Haven't been in to look at Clogwyn y Garnedd/Trinity face. The snow forecast for today & Thursday, along with the oscillating temperatures suggest Wednesday & Friday could be very good. Hope that helps.

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ianstevens - on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to geoff b:

Just a heads up that PyB are reporting that there is a high avalanche risk already, and with more windy/snowy conditions this might need a couple of freeze-thaw days to abate.

Edit: S-SE aspects, link: https://www.pyb.co.uk/live-feeds/?fbclid=IwAR3dIbnTNPrQ3hKK-rVPF6A9_KPmkuzll0hPsv9TtPb7YyECOw7GC1q3X0Q (scroll past the webcam for ground conditions reports)

Post edited at 10:02
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geoff b on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

That's very useful and makes a lot of sense bearing in mind my comments on the base layer in the post above. I didn't know we had a 'WAIS'. Thanks Spike @ PyB.

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ianstevens - on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to geoff b:

> That's very useful and makes a lot of sense bearing in mind my comments on the base layer in the post above. I didn't know we had a 'WAIS'. Thanks Spike @ PyB.

Yeah, it's a nice system. If we had a formal WAIS (aside: I first read that as West Antarctic Ice Sheet...) it would be very easy job for 99% of most winters!

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tagscuderia on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Someone posted on FB group 'Ground conditions in UK mountain areas', pictures of them on Trinity Face yesterday. They reckoned decent neve on the snow slope up to the Spider and frozen turf where exposed.

Having completed a wintry looking (but not winter conditions) Snowdon round on the 20th, I'm surprised that the Trinity gullies are in, especially after the mild temps tail end of last week. But that's great news, that's my weekend plans sorted

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mac_arthur/31928375237/in/dateposted-public/

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Stichtplate on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to tagscuderia:

As others have warned, some slopes could be dangerously loaded. Maybe have a look on here come Friday...

https://www.pyb.co.uk/live-feeds/?fbclid=IwAR36g52T6t-PyfjBdQ-rUEJJ_hS5p2xRc-91bvI3_DdJjITo6-odHHwrHOQ

Hoping to get out myself on Friday. Have a great weekend.

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1philjones1 - on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to tagscuderia:

It was definitely in yesterday. The mild temps and rain were well needed to wet out and reduce the powder snow that had fallen and 36 hrs of -4/5 did the trick. The high winds also had scoured the approach slopes and they were rock hard neve. Crampons points barely made a mark. The Gully wasn’t so wind scoured and had some windblown powder which had settled in the centre but still good neve/ice and frozen turf. I’m pretty sure the water ice that had formed under the chockstone would have taken a screw if anyone was pitching it.

Im looking at another day out on Thurs/Fri but looks like quite a bit of snow between now and then, with no consolidation, so not sure if the gullies will be safe later in the week. Fingers crossed!

Post edited at 11:49
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tagscuderia on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to 1philjones1:

Brilliant info, thanks for that. Hoping to climb Saturday and Sunday and have had Trinity Left and Central on my list for a while now (I'm something of a beginner so appreciate the insight). Cheers.

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1philjones1 - on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to tagscuderia:

I’ve put a couple of videos of yesterday on Facebook Ground conditions page, they might help. 

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Ron Rees Davies - on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to 1philjones1:

Looks like there's been quite a bit more white stuff since yesterday!!

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Pay Attention - on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

The white stuff will probably disappear soon, given the weekend forecast for light rain and 3 degrees.

The 850m measurements of the Cwm Idwal Winter Climbing Information Project suggests Snowdonia isn't worth a 3 hr each way journey this weekend.  The ground isn't cold enough yet.

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1philjones1 - on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to Pay Attention:

I’d disagree with this, having been out twice in the last week. There is a fairly deep and consolidated base on certain aspects and a large amount of unconsolidated snow on others. There is also significant ice from around 700m (ish) and the air temps mean this is around for a week or two. 

I think it’s all about choosing the right route, on the right aspect, at the right height for the next week or so as there is unlikely to be much consolidation. Some gullies may well be loaded, other routes scoured.

Which forecast are you looking at? The ones I’ve seen are all of summit temps around -4/5 for the next week.

But who knows?! At least if you get out you’ve got a chance of getting a route in good condition. If you stay at home, you’ve got no chance!

Post edited at 17:19
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ianstevens - on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to 1philjones1:

General forecasts I've seen suggest 3-5*C as maximums in the valleys and <0*C on the tops, with obviously a spectrum in between...  

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Pay Attention - on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to 1philjones1:

You're probably right. It all looks different 120 miles away.

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Alex Riley on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to Pay Attention:

After my first post I ended up spening most of the morning clearing snow from driveways at work....

 

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stevez - on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to ruaidh:

Looks like there's going to de a decent freeze tonight following today's snow and then more snow Thursday, so likely that there will be a to of unconsolidated snow in gullies, but ice starting form.  MWIS saying we should stay in a cold air flow into next week.

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static266 - on 29 Jan 2019
In reply to ruaidh:

Climbed Crib Lem today, loads of powder, no consolidated snow, some exposed turf was frozen. 

There’s a logbook entry today of Right hand trinity gully I think trying to say someone took a bad fall and lost their axes. Would not have wanted to be in one of those gully’s today. 

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davegs - on 30 Jan 2019

If you’re on Twitter worth looking at @welshwinter

 

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ianstevens - on 30 Jan 2019
In reply to stevez:

Be patient, and don't get avalanched(!) - from LLMRT:

Yesterday afternoon (29th) the team were called to a climbing group who had been avalanched in Trinity Right Hand gully. One of the party sustaining a lower leg injury.

With the assistance of RAF Mountain Rescue Valley and Maritime and Coastguard Agency R936 we were able to recover the party off the mountain.

Lee slopes now have significant snow accumulation and windslab is developing. More snow is forecast and the temperature is set to remain cold. Consolidation is unlikely in the next few days. Enjoy the snow, make good decisions!

 

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99ster - on 30 Jan 2019
ianstevens - on 30 Jan 2019
In reply to 99ster:

Same incident btw

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richprideaux - on 30 Jan 2019
In reply to ruaidh:

Probably a good week to take up skiing or snowshoeing.

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George_Surf - on 30 Jan 2019
In reply to 99ster:

Does anyone have any proper info as to what actually happened?

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Pay Attention - on 30 Jan 2019
In reply to George_Surf:

there seems to be a first hand account in the public logbook of the climb at

Right-hand Trinity (III 3)

 

Post edited at 17:45
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geoff b on 30 Jan 2019
In reply to ruaidh:

Better to be in Cwm Cneifion: not so much snow in the back of the cwm there, little cornice build up & the Clogwyn Du in great nick. There's now a deep trench to it too! Conditions shaping up nicely on the cliff & the surrounding slabs & gullies of the cwm. That said, Thursday's forecast snow may increase the avalanche hazard there too.

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Simon Caldwell - on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to Pay Attention:

Looks to have been removed

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Pay Attention - on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Yes: the logbook entry has been removed since yesterday (perhaps because it contained details identifying the poster and the victim).  There's enough context in the Guardian piece to explain what happened to the readers of this forum.

Anyone with an obsessive compulsion for yet more detail can go to the Llanberis Mountain rescue teams Facebook page to see two videos of the rescue....

Post edited at 12:05
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galpinos on 31 Jan 2019
geoff b on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to ruaidh:

Focussing on the original question: conditions in Cwm Lloer looked very interesting this morning. The routes on the buttresses are icing up nicely, plenty of frozen turf visible too whilst the approach up the bog is largely frozen. Hourglass & Broad gullies are full of slightly consolidated snow i.e. not as loose as yesterday but still requiring a lot of effort to progress. Furthermore the top of Broad looked unpleasantly corniced as incidentally was most of the East facing headwall (i.e. where Headwall & Col Gully go). With more snow focussed this afternoon & tonight, this area of the cwm could be quite dangerous tomorrow.

Over in Dyffryn Peris, Upper Cwm Glas has a lot of snow but again the top of Parsley Fern looks heavily corniced. The buttress routes on Clogwyn y Ddysgl would be a better bet. In the lower cwm, Face Route is beginning to form but may need another day or two, whilst Sergeants Gully & Craig y Rhaeadr need another week of cold yet.

Oh & no ice in Idwal yet, as someone is bound to ask!

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richprideaux - on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to geoff b:

I agree with Geoff's assessment - especially since we walked up to the edge of the cwm with him.

From the cwm upwards there is a crap-load of powder in the low gullies and not much scouring. There was a team swimming up Hourglass but they found something to upwards on.

We had grand plans of continuing on for the entire horseshoe, but bailed after a few minutes of being sandblasted by spindrift in the col. The wind was deceptively strong, higher than forecast and there is going to be a lot of movement of snow in the next 24 hours.

We came back round on the slope above Ogwen and found a variety of snowpacks, some slab etc. 

Snowshoes worn for 60% of the day. Still went knee-deep a few times.

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geoff b on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to richprideaux:

Well done lads. I wondered how you'd get on. It was really gnarly on top; 50m viz at best & really strong cross-winds. QED, a QMD!

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Mark Haward - on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to ruaidh:

Just returned from two great days on Tuesday and Wednesday. As other have said conditions hugely varied depending on height, aspect etc. Lots of unconsolidated snow in many areas, some spots waist deep. Great time for ridges though, the Gribin was huge fun.  So route choice, being aware of changing conditions and being willing to change plans is important. 

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geoff b on 01 Feb 2019
In reply to ruaidh:

As an update; it has barely snowed up here over the last 24 hours, the front never arrived.

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tagscuderia on 01 Feb 2019
In reply to geoff b:

Thanks for the update Geoff, I'm heading over tomorrow morning and thinking of Llech ddu Spur to get a feel for the conditions. I've had Central Trinity on my to-do list for 3 years now, looking at the PyB webcam though the llyn is freezing over so I'm guessing that there's been no thaw (haha) making the gullies still a questionable objective? Any insight appreciated; I'm a novice but I can still gauge snow conditions and won't head up anything sketchy as I'm soloing.

Cheers,

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TobyA on 01 Feb 2019
In reply to geoff b:

What do you think the steeper mixed looks like Geoff? I saw a picture from Crib Lem yesterday and the crag to the right of it looked in great condition - all nicely rimed up. I was wondering about Glyder Fach as that's a similar aspect - maybe a bit more NNW than NNE, but should have been getting some wind across it.

Cheers

Toby,

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geoff b on 01 Feb 2019
In reply to ruaidh:

Another cold day with some strong N winds on the summits but no fresh snow. Lots of folk skiing the slopes of Carnedd Dafydd today.  The snow in the gullies is consolidating slowly but personally I'd avoid them, it'd be hard work if nothing else and there are some pretty big cornices still. As mentioned yesterday, Craig y Rhaeadr & Face Route are building nicely. Go high would be my advice, the turf & ice are better there. Craig Dafydd (which is probably where you're referring to) would be a good choice Toby.

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geoff b on 03 Feb 2019
In reply to ruaidh:

Super conditions yesterday & lots of folk heading for the hills. Glyder Fach was quite busy with teams on Arch Gully, Arch Chimney, Main/East Gully/Buttress & Main Gully. Glyder Fawr & Cwm Cneifion busy too by the sounds of it. A clearer & colder night will have improved things further today. I need a day off!

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stevez - on 03 Feb 2019
In reply to geoff b:

Turbo thaw about to start unfortunately.

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TobyA on 03 Feb 2019
In reply to geoff b:

Did you enjoy Main Gully? We were the first team on Arch Gully, although the three that did Arch Chimney abbed off after doing it in one pitch and then did Arch Gully after us. We did the upper buttress and on to the summit.

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1philjones1 - on 03 Feb 2019
In reply to stevez:

I don’t really get the ‘turbo thaw’ thing. Isn’t the next couple of days just a well needed, and usual, thaw with temps dropping back below freezing by Mon night/Tuesday, depending on which forecast you look at?

I’m  going with yr.no forecast which has -7 on the Glyders Monday night. Mountain forecast has it dropping below freezing Tuesday night.

There will be loads of snow left and the gullies will really benefit. I’m expecting good, refrozen conditions at some point this week. Hoping another cold front comes in towards next weekend- that would be perfect.

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stevez - on 03 Feb 2019
In reply to 1philjones1:

Agree, if it’s a gradual thaw then a good refreeze we could have excellent conditions by mid-week. Where have you seen it’ll be -7 on the Glyders because that seems optimistic this week?

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1philjones1 - on 03 Feb 2019
In reply to stevez:

It’s a Norwegian forecasting service. (yr.no) Does European forecasts(including summits)- normally pretty accurate but -7 does seem optimistic!

Post edited at 18:13
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wercat on 03 Feb 2019
In reply to geoff b:

Oi!  - Wot do you lot not understand in "Snowdonia Mountains Closed"?!!  By Order!

 

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tagscuderia on 03 Feb 2019
In reply to wercat:

Llech ddu Spur on Saturday looked the part but it was more of a scramble than winter climb; I donned crampons at the quartz ledge but with no ice on the route, it was more for confidence wading through the powder — my advice would be to stick to the rock, the snow was really loose! Descending Yr Elen was a lottery regards snow depth and type.

North Ridge of Tryfan today was definitely not a winter ascent, axe and crampons weren't used. Looked at Bristly Ridge (seemingly bare regards snow/ice) but I'd guess that it was gusting 50mph at Bwlch Tryfan so I chickened out and ascended Gribin — turf definitely not frozen and the snow was slush. It was raining on the Glyderau plateau and 9C back at the car opposite Tryfan Bach at 1430, a disappointing day on the hill

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JamButty - on 04 Feb 2019
In reply to ruaidh:

Just been on Foel Goch near Bala,  which is about 650m.  The snow from the last 24 hrs has 95% gone,  and looking across to the main peaks they looked poor as well.

Was planning on a trip across Wed,  will there be anything left?

 

 

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Simon Caldwell - on 04 Feb 2019
In reply to JamButty:

It was still waist deep at about 600m on the Carneddau yesterday afternoon so will take a while to go completely I'd have thought, even though it was raining at the time.

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geoff b on 18:07 Mon
In reply to ruaidh:

Nice neve on top of Glyder Fawr & Fach at the moment & Hidden Gully has had an ascent today by the look of the footprints. You'd probably find some quality snow in the gullies of Cwm Cneifion but Clogwyn Du is, well 'du' (black).  Upper Cwm Glas looked stunning from Glyder Fawr & with luck I'll get a chance to pop up there tomorrow, especially if it's as cold overnight as they're forecasting.

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geoff b on 15:31 Thu
In reply to ruaidh:

Was up in Cwm Glas, crossing Crib Goch & Crib y Ddysgl today looking for any white stuff but it's more like April/Spring I'm afraid. Parsley Fern Gully had enough to descend but even Central Trinity was no more than a discontinuous ribbon. It's going, going,............

Time to go to Gogarth?!

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Ron Rees Davies - on 16:53 Thu
In reply to geoff b:

There were over 20 people climbing at a hot sunny Castle Inn Quarry today. 

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ianstevens - on 17:10 Thu
In reply to geoff b:

> Time to go to Gogarth?!

Absof*ckinglutely

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Misha - on 20:25 Thu
In reply to geoff b:

Will be going to Cloggy soon at this rate!

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Pay Attention - on 20:57 Thu
In reply to geoff b:

Yep!  There's no need for the Snowdonia Winter Conditions thread for the next eleven months....

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